Vegan Meringues are easy, crunchy, and light. Learn how to make them with 2 ingredients: aquafaba and sugar.
Delicious and no different from regular meringues, aquafaba meringues take 10 minutes to make and 90 minutes to bake to perfection.
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Are you vegan or allergic to eggs and craving meringue? No worries! Since Goose Wohlt's successful experiment in 2015, anyone in possession of aquafaba, sugar, and an electric hand mixer can easily make perfect meringue at home.
Aquafaba, from the Latin aqua (water) and faba (beans), is the viscous liquid in which beans, chickpeas, and other legumes have been cooked and stored.
Meringue is a popular dessert traditionally made from whipped egg whites and sugar. The most important aspect of meringue is the formation of stiff peaks by beating the egg whites so much that the protein breaks, binds with air, and transforms into a thick foam required to make meringues light and airy. Sugar is added so that the meringue keeps that airy structure once baked.
The crazy thing is that aquafaba's foaming properties make it the perfect egg white replacement for meringues and for various desserts where the beaten eggs' airy texture is a crucial ingredient. Think of a moist, light chocolate brownie cake, ladyfingers for tiramisù, or almond cookies.
We experimented with aquafaba and sugar ourselves. And the results were astonishing. Vegan meringues are as light, crisp, and delicious as traditional meringues. The aquafaba is phenomenal for this preparation, and you won't taste the chickpea flavor at all.
Aquafaba: it's the water from a can of chickpeas. You can use canned chickpeas, chickpeas in glass, or chickpeas in a tetra pack (carton box). Also, it doesn't matter if the chickpeas have added salt. We use aquafaba from salted chickpeas, and the resulting meringue is perfect.
By the way, you will have chickpeas leftover, so check out our best chickpea recipes roundup to get ideas on using them.
White granulated sugar or caster sugar is the best to make perfectly light and crisp aquafaba meringue.
If you are a strict vegan, you might want to know that white sugar made from sugarcane is generally not vegan (unless it says so on the package) as it's processed with bone char, an animal by-product, to make it look white. White sugar made with sugar beet, on the other hand, is generally vegan. Here's a helpful article to learn more about sugar. We do not recommend using powdered sugar or brown sugar.
Although most online recipes for vegan meringue list cream of tartar as a necessary ingredient to stabilize the foam, it is actually unnecessary for vegan meringue. We tested with and without cream of tartar, and there is no difference. Goose Wohlt, the inventor of vegan meringue, also says that cream of tartar is not necessary. The same goes for vinegar or lemon juice. There's no need to use them.
- Electric hand mixer, the one with the whisk attachment. A stand mixer with a whisk attachment also works, but it might take slightly longer until stiff peaks form.
- Fine mesh sieve to filter the chickpea liquid and ensure there is no residue.
- Large bowl, squeaky clean, to whip up the aquafaba (or the bowl of a stand mixer).
- Baking sheet with parchment paper to cook the meringue.
Whip up the aquafaba
To a clean, large bowl, strain in the liquid of a can of chickpeas (aquafaba). There should be no chickpea pieces in the liquid. The liquid should be at room temperature.
Whip up the liquid with your electric mixer at high speed for exactly 5 minutes. Use a timer. You should get a thick white foam.
Now whisk at full speed for an additional 5 minutes while adding the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time.
Once you are done adding the sugar, whip for 2 more minutes, and you are done. 12 minutes in total. By the end, the sugar should be completely dissolved in the foam. You should have very stiff peaks.
Note that if you get soft peaks, you can still use it, but your meringue will be flatter, looking more like vegan meringue cookies.
Now preheat the oven to 200°F or 90°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat. If you use a silicone baking mat, grease it with a very thin layer of vegetable oil on it.
Shape the meringue
There are 2 ways to shape meringues. With a spoon or with a pastry piping bag.
Spoon method: take a spoonful of the meringue mixture and arrange it on the baking sheet, pushing it down from the spoon with a second spoon. With this technique, you can make larger, more artistic meringues. Watch the video in the recipe box for the technique.
Piping technique: transfer meringue mixture into pastry piping bag and pipe on baking sheet. With this technique, you can easily make meringue kisses.
In either case, you can make large or small meringues. Keep in mind that smaller meringues cook faster.
Bake the meringue
Bake one tray at a time, on the middle rack, at 200°F or 90°C. Baking time varies from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, depending on the size of the meringue. Smaller meringue kisses cook for about 1.5 hours. Keep the second tray in the refrigerator whilst the first one bakes.
