Have been beating egg whites and sugar for 13 minutes no sign of stiff peaks in sight. What am I doing wrong?

2 cups egg whites lots of sugar. Trying to make a buttercream icing.

Summer of Eggplant


Justine C. May 30, 2021
I think you are supposed to use white sugar also using a glass bowl would help and you should beat the egg whites first before putting brown sugar :>
Barbara R. March 12, 2021
Tried my new kitchen aid and cleaned the bowl and all parts with soapy water and rinsed it with vinegar and water , still my meringue came out runny and still won’t stiffen , cooled my bowl also before adding the egg whites beat until some what stiff then added sugar a teaspoon at a time then Tatar beat again and added vanilla but same results no peaks at all .Don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
Betty P. January 17, 2021
Sorry for the confusion. I added extra egg whites and switched to a smaller bowl to create more air. Cookies are yummy 😋
Betty P. January 16, 2021
Look I don't need to know what not to do just how to fix it. Or ideas on what to do egg whites that just won't beat. Thanks
Sylvia S. January 17, 2021
As soon as we figure it out we will let you know.
passionfood66 November 16, 2021
wow thats kinda nasty!!!!i created an acct just to tell you t\hat!!!!!
Tharun J. June 25, 2020
I made everything perfect cleaning the bowl and everything with vinegar
Separate egg made perfect but mine is not getting stiff peak
Imogen April 25, 2019
I had to whip for half an hour once with both a kitchen aid and a hand mixer and it was to do with having egg yolk drop in a bit so maybe that is the issue?
drbabs April 25, 2019
Yes. Start over with clean bowl and beaters. Make sure you don't get any yolk in the mix. A tiny pinch of salt will also help.
宇立 エ. July 31, 2018
Had the same problem with my kitchen aid. Switched to a hand mixer and voila! Perfect peaks. 🤷‍♀️
Connie March 18, 2018
You are supposed to beat the egg whites first and add the sugar later,
ajo7777 March 18, 2018
Bowl has butter or some sort of fat, or egg whites are cold straight from the fridge.
David March 14, 2018
Many carton-egg whites are pasteurized and will not whip. It should be noted on the carton and will indicate that they are not recommended for meringues and angel food cakes.
Ella S. June 27, 2015
I've come to the conclusion that the reason egg whites now do not stiffen when beaten, has something to do with the additives now being added to chicken feed. I never used to have any trouble and I haven't changed my method of beating egg whites. [email protected]
Sylvia S. January 4, 2021
You aren't alone in this observation. Mum has been cooking for 60 years and has never had trouble with meringue until the past 10-15 years.
passionfood66 November 16, 2021
that may be so but sounds like a conspiracy almost,,,,lol,,are or isnt salt supposed to be put in to stiffen?i may be wrong---i dont bake much,,happy cooking
drbabs November 21, 2014
This may be a complete long shot, but I've found that a pinch of kosher salt really helps egg whites to stiffen. (You'll probably need more than a pinch for such a huge amount of egg whites--1/2 teaspoon? Good luck.)
drbabs November 21, 2014
Whoops, I just noticed that this question is over a year old.
Sam1148 November 21, 2014
"Egg whites were not room temp but I heated the whites and sugar over simmering bath to melt sugar."

Does that even work. I've always heard that adding the sugar first before still peak stage was bad. Thus why we use confectioners sugar. And what's this heating the whites and sugar together to melt the sugar stuff?
boulangere November 21, 2014
Egg whites and sugar heated to 140 degrees, then whipped until the bowl is completely cool to the touch makes a Swiss meringue, which is much more stable than a cold French meringue. Once soft butter is dotted in in equal proportion to the sugar, it becomes Swiss meringue buttercream.
Adena L. November 21, 2014
Sometimes, the boxed egg whites just won't cut it! The exact same thing just happened to me, so on the advice of The Meringue Girls, I switched to real egg whites and it yielded a fluffy, gorgeous meringue.
boulangere April 18, 2013
I'm sorry to say that the fridge won't help matters. I remember those days well: "Mom, I signed you up to make cupcakes." Me: "Ok, when?" He/She" "Tomorrow for our (room party, carnival, fair, insert your own event)." When in danger or in doubt, use whipped cream sweetened with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to 1 cup of cream.
Summer O. April 18, 2013
I have 4 cups sugar 2 cups egg whites, not sure that I made it to 140 though. And, yes, making Swiss meringue. I halved it in the mixer which seemed to help a little. Anyhow, I've stuffed it into the fridge and am hoping for a more congealed product in the AM, if not, well then I guess I start again and if that doesn't work, I will purchase a cake. Ugh - so ready for the kids to be done with chocolate and move on fruit pies or something less messy.
boulangere April 18, 2013
The ratio of EWs to sugar is 1:2. Two cups of EWs weigh 16 ounces, so you'll need 32 ounces of sugar (slightly over 4.5 cups). Ideally, you heated the EW and sugar to 140 degrees before you began whipping them. If you're making a Swiss meringue, it doesn't matter if they are cold or room temp. Unfortunately, I've had similar results with frozen EWs. I can get them to a consistency that is adequate for tuning it into Swiss meringue buttercream, but not stiff enough to pipe or shape for meringues. For meringues, or for topping for a pie, I always use the real thing.
Monita April 18, 2013
Maybe HalfPint is right -- too much for your mixer. How about removing half and try beating that and see if it makes a difference
Summer O. April 18, 2013
Egg whites were not room temp but I heated the whites and sugar over simmering bath to melt sugar. Using a standard KitchenAid mixer. Honestly I used egg whites from the carton.

Voted the Best Reply!

HalfPint April 18, 2013
You might have a small amount of fat or some yolk (also mostly fat) in the mixing bowl or on the beaters. Is the mixing bowl plastic? While plastic should not interfere with egg whites, plastic bowls can retain a small amount of grease. It doesn't take much to keep you from getting stiff peaks.

Though 2 cups of egg whites is a lot. Maybe your mixer just doesn't have the horsepower to whip that much egg white AND sugar?
Monita April 18, 2013
2 cups egg whites seems like a lot. How many eggs? and how much sugar? Were your egg whites room temp when you started? Did you add the sugar gradually? If yes - then perhaps the eggs were really old. If not, I would start over with fresh egg whites at room temp
gillian March 26, 2015
it calls for 3 eggs
Summer O. April 18, 2013
10 minutes later, still no luck, it looks like melted marshmallow fluff.
DB February 24, 2022
I have the same problem. After 5 attempts, my swiss meringue will not whip to stiff peaks. It takes 50 minutes. Whipping cold egg whites with sugar is not a problem for me. It's after I heat it to 160F that I have a problem. Very frustrated. I did everything right, clean bowl and utensils with vinegar, fresh egg whites, separate yolks with shells instead of my fingers, got a new mixer with more power...all this did not work. My SMBC still came together at the end though, just wondering why it takes so long to for me to whip the meringue to stiff peaks.
Bakeria September 21, 2022
Did you simply proceed with the marshmallow-like goop and start adding your butter? Did you add salt and/or cream of tartar like some suggested?
DB September 21, 2022
Thank you for your reply. I realized after a lot of research that it is not necessary to have "stiff" peaks for beating the egg whites for Swiss Meringue. More of reaching a certain temperature while beating which is more of a medium stiff peaks. I made Swiss Meringue twice after my research and was very happy with the end results. I also found out that there are many different ratios to egg whites, sugar and butter. I found one that worked for me. Thanks again!
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