These Easy Meringue Ghosts are the perfect addition to your Halloween party or spooky dessert table, with just a few simple ingredients you can whip up a batch of ghostly meringues in no time.
Getting ready for Halloween can feel overwhelming. No matter your Halloween plans, whether you’re hosting a party or having a cozy night in, you might be looking for a delightful Halloween-themed dessert to enjoy during the holiday festivities, especially ones that the kids love, which is always a bonus!
Meringue ghosts are light and fluffy sweet treats shaped like little ghosts, with edible black eyes. They’re made from sugar and whipped egg whites, creating a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture. When baked, they turn crisp on the outside but remain soft and airy on the inside.
What is Meringue?
Meringue is a sweet concoction made by whipping egg whites and sugar together until they form stiff, glossy peaks.
It is then formed in whatever way you choose. In this recipe, we are making ghosts with the meringue. You can make all kinds of designs, because the meringue is firm and stands up.
- Caster sugar – Ideal for meringues because it dissolves easily. Caster sugar is a fine granulated sugar. It is between granulated sugar and confectioners sugar. You may find it labeled superfine sugar. I recommend only using caster sugar and not granulated because it doesn’t work as well.
- Egg whites – Room temperature. The egg whites will whip up better if they are warm and not straight out of the frig.
- Cream of tartar – Cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites and creates a stiffer meringue.
- Black decorator gel or edible ink pen – I like using the decorator gel because it comes out perfectly for eyes and mouths. Edible black ink pen will work as well..
To help you get ready to make these cute ghost meringues, here is a list of equipment you will need.
How to Make Meringue Ghosts
Preheat the oven to 225°F (107°C). Line two baking sheets with baking paper and set them aside. To make piping easier you can draw 1 1/2 to 2 inch circles on one side of the parchment as a guide.
Set the eggs out on the counter for at least 30 minutes before you are ready to start whisking the meringue. Separate the egg whites from the yolk. Be very careful not to get any yolk into the whites, because it will keep the whites from whipping easily.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar using an electric mixer on low speed at first, gradually increasing the speed until the mixture is foamy and looks like soap bubbles.
Turn the mixer up to full speed and start adding the sugar, one spoonful at a time. It may take 10 to 15 minutes. The meringue should be thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. It is ready when you pull the beater away and a stiff peak remains and you can rub the mixture between your fingers with no gritty feeling. About 2-5 minutes after adding the last sugar.
Spoon the meringue into a piping bags with a Wilton 2A tip, shaking down into the bag, removing any large air bubbles carefully. It should fill 2 bags.
Holding the piping bag with both hands, position the bag about 1/2 inch from the parchment paper and squeeze the bag to start forming the body of the ghost. Keep the bag steady while squeezing.
Once you’ve squeezed out the body, lift the bag just slightly, then push down and squeeze out the top part of the body, which is smaller than the base. Lift the piping bag straight up to leave a peak on the top of your ghosts’ heads. It will take practice.
Keep forming ghosts, as quickly as you can, until the mixture is gone. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the ghosts are crisp on the outside but not brown. Try not to open the oven until they are done cooking. Turn the oven off. Allow the meringues to cool in the oven for at least an hour before you remove them.
Use black decorating gel or edible pen to draw faces on the ghosts.
Additional Helpful Tips
- Allow your egg whites to come to room temperature before whipping them. Room temperature egg whites whip up better and achieve greater volume.
- When piping the ghost shapes, try to keep them consistent in size to ensure even baking. You can use a template or draw circles on the parchment paper as a guide.
- Whipping the meringue to stiff peaks may take some time, so be patient. Don’t rush the process; it’s worth the wait for that perfect texture.
How to Store
Place your ghost meringues in an airtight container, making sure they are not touching each other. This helps prevent them from sticking together or becoming soft due to humidity. If you have multiple layers, separate them with parchment paper.
Store your container of meringues in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Avoid areas with high humidity, as moisture can make the meringues lose their crispness.
It’s best not to refrigerate meringues, as the moisture in the fridge can cause them to become soft and sticky.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when the meringue has reached stiff peaks?
Stiff peaks are achieved when the whipped egg whites hold their shape, and the tips stand upright when the beaters are lifted. You can also check by gently rubbing a bit of the meringue between your fingers; it should feel smooth, not gritty.
What’s the shelf life of ghost meringues?
Properly stored, ghost meringues can stay fresh for about a week. However, they may lose some of their crispness over time.
Can I make these meringues without cream of tartar?
Yes, you can substitute cream of tartar with an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice. It serves as an acid to stabilize the egg whites.
What can I do if my meringues turned out chewy instead of crispy?
If your meringues are chewy, they may not have baked long enough or could have absorbed moisture from the environment. You can try placing them back in a low oven (about 200°F) for a short time to help them dry out.
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Easy Meringue Ghosts
- 1 1/4 cups (156 g) caster sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) cream of tartar
- edible black ink pen for the eyes or gel frosting tube
- Preheat the oven to 225° F (107°C) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Separate the room temperature egg whites.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar using an electric mixer on slow speed at first, gradually increasing the speed until the egg whites have formed foamy soap bubbles about 5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer up to full speed and start adding the sugar, one spoonful at a time. Keep whisking until the meringue has a stiff, glossy appearance. It’s ready once it holds its shape, about 2-5 minutes after adding the last sugar.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bags with a Wilton 2A tip, shaking it down into the bag, removing any large air bubbles carefully. It should fill 2 bags.
- Holding the piping bag with both hands, position the bag about 1/2 inch from the parchment paper and squeeze the bag to start forming the body of the ghost. Keep the bag steady while squeezing.
- Once you’ve squeezed out the body, lift the bag just slightly, then push down and squeeze out the top part of the body, which is smaller than the base. Lift the piping bag straight up to leave a peak on the top of your ghosts’ heads. It will take practice.
- Keep forming ghosts, as quickly as you can, until the mixture is gone. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the ghosts are crisp on the outside.
- Turn oven off. Allow the meringues to cool in the oven for at least an hour before you remove them.
- Use the edible pen to draw faces on the ghosts.