Eton Mess is a traditional British dessert that’s ideal for spring and summer time! Fresh strawberries, meringue cookies and sweet whipped cream are layered and presented beautifully in this easy no-bake recipe. If you love strawberry shortcakes, you’ll love this crunchier alternative from across the pond!
I love making British desserts. Maybe it’s from binge watching The Great British Bake Off, or maybe it’s because I’m British and it pairs so well with a cup of tea! This easy eton mess recipe is ideal for serving at high tea, should you feel so inclined to host a tea party. If not, no worries – this easy no-bake dessert is great for serving all summer long at any type of soiree, fancy or not.
Essentially, an eton mess is just like a strawberry shortcake! The biggest difference is that meringue cookies replace the actual shortcake, giving the dessert a pleasant crunch to give balance to the soft berries. Layering all of the simple ingredients together in a pretty glass is so easy to do and really does wonders for the presentation value!
The strawberries in this recipe are macerated with just a little bit of sugar to highlight their natural sweetness. Lemon juice also gets mixed in with the berries to add a very subtle tang that mostly helps to develop the natural flavors of the berries even more. While you can use store-bought whipped cream, I really hope you use this easy 2-ingredient recipe to make your own! The results are SO very worth the minimal effort required.
How to Make Eton Mess
A no-bake recipe in the summertime? Yes, please! I’ll take any excuse I can to not have to preheat my oven or sweat over my stovetop during the hot summer months.
- Prepare the strawberries. Place the chopped strawberries into a mixing bowl. Mix them with lemon juice, zest, and sugar.
- Crush the cookies. Use your hands to crush about half of the meringue cookies. Place them in a separate bowl from the strawberries.
- Make the whipped cream. Place the heavy cream and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat the cream on medium speed with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. This should only take about 4 minutes or so.
- Layer, garnish, and serve! Layer the cookies, strawberries, and sweet whipped cream into tall glasses. Garnish with strawberries and cookies if desired, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Eton Mess
- Use fresh strawberries. Go get your hands on some fresh strawberries for this recipe! Frozen berries just won’t do the trick, even if they’re thawed. You’ll want juicy, sweet, fresh strawberries for the best flavor and consistency here.
- Don’t over-whip the cream. Once you have soft peaks forming, you’re good to go! You don’t want to keep whipping the cream. If you beat it too much, your whipped cream will become lumpy and more like whipped butter.
- You’ll need 1 lemon. Do NOT use bottled lemon juice for this recipe! There isn’t enough acidity in that to yield the right results. Plus, the artificial flavor will be noticeable in this otherwise fresh recipe. Not to mention you’ll need the zest anyways, so you may as well juice the lemon too!
- Do not make it ahead of time! Maybe a few hours before the party starts, you can keep this dessert stored in the fridge until ready to serve. However, the longer it sits, the less fluffy the cream will be and the meringue cookies will get soften quite a bit. The sooner you can serve eton mess, the better.
Try more of my favorite no-bake dessert recipes this summer!
- Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas
- Watergate Salad
- Frozen Mudslide Ice Cream Pie
- No-Bake Banana Cream Pie
Get the Recipe: Eton Mess Recipe
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and cleaned
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 10 store bought or homemade meringue cookies
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 4 dessert glasses
- 1 hand mixer
- Chop the strawberries and place in a large bowl.
- Stir in the lemon juice, zest and sugar. Set aside.
- Crush half the meringue cookies with your hands and place in a bowl.
- Add the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar to a large bowl. With a hand mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, approximately 4 minutes. Do not over whip.
- Layer the meringues, strawberries and cream in 4 bowls or tall glasses.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries and meringue cookies, if desired.