Peanut Butter Clouds

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A gem from Alice Medrich, these peanut butter meringues are salty-sweet and light as a cloud.

peanut butter meringues

A gem from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookiesthese meringues are salty-sweet and light as a cloud. Lovers of both meringue cookies and peanut butter cookies will love them plain — a crunchy, two-bite treat to satisfy the sweet tooth. Everyone else will love them served sundae-style as Medrich suggests: piled into bowls with creamy vanilla ice cream and drizzled with luscious warm chocolate or caramel sauce. Yum!

“Oh my god, so so good! This combination of salty and sweet, that consistency of… clouds. So good.”


What You’ll Need To Make Peanut Butter Clouds

Countertop of ingredients including cream of tartar, eggs, and peanut butter.
  • Egg Whites: Provide the structure and light, airy texture of the cookies. Make sure your mixing bowl and your whisk are completely clean and free of any oily residue. If not, the eggs won’t beat up as they should.
  • Cream Of Tartar: Stabilizes the egg whites, helping them to whip to stiff peaks, creating a fluffy meringue.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the cookies and helps achieve a glossy, stiff meringue.
  • Smooth Peanut Butter: Adds rich, creamy peanut butter flavor.
  • Salted Peanuts: Add a crunchy texture, a nice contrast to the sweetness of the cookies, and enhance the peanut butter flavor.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by placing the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Stand mixer whisking eggs.

Whisk until the egg whites are creamy white instead of translucent and hold a soft shape when the beaters are lifted.

Stand mixer whisking eggs that are creamy white.

Continue to beat on medium-high speed, adding sugar a little at a time, taking 1-½ to 2 minutes in all, until the whites are very stiff.

Egg and sugar mixture in a stand mixer.

When you lift the whisk out the bowl, the whites should hold a stiff peak.

Stiff white peak of egg and sugar on the whisk of a stand mixer.

Scatter small spoonfuls of peanut butter over the meringue.

Dollops of peanut butter in an egg mixture.

With large rubber spatula, fold the peanut butter into meringue until streaky.

Spatula folding peanut butter into a egg and sugar mixture.

You don’t want it to be perfectly blended.

peanut butter cloud batter

Drop rounded tablespoons of meringue 1-½ inches apart onto the lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle each meringue with a pinch of chopped peanuts.

peanut butter clouds ready to bake

Bake for 1-½ hours, until the meringues are perfectly crisp.

baked peanut butter clouds

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Peanut Butter Clouds

A gem from Alice Medrich, these peanut butter meringues are salty-sweet and light as a cloud.

Servings: 30


  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature (see note)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup smooth peanut butter, well stirred
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped salted peanuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a bowl if using a hand mixer with beaters), combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat at medium-high speed (or high speed if using a hand mixer) until the egg whites are creamy white and hold soft peaks when the beaters are lifted out of the bowl. Continue to beat on medium-high speed, adding sugar a little at a time, taking about 2 minutes in all, until the whites are glossy and stiff. When you lift the whisk out the bowl, the whites should hold stiff peaks.
  3. Scatter small spoonfuls of the peanut butter over the meringue. With a large rubber spatula, fold the peanut butter into meringue until streaky; you don't want it to be perfectly blended.
  4. Using two soup spoons, drop heaping tablespoons of meringue about 1-½ inches apart onto the lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle each meringue with a bit of chopped peanuts. Bake for 1-½ hours, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Turn off the heat and let the meringues cool completely in oven.
  5. Store the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool. They will keep for a about 2 weeks.
  6. Note: You will get the most volume from room temperature egg whites. To quickly bring cold eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of hot tap water for 5-10 minutes.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (30 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 41
  • Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 12mg
  • Cholesterol: 2mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • I made these twice, and both times they started out beautiful, and high and puffy, just like in your photo, but once “cooked” they came out dead flat!! Still delicious, but not right.
    What am I doing wrong? I used fresh ground peanut butter. Please help!

    • — Marina Julian on April 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sorry you’ve had a problem with these. I strongly suspect it was the fresh ground peanut butter. If you want to give these another try, I’d use a creamy big brand peanut butter – I like Skippy. Hope that helps and that you have success if you make these with that tweak.

      • — Jenn on April 17, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I use splenda instead of sugar?

    • — Jaime on July 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jamie, I wish I could help but I’ve never worked with sugar substitutes so I can’t say how it would impact the recipe. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it with Splenda!

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi! Is this good for a baby starting solids? Like does it dissolve easily?

    • Hi Lina, I do think they dissolve easily. 🙂

  • My daughter and I are slowly making our way through all of your cookie recipes while in lockdown. We made these yesterday and they were a huge hit! Super east to make and the peanut butter brings it to another level!

  • Should the oven door be propped open a bit for the cooling or should it be closed? Thanks.

    • Hi Susan, It should be closed. Hope you enjoy the cookies! 🙂

  • Oh my god, so so good!
    This combination of salty and sweet, that consistency of .. clouds. So good.

  • Want to make these cookies. just wondering should I use a regular oven setting or convection?

    • Hi Denise, I’d use regular. Enjoy!

  • I made these last night and left it in the oven to cool down till this morning. It was soooo good just wish meringue (in general) could be less sweeter 🙂 Brought them to work and my co-workers loved it. Perfect way to use my egg whites after making flans. Will be making more for sure.

