The cutest little meringue kisses, otherwise known as meringue cookies or drops (or crunchy little sugar clouds if you ask me!).
This recipe is based on my vegan meringue nests but because these eggless meringue kisses are so much smaller, they only take half the time to bake! Plus they are super cute and perfect for adding some "wow" factor when used as a topping to accompany desserts like cakes, tarts, and puddings.
What is aquafaba meringue?
Aquafaba is the revolutionary yet widely available and inexpensive ingredient that replaces egg whites in vegan meringue recipes. Chances are if you ever had an eggless meringue, you've had aquafaba. But don't let the fancy-sounding name throw you off, that's actually Latin for "bean water".
Put simply, it's the water in which white beans, namely chickpeas have been cooked. When whisked, chickpea brine mimics the properties of egg whites, making it perfect for vegan meringues and pavlova as well as an array of other vegan desserts.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe
This vegan meringue kisses recipe comes together with just six ingredients, oh and one of those is optional too.
Aquafaba: This magical ingredient replaces egg whites found in traditional meringue recipes, and it does a damn good job at it.
Caster sugar: or superfine sugar. Sugar is essential for creating meringue recipes as it creates structure. The more sugar you incorporate into a meringue, the stiffer and glossier it becomes.
Cornstarch: or cornflour depending on what side of the world you're in. This is a really important step as cornflour stabilizes the vegan meringue mixture, helping it to keep its structure when baked.
Cream of tartar: This is a stabilizer and helps to create a stronger and more stable meringue. If you don't have this to hand or want to make a vegan meringue without cream of tartar, you can use the same volume of apple cider vinegar in its place.
Beetroot powder: Used solely for its bright pink color. I mean, who can resist those cute little pink meringue kisses.
Vanilla extract: This is optional, but a little vanilla goes a long way in giving some flavor to meringue recipes.
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)
Making a vegan meringue recipe from scratch may seem daunting, but I promise you it's really not. It just takes a little preparation, patience, and precision and you'll yield a no-fail meringue recipe every time!
- First, get all of your prep done. I swear by reducing aquafaba for vegan meringue recipes. It intensifies the liquid, making it more viscous and closely resembling the consistency of egg whites. To reduce the aquafaba add it to a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced to half the volume. Then chill it in the fridge until completely cool before using. You can do this step a day or more in advance of making the meringue kisses if desired.
- Wipe down the inside of a large bowl with a little vinegar or lemon juice to remove any fat residue (fats/oils are your enemy when making meringue!). Then add the reduced aquafaba and cream of tartar to the bowl and whisk on high speed for ten minutes, until soft peaks form.
- This next step requires some patience, but you'll want to add the caster sugar in one tablespoon increments while whisking. Continue whisking for about thirty seconds between each tablespoon to incorporate the sugar into the meringue.
- Split the meringue into two bowls and whisk the beetroot powder into one of them. Lastly, fold half of the cornstarch into each bowl and your meringue mixture is ready to pipe!
- Add the aquafaba meringue to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, alternating between spoons of white and pink meringue to create a beautiful pattern.
- Pipe little kisses onto a baking tray and bake for one hour. Once ready, allow the meringues to sit in the oven with the door ajar whilst they cool.
Beetroot powder: you can swap this out with freeze-dried raspberry powder to make raspberry meringue kisses!
Cream of tartar: You can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar in place of cream of tartar if preferred.
Peppermint extract: Adding a little peppermint extract can turn these into candy cane meringue kisses for those holiday vibes! Add this to the meringue at the stage where the vanilla extract is usually added. Orange/lemon extract: Likewise, you can transform them into orange or lemon meringue kisses by adding a little extract in place of the vanilla.
Frequently asked questions
These mini meringues will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature, do not refrigerate.
Yes, aquafaba meringue freezes really well in an airtight container.
I recommend using a star nozzle for meringue cookies (like pictured). You can get as creative as you wish though!
They're ready once you're able to lift them off the baking sheet without sticking.
Yes, you can create larger cookies, however, note that they will require a longer cooking time. My vegan meringue nests for example take 2 hours. So keep an eye on larger cookies.
More vegan meringue recipes
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- 1 cup (236 g) aquafaba, *see notes, prep ahead of time (see step 1)
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 g) cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) beetroot powder, sifted, or freeze dried raspberry/strawberry powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract, optional
Preparation (at least 2 hours prior making the recipe)
- The first step is reducing the aquafaba, this can be done the night before or at least two hours in advance of making the recipe. Add the aquafaba to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until it has reduced by half in volume. After 5 minutes of simmering, check the volume by pouring the liquid into a bowl on your weighing scales or measure the volume by cups (be careful as it’s going to be hot!). If there's more than half of the original liquid volume continue to simmer until it reduces to half a cup.
- Allow the aquafaba to cool to room temperature and pour it into a jar and refrigerate to chill.
- Preheat your oven to 100°C (212°F). Line a baking pan with some parchment paper and dust with a thin layer of cornstarch - this will make it easier to lift the meringues once they are ready and prevent them from sticking to the paper.
- Take a large clean bowl, and make sure it's completely dry and free of any grease. Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to a large bowl and whisk on high speed for 10 minutes until soft peaks form.
- Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time while continuing to whisk and incorporate the sugar into the aquafaba. Whisk in each tablespoon for about 30 seconds before adding the next. Continue this process until you have incorporated all of the sugar, then whisk for another 10 minutes until thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract if using and whisk for a minute to combine.
- Split the meringue into two bowls. Add the beetroot powder to one bowl and fold until combined. Add half of the cornstarch to each bowl, and carefully fold it through the meringue mixture using a spatula until it is just incorporated - do not over-mix.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, alternating between one tablespoon of plain and one tablespoon of beetroot meringue to create a varied pattern. Pipe little meringue kisses onto the baking tray, about 2-2.5cm in diameter. Allow about a centimeter or so between each one.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Once ready, leave the meringues in the oven for another 15 minutes with the door ajar. Take the tray out of the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely for another 30-60 minutes before removing them from the tray.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas.
- Beetroot powder: You can swap this out with freeze-dried raspberry powder.
- Cream of tartar: You can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar in place of this.
- Peppermint/orange/lemon extract: Add this to the meringue at the stage where the vanilla extract is usually added.
- How to tell when they are cooked: They’re ready once you’re able to lift them off the baking sheet without sticking.
- For larger meringue cookies/nests: A longer cooking time will be required. So keep an eye on larger cookies, they could take from 90-120 mins.
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