These meringue succulent cupcakes are made with chocolate cupcake "dirt", topped with vegan aquafaba meringue succulents, and served in little terracotta pots. They make a great dessert for spring or summer parties, and your guests can take home the pots to reuse for real plants.
Here's a new aquafaba meringue project to try out just in time for spring: Succulent Cupcakes (and cactus cupcakes!). The "succulents" are made with whipped aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) dyed green and baked into meringue cookies. The cookies are then dipped and chocolate and stuck on top of vegan chocolate cupcakes in mini terracotta pots. It's so Pinteresting.
Bring them to a party, eat them all yourself, or put them on your windowsill with your real plants and admire them for the day. Then reuse the pots for real plants! It's a craft project, a dessert, and a party favor all in one. Making this multifunctional cupcake does require a bit of finesse, so let's go over a few tips...
Tips for making the succulent cupcakes
This recipe is for intermediate bakers, but anyone can make it with some practice! Here are a few tips to get you started...
Use short and sturdy cupcake liners
Depending on the size of your pots, the cupcake liners might be too tall. I cut ¼-1/2 inch off the top of my liners so they didn't stick out the top of the pot. Try different liner/terra cotta pot combinations to see what works, keeping in mind that the cupcakes will expand once they are baked.
Practice your aquafaba meringue making skills
But what's aquafaba? If you have a can of beans in your kitchen, you already have this ingredient at home. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas, or other bean/legume. It has similar properties to egg whites, so it can be used as an egg white substitute in vegan and egg-free recipes.
One of its most impressive qualities is its ability to make meringue and meringue-based desserts. It can be use to make lemon meringue pie, meringue cookies, macarons, and so much more! I've used it in several other recipes on the blog, including my crepes, royal icing, Hawaiian bread, in a whiskey sour, and most notably in my homemade vegan Lucky Charms! It's a truly versatile ingredient that costs pennies, and would normally be poured down the drain.
If you're new to making meringue, check out my video below, which I made for my Lemon Meringue Pie recipe.
Practice your piping skills
Making succulents requires some pastry bag piping skills, so get acquainted with some piping techniques. The video below will show you how to pipe different kinds of succulents and cacti out of meringue, and the same techniques work for vegan meringue.
Don't skip the chocolate step
Dipping the meringues in chocolate is not optional because it creates a barrier between the meringues and the cupcakes. The moisture of the cake will melt the meringues on contact.
Food coloring for the meringues
You color the succulents green when whipping up the meringue. I used Wilton gel food coloring. If you'd like to decorate the succulents after they've been baked, avoid food coloring or other liquids. I used a little bit of luster dust and a dry paintbrush on some of the meringues.
Store the meringues and cupcakes separately
If you are making these cupcakes ahead of time, store the cupcakes and meringues in two separate airtight containers. If you store the prepared succulent cupcakes in an airtight container overnight, they will MELT. The moisture from the cupcakes will create a humid environment and destroy the meringues you worked so hard to make.
Decorating the plant pots
These succulent cupcakes would be amazing for a spring or summer birthday party. You could even include your guests in the process, especially if it's a kid's party or you just really like crafts. Decorate the pots at the beginning of the party, serve the cupcakes in the personalized terra cotta pots, and then pot real succulents as a small gift to take home!
Where to find mini terra-cotta pots
I actually found mine at the dollar store, but you can get them at any home and garden store, or online. You can find a bunch of them on Amazon for pretty cheap.
Food-safe plant pot decorations
The cupcakes will only be touching the inside of the terra-cotta pots, and there will be a cupcake liner there as a barrier, so go nuts with decorations on the outside. You could use acrylic paint or spray paint, ribbons, sequins, or anything you like! I did white acrylic paint and gold leaf, which I found at a craft store.
Get some real succulents as party favors
After everyone eats the cupcakes, the pots can be reused for real succulents, and your guests can take home the plants as a party favor.
You can make superfine sugar by pulsing regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until sandy, but not powdered and dusty. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on seitanbeatsyourmeat.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
For the cupcakes:
For the meringue succulents:
To assemble the succulent cupcakes:
Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 124mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 37gProtein: 3g
You can make superfine sugar by pulsing regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until sandy, but not powdered and dusty.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on seitanbeatsyourmeat.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
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This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for formatting. The recipe has not changed.