Growing up, every year for my birthday I would request chewy, sweet, irresistible pavlova. Classically made with whipped egg whites I decided to take the vegan route this time around! And you’ll never guess what the egg replacement in this recipe is. It’s none other than the liquid you find in a can of chickpeas! Um, WHAT? This Vegan Pavlova does not disappoint and it definitely takes me back to my childhood. It has the same texture as traditional meringue but it’s completely vegan. Only 4 ingredients are used to make the base of this vegan pavlova recipe and you probably have most of them in your pantry! Let’s get baking!
Before I lose you, this is Picky Husband Approved, and basically, I think it is just the coolest thing ever. The “juice” in a can of chickpeas is called aquafaba or chickpea brine. When whisked for a certain amount of time, it forms peaks and turns white- just like egg whites do! It’s AMAZING! Adam loves this dessert. It definitely has a fair share of sugar in it, and I wouldn’t call this necessarily healthy, but it’s light and everyone deserves a treat.
is cream of tartar vegan?
On of the ingredients in this aquafaba pavlova is cream of tartar. And yes cream of tartar is vegan. Cream of tartar helps the aquafaba whip up faster and it helps to form stiffer peaks. It’s used in traditional pavlova and is used in this vegan pavlova as well. You don’t want to leave this little addition to the recipe out!
I put in my directions underneath (in the recipe), but I want to make sure you know HOW important it is to not open the oven once the aquafaba pavlova goes in, otherwise you will be left with a puddle- no joke. I learned this lesson the hard way and was pretty devastated- not crying on the floor devastated, but pretty close. Consider yourself warned! I don’t want you to have to go through that disappointment when you open the oven!
here are a few reasons why I love this vegan pavlova, so listen up!
- This vegan pavlova is the perfect spring and summer dessert because you can top it with all that seasonal fruit! It takes at the most twenty-five minutes from the start until you are placing the meringue on the baking sheet. And the rest of the time is spent waiting for the pavlova to bake in the oven and then cool after.
- The inside of this vegan pavlova recipe is chewy and the outside remains crisp and crunchy. It’s beautifully paired with coconut whip and fruit. It’s so important to let the pavlova cool in the oven for at least one hour after it’s been baking and to not open the oven at all. This is KEY for the chewy/crispy combo.
- This aquafaba pavlova only uses 4 ingredients, and they are most likely pantry staples (except maybe the cream of tartar). The base of the pavlova takes patience but it relatively easy to make. Note, that I do break down my cane sugar to be more on the fine side. I just added it to a food processor and processed it for a few minutes until it was of a smaller texture. This is totally optional but your meringue might be a little more grainy, and take a bit longer to break down the sugar if you skip this step. Don’t fuss too much over this step as either way that meringue is going to be tasting mighty delicious.
- Licking the bowl is another key step when making this vegan pavlova recipe. Ok, it isn’t mandatory, but the raw meringue batter is so addictive and tasty. Smooth pillowy clouds come to mind as I try to compare the texture. It’s just out of this world and that bowl needs to be licked.
I hope you enjoy this vegan pavlova recipe as much as I do! It really brought me back to my childhood, and it was so fun to veganize it! This aquafaba pavlova tastes so similar to the traditional kind. It’s chewy, crispy and is topped beautifully with homemade coconut whipped cream and seasonal fruit. This is a springtime dessert that you are going to keep coming back to!
- 1/2 cup chickpea brine/ aquafaba
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup finely granulated cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- coconut whipped cream (see notes)
- fruit of choice
- Preheat the oven to 225°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If making coconut whipped cream (see notes) make sure you have a can in the fridge overnight.
- Using a kitchen aid mixer or hand-held beaters, add the chickpea brine to the bowl. Whisk on high for 5-10 minutes until the brine is frothy white. note: I used my kitchen aid mixer, so time might vary if you are using hand-held beaters.
- Once it looks frothy and white, add in the cream of tartar and continue to beat the mixture for another minute.
- For the sugar, to make it fine, I added my normal cane sugar to the food processor to make it finer by pulsing it for a minute or so. Then it’s ready to add. Turn down the speed of your kitchen aid as you add the granulated sugar. Add 1/4 cup at a time. Then turn the speed up to high again and whisk for another 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Divide the batter into 3-4 round shapes using a spatula or a wooden spoon. I used a spatula to scoop the batter out and then a small wooden spoon to form a small divot in the middle where the whipped cream and fruit will sit.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes. And then turn the oven off and let it stay in the oven for at least another 1 hour. IMPORTANT: Do not open the oven at all until the 2 hours and 5 minutes are up.
- Prepare the coconut whip. See notes.
- I would suggest as soon as you top the pavlova with the coconut whip and the fruit that you serve immediately. The coconut whip tends to moisten the pavlova if left on for a while before it is eaten. This causes the pavlova to get more soggy than deliciously chewy. Therefore, if not using the pavlova right away- place in the fridge until ready to top with the coconut whip and desired toppings!