All you need to know about the mixing stages of egg whites and whipping cream

 Mixing stages of egg whites and whipping cream

In this lesson you will be introduced to the following terminologies;

  • Pre-soft peak stage
  • Soft peak stage
  • Firm or Medium peak stage
  • Stiff peak stage
  • Over-mixed stage

NOTE: These terminologies apply to whipping cream or egg whites alike.

Comparing soft, medium and stiff peaks of egg whites, meringue and heavy cream

Stiff peaks between plain egg whites, egg whites with sugar and heavy cream don't look the same. See photos from table below to visualize the differences. As the course progresses we will be updating the photos; 

Comparing soft, medium & stiff peaks
 Egg whitesMeringueCream, 35%


The stiff peak picture under egg whites is a bit past stiff peak, because it is starting to look grainy.

Understanding the mixing stages

When it comes to pastry one of the things you must fully understand is the stages of ‘peaks’ when beating either egg whites or whipping cream (35%). What we mean by peak? Peak is the final shape of the egg whites or whipped cream that is on the whisk, once the whisk is dipped in the beaten egg whites or whipped cream and turned upside down.


 Stages of mixing explained visually

Working with egg whites

To maximize the volume of egg whites it is important to complete  the following two tasks prior to beginning the mixing;

 ....see next page (members only)

During mixing, when you stop the mixer, dip the whisk in the egg whites or heavy cream, and turn the whisk upside down. This is what you will see when you have reached the;

  • Pre-soft peak stage

  • Soft Peak stage

  • Firm or medium Peak stage

  • Stiff Peak stage

  • Over-mixed stage


Troubleshooting meringue

How do you repair a meringue (beaten egg whites and sugar) that has been forgotten in the fridge over an hour?

broken meringue in fridge

Working with whipping cream

  • Pre-soft peak stage

  • Soft Peak stage

  • Firm or medium Peak stage

  • Stiff Peak stage

  • Over-mixed stage


More info on mixing methods or techniques used in french pastry


About our recipe tables

sample recipe table

Sample recipe table

All the recipes in our course are given by weight and percentages. The advantage of having a recipe in percentages is of extreme importance. You can alter the size of the recipe to any size you wish, and most importantly you can make recipe comparisons to notice the effects of ingredients between recipes.


Please follow this link in order to view our training videos on how to recognize the mixing stages of egg whites and whipping cream.


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