Dark Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes with Aquafaba Meringue

, from Issue #74. September, 2017
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Dark Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes with Aquafaba Meringue

Gorgeously moist and rich cupcakes are topped with a vegan meringue. Aquafaba is the brine from tinned chickpeas. This surprising ingredient whips up beautifully and makes an excellent substitute to egg white meringues. Perfect for vegans or those with egg allergies.


2 tablespoons chia seeds
6 tablespoons water
1½ cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup coconut sugar
½ cup good-quality cocoa powder
1¼ cups almond or coconut milk
½ cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Aquafaba meringue
brine from 400-gram tin chickpeas
½ cup icing sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Whisk together the chia seeds and the water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes until the seeds have gelled. This will serve as your binder (egg replacement).

Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together. Add the remaining ingredients (including the chia seeds). Whisk until well combined and smooth.

Line 9 holes of a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases.

Spoon in the mixture evenly. Bake for 20–25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Set aside to cool for 1 hour before topping with meringue.

Aquafaba meringue: Use an electric beater to whip the aquafaba and cream of tartar until frothy. Add the icing sugar slowly in spoonfuls and whip until you have firm, glossy peaks. Add the vanilla and whip for a further minute. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe swirls on to the top of each cupcake.

Use a culinary blowtorch or a very hot grill to lightly brown the meringue.

Cupcakes will last up to 3 days in the fridge. Makes 9 cupcakes