How to Separate Eggs
Learning how to separate eggs is important if you want to bake up angel food cakes, macarons, macaroons and meringues. It’s an important kitchen skill you’re about to master.
Sometimes you might come across a recipe that requires eggs plus additional yolks or whites. It also isn’t uncommon to find a recipe that requires only yolks or whites, so separating eggs is a good, basic kitchen technique to master.
Egg yolks are often used in rich recipes like custards, ice creams, puddings, and curds, whereas whites are usually used recipes that you want to be made fluffy by the addition of whipped egg whites, or recipes that are deliberately made lighter by omitting the higher fat yolks.
A little egg white left behind, clinging to the outside of the yolk won’t impact your recipe. But, when using only the whites, it is essential that you don’t mistakenly leave any of the yolk behind. Yolk mixed in with the white alter your recipe negatively due to the fat content of the yolk – the egg whites won’t whisk up properly if your recipe is calling for soft or stiff peaks, for example.
How to Separate Eggs
There are a few different ways to separate eggs, but I think that the easiest and least messy method for separating eggs is the one that involves transferring the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell.
Big thanks to my friend Becca, who served as a lovely hand model.
1. First, place two clean bowls in front of your workspace.
2. Next, crack the egg, just like you normally would. Whether you crack it on the counter or on the edge of the bowl is up to you. Do whatever feels most comfortable.
3. When you crack the egg, let the whites fall into one of the bowls you’ve laid out. You want to slowly, and carefully open the cracked egg so that the yolk stays inside and the whites come out.
4. Pass the egg yolk back and forth from one half of the shell to the other, while allowing any remaining yolk seep out and into your bowl.
5. After you’ve gotten all of the white out of the shell, you can place the yolk into the other empty bowl.
6. Repeat this process until you’ve separated the number of eggs that your recipe calls for.
Now that you know how to separate eggs, you might need some recipe inspiration to practice your new skill.
Or, in the even that this isn’t a new skill for you and you already have some separated egg whites and yolks laying around in the fridge, perhaps leftover from some other culinary deliciousness, here are some recipes ideas for you:
Recipes Using Egg Whites
Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries is the perfect light, spring-y dessert. Keep it mind as Easter is just about a month away.
You might not think of egg whites when you hear Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts, but these glazed walnuts use a little bit of egg white to help the cinnamon and vanilla adhere to the walnuts. They’re a yummy and healthy treat!
Homemade marshmallows, like these Raspberry Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, are a fun way to use egg whites. They’re not as hard to make as you might imagine, and they make a great addition to some homemade hot cocoa.
Perfect White Cupcakes are classic and use plenty of egg whites.
Recipes Using Egg Yolks
Citrus Curd 3 Ways: Grapefruit, Lemon and Lime is a delicious accompaniment slathered on top of scones or layered in a trifle. You can make all different types: lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit. It is my number one go-to for using up extra egg yolks. Besides grapefruit, lemon or lime curd, you’ve also got Orange Curd, Raspberry Curd, or Coconut Lemon Curd.
I love homemade pudding and this Dark Chocolate Orange Pudding is delicious. It’s the perfect way to use up a couple of egg yolks.
For a savory spring brunch recipe, try Asparagus Tart with Gruyere.
Kids love these Chocolate Chip Cookie Pudding Parfaits with homemade chocolate pudding.
When the summer temps come our way, I’ll be making a batch of this Easy 7 Ingredient Homemade Lemon Basil Ice Cream.
Egg yolks make the broth in this Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup really rich and tasty.