There's just something magical to the look of crispy meringue, fluffy cream, crumbly cookies, and beautiful red berries -- and when you put them together into a cake you definitely end up with one magical dessert...
... and when that magical dessert is made vegan (i.e. eggless, thanks to the use of aquafaba meringue), gluten-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free? Yes please, I'll take the whole lot :P
I made this cake a while back, loosely-inspired by a combination of some of my former aquafaba meringue recipes, and a memory of a certain meringue cake I used to love. Interestingly, I was told my cake ended up resembling a type of Norwegian cake called Kvæfjordkaka (though the latter apparently differs in that it's usually made with a thin sponge cake and custard) -- I've never seen it, but it sounds quite tasty :)
This cake came out absolutely delicious and delicate. It just melts in your mouth, and has a lovely balance between the sweet and airy crunchiness of meringue, the light dairy-free whip, sweet crumbly cookies, and tart berries.
Before I let you dive in, one caution I always share when it comes to meringue recipe is that it's important to keep in mind that making meringue is finicky. Making eggless meringue is very finicky. Making meringue without eggs or white sugar is… well, it needs a bit of a need-to-know of the basics first, so be sure to read this post on how to work with coconut sugar in your aquafaba meringue.
A gluten-free vegan meringue cake (made with aquafaba) layered with cookies, cream, and berries. Oil-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free.
- 12 tbsp white rice flour
- 4 tbsp cashew butter
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 batch of this aquafaba meringue recipe
- 2 cups coconut cream (only the solid white part — see notes)*
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- fresh berries, rose petals and buds
- COOKIES: Pre-heat oven to 350F. Process all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture begins to form a ball**. Removing the mixture from the processor, form it into a ball with your hands and knead briefly, then divide evenly into two pieces. Place one of the pieces on sheet of parchment paper resting on a flat surface and flatten slightly with your hand. Cover with another sheet of parchment and use a rolling pin to roll out into rectangle that's just over ⅛" thick. Cut away the sides with a knife to create a cleanly cut rectangle that's roughly 6.5" x 4.5". Leave this rectangle on the piece of parchment paper you rolled it onto, and set it aside. Repeat this process with the other ball.*** Then bake the two rectangles for approximately 9-10 mins until nicely golden throughout. Cool them off on a rack.
- MERINGUE: make one batch of aquafaba meringue batter following this recipe. When you get to step 4 of that recipe, rather than using the mixture to create small meringue cookies, create two large rectangular ones that are roughly 6.5" x 4.5". Note: make cookies with any extra meringue.
- WHIPPED CREAM: Prepare the whip when the meringue is baked and cooled off. Make coconut whip by placing all the solid coconut cream into a large mixing bowl and mix lightly with a hand mixer to whip it up. Add in all remaining coconut whip filling ingredients and mix lightly again to incorporate. Note: you don’t want to over-mix. When done, it should look like this:
- ASSEMBLY: Carefully place one of the meringue rectangles upside-down on a serving tray. Then gently transfer one of the cookie rectangles on top of it. Spread half of the whipped cream evenly over the cookie (note: leave a little bit of room around the edges as the whipped cream will spread out once the next layer goes on). Carefully cover the whipped cream with the other cookie. Then cover with the remaining meringue cookie (right side up this time). Top with remaining whipped cream, fresh berries and rose petals. Enjoy!
*The coconut cream used in this recipe is only the firm white stuff gathered at the top of chilled cans of full-fat coconut milk. You’ll need to chill the cans in an upright position overnight for the cream to separate from the water and surface up to the top. I used the Thai Kitchen full fat coconut milk cans for this recipe and I find that the large 400ml cans yield about ¾ cups cream each once chilled and separated, and the tiny cans (160ml) yield about ⅓ cup cream each (I prefer working with the smaller cans as they seem to separate better). Reserve the remaining water for other uses, only use the firm white cream for the whip. Note that it’s very important for the full fat coconut milk cans to be chilled first so it separates. If the solids aren’t this thick when you open the can, the whip isn’t going to work as well and will be too liquid:
**Note: if the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more flour, if too dry, add a bit more maple syrup.
***Note: use the cut-away scraps to make small extra cookies, just keep an eye on them in the oven so they don't burn since they'll bake faster than the larger rectangle cookies.