Last year, when I was perfecting my vegan pavlova recipe and mastering the art of aquafaba (aka chickpea brine), I stumbled upon something kind of amazing: right after you mix the sugar into your meringue but before you bake it, there’s this period where it takes on beautiful, glossy peaks that taste exactly like marshmallow fluff!
I know, I know. It’s kind of baffling that the liquid from a can of chickpeas—the stuff we’ve all been pouring down the drain our entire lives—whips up to be this magical sort of vegan fluffernutter. Also amazing? The entire process requires only five ingredients and takes just ten minutes start to finish!
The recipe I’m sharing below is a one bowl deal that’s sure to make you very happy (maybe even giddy) while also impressing anyone who happens to be in the kitchen and watching the transformation from weird, bean-y liquid to marshmallow fluff heaven.
Make yourself an old-school peanut butter and fluff sandwich, use it for ridiculously good vegan s’mores, or even as a dip for your favorite fresh fruit. It’s really hard to go wrong whatever you decide to do!
- liquid from one 15-ounce can of unsalted chickpeas (about ⅔ cup), chilled
- ½ cup organic fine white sugar
- ½ tablespoon arrowroot starch
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and arrowroot. Set aside.
- Pour the chickpea liquid into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at low speed, then slowly increase the speed to high. Beat for 5 minutes, until soft peaks have formed and the mixture has become very light and fluffy (it should expand to more than quadruple in size and should look like shaving cream).
- Turn the speed down to medium-high and start adding the sugar mixture one heaping tablespoon at a time. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed back to the highest setting. Continue to whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and hold their shape (about 3-4 minutes). You should be able to hold the mixing bowl upside down and have everything stay in place.
- Stop the mixer and pour in the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat for another 10-15 seconds until incorporated.
When you whip the chickpea liquid for the first time, it should resemble shaving cream in texture, and when you whip in the sugar, the "stiff, glossy peaks" should be very thick and similar to fluffernutter with a definite sheen. If you're not seeing this, keep whipping!
This aquafaba marshmallow fluff is best enjoyed right away, as it tends to separate when left in the fridge overnight. If you're looking to make more of a marshmallow creme (denser + less fluffy), Ashlae at Oh, Ladycakes has a recipe that will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days!
P.S. Looking for something to make with those leftover chickpeas? Try this BBQ Chickpea Pizza with Ranch Dressing. It’s vegan and gluten-free!