To check doneness, take one meringue and break it in half. It should be dry throughout. If not, cook for 30 more minutes.
1. Vegan meringues with chocolate and pistachio
We love to dip our meringues in melted dark chocolate and cover them with crushed pistachios. The meringue will be less sweet and more flavorful. To do this, melt some dark chocolate with plant milk, bain-marie, at a low temperature. Chocolate should not be hot. Dip the meringue in it, then dip it in crushed pistachios, and enjoy!
2. Vegan meringues with chocolate and hazelnuts
Another of our favorite toppings is dark chocolate and hazelnuts. To do this, melt some dark chocolate with plant-milk bain-marie, then dip the meringue in it, then dip it in crushed hazelnuts, and enjoy!
3. Add aromas to the foam
If you feel brave, you could experiment by adding flavorings to the foam. Once you've got stiff peaks, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and whip at medium speed for another minute. You could also try a few drops of food coloring. Just be aware that your meringue mixture might collapse, so only use small quantities of add-ins.
Use a timer: to make sure you whipped your aquafaba enough; it's easiest to set a timer on your phone, as indicated in our recipe. Whipping the right amount of time is crucial to success when making vegan meringues.
Add the sugar slowly. Sugar should only be added 2 tbsps at a time while whipping and at intervals of about 1 minute. This way, we are sure our foam won't collapse.
Cook at low temperature: Meringue must be cooked slowly at low temperature. 200°F or 90°C is ideal. Occasionally check your oven temperature to ensure it's not above 210°F or 100°C.
If in doubt, whip more! The greatest point of failure when making vegan meringues is whipping, or actually not whipping the aquafaba enough. You should get to really stiff peaks. So if you are in doubt, whip a couple of minutes longer.
If you liked these vegan meringues, you might also like these other recipes with aquafaba and chickpeas:
- Delicious vegan tiramisu made with homemade ladyfingers
- Vegan orange almond cookies, an Italian tradition
- Amaretti cookies made vegan , soft, a bit chewy, with full almond flavor. They are incredible!
- Vegan brownie cake, an indulgent full-on chocolate treat.
- Egg-free zucchini frittata, our most loved vegan frittata recipe.
- Vegan frittata muffins, kind of like a frittata, but in a portable muffin shape.
Vegan meringue is made of sugar and aquafaba.
Aquafaba is the cooking water of chickpeas and other legumes. It's the liquid you find inside a chickpea can.
The vegan meringue was invented in 2015 by Goose Wohlt.
No, there is no need.
No, there is no need.
Just like traditional meringues, aquafaba meringues have hygroscopic properties, meaning that they attract water. This is a problem when storing meringues cause they'll quickly get soft.
So for the best texture and flavor, eat your vegan meringues on the same day or the day after you made them. You can store them in an airtight container in a dry corner of your kitchen for a couple of days.
If you live in a hot and humid environment, they might get soft and soggy after a day. Don't store it in the refrigerator unless you live in a very moist and humid environment.
For many more easy dessert ideas, check out our desserts category page.
- electric hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment
- ½ cup aquafaba the liquid in a can of chickpeas
- ¾ cup sugar
WHIP UP AQUAFABA
- To a clean, large bowl, strain in the liquid of a can of chickpeas (aquafaba).There should be no chickpea pieces in the liquid. The liquid should be at room temperature.
- Whip the liquid with your electric mixer at high speed for exactly 5 minutes. Use a timer. You should get a thick white foam.
- Now whisk at full speed for an additional 5 minutes while adding the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time.
- Once the sugar is all added in, whisk at full power for another 2 minutes.TIP: you want the sugar to almost completely dissolve in the foam. You should have very stiff peaks.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F or 90°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.There are 2 ways to shape meringues. With a spoon or with a pastry piping bag.
- Piping technique: transfer meringue mixture into pastry piping bag and pipe on baking sheet. With this technique you can easily make meringue kisses.
- Spoon method: take a spoonful of meringue mixture and arrange it on the baking sheet, pushing it down from the spoon with a second spoon. With this technique you can make larger, more artistic meringues. Watch video in recipe box for technique.
- Cook in the oven, one tray at a time, at a constant temperature of 200°F or 90°C. Don't open the oven door in the first hour. Keep the second tray in the fridge.Depending on the size of the meringues, you might have to cook them from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours.Smaller meringue kisses cook faster (1.5 hours), larger meringue cookies cook slower (2.5 hours).To check doneness, take one meringue and break it in half. If should be dry throughout. If not cook for 30 more minutes.