How to Know If You Have Over Whipped Your Eggs

I get certain questions over and again here at Gretchen’s Bakery and when that happens, I usually turn those questions into a blog post!

So keep asking!

You would be surprised how many people can benefit from a question or problem you may think only YOU are having!


When answering “How to know if you have over whipped your eggs” I found it was way easier to explain it with visuals, so you can actually SEE the over whipping versus a perfect meringue and the results you can expect from each.

Oh yeah, we are talking specifically in meringues here with egg whites.

But think about all the recipes that have egg whites folded in!

From Mousses to Sponge Cakes to Meringue Cookies; the simple egg white may not be so simple after all!

If you have ever experienced a grainy textured Chocolate Mousse or a dense rubbery Roulade Sponge this article is for you!

Check it out in the video below and get to know your egg whites so you too can understand just what is happening (or NOT happening!) when you are whipping those lovely proteins!

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  1. How do I keep my meringue from shrinking as my pie cools? I have tried all kinds of things to keep this from happening but nothing seems to work. Can you please tell me what I am doing wrong or not doing? Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Hi Karen, this is a question I get all the time, and the thing about it is: meringues on pies naturally shrink a little bit. Its inevitable.
      Some people will like to try a Swiss Style Meringue for topping their pies in an effort to eliminate the severity of the shrinkage, but no matter what it is going to shrink a little bit.
      (Ive linked to my buttercream recipe- which is an example of a swiss meringue- you wouldn’t use the butter and other ingredients though!)

      Now of course if you are over whipping as shown in the video here, yours will shrink more, so follow the new insights as I have explained in the video and you wont have such a drastic problem, but also know that most likely you are not doing anything wrong, people just have to understand that is the nature of the egg white

    2. Hi Gretchen I’m making your yellow sponge cake with oil and wanted to know if I can substitute buttermilk for milk

    1. No it is not, although the ingredients are just about identical- it’s the RATIO of ingredients used that makes them different:
      almond paste has about double the almonds and half the sugar as marzipan so right away you can see how this can wreck havoc on your desserts!
      Marzipan is typically used from molding shapes and figures and can be rolled out to cover cakes (like fondant)

  2. I will like to know if you use egg whites or eggs for the sponge cake? Please help me I’m so confused. Thank you

  3. Hi , what is different between cake flour and all purpose flour? Please help me m be confused in it. Does cake flour has baking powder on it ?

  4. Hi Gretchen, I have always used: “If a dry rubber scraper leaves a clear path when drawn through egg whites”, they are at the stiff peak stage. This is for meringue and chiffon cakes. Have you ever used this?

  5. I absolutely adore your recipes-all of them!!! You are so great at what you do!
    I respect your opinions and answers, so I have 2 questions for you.

    In the recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie, the filling items listed say 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, but it isn’t included in the procedure instructions. What is it for?
    Also, by placing the pie in the oven, if it browns the meringue, why do I have to torch it first? Or could I not torch it at all and after baking, place it under a broiler for a few minutes? Please advise-I’m confused. Thank you ever so much

    1. Awe thanks!!
      I will update the butter info- thanks!! (it goes in last – you will see me add it to the custard in the video before straining it)
      You do not have to torch it, it is just a pro touch I guess! The oven will be just fine! I just love my blowtorch and think everyone should have one LOL!

  6. Hi… 🙂 From the time I found you I can’t be without you 🙂 I am a mom of 6 and my terapy is baking lol
    I love your swiss maringue buttercream and my next try was Italian maringue buttercream and disaster lol as soon as I start with butter (not cold, but room temperature and still little cold) it turn to soup 🙁 what would it be?
    Oh and when I pour sugar it got crystals on side of the bowl?
    Please help me 🙂

    1. Sounds like the meringue was too hot when you added the butter?
      Often times though, if you continue whipping, it will come back together

  7. Hi Gretchen, i’m making the vanilla sponge cake. Is it possible to decrease the sugar contain by at least 25 grams? recipe call for 350 grams. To me with frosting taste too sweet.

  8. I want to cry . I wish I had watched this BEFORE I made a German chocolate cake today. I couldn’t figure out why it turned out like it did, now I know. I absolutely over whipped the eggs, like big time.
    We haven’t tasted it yet but just looking at it, I’m super disappointed. Well I know what I’ll be doing for the next few days, watching all your videos and reading All your posts! Thank you

    1. sorry to hear that! But nice to know you found a solution! Thanks for checking me out here I hope you stick around for more!

  9. My cake always has a wet sticky layer on top after say 10 hours of baking. My friends who use the same recipe does not have the problem. Where am I going wrong?

    1. Its possible if it is a sponge cake (whipped foamed egg recipe?) the sugar is floating uip to the top during baking, try superfine sugar next time or my vanilla sponge recipe where you dissolve the sugar into the eggs first

  10. Hi Gretchen: I just discovered your bakery blog. I love it! I wanted to know when baking in your bakery did you bake all cookie recipes from scratch or for a premade mix and added to them. I am new to baking and would really like to learn how to bake professionally. Also, do you have a list of the best brands that you prefer and bakeries use. I am excited to start my new adventure. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Warm Regards, Tracy

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