Recipes To Use Up Leftover Egg Whites

Italian Almond Cookies

Often bakers and ice cream-lovers will find themselves with a few too many egg whites leftover. So what to do with all of them? It seems I, too, always have a few in a container in the refrigerator. Liquid egg whites can be frozen just as they are. I usually do it in a specific quantity, and label it as such, since there’s nothing more infuriating than needing 1 cup of egg whites and trying to chip that away from a frozen-solid block in the freezer. Some folks devote an ice cube tray to egg whites, slipping one in each indentation so they know exactly how many they have. Just so you know, one large egg white is about 2 tablespoons and weighs 25 grams. I often freeze the whites in plastic containers, then slip them out of the containers, once frozen, then wrap them in plastic and secure them in zip-top freezer bags – with the quantity and date written on the outside.

Here are some favorite recipes of mine, and some from others, that are great ways to use up leftover egg whites:

  • Parisian Chocolate macarons

  • Angel Food Cake

  • Homemade Marshmallows

  • Italian Almond Cookies

  • Financiers (Eggbeater)

  • Egg White Cake (Nami-Nami)

  • Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons

  • Pecan Meringue Cookies (Simply Recipes)

  • Chocolate Angel Food Cake (Serious Eats)

    angel food cake

  • Seven-Minute Frosting (Smitten Kitchen)

  • Crème Brûlée-Pistachio Macarons (Tartlette)

  • Dacquoise (Bay Area Bites)

  • Pavlova (Simply Recipes) and Mixed Berry Pavlova (Smitten Kitten)

  • Kumquat & Chocolate Financier Teacakes (Cannelle-Vanille)

  • Chocolate Angel Food Cake (Epicurious)

    Or…you can make an ice cream ‘volcano’….like I did!


    To Start Your Own Volcano: Line a deep bowl with plastic wrap, then fill with layers of ice cream or sorbet. You can either use homemade or store-bought. Either way, the ice cream should be slightly-softened so it’s spreadable.

    It’s best to create layers that are roughly equivalent in size. Add one layer, smooth the top and let it freeze for about an hour. Then add the next and let that freeze as well. You can add as many layers as you want, but three’s my limit and I fancy alternating ice cream and sherbet or sorbet layers.

    Once you’re done with all the layers, trim and line the bottom (the exposed end) with a layer of spongecake, saturating both sides with sugar syrup. Use a favorite spongecake recipe, but the piece should be about 1-inch (3 cm) thick. Make a small amount of sugar syrup by boiling about 1/4 cup (60 ml) water with 2 tablespoons sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool completely, then add a good pour of your favorite liquor. The syrup’s necessary to keep the cake from freezing too firm, but the alcohol can be omitted if you want.

    Now freeze the entire cake really well (which is especially true if, like me, you have to drive 2 hours en route to the party you’re going to and you get stuck in a traffic jam at le péage, the toll plaza, because some knucklehead in front of you didn’t have money or something and traffic’s backed up to lord-knows-where. I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. Me was freakin’.)

    To Meringue the Volcano: Add some room temperature egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer. The amount of egg whites it will take depends on the size of your cake so it’s hard to say, but leftover whipped and sweetened meringue can be baked as cookies. (You can read detailed meringue instructions here.)

    Beat slowly, then increase the speed, adding a pinch of salt, until the egg whites start to hold their shape. Gradually add an equal quantity of sugar while whipping at high speed until thick, glossy and firm. You can add a few drops of vanilla extract if you’d like.

    Remove the cake from the freezer and unmold it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to remove the plastic wrap, but I’m going to tell you anyways. Spread the meringue all over the top and sides. Bury a half an egg shell in the top, open side facing outwards and smooth the meringue up and around it.

    At this point, you can refreeze the cake until ready to brulée—or torch that sucker right away.

    To Serve: Brown the volcano in an oven that’s been pre-heated to a very high temperature, around 500F (260 C). It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to ‘cook’. I like to finish it with a blowtorch since it looks more dramatic with slightly-burnt edges.

    Fill the egg shell with liquor that’s at least 40% alcohol. Turn off the lights, ignite the liquor*, and let that Krakatoa glow!

    Cut the cake with a narrow, long knife dipped in very hot water.

    *Of course, always take precautions when lighting anything: Make sure nothing is flammable nearby including your sleeves. Avert your face when lighting the flame and keep kids away.

