A few years ago, it would have been unthinkable to make a Pavlova cake completely plant-based, but that was before the discovery of Aquafaba in 2014. Since then, a whole new world has opened to the vegan and plant-based population; yes, we can even make pavlova cakes, which is the recipe for today.
This cake is one for the books, beautiful, unique, and so delicious. When my mom and dad were dating many years ago, one of their favorite things to do was to drive to a unique little rustic restaurant in the middle of nowhere that served a special pavlova cake. That cake was not vegan, but when we discovered we could make this cake using Aquafaba, it was a happy day in my home, and I hope it will be in yours too.
Let’s Talk about Vegan Pavlova Cake Ingredients
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is simply the brine from cooked chickpeas. It acts like eggwhites when whipped. We like to use the Goya (canned chickpea) brand for this recipe as it has given us great consistent results. The whole cake requires only the brine from one 15 oz can, so a little goes a long way.
Natural Cane Sugar:
We use natural cane sugar in this recipe, which is a little grainy in consistency, so to counteract that, we grind the sugar in a blender for a few seconds to make the sugar super fine. If you do not have the equipment to do that, make sure to buy superfine sugar.
Lemon & Lemon Extract:
We love a touch of lemon flavor to balance the sweetness factor, so we add a little fresh lemon and some lemon extract. It makes a difference. Lemon and strawberries also pair very well.
Special Tools for Making a Pavlova Cake:
You really need an electric stand mixer for this recipe. It is possible that you can make it with a hand mixer, but I would recommend a powerful stand mixer as the Aquafaba needs to be whipped fiercely. It takes 5-10 minutes, depending on your machine, to get the right result. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down with the topping still in the bowl. It is also helpful if you have a convection oven as you can bake both baking trays at the same time. If you do not have a convection oven, try to get both layers of cake on the same tray.
We bake this cake on low heat for 2.5 hours. We want to make sure it is completely dry. It will look more like a hard meringue. To cool and store, make sure the cakes rest in a dry place, as it picks up moisture quickly. We have found that the cake gets the right gooey consistency when adding the cream and berries. If the cake is not cooked through, it may deflate. Just as delicious, but a lot gooier, and not quite as pretty:)
There are so many good options for vegan whipped topping these days; use your favorite, spreadable whipped topping. We love the Silk Whipping Cream, Vegan Truwhip, Rich’s Whip Topping Base, or Coconut Whipped Cream, to mention a few. Keep in mind that the moisture from the whipped topping softens the cake almost instantly, so it should not be added to the cake until right before serving. Be generous with the whipped topping.
The fresh berries on top bring the whole cake together. We have chosen strawberries this time as it is the beginning of the strawberry season in New England, but you can be creative here. Because the cake is sweet, we have found no need to add sugar to the berries. Should you be fortunate enough to live near a strawberry patch, it will be worth a trip to get some extra sweet and tender strawberries for this dessert.
This year we have strawberries of our own, or at least we hope so, we have a few strawberry plants that are currently producing what we hope will eventually be sweet, delicious berries, but they are not ready yet.
Putting the Vegan Pavlova Cake together:
Keep the cake in a dry place until ready to serve. Then place a generous amount of whipped topping on the top of the cake, and finish with cut strawberries. Repeat this process if you want a double-decker, and garnish with half strawberries. Again, be mindful that the cake softens quickly.
This cake sounds difficult to make, but if you keep these few things in mind, it should be a fantastic dessert.
I hope you enjoy this Vegan Pavlova Cake recipe as much as my family and I do. Click Here to Watch me Make it on YouTube.Print
Vegan Pavlova Cake
- Yield: 1 cake (2 layers) 1x
- 3/4 cup Aquafaba (liquid from one can of Goya garbanzo beans, 15 oz.)
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar (all-natural cane sugar blended in vita mix)
- Favorite whipped vegan topping (Silk, Vegan Truwhip, Rich’s Whip Topping Base, or Coconut Cream)
- Fresh Strawberries
- Preheat convection oven to 250 F (see note)
- Drain the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans. (Set aside garbanzo beans for other use). For Chickpea recipes: Hummus, Falafel, Chickpeas Salad.
- Pour liquid into an electric stand mixer. Add lemon juice, lemon extract, and a pinch of salt. Using the whisk attachment, whip the garbanzo liquid at medium speed until the mixture is frothy. Add the vanilla and sugar a spoonful at a time while whipping on medium speed; once all the sugar is incorporated, whip on high until stiff peaks form. This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. When the meringue peaks can stand straight up, it is ready to bake. Prepare baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Divide the mixture equally on the two baking sheets. Shape the cake into two cakes, keeping in mind that the thicker the cake, the longer it will take to bake. My cakes are usually about 8.5-9 inches in diameter.
- Reduce heat and bake at 230 F for 2 hours and 30 min. or until crisp. Turn off the heat, crack the oven door open for 15-30 minutes. (I have been known to leave the cakes in the oven with the door cracked overnight to ensure the cakes are dry). Remove cakes from the oven. Cool on wire racks, but keep the parchment paper under the cakes until ready to serve. Then gently peel the parchment paper from the cakes. You may notice a slight stickiness to the cake, which is normal, but the cake should hold its shape.
- There are so many good options for vegan whipped topping these days; use your favorite, spreadable whipped topping. We love the Silk Whipping Cream, Vegan Truwhip (which is already whipped and ready to serve), Rich’s Whip Topping Base, or Coconut Whipped Cream, to mention a few. Keep in mind that the moisture from the whipped topping softens the cake almost instantly; therefore, add to the cake right before serving. Keep the cakes in a dry place until ready to serve. Then place a generous amount of whipped topping on the top of the first cake, and finish with cut strawberries. Repeat this process if you want a double-decker, and garnish with half strawberries on top. Again, be mindful that the cake softens quickly.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The longer it sits, the softer it will become:)
If you do not have convection oven, try to get both cakes on one large baking sheet tray.