Tips & Techniques

A Magical New Egg Replacement (That's Already in Your Pantry)

June 17, 2015

A newly-discovered "magical" egg replacer has been under our noses—and in our pantries—this whole time.

 This Lemon Meringue cake is made with eggs—but it could be made with chickpea water instead!

Shop the Story

The ideal replacement for eggs has been under our noses—and down our sinks—this whole time. As it turns out, the watery dregs from cans of chickpeas are the incredible, edible egg replacement we've been looking for. Leftover canned chickpea water, or aquafaba as it has recently been Latinized, was first whipped into fluffy piles by Dan Barber in his March pop-up restaurant, wastED, then recently used in baked goods by French chef Joël Roessel. Roessel's first experiment, a meringue, launched an entire Facebook group dedicated to experiments with aquafaba. Since then, Slate and The Kitchn have experimented with the mystery ingredient to successfully make their own meringue, which looked so good we had to try it ourselves:

  

We placed the chickpea liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer and whipped it for about 15 minutes, until it formed beautiful, egg-worthy stiff peaks. Sarah, who tested the recipe, was initially concerned about the water's strong beany flavor and smell, but whipped in some sugar and vanilla to mask it. She baked the meringues at 250º F for about 40 minutes. When she removed them from the oven, the bean smell and flavor were completely gone, and they had almost the exact texture of egg-based meringues. We drizzled them with some chocolate and flaky salt to pair with the nuttiness of the chickpea liquid.

More: Out of eggs? Take a crack at this egg-less, vegan cake.

This discovery may revolutionize vegan baking (as well as the moment when you set out to bake a cake only to realize that the carton of eggs in the refrigerator is actually empty). No more ground flaxseed, commercial egg replacers, and science experiment-worthy combinations of vinegar and baking soda. Forget about trying to whip mashed bananas into "stiff peaks." Keeping in mind that  3 tablespoons drained chickpea liquid (each can yields about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) is the equivalent of about 1 egg, here are some recipes to try it with (then let us know how it works!):

Recipes for your leftover chickpeas:

Have you used aquafaba? Did it yield uncan-ily egg-cellent baked goods? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo by Mark Weinberg

76 Comments

Lily December 17, 2017
Worked well with Pamela’s Gluten free pancake mix (with a pinch of baking powder) and lots of butter in the pan but was too sticky for my waffle iron. Did turn out a fluffy waffle, but was too stuck on to serve. Thanks for the great tip!
 
anastasia January 20, 2016
Wonder if it works for vegan macarons?
 
Helen M. May 16, 2016
It does. I used this recipe: http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/raspberry-rose-vegan-macarons-using-aquafaba/ with great success, except I did mint in the shells and and chocolate ganache filling (largely because it is impossible to get vegan butter where I live and I couldn't be bothered to make my own - which is possible, via veganbaking.net). It's a long, slow process, because of reducing and chilling the aquafaba, but they were great, and also my first ever attempt at macarons.
 
Kimi July 13, 2015
Will this also work as a WHOLE egg replacer...yolk plus the whites???
 
Hank A. February 21, 2017
I just made pancakes and used the drained chickpea liquid instead of the the whole eggs. It was perfect!!!!!! Great flavor great texture and it held a perfect shape.<br />
 
Mary-Walker H. July 3, 2015
Do you buy no added salt chickpeas?
 
Linda N. July 3, 2015
Personal preference. I just use the ones I buy at Costco, (which are organic in a BPA free can). They are salted. I have also used the water from cooking my own chickpeas, and it works just as well!
 
Susan July 3, 2015
I just bought a regular can off the grocery shelves.
 
Dane D. July 3, 2015
Also cheaper than eggs?! This is amazing kitchen wizardry!
 
Jemma June 29, 2015
I just made a batch of meringues but was disappointed at the taste - they still had a chick pea whiff and quite a tangy flavour. The sweetness was there and the texture was crisp and dry but that tang made them horrible. has anyone else had that problem? Should I just buy a different brand and try again or is that normal?!
 
Author Comment
Leslie S. June 29, 2015
Strange! Our's smelled very beany at first but then the flavor completely disappeared after we baked them—sorry I'm not much of a help!
 
Linda N. July 3, 2015
It might be the Cream of Tartar you are using. You can try it with lemon juice instead, and see if that helps. I just made some yesterday, and it turned out to be an extra-humid day so I added more Cream of Tartar, so I am noticing the tanginess in these.
 
