Vegan Pavlova with Grapefruit Curd

This vegan pavlova is made with aquafaba, filled with a plant-based grapefruit curd and topped with fresh citrus slices and mint.

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd

Who else can’t get enough of citrus right now? I’m all about showcasing these gorgeous gems while they’re in season!

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd

Today’s pavlova recipe is exciting because it not only highlights winter citrus, but everything in it- from the meringue, to the grapefruit curd to the light whipped topping- is made with plant-based ingredients. Even though I’ve made regular pavlova (with egg whites) in the past, I had heard about a way to make an amazing vegan pavlova using aquafaba. I finally decided to give it a try and I’m so happy with the results.

vegan pavlova

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the liquid that accompanies canned beans such as garbanzo beans. It makes an incredible vegan egg substitute and is a great way to turn a natural byproduct into something useful!

Un-whipped, it acts as an egg substitute in baking recipes. Or it can be whipped for mayonnaise, meringues, macarons, marshmallow fluff and more! I’ve been experimenting with aquafaba in lots of plant-based recipes lately- check out the homemade vegan mayonnaise I made for the special sauce in these Crispy Chickpea Sliders!

vegan grapefruit curd

This vegan pavlova uses aquafaba in place of the egg whites for both the meringue and the fluffy whipped topping. The other main component of this dessert is a bright and sunny pink grapefruit curd that is also vegan!

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd

How to make vegan grapefruit curd

A curd is typically made with egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and butter. For this vegan grapefruit curd, fresh grapefruit and lemon juices are combined with sugar and cornstarch, which acts as the thickener in place of the egg yolks. A combination of coconut oil and coconut cream is whisked in at the end to replace the butter and give it a richer consistency.

In many ways this vegan curd is easier to make than a traditional one because you don’t have to worry about the eggs being cooked to a safe temperature, or overcooking and scrambling them. The mixture should thicken up fairly quickly and easily once it comes to a gentle boil as long as you keep an eye on it and whisk often.

The grapefruit curd definitely thickens as it cools, so if you want it to be a thinner consistency just whisk in a little bit of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd

Tips and tricks

For the meringue, aquafaba tends to cooperate better for whipping when chilled. I like to measure out the liquid in the metal bowl of my stand mixer and chill it in the freezer for a few minutes as I gather my other ingredients. Adding a pinch of cream of tartar is another way to help achieve stiffer peaks.

The meringue will take several minutes to whip. You’ll know it’s done when you can hold the bowl upside down and the meringue doesn’t budge.

Tracing circles onto parchment paper and then piping the meringue around the circles is an easy way to get evenly sized meringues.

When baking, don’t open the oven door for at least the first hour so that you don’t risk the meringues collapsing. The meringues are done when you can tap on them gently and they feel hard to the touch. Once they are done, turn the oven off and cool them completely inside the oven.

The meringues and the curd can be made a day or so in advance, but wait to make the whipped topping and assemble them until just before serving. I like to serve these with fresh, juicy slices of cara cara oranges (they look like grapefruit but are smaller and a little sweeter) and fresh mint leaves.

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd

The resemblance of this vegan pavlova to one made with egg whites is striking. The meringue has the exact same light and airy texture as a traditional one! It’s crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The whipped aquafaba topping is a lighter and airier than whipped cream, and the vegan grapefruit curd has a wonderfully bright flavor and a similar texture to regular curd. I found this vegan pavlova recipe to be very approachable, if not even easier than a non-vegan version!

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd eaten

Thanks for reading! To keep up with my kitchen escapades, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. If you make this vegan pavlova, share it with the hashtag #LePetitEats!

Vegan Pavlova with grapefruit curd
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Pavlova with Grapefruit Curd

This vegan pavlova is made with aquafaba, filled with a plant-based grapefruit curd and topped with fresh citrus slices and mint. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword citrus, grapefruit
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4


For the pavlova:

  • 4 oz aquafaba from unsalted or low sodium canned chickpeas chilled
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the grapefruit curd:

  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream

For the toppings:

  • 2 oz aquafaba
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange liqueur


  1. Pour 4 ounces of aquafaba into the bowl of an electric mixer and place in freezer for 5-10 minutes. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and trace four 4-inch circles onto the parchment. 

  2. Remove mixing bowl from freezer and add vinegar. With the whisk attachment, whip mixture at high speed until tripled in size, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and gradually add in 3/4 cup sugar. Increase speed back to high and continue whisking until mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the mixture falling out. Whisk in cornstarch and vanilla. 

  3. Using a pastry bag, pipe meringue around the circles drawn on the parchment paper. Build up the outer part of the circles higher than the center, leaving a well. Place in oven and reduce heat to 200 degrees. Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the meringue is dry to the touch. Do not open the oven for at least the first hour. Once the meringues are done, turn the oven off and allow them to cool completely in the oven.

  4. Meanwhile, make the grapefruit curd. In a saucepan, combine the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, whisk in the coconut oil and coconut cream allow to cool completely. Grapefruit curd will continue to thicken as it cools. 

  5. In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip remaining 2 ounces of aquafaba with lemon juice until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add remaining sugar and Grand Marnier. 

  6.  To assemble the cooled pavlovas, spoon a dollop of grapefruit curd in the center of each meringue, top with the aquafaba whip and garnish with citrus slices and fresh mint leaves.

This vegan pavlova is made with aquafaba, filled with a plant-based grapefruit curd and topped with fresh citrus slices and mint. #veganrecipes #vegandessert
This vegan pavlova is made with aquafaba, filled with a plant-based grapefruit curd and topped with fresh citrus slices and mint. #veganrecipes #desserts #aqafaba #summerrecipes

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  1. Naomi

    Hi, just clarifying that the temp is Celsius? I presume so.

    Also have you kept these for any length of time, will it keep for a week like an egg pav without toppings?

    1. Denisse Post author

      Hi Naomi, all my recipes are in Fahrenheit since I’m based in the US. As far as length of time, they should keep well for at least a few days if stored in the fridge in an airtight container.


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