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    • September 9, 2007 4:05am

      what? an ice cream volcano without the Money Shot?
      {thanks for the link!}

    • September 9, 2007 4:56am

      I’ve never made a volcano, but I might have to try it! I usually go the pavlova route when I have leftover egg whites, especially because they work with anywhere from 5-8 egg whites by adjusting the sugar (you could use more, but at that point it’s better to layer than have one large base). I like Nigella’s chocolate raspberry pavlova best!

    • September 9, 2007 8:31am

      Shuna: Just for you, I posted ‘Le Money Shot’ here. Since I was holding the cake, or trying to, the pic isn’t very good. But you all can see what I’m against around here!

    • anothercatherine
      September 9, 2007 9:36am

      Wonderful! But this has jigged my memory – I meant to ask you before – why do you not use egg whites in sorbet? I have a lot of recipes which suggest adding a lightly loosened egg whites before churning, to make a lighter texture, but I’ve noticed in The Perfect Scoop that you don’t do this. Is there any particular reason why?

    • September 9, 2007 11:27am

      Ooh, thank you for he recipes. I tend to have the opposite problem as I have not been bold enough to make ice cream! I have yolks laying around.

      I made your Chocolate Coconut Macaroons earlier this year and meant to blog about how delicious they were but we ate them all before we could get a photo! Thanks for nudging me to make them again.

      I’d also love to try the Chocolate Macarons recipe though I’m a little scared of them!

      Do you know the definitions of Macaroons and Macarons? Are they pronounced the same way?

    • September 9, 2007 1:50pm

      Thank you!!!! Thanks to your incredible ice cream recipes, I’ve had the dilemma/blessing of sooo many egg whites. What to do with them? I’ve asked my friends…and you’ve answered me, too!

      I, ironically, have been insisting, “David Lebovitz should have come with egg white recipes as a companion to his book, The Perfect Scoop.”

    • September 9, 2007 5:02pm

      Awesome! I usually end up eating egg whites for breakfast for a few days after making ice cream, and that gets very boring very soon. I will definitely make use of these egg white recipes.

      I have a question though, I usually put the extra egg whites in a plastic container and just stick that in the fridge. Do you know about how long egg whites last in the fridge? Or should I always immediately freeze them?

    • Micki
      September 9, 2007 5:51pm

      Hello! This doesn’t really have anything to do with egg whites, but I’ve but reading your blog for a while and I just moved to Paris for the semester. Where are all of the outdoor markets?? I was so excited but I can’t seem to find them! I’m in the 9th so if there are any around there that would be cool, but any in Paris would be much appreciated. thanks!

    • September 9, 2007 8:51pm

      Dear David,

      Wow, thanks for sharing my Souffléd Egg White Balls with Red Bean Paste recipe with your readers.

      This is a very good dessert, but alas, my creation really didn’t do any justice. When done right, it’s like a fluffy pillow-y cotton ball oozing with read bean paste. It’s really heavenly. Have you tried them before? : )

    • September 10, 2007 12:37am

      hehe i was just contemplating where to use the excess egg whites… before, when making yema(milk candies) and custards, i’d just use the whites for (1)stirred into (chinese) soups; (2)fried rice; (3)cooking spanish chocolate tablets for hot chocolate; (4)canonigo/floating island dessert. thanks for the additional, and more creative recipes.

    • September 10, 2007 3:17am

      Micki: The markets are everywhere! You can find a complete list of them here.

      Marvin: Am not sure how long they last ‘officially’, but I keep them at most for 2 weeks.

      Kayenne: How could I have omitted Floating Islands? I love those!

      Rasa Malaysia: I will be trying that soon. I have some red beans leftover from some Red Bean Ice Cream I made.

    • September 10, 2007 10:06am

      I’m hopeless at cooking, David, but I love your photographs! (And the writing of course, but ca va sans dire.) Those egg shells are a work of art. Would you be willing to tell us what kind of camera you use?

    • September 10, 2007 10:21am

      Hi Polly: I use a Canon Rebel, which I absolutely love (once I figured out all those dials.)

      I did upgrade to a fancy macro lens recently which allows me to get up closer to things. Thanks for the compliments on the photos. Everything in Paris is so photogenic!

    • September 10, 2007 10:49am

      David – I’m munching the macaroons as I type, lovely! Thanks so much again, I shall post about my chiffon cake some time :)

      Your volcano looks amazing.

    • September 10, 2007 4:55pm

      Until this post, I never really thought twice about dumping my egg whites down the sink. Plus, it’ll give me an excuse to bake even more. Yay!

