Eton Mess is on the menu! And no, an Eton Mess is not Prince Harry after a few tequilas. An easy Eton Mess recipe is a summer essential for warmer weather and it is one of the simplest summer desserts to make.
Eton Mess is made from crunchy, light meringue, whipped double cream and sweet summer berries. You pile it high and mash it all together and it makes a dish that might not look neat, but certainly looks appetizing. It is one of the best summer dinner party desserts, is picnic-friendly and is very easy to make in advance. This easy Eton Mess recipe can be assembled quickly at the last minute and meringue can also be frozen if you want to prepare really far ahead of time.
As the story goes, Eton Mess was always served at the annual summer cricket match between British schools Eton and Harrow. Apparently, it dates back to the 1890s and I am not surprised it has stuck around so long given how delicious it is.
Eton Mess is one of those traditional British foods that everyone has to try, especially on summer days. Here is my easy Eton Mess recipe that breaks it down into step by step instructions.
Easy Eton Mess Recipe
- White caster sugar
- Egg whites
- Double cream
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat the oven to 120 C / 250 F and line a large oven tray with baking paper.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks being very careful not to get any yolk at all in the white. Even one speck of egg yolk will render it useless. Use leftover egg yolks to make ice cream or a beannaise sauce at a later date.
Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until they turn white and form soft peaks. This may take a few minutes, so keep going! You will really need an electric whisk.
Now, a small bit at a time, add the sugar whilst continuing to whisk. The egg white/sugar mixture should become silky, opaque white and glossy and once it is all combined turn off the whisk.
Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray in six blobs and use the tip of the spoon to swirl them into little mounds with a peak.
Place in the oven and bake for one hour until they have a crisp outer shell and are lightly browned.
Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool whilst still inside it. This lets them dry out really well, it's a great tip I picked up from my mum. Once they are cool, take them out and either keep them in an airtight container or serve them immediately.
Meanwhile, make your fresh strawberry sauce.
Put half the strawberries into a blender with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Blend until smooth and then sieve to get rid of the pips.
Then, pour your double cream into a bowl and whisk it until it thickens up.
Slice your berries and put them in a bowl.
Now, you can either make one giant Eton Mess by adding the meringue, cream and berries to a large dish or bowl and smashing it all together. Or, you keep it all separate and allow people to make their own which I personally think is more fun.
Hint: The trick with making meringue is to whisk the egg whites until they are solid enough to not fall out of the bowl if you tip it. The old method to test this is to hold it upside down over your head, but it is a risky move...
The great thing about an Eton Mess is that you can put your own twist on it. Here are a few options for changing up this easy Eton Mess recipe that I like to do on occasion.
- Lighter - instead of double cream, use plain yoghurt for a lighter and more tangy dessert
- Winter - If making this dessert in winter time, try it with tangerines instead
- Berry blast - Use other summer fruits like raspberries and blueberries
- Deluxe - add some shaved white chocolate curls on top
I had some leftover cream and strawberry sauce so I made this strawberry semifreddo recipe, try it here!
Equipment for easy Eton Mess recipe
You will need an electric hand whisk, or a stand mixer to make the meringue and the whipped cream.
I definitely feel the benefits of using a counter-based stand mixer as it means you can get on with other things at the same time! This is the one I use and it has other attachments you can get too, it's a great all-rounder.
Store the cream and eggs in the fridge before making this recipe. Once cooked, the meringues will keep for up to three weeks if kept in an air tight container, and you can also freeze them. The Eton Mess is best eaten straight away, if you have any components left over, keep them in the fridge separately.
Don't use cartons of ready-separated egg whites to make meringue, it never whisks as well and just doesn't taste the same.
Easy Eton Mess Recipe
- Stand mixer
- Baking tray
- Greaseproof paper
- 3 Large egg whites
- 150 g White caster sugar
- 3 tablespoon Additional white sugar
- 500 ml Double cream / heavy whipping cream
- 600 g Fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 120 C / 250 F and line a tray with baking paper.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks being very careful not to get any yolk at all in the white.
- Put the egg whites in a bowl or stand mixer and whisk for several minutes until they turn white and form soft peaks
- Now, a small bit at a time, add the 150 grams of caster sugar whilst continuing to whisk. The mixture should become opaque white and glossy and once it is all combined turn off the whisk.
- Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray in six blobs and use the tip of the spoon to swirl them into little mounds with a peak.
- Place in the oven and bake for one hour until they have a crisp outer shell and are lightly browned.
- Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool whilst still inside it so they can completely dry out. Once they are cool, take them out and either keep them in an airtight container or serve them immediately.
- To make the strawberry sauce, blend half the strawberries with the 3 tablespoon sugar until smooth, and then sieve to remove the pips.
- Whisk the cream until it is thick
- Slice the remaining strawberries.
- To make the Eton Mess, place the meringues, strawberries, cream and sauce into a bowl and mix together. Or, serve separetly and allow guetss to make their own
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove