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Pavlova with fresh berries and lofty whip cream. A light and airy dessert perfect for celebrations and gatherings. With a little planning ahead, this is easier than you may think! (Allow 2 hours of cooling time. ) Gluten-free.
How can I not love my mother- when she carried me first in her body, then in her arms, and then for a lifetime in her heart.Rumi
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d share something special to make for Mom. It’s so much fun to whip up; she would probably enjoy making it with you!
This Pavlova is topped with various fresh seasonal berries and whipped cream. So delicious! Keep it simple or enhance your whipped cream with a dollop of jam or lemon curd. There is something so satisfying about whipping egg whites into fluffy white clouds. If you’ve never tried it, we promise you will love it.
Why We love Pavlova!
Pavlova is a simple dessert in elegant disguise. You can make all the components ahead of time and assemble just before serving. Don’t go for perfection here. A little cracking adds to the rustic charm. Most of it gets covered up by the toppings. You can also make this into individual mini pavlovas! So cute.
For more dessert inspiration, try one of our delicious favorites, Homemade Strawberry Shortcake!
Table of Contents
Ingredients In Pavlova
Pavlova Ingredient Notes
- Egg whites- at room temperature with not even a spec of yolks.
- Sugar- super fine works best. If you don’t have any superfine sugar, just blend some in a blender or food processor.
- Cream of Tartar- a type of acid that gives the pavlova structure while it bakes. This can be swapped out for vinegar 1:1.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make Pavlova
Step One- Set oven to 350. Draw an 8-9′ circle on a piece of parchment. Flip the parchment so the writing is on the underside against the tray.
Step Two- Separate the eggs. Cold eggs separate better, and room-temperature egg whites whip better. Separating the eggs while cold helps avoid yolk leaking into the whites.
TIP: Let the whites come to room temperate once they are separated. Speed this up by setting the bowl of whites over another bowl of warm water, creating a gentle double boiler effect. (The egg yolks will not be used here and can be saved for another recipe.)
Step Three– In a stand mixer with an ultra-clean and dry bowl, pour in egg whites and start whipping on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat whites on medium-high until soft peaks form.
Step Four- Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, letting them whisk in between each addition until all the sugar has been spooned in. Switch the mixer a couple more notches higher and beat until glossy and stiff.
Step Five– Very gently, scoop whites out onto the parchment. With a cake knife spread in a circle working from the center, building a bit of an outside edge and an indent in the center. Smooth up the sides.
Step Six– Place in the center of the 350F preheated oven. Turn the oven down to 200F and bake for 120 minutes or until it feels dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or overnight. Cooling slowly keeps the pavlova sturdy and crisp.
If you wish, pipe into smaller individual pavlovas.
Step Seven– Make the whipped cream. Whip together the cream, sugar, and zest to medium-soft peaks. Fold in a tablespoon of jam, if desired.
Step Eight– Assemble just before serving. Top the pavlova with whip cream and fresh berries! Serve immediately!
Tips For a Successful Pavlova
- Cold eggs separate better and room-temperature egg whites whip better! Separating the eggs while cold helps avoid yolk leaking into the whites. Let the whites come to room temperate once they are in a bowl.
- Make sure your mixing bowl is free of anything oily; this will prevent the egg whites from whipping up.
- Start whipping egg whites on a lower speed and gradually work up to higher. This allows smaller bubbles to form in the whites which will make a more sturdy structure. (Beating high forms big bubbles and there is more chance for collapse.)
- Overbeating can cause the pavlova to crack while baking. Whip just until the sugar has dissolved.
- After baking in the oven, turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool in the oven. Cooling slowly helps prevent deflating and cracking.
- Use superfine sugar. Add sugar slowly and ensure all the sugar has been beaten into the egg whites and dissolved. You can always blitz regular sugar in the blender or food processor to grind finer.
- Keep the kitchen low humidity on baking day. Don’t make soup stock or boil spaghetti while making a pavlova!
Make it ahead!
When making Pavlova ahead, store it in an airtight container in a cool dry spot, but do not refrigerate. The whipped cream can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to assemble.
More Recipes You May Enjoy
Meringue is dry all the way through; pavlova has a crisp exterior and a soft pillowy center.
Egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, or vinegar.
You can make it up to 2 days ahead. Make sure it is stored in a sealed, airtight container to keep it crisp. Always assemble with toppings just before serving.
To all the mothers around the world, new mothers and seasoned veterans, grandmothers and great-grandmothers and those who continue to live on through us — thank you.
Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.Print
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 120 minutes + 2 hours cool time
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 10 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: French
- Diet: Gluten Free
Pavlova with fresh berries and lofty whip cream. A light and airy dessert perfect for celebrations and gatherings. With a little planning ahead, this is easier than you may think!
- 4 large eggs- at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar, fine (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1 teaspoon of vinegar – see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional- it will darken the pavlova a little)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar (your choice here on sweetness, add more if you like)
- lemon zest or Meyer lemon zest is lovely but optional
- 1 tablespoon berry jam (or lemon curd)
- 1 pint of fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, currants, whatever you fancy!)
- Set oven to 350F. Draw an 8-9′ circle on a piece of parchment. Flip the parchment so the writing is on the underside against the tray. Or just skip this and eyeball it.
