I gave my unsuspecting mother-in-law a cupcake with vegan vanilla meringue frosting made with aquafaba. When I finally told her what it was, she said, “Oh, I read something about that aquafaba stuff and I thought, ‘Yuck!’ But, this didn’t taste like yuck at all.” Score!
For the uninitiated, aquafaba (literally bean water) is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Aquafaba is must-try baking magic for vegans and carnivores alike. It’s fascinating watching chickpea liquid transform before your very eyes into white fluff – so much more fun than watching it go down the drain.
Aquafaba frosting tastes so similar to traditional meringue that you might not even guess the switch. It’s crazy! My only complaint about using aquafaba in my vegan frosting was its shelf life. Even after adding cream of tartar and adjusting the typical aquafaba recipe to use powdered sugar rather than granulated sugar (the corn starch in powdered sugar helps to dry out the aquafaba), my vegan meringue frosting lasted about 20 minutes on the counter or about two hours in the refrigerator before collapsing. Aquafaba’s shelf life makes this vegan frosting a great candidate for snack-time and family desserts, but not a good idea for parties where it might need to sit out for a bit. (Of course, this doesn’t apply to other uses of aquafaba like baked meringue cookies.)
If you want to do a little prep work in advance, you can make the frosting and set the frosting bowl in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat, whisk to redevelop the peaks before piping and serving.
Have you tried aquafaba yet? Will you? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments! I’d also love to know if you have any ideas on how to improve the stability of aquafaba frosting while keeping it vegan.
Vegan Vanilla Meringue Frosting Made with Aquafaba
- liquid from a 15 ounce can of chickpeas garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste vanilla extract will also work
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk chickpea liquid for two minutes on high speed.
Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at time.
Mix in cream of tartar.
Keep mixing until stiff peaks form. This takes around 10 minutes.
Mix in vanilla bean paste.
Pipe on cupcakes.
If desired, use a culinary torch to create a toasted look.
This frosting lasts about 20 minutes on the counter or about two hours in the refrigerator before collapsing. If you aren't planning to eat the cupcakes immediately, don't frost them. Instead, place the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator and, when ready to eat, whisk to redevelop the peaks before piping and serving.