  • Easy and delicious! Sweet and salty. I used superchunky peanut butter and they turned out great.

  • Absolute hit in our house. Be prepared to fight over the last one.

  • Hi Jen,
    Can I use some other nut butter instead of the peanut butter?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Natalie, I’ve only made these with peanut butter but I think another nut butter would work as long as it’s smooth. Please let me know how they turn out!

  • Neither my husband nor I are fans of meringue, but we watch the British Baking Show, and they are always making meringue treats. So, I wondered if I could find a recipe for meringue that we actually liked. What to do? Look at Jenn’s blog, of course! We are now meringue fans. Well, these anyway!

  • Wow these are delicious and dangerous. I couldn’t believe how good they smelled when I opened the oven door. I do have a question….I really liked them before they cooled completely and were a bit chewy in the center. Is there any way to keep them that way once cooled completely? If that makes sense. I prefer chewy over crunchy but these are to die for either way. I also made your deviled eggs with candied bacon from your book tonight. Mmmm so good. Thanks Jenn!

    • Glad you enjoyed these and the deviled eggs! If you want the centers of the meringues to be chewy, you should undercook them just a bit. You might also like my Double Chocolate Fudge Meringues; they have a very fudgy center.

      • Oh okay! Thanks so much for responding. I’ll try the fudge meringues as well. Took the eggs to work, got rave reviews as did the PB clouds.

  • Oh WOW! These are so heavenly! I made regular meringue cookies at first then decided to try these. FABULOUS! I’ve made multiple batches because my spouse devours them. Then my son and granddaughter came for a visit and the three ate all my efforts, including the frozen ones!
    I did use Adams Natural Chunky peanut butter and results were good. I did it again but lost my rise because too much oil in the peanut butter. I do find the peanut butter adds a dimension to the cookie and reduces the sugar taste which is truly love the mixed flavor! So I searched for a tasty dehydrated peanut butter I’d used. I think it will be great because I haven’t made these yet. My concern is I may need to reduce the sugar since all the dehydrated peanut butters I’ve found add sugar to their product. I’m still hoping to find the dehydrated peanut butter that is pure ground peanuts. Its so good!
    It’s time to make these again for the holidays!

  • Hi Jen,

    I am very new to meringue. I have tried this recipe twice but both times the meringue was really soft. The cookies still tasted good but I was wondering if I had over whipped the egg whites. After the addition of sugar, my meringue would turn into a shiny and glossy almost royal icing kind of substance. Did I over whip them? Thank you!

    • Hi Lu, I’m sorry you’ve struggled with the texture of these. If they looked glossy, it doesn’t sound like you overwhipped the egg whites-that’s normal. Did they form stiff peaks when you lifted the whisk out of the bowl? Is there any chance you got some egg yolk in with the whites? The one other thing that can create a stickier/soft texture for meringue is if they are made in humid or rainy weather. Humidity can definitely affect the texture.

      • Hi Jen,
        No, they didn’t form a stiff peak. I was able to get a more structured batch the second time. They are still flat but not funny. I did make them on a rainy day though. I will try again on a sunny day next time. Thank you for the tips! My family devoured the cookies both times so I think they won’t mind more meringue experiment.

        • Next time be sure there isn’t even a trace of yolks in the egg whites and also be sure to use a glass or stainless steel bowl (plastic bowls can harbor traces of fat residue, which can mess up your meringue). Hope that helps!

  • How do you store these cookies and can they be frozen?

    • — Barbara Cutler
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, Pack them in an airtight container as soon as they cool, and store at room temperature. And, yes, they can be frozen. Enjoy!

  • Do not use prepackaged egg whites.
    They will not get to a hard peak, and do not even have the consistency of real eggs whites. They collapsed.

  • Love all of your recipes. I have five egg whites from an ice cream recipe using yolks that I want to use to make this. Can you suggest a converter site in order to get the proper quantities of all ingredients.
    Thanks for all you do for us!

    • Hi Cheryl, Unfortunately, I don’t know of a recipe converter like that. You could add one more egg white to the mix and double the recipe…

  • Absolutely Loved these!! Great change from the original ones!

    ***at first, after the 1-1/2 baking in the oven, the cookies still felt gooey but once I removed from oven and placed to cool… They were perfect!!!

    Thank you for this wonderful new twist on an old recipe!

  • Just made these with nutella instead of peanut butter and some chocolate shavings inside. Yum. Thanks! Next time I will wait for the egg whites to be room temperature. What do you do with all the egg yolks? Should have a link to a mayonnaise recipe or something else;))

    • Just buy a container of egg whites and there are no wasted yolks! I think I’m going to try this with PB2 – even fewer calories. Hope it works cos this sounds SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

      • I could not get the container egg whites to stiff peak. They did not have a consistency like egg whites. Don’t know if mine were bad…the expiration date was a few weeks away…so I don’t know. I would not use them again. The egg whites just collapsed.

        • Something that I learned making meringue that I don’t recall being mentioned here and may have contributed to your problem is that when making meringue, you need to use chilled egg beaters and a chilled metal bowl. I usually stick them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before starting such a recipe.

  • These are the BEST meringues – love the sweet and salty combination.

  • Why not just use chunky peanut butter instead of smooth and adding nuts?

    • Hi Bonnie, You absolutely could.

      • I prefer the consistency of smooth peanut butter myself 🙂

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