    • Terrie
      September 10, 2007 9:19pm

      David, I had big plans last holiday season to make marshmallows and give them away as gifts. Even though I know my way around a Kitchen Aid, those marshmallows were probably tops on my list of kitchen failures…a nasty,gloppy, gooey mess. I shuddered when I saw them on your list but I think I’m going to gather up the courage and give your recipe a try (the one I made didn’t have egg whites). Your macarons and macaroons are beautiful! More things to add to my must try list. Thank you. I’ve filled my chocolate macarons with nutella and buttercream…some of mine bake up with feet, some don’t..all in the same batch.
      btw, did you see who won the Bon Appetit lifetime achievement award in this month’s issue? The pistachio gelato base is chilling as I type. :)

    • September 11, 2007 5:27pm

      Making meringue seems like a whole lot of fun actually…I may try it out :)

    • bryan
      September 12, 2007 3:22am

      I think of souffle first. A nice puffy omelette, second. Cheese and/or spinach puffs.

      I’m not a baker so I always tend to have more leftover yolks. I use those those to thicken sauces or for Caesar salad.

    • September 12, 2007 3:26am

      bryan: It’s funny, since I worked for a while in a restaurant that specialized in Chinese and Southeast Asian food. And the cooks always had tons of egg yolks for me, since they used a lot of whites for binding fillings.

      Maybe I should start a matchmaking forum, Folks With Yolks, for cooks with too many whites to hook up with folks that have too many yolks!

    • September 14, 2007 11:24pm

      Thanks for all the great options! I just picked up your ice cream book based on the Becks & Posh recommendations. Looking forward to trying all its deliciousness.

      That volcano sure looks like fun. A question, though: What is it you do with that sugar syrup? Do you pour it over the spongecake? You don’t really say, above.

    • September 16, 2007 4:58pm

      Couldn’t have discovered this post at a better moment – I’ve just made some damson ice cream (yum) and have been looking quizically at the whites.

      Usually I go with the Pavlova option but as I’m away all this week I’m thrilled to discover that macaroons freeze well. Excellent.

    • January 22, 2009 10:56am

      Thank you for linking to my egg white cake, dear David!! Px

    • Michael
      August 13, 2009 1:56am

      Great list! Thank you for the delicious recipes. I just made custard and had lots of egg whites left over, so this is perfect.

      Just an FYI–the link you currently have to dacquoise is currently broken. However, I found the new page on the site.

      Thanks! I fixed the link that changed. Happy baking~ dl

    • May 5, 2010 3:36pm

      This idea is pure genius! Now that I have a torch, I might just have to plan a dinner party around it. I’m thinking hawaii theme :D Thank you!

    • Jung
      October 2, 2010 6:53pm

      The ice cream volcano looks awesome. You are truly amazing! I made a volcano cake last year for my son’s 5th birthday using layers of sponge cake and flavored whipped cream molded into a chinois strainer lined in plastic. I unmolded it the next day and stuck a small bundt cake on top to create a crater and I frosted it all with a chocolate ganache. I poured raspberry sauce down the sides for lava and stuck a handful of sparklers on top lighting them from the bottom to make it look like the volcano was erupting. I wanted to add some dry ice to the crater to make smoke but couldn’t find any before the party. I iced the bottom of a large cake plate with green and brown frosting and stuck some of his toy dinosaurs around the volcano to make it look like a scene from prehistoric times for my dinosaur obsessed son.

      I wish I saw your recipe for your volcano as it took me several weeks to figure out how to make my volcano. I will definitely try this as I love making baked alaskas and my son is still obsessed with dinosaurs. Igniting the liquor will add another fun dimension to it.

      It’s funny how I got to this entry as I was looking to see if you had any recipes for swiss buttercream frosting as I am making a rainbow cake for a friend’s four year old’s birthday (from the “whisk kid” blog) and had some questions about storage. I actually had the opposite problem today with all the yolks left over. I ended up making your bittersweet chocolate mousse out of them from “Ready for Dessert”. Can’t wait to try it with the pear and fig chutney.

      BTW I’ve made your chocolate coconut macaroons several times and they are always a hit, even with my 6 year old.

      Last thing, the link to your marshmallow recipe doesn’t work. Can you use the marshmallow recipe from the Lime-Marshmallow pie to make regular marshmallows? My son has been requesting rocky road.

    • October 3, 2010 10:13am
      David Lebovitz

      Jung: The marshmallow recipe disappeared from the site when I switched platforms as some of the recipes were formatted differently.

      I’ve not tried using the topping for my Lime-Marshmallow pie as regular marshmallows, so I don’t know. But if you try it, please let me know how it works out.