This Pavlova recipe is a light and delicious dessert that’s easy to make!
A large meringue is baked until crisp on the outside and chewy inside and then adorned with beautiful jewel-toned fruits and freshly whipped cream.
What is Pavlova?
Pavlova is a baked meringue cake that’s light and delicate. It’s crisp on the outside and often served with colorful slices of fresh fruit and whipped cream. Pavlova is a strikingly elegant dessert that is perfect for any holiday.
The Pavlova itself tastes a lot like Marshmallows or Marshmallow Fluff with a smooth vanilla flavor. Traditionally, it is topped with strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi – but you can add any fruit. Strawberry Pavlova is a fave!
What’s in Pavlova?
MERINGUE The trick to the best Pavlova is in the technique because the ingredients are easy to find! Eggs, superfine or caster sugar (easy to make by pulsing in a food processor), corn starch, and a splash of vanilla and lemon juice are all it takes to make the meringue.
FRUIT Fresh berries like strawberry, raspberry, and sliced kiwis are the classic fruits that look so dramatic against the pale color of Pavlova and whipped cream.
VARIATIONS Blueberries, sugared cranberries, or candied pecans make colorful and unique garnishes. A small dollop of lemon curd gives Pavlova a bright, citrusy color and flavor! Try topping it with Kahlua Whipped Cream for a boozy finish!
How to Make Pavlova
It’s not hard to learn how to make this spectacular dessert:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Beat egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
- While the egg whites are beating, prepare the baking pan (per recipe below).
- Combine remaining cornstarch with lemon juice & vanilla.
- Fold the lemon juice mixture into the egg whites.
- Spread the egg mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a 12” circle.
- Lower the oven temperature and bake the Pavlova for one hour.
- Turn the oven off & let it cool completely with the oven door shut for about 3 hours.
- Place cooled Pavlova on a serving platter and garnish with desired fruits and whipped cream.
Tips for Perfect Pavlova
- A stand-mixer is necessary to get the best performance from the egg whites.
- Use room temperature fresh eggs as they will create more foam. Take them out 30 to 60 minutes in advance, separate them and let the whites come to room temp before beating. Forgot to take them out of the fridge? Run them under warm water or place them in a glass of warm water.
- Egg yolks have fat in them and will not yield perfect meringue if even the slightest bit of yolk is in the egg whites.
- Make sure the mixing bowl and beaters are clean, dry, and absolutely free of any kind of fats.
- Don’t peek while it’s in the oven, or it will collapse. Start the oven high, lower the heat for an hour and then turn the heat off until the cake is finished. You’ll be glad you were patient!
- Decorate Pavlova right before serving as the weight from the toppings will eventually sink into the cake.
- Store for up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature, however, it will not stay as firm and dry the more it ages.
Why Does My Pavlova Sink And Crack?
These issues arise when the pavlova cools too quickly. This is why the recipe calls for leaving the Pavlova cake in the oven to cool completely.
It’s also important to use the freshest eggs possible. Having farm-fresh eggs will work the best, but if not, just looks for the eggs with the latest expiration date at the store.
Small cracks are par for the course when making a Pavlova properly (and mine always have a few smaller cracks), but bigger cracks can still happen. Even if your pavolva cracks, it will still taste delicious.
Can It Be Made Ahead Of Time?
Yes and no. It can be prepared a few days in advance of serving and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. However, it shouldn’t be decorated with whipped cream or fruit until just before serving.
Light & Fruity!
- Angel Food Cake – naturally fat-free
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad – perfect for a crowd
- Easiest Ever Pineapple Cake – only 5 ingredients
- Easy Fresh Fruit Salad – a summertime fave
- Strawberry Trifle – layers of decadence
Did you love this Pavlova recipe? Leave us a comment and a rating below!
Easy Pavlova Recipe
- 4 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 cup caster sugar *
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch divided
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups whipped cream
- 1 cup strawberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and begin beating on medium speed until medium peaks form.
- Add the sugar in very slowly 1 tablespoon at a time. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
- In a small prep bowl, combine the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch with the lemon juice and vanilla and mix with a fork until liquid.
- Once the egg whites are done, fold the lemon juice mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and use 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to rub in a 12" circle. S
- Transfer the egg whites mixture to the prepared baking sheet and use the rubber spatula to spread it out in a circle, leaving an indentation in the center.
- REDUCE THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 225°F and bake the pavlova for 1-1.5 HOUR, then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova in the oven until completely cool, about 3 hours.
- Once cooled, gently remove the pavlova from the pan and place it on a serving dish, then top with whipped cream and fruit.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)