The Best Pavlova Recipe

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My family has been making this Pavlova recipe for decades, and everyone who tries it says it’s the best they have ever had, crispy outside, spongey-soft inside.

I’m not kidding. People from Australia and New Zealand, where you can buy Pavlova in the grocery store (!), have said this is the best Pavlova recipe they have ever come across. So there it is. Definitive.

It’s a combination of a hard meringue and an angel food cake — so, heaven, or the best of both worlds. It’s so good that it’s been auctioned off live at school fundraisers. For reals. People paid hundreds of dollars for it.

Unlike most Pavlova recipes, this one is baked in a 9-inch springform pan, so it comes out a little neater than ones baked on a sheet pan.

I know some folks like to make it all year, changing out the fruit for what’s in season. For us it is always a summer dessert, and is especially perfect with strawberries and blueberries for the Fourth of July. Feeds 8 of my people, 12 normal people.

Pavlova

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large egg whites room temperature (or 2/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 c superfine baking sugar + 1 tbsp for the whipped cream
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 c strawberries and blueberries, or whatever fruit you are using

Instructions
 

Bake the Meringue Shell

  • Preheat the oven to 325˚.
  • Grease the inside and top lip of a 9-inch Springform pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites gradually until soft peaks form. Begin to add the 1 1/2 cups of sugar a tablespoon at a time, until it is all incorporated and dissolved.
  • Add the vinegar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Pour and spread evenly into the Springform pan, making sure to get the meringue batter down into the crease of the pan by poking with a spatula.
  • Bake at 325˚ for an hour, until the meringue is lightly browned on top and puffed a couple of inches above the top of the pan. Over done is better than under done here, so let it go a few extra minutes if it seems too wobbly, as long as it doesn’t get too brown on top.
  • Let cool completely in the pan. The middle will collapse like a volcano crater.

Make the Whipped Cream Filling

  • Beat the heavy whipping cream, tablespoon of sugar, and teaspoon of vanilla extract until stiff. I like to make it pretty stiff for this so it holds its shape well and doesn’t separate and run everywhere.
  • Secret tip for making whipped cream: leave a couple of tablespoons of the heavy cream out, and if you accidentally over whip it, add them in on low and it will magically fix it! Of course if you’ve made butter, this is not going to help. Just make the butter and get more cream.

Fill the Meringue Shell

  • Run a sharp knife between side of the pan and the meringue, and then gently release the sides of the pan. If you have to break off some of the meringue stuck to the rolled edge of the pan, that’s ok. Just carefully break off the stuck pieces and push them in so you can get the knife around.
  • Fill the crater with the whipped cream. Sometimes I do a little repair work with the whipped cream as well, if pieces of the sides break off.
  • Also, if I am traveling with the Pavlova, I put the side frame back on after I release it and add the whipped cream. Then take it off when I get where I’m going.

Add the Berries

  • Wash and dry the berries. Slice the strawberries a 1/4 inch thick or so, or into quarters. Whatever looks good or makes sense.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle the berries onto the Pavlova, so that they cover the whipped cream. Serve extra berries on the side.

I hope you enjoy your Pavlova! I never feel like I get enough.. If you enjoy baking, check out my recipe for the Best Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies. Speaking of things I never get enough of…

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