Cloud Eggs (Egg Nests)

Breakfast and BrunchFrenchLow CarbEgg

Cloud Eggs or Egg Nests are egg whites whipped to stiff peaks, grated cheese folded in, formed into nests, baked with yolk in center

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Cloud eggs or eggs nests, whatever you call them they are a delightful way to prepare eggs! You basically whip up the egg whites, form cloud or nest shapes with the whipped egg whites, and plop the egg yolk in the center, and bake.

Oh yes, and some grated cheese is folded into the whipped egg whites. More cheesy structure for the nest.

3 ingredients—egg, salt, and cheese. The hardest part is whipping the egg white. And the result? We love it!

Egg Nests

This approach for making eggs has been around for ages. I’ve adapted our recipe from a recipe for for “egg nest” or “nid d’oeuf” in a whimsically illustrated French children’s book about cooking, called La cuisine est un jeu d’enfants, or “Cooking is Child’s Play” (English translation 1965). It’s a fun book if you can find a copy, filled with classic French recipes like quiche Lorraine and coq au vin with playful illustrations by Jean Cocteau.

Recipe updated, first published 2011

Cloud Eggs (Egg Nests) Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small pinches of salt (a pinch of salt per egg)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese such as Gruyere, Swiss, or Parmesan

Method

1 Preheat oven and prep baking sheet: Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the middle. Line a roasting pan, or baking sheet that can take high temperatures without warping, with parchment paper or Silpat.

2 Separate the eggs: Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Make sure there are no little pieces of egg yolk in the whites or you will have difficulty getting the whites to beat properly. It helps if you are making more than one egg nest to keep each egg yolk in a separate prep bowl.

3 Beat eggs to stiff peaks: Place the egg whites in a very clean mixer bowl (any residual oil in the mixer bowl will keep the egg whites from whipping up properly).

Add a small pinch of salt to the egg whites. Beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment in a mixer (or using a hand mixer), starting on low speed and then slowly increasing to high speed, until stiff peaks form.

4 Gently fold in the grated cheese, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.

5 Create two mounds of the egg white mixture on the lined baking sheet. Form the mounds so they look like nests, with indentations in the centers.

6 Bake: Place in the 450°F (230°C) oven for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, open the oven, pull out the rack with the egg white nests, and gently add an egg yolk to the center of each nest. Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 3 more minutes.

Serve immediately.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the Founder and President of Simply Recipes. A blogging pioneer, Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. In 2012 Elise was named "one of America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food" by The Daily Meal. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University. She lives in Carmichael, California.

More from Elise

Online bookstores that may have available copies of La Cuisine est un Jeu' d'Enfant:
Look for Random House publisher, 1965 publication date, if you want the version that has both French and English

Links:

Egg nests - same recipe, beautiful photos at Food and Whine

reilly-alden-piper-egg-nests.jpg
Reilly, Alden, and Piper with our egg nests

74 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Rochelle MacDonald

    I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now. So much that I bought new beaters so I could they look beautiful but I found the whites to be a little tough. I like being able to cut eggs with fork instead of needing a knife. Did anyone else find that. Or did I do something wrong. They look perfect.

  • Terra

    This recipe succeeded in getting me banned from cooking. I set off the fire alarm. Will never try this recipe again (due to being banned from using the oven)

  • Lori Speiser

    How would you adjust the recipe so the yolks won’t run? (Runny yolks horrify my daughter.)

  • Daryl

    Made these 46 years ago at manual training! Always a favourite of mine. Can bake in oven with 2 slices of bread together with hole in top piece for yolk to sit in.

  • Karen

    Just made this recipe for breakfast. My husband loved it! I served each egg on a piece of buttered wheat toast. Next time will add a thin slice of ham, as another reviewer suggested. Be sure to make a deep and level well in the whipped egg whites. Otherwise the yolks will slip out on to the baking pan. I found that the whites continue to puff even after the yolks are added, so two of my three yolks slipped off the whites. Still edible, just not as pretty.

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