- Separate the eggs. Cold eggs separate better and room-temperature egg whites whip better. Separating the eggs while cold helps avoid yolk leaking into the whites. Let the whites come to room temperate once they are in a bowl. Speed this up by setting the bowl of whites over another bowl of warm water, creating a kind of double boiler effect. (The egg yolks will not be used here and can be saved for another recipe.)
- Whip the whites. In a stand mixer with an ultra-clean and dry bowl, pour in egg whites and start whipping on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar. (If substituting vinegar add later with the vanilla.) Beat whites on medium-high until soft peaks form.
- Start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time, letting them whisk in between each addition until all the sugar has been spooned in. Switch the mixer a couple more notches higher and beat until glossy and stiff. Test the whites by rubbing a little between your thumb and finger, making sure the sugar has dissolved and there is no grittiness, whip a little longer if needed until the meringue is smooth.
- Once the peaks are stiff, add the pinch of salt and vanilla and whip in for another 30 seconds. Make sure it is stiff! If not, beat more, checking after each minute for stiff peaks.
- Shape the Pavlova. Very gently, scoop the stiff egg white mixture out onto the parchment. With a cake knife spread in a circle working from the center, building a bit of an outside edge and an indent in the center. Smooth up the sides.
- Bake. Place in the center of the 350F preheated oven. Turn the oven down to 200F and bake for 120 minutes or until it feels dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or overnight. Cooling slowly keeps the pavlova sturdy and crisp.
- For the whip cream. Whip together the cream, sugar and zest to medium-soft peaks. Fold in a tablespoon of jam, if desired.
- Assemble just before serving. Top the pavlova with whip cream and fresh berries! You can macerate the berries with a little sweetener to make them juicy if desired. Serve immediately!
Some pavlovas do include cornstarch to create a more marshmallow like center. We didn’t love the hint of chalky texture and found it melt in your mouth delicious as is. Should you choose to add it in: 1 teaspoon cornstarch sifted into the last tablespoon of sugar that you are adding to the whipping whites.
To make individual sized pavlova: Either spoon out a 2 inch diameter round ( make a well in the center, like a little “nest”) or fill a piping bag with the egg white mixture and pipe out 2-3-inch rounds. (You can also make these bigger, but will need to bake them longer. ) They will rise and spread a bit, so leave room around them.
Allow 2 hours of cooling time. Can be made a day or two before and stored in an airtight container.
Feel free to make the pavlovas ahead and store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Do not refrigerate.
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 120
- Sugar: 25.6 g
- Sodium: 26.5 mg
- Fat: 4.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
- Fiber: 0.7 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 13.6 mg
Keywords: pavlova, pavlova recipe, mini pavlovas, how to make pavlovas, pavlova with berries, pavlova with whipped cream
I note that the recipe summary at top says 90 minutes of cook time, but the recipe instructions say to cook 120 minutes. Which of those would you go with?
Hi Ken, Thanks for catching this. 120 minutes. The recipe card is consistent now!
This recipe was surprisingly easy to make for a pavlova novice and it was delicious!
So happy to hear this Ine!
I’m kind of embarrassed to ask this but I have a lot of merengue powder that I need to use. Can I use this for a pavlova?
Actually not sure about this Kris. We have not tried it with meringue powder. If you do try let us know how it turns out.
This was fantastic! The lemon zest and jam in the whipped cream really elevate the dish. Thank you for another winning recipe!
Thanks Lauren, so happy you enjoyed!
Any tips for making this at elevation? Also, do you ever add flavoring like almond or vanilla?
Hi Lara, I don’t know about higher elevations. I would just follow the tips in the post. We do include vanilla in this recipe!
I lived in Australia for several years where pavlova is a dessert favorite. (Australia and New Zealand bicker over where this recipe originated.) I now live at 5200 feet and once tried making pavlova with a recipe adjusted for altitude and it was terrible. I’d probably try making this recipe as written the first time. The Colorado Extension website suggests not beating eggs whites to stiff peaks, but to instead have a slight droop on the peak. https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/high-altitude-food-preparation-p41/
That is good to know Marsha!
Elle est merveilleuse ta Pavlova, et ici tout le monde l’adore et surtout maman, elle va être ravie !!! Je l’ai déjà noté pour la faire pour ce week-end. Les fruits rouges associés sont magnifiques. Merci pour toutes tes astuces, elles sont précieuses. Merci beaucoup pour cette recette Somptueuse …
” This is a wonderful Pavlova, and here everyone loves it and especially mom, she will be delighted!!! I already wrote it down to make it this weekend. The berries are magnificent. Thank you for all your tips, they are invaluable. Thank you so much for this sumptuous recipe.”
Thank so much Bosha! Let us know how it turns out for you!
This beautiful dessert was first made in New Zealand and is almost a signature Christmas dish which is summer for us. Named after the famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova born 1881 who toured the world including our little country at the bottom of the world.
This can also be made vegan way using aquafava the liquid from chickpeas.
Thanks John! Appreciate the history. Have you made the vegan version?
These were so good. Used the rhubarb from my garden and subbed raspberries and blackberries. Delicious!
I bet it would taste good…and give it a little pretty color!
These are so pretty!! Still have a little bit of rhubarb around 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
These pavlovas are beautiful! And I love your presentation and styling of them.
These are too cute and love the use of rhubarb here with the sweet strawberries!