Vegan Pavlovas

These sweet desserts are the perfect treat for you and the special people in your life. The pavlovas themselves are made with aquafaba -- the liquid from a can of chickpeas (instead of the usual egg whites). They bake up wonderfully crisp on the outside and with a fluffy marshmallow-like interior. We added a touch of unsweetened cocoa to the base and topped it with a whipped coconut cream and lightly sweetened strawberries.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Aquafaba Pavlova:

One 15-ounce can chickpeas

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup vegan superfine sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Coconut Cream and Strawberries:

One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut cream, chilled in the refrigerator at least 8 hours

5 teaspoons vegan confectioners' sugar

3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  2. For the aquafaba pavlova: Strain the chickpeas directly into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. There should be about 3/4 cup liquid; reserve the chickpeas for another use. Add the cornstarch and cream of tartar to the liquid and beat on medium-high speed until very foamy. While still beating, add the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then continue to beat until the mixture forms stiff and glossy peaks, 4 to 6 minutes. Once the meringue is stiff, beat in the cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth and combined. 
  3. Spoon the meringue in 4 equal mounds on the prepared baking sheet, then use a spoon or small offset spatula to smooth each mount into a 4-inch wide disk. Make a small indent in the center of each mound to hold the toppings. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches between each disk in case they spread when baking. 
  4. Bake until set and no longer glossy, about 2 hours. Turn the oven off and let the pavlovas sit in the closed oven until they have dried out inside, about 1 hour more. (The pavlovas will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.) 
  5. For the whipped coconut cream and strawberries: Meanwhile, open the can of chilled coconut cream and scoop off the solid top into a chilled medium bowl, leaving the liquid behind; reserve the liquid for another use. Beat the solids with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 teaspoons of the confectioners' sugar and beat until the sugar is fully incorporated, about 1 minute more. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use, up to overnight. 
  6. Toss the strawberries with the remaining 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar in a small bowl until fully incorporated. Let the strawberries sit until they're slightly softened, glossy and starting to release some natural juices, about 5 minutes.
  7. To serve, place the pavlovas on a serving plate. Top each with some whipped coconut cream and macerated berries.