Susan June 27, 2015
Second attempt. I reconstituted the meringue that had reverted to liquid, whipping it again, this time adding more sugar (I took the advice of someone's recommendation to make the ratio 1:3 aquafaba to sugar) and added a pinch of cream of tartar. Success! I just kept whipping (it was almost an hour in my mixer) until it finally reached what I would call a 'gluey' state where it looked finally like real meringue. I piped it and baked it as recommended in the 240 F oven for an hour and it turned out perfectly. I took it to a dinner with friends and no one had even a clue it was aquafaba - everyone raved. So it IS possible! And I CAN make an eggless pavlova now!
 
Andrea M. June 26, 2015
I made a giant meringue to use in Eton Mess. A 1/2 c of aquafaba, 1 c sugar, pinch of salt and cream of tartar, and 1 T of tapioca starch. It seemed to deflate a little when I added the tapioca starch so I just whipped it longer. I baked the slab of meringue at 350 for 45 min and let cool in the oven. The result were great and my husband says he likes the flavor better than the egg version.
 
Patti June 24, 2015
The first time I tried to make macaron's they came out flat. I had read somewhere to boil the juice down a bit and beat it for 12 minutes after. I did so and tried again- perfect! So good too. <br />I have also used the liquid as an egg replacer for Chocolate Chip cookies and they came out delicious as well. <br />So happy to have found this!
 
foodie2811 November 18, 2015
I am planning on making macaron's too. Did you measure the aquafaba before you boiled it or after? Can you share your recipe for the macaron?
 
Helen M. May 16, 2016
As noted in another comment - I found this recipe extremely well explained and effective: http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/raspberry-rose-vegan-macarons-using-aquafaba/
 
Susan June 23, 2015
Disaster for me. Whipped them to like stiff egg whites (have the photos) and then made the merengues. They completely melted in the oven. All that was in them was vanilla and sugar... :-( Don't know what went wrong or whether you can't really bake them like merengue.
 
Rima June 23, 2015
Try this... maybe your quantities were off.<br />http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/04/30/healthy-vegan-marshmallow-fluff/
 
catalinalacruz June 23, 2015
From what I have read in recipes, the ratio of unbeaten aquafaba to sugar is close to 1:3 for meringue. <br />
 
Susan June 23, 2015
Have a second can of garbanzos. May give those a try - thanks for the tips!
 
Linda N. July 3, 2015
It might have been a humid day. But you should also add a stabilizer (1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, or a splash of lemon juice) so they hold their shape in the oven.
 
Susan July 3, 2015
I adjusted the aquafaba/sugar ratio to 1:3, added a tsp of vanila and a pinch of cream of tartar and they whipped up perfectly after 40+ minutes to a shiny, glossy state perfect for piping meringues. They held their shape, baked perfectly and remained crisp for days in a ziploc bag. Most excellent.<br />
 
Nina June 23, 2015
I'm a little confused - does the chickpea liquid substitute for the whole egg or just the egg white? If making meringues it's just the egg white that gets whipped. In cakes you might be using whole eggs. Does it work for both?
 
Carol June 22, 2015
One should try aquafaba in mayonaise recipe. Perfect for picnic recipes: potato salad and sandwiches
 
Halli August 25, 2015
Sounds like a neat idea, have you tried this?
 
DinghyB June 21, 2015
This sound fantastic. Do you know what the calorie count is for chickpea liquid?
 
Sharon June 21, 2015
This is WAY cool! I'm not a sweets fan so I'll be experimenting with savory applications. One thing is for sure, everyone will be experimenting with this all kind of ways. Who knew?
 
Hamish June 21, 2015
My Cuban uncle told me they called the water from cooking chic peas 'hugo de peo' (fart juice) and always threw it away out, for obvious reasons. Let's hope whipping it full of air doesn't make this worse.
 
Rima June 21, 2015
I made marshmallow fluff and it was amazing and took no more than a few minutes.... Looking forward to trying other recipes...
 
Rima June 23, 2015
I used this recipe...http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/04/30/healthy-vegan-marshmallow-fluff/
 
Heather June 21, 2015
So if I soak & pressure cook chickpeas, can I just save that water? Or do I need to add anything? thanks!
 
Rima June 21, 2015
I have a friend who cooks her own chickpeas and she made marshmallow fluff with both, canned and cooked water, and both worked.
 
Polly June 21, 2015
I was taught by my Greek godsons grandmother to use the froth on the water of cooked chickpeas as a raising agent to make bread, she used this during the periods of poverty between the two world wars.<br />I would only use the water I make by cooking my chickpeas so that I know exactly what is in it, no nasty hidden things...<br />I cannot wait to try these out so off to soak some chickpeas for tomorrow
 
Linda A. June 21, 2015
The absolute best chickpeas I've found are Wild Oats organic and the liquid isn't all gooey & cloudy. The ingredients are water, organic chickpeas & sea salt. Delish.
 
Patch June 21, 2015
It's a great idea but be sure to use chickpea water from cans with NO BPA (Bisphenol).