How many egg whites do you need for a cup?

When baking or cooking, you may come across a recipe that calls for egg whites measured in cups rather than by number of eggs. This can be confusing if you don’t know how many eggs are equivalent to a cup of egg whites. So how many egg whites do you need to make a cup? Let’s take a closer look.

Quick Answer

As a general rule of thumb:

  • 3 large egg whites = 1/4 cup
  • 6 large egg whites = 1/2 cup
  • 12 large egg whites = 1 cup

So to make 1 cup of egg whites, you’ll need whites from about 12 large eggs. The exact amount can vary a bit based on the size of the eggs.

Egg White Volume by Egg Size

Egg whites from larger eggs will yield a bit more volume than smaller eggs. Here’s a breakdown of approximate egg white volumes by egg size:

Egg Size Egg White Volume
Small 1 tbsp (15 ml)
Medium 1.5 tbsp (22 ml)
Large 2 tbsp (30 ml)
Jumbo 3 tbsp (44 ml)

As you can see, large eggs yield about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of egg white per egg. So to get 1 cup, which is 16 tablespoons, you’ll need approximately 8 large egg whites. For jumbo eggs, 6 egg whites would yield around 1 cup.

Metric Volume of Egg Whites

Here are the metric volumes for egg whites if you prefer to measure in milliliters (ml):

Egg Size Egg White Volume
Small 15 ml
Medium 22 ml
Large 30 ml
Jumbo 44 ml

One cup is approximately 240 ml. So based on the volumes above:

  • 8 medium egg whites = 1 cup
  • 8 large egg whites = 1 cup
  • 6 jumbo egg whites = 1 cup

Weight of Egg Whites in a Cup

The weight of egg whites in a measured cup is approximately:

  • 1⁄4 cup egg whites = 2 oz (60 g)
  • 1⁄2 cup egg whites = 4 oz (120 g)
  • 1 cup egg whites = 8 oz (240 g)

So 1 cup of egg whites weighs about 8 ounces or 240 grams. This can vary slightly depending on the exact size and weight of the eggs used.

Tips for Measuring Egg Whites

Here are some useful tips for accurately measuring egg whites in cups:

  • Use large eggs for the volumes listed unless specified. Smaller or larger eggs will change the yields.
  • Crack eggs one at a time into a small bowl, gently separating the white from the yolk.
  • Transfer egg whites to a liquid measuring cup for accuracy.
  • Allow any foam to settle before measuring, so you get an accurate volume.
  • Level off the top of egg whites with a utensil for precise measuring.
  • If a recipe calls for “room temperature” whites, allow refrigerated eggs to sit out for about 15 minutes before separating.
  • For stability when whipping, egg whites should be free of yolks and grease-free.
  • Cover and refrigerate unused egg whites for 2-4 days.

Metric Weight of Egg Whites

For metric weights, approximately:

  • 240 ml (1 cup) egg whites = 240 grams
  • 1 large egg white = about 30 grams
  • 100 grams egg whites = whites from about 3-4 large eggs

Converting Between Cups and Egg Whites

Use the following approximations when converting between cup measurements and number of egg whites:

Cups Large Egg Whites
1⁄4 cup 3 egg whites
1/3 cup 4 egg whites
1⁄2 cup 6 egg whites
2/3 cup 8 egg whites
3⁄4 cup 9 egg whites
1 cup 12 egg whites

As you can see, the number of egg whites for fractional cup measurements are easy to determine based on the 1 cup = 12 egg whites ratio.

Typical Uses for Egg Whites

Knowing approximately how many eggs you need for a cup of whites allows you to plan recipes accurately. Here are some of the most common uses for measured egg whites:

  • Meringues – Light and fluffy meringues are made by whipping egg whites with sugar. Recipes typically call for about 3-4 large egg whites per 1 cup.
  • Royal icing – This icing for piping and decorating cookies uses approximately 3 large egg whites per 1⁄2 cup.
  • Cocktails – Cocktails like whiskey sours often get frothy with 1-2 egg whites per drink.
  • Health shakes – Protein shakes use egg whites for extra nutrition. About 1-2 egg whites per shake is common.
  • Omelets – Fluffy omelets like soufflés can use 3-6 separated egg whites beaten stiff.
  • Macarons – These french sandwich cookies get their signature “feet” from whipped egg whites.
  • Angel food cake – The light texture comes from egg whites beaten with cream of tartar and folded into flour.
  • Soufflés – Sweet or savory soufflés get loft from stiff egg whites folded into the base.

Tips for Beating Egg Whites

To get the best volume and stability when whipping egg whites, follow these tips:

  • Make sure bowls and beaters have no traces of oil or grease which can prevent foaming.
  • Allow eggs to come to room temperature before beating if specified.
  • Separate each egg white individually in a small bowl before adding to the larger bowl.
  • Use copper, stainless steel or glass bowls which don’t react with egg whites.
  • Whip until soft peaks form before gradually adding sugar if making meringues or buttercreams.
  • Don’t overbeat to the point where whites look dry or lumpy.
  • Add cream of tartar for extra stability if desired.
  • Fold whipped egg whites gently into other ingredients like batter using a spatula.

Storing Leftover Egg Whites

Only separate as many eggs as you need for a recipe. Leftover egg whites can be stored:

  • In an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to one year. Freeze in tablespoons or fractions of cups for easier use.

Frozen whites will whip best if thawed slowly in the refrigerator overnight before using.

The Takeaway on Egg White Cup Measurements

Here’s a quick summary of key points on measuring egg whites in cups:

  • 12 large egg whites = 1 cup
  • Volume varies slightly depending on egg size, with large eggs yielding 2 tbsp per white
  • Allow foam to settle before measuring for accuracy
  • Whipped whites weigh about 240g or 8oz per cup
  • Separate each egg into an individual bowl before adding to mixing bowl
  • Fold whipped whites gently into batters using a spatula or spoon

Knowing approximately how many eggs you need for cup measurements allows you to plan recipes confidently. Just remember results can vary based on the actual size and weight of eggs used. With a little practice, you’ll be separating and whipping egg whites like a pro for everything from meringues to soufflés.

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