Pavlova

By Shiran

Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, this pavlova is a simple show-stopper meringue-based cake. Every bite will melt in your mouth!

Perfect Pavlova | prettysimplesweet.com

After last year’s disappointment of only realizing fresh strawberries were available when they were going out of season, I learned my lesson. So this year, not only did I prepare a list of my favorite strawberry recipes to make on the blog, I believe I bought the first batch of fresh strawberries in the country. They’re right here next to me, and I’m trying my best to stop nibbling them and leave some for the pavlova that I plan to top with them.

Pavlova is an impressive cake to serve to guests. Even if you’re not an experienced baker, it’ll still turn out beautiful. It might crack, and it might look messy (and I actually prefer it that way), but it will still look pretty.

Perfect Pavlova | prettysimplesweet.com

The perfect pavlova should have a soft marshmallow-like interior with a delicate shell. Once you bite into the crisp, crunchy crust, it instantly melts in your mouth. Deliciousness.

Pavlovas are made with very few ingredients – usually egg whites, sugar, cornstarch, and white wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice (or another acid such as cream of tartar). Vinegar/lemon juice and cornstarch help to stabilize the meringue so that it retains its volume and doesn’t collapse. They also help in creating the characteristically crisp outside and soft inside.

Perfect Pavlova | prettysimplesweet.com

Making pavlova requires separating the eggs, but the process is otherwise very simple. Separate the eggs while they’re still cold (that’s when it’s easiest), then leave the egg whites on the counter until they reach room temperature (that’s when they’ll reach their highest volume).  Cover the egg yolks and place them in the fridge for a couple of days to use them for lemon curd (that, by the way, goes perfect on pavlova!), chocolate pudding, crème brulee, or chocolate chip cookies. For the lemon curd, make sure you read the post itself, where I explain how to replace the whole eggs in the recipe with egg yolks.

Perfect Pavlova | prettysimplesweet.com

To make pavlova, you’ll start with whisking the egg whites on high speed. Once you see it starting to get foamy (about 40 seconds), decrease the speed a bit and start adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Take your time with it. It usually takes me several minutes to add all of the sugar. Increase the speed again and continue whisking until stiff peaks form – meaning that if you stop the mixer and take a look at your whisk attachment, it should have peaks that look shiny and stiff and keep their shape. Lastly, add all the other ingredients and either fold them in by hand or whisk on low just until combined.

Perfect Pavlova | prettysimplesweet.com

Although I used whole strawberries for the photos, it would be much more practical to remove the stems and slice them in half.

Classic pavlova is topped with whipped cream and fruit, which is what this recipe calls for. You can also top it with either lemon curd, grated chocolate, chocolate sauce, or fruit sauce.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Pavlova
Yields: 1 9-inch pavlova
 

Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, this pavlova is a simple show-stopper meringue-based cake. Every bite will melt in your mouth!
Ingredients
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream:
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh fruit of your choice (berries, passion fruit, kiwi, pineapple, etc.)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw an 8-inch or 9-inch circle (you can use your cake pans for that). This will help you later when spreading the meringue. Turn the paper so that the circle is on the reverse side.
  2. In a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on high speed until foamy and soft peaks start to form (about 30-40 seconds). Reduce speed to medium and, while mixer is running, add sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Once done adding sugar, increase speed to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, meringue is glossy, and the sugar is fully dissolved. Add cornstarch, vinegar, salt, and vanilla and either fold in by hand or whisk on low speed just until combined.
  3. Spread meringue onto the parchment paper, shaping it into a circle with the help of the circle you drew earlier. Create a border so that edges are slightly higher than the center.
  4. Place in oven and reduce temperature to 230F/110C. Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until creamy in color and the outside appears dry. Turn off oven and, without removing, let meringue cool completely in the oven. It will crack slightly while cooling.
  5. For the whipped cream: In a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over mix.
  6. Spread whipped cream over the meringue and top with freshly sliced fruit.

Notes
-The meringue itself will keep for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature. Once whipped cream is added, the meringue will keep in the fridge for up to one day.

 

23 Comments on Pavlova

  1. gloria
    December 1, 2014 at 8:28 am (2 years ago)

    Beautiful!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 1, 2014 at 3:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Gloria!

      Reply
  2. Winnie
    December 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm (2 years ago)

    פיווווווווווו ניראה מדהים!!
    מצחיק אבל אף פעם לא הכנתי פבלובה. ודווקא תמיד יש לי חלבונים מוקפאים במקפיא
    קינוח נהדר ביחד עם התותים 🙂

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 2, 2014 at 4:12 am (2 years ago)

      You should make it, it’s simple! And strawberries are now in season 🙂

      Reply
  3. Baby June
    December 2, 2014 at 5:20 am (2 years ago)

    Such a gorgeous pavlova! Looks like it came out perfect 🙂

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 3, 2014 at 4:28 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Nano Cleansers
    December 2, 2014 at 8:24 am (2 years ago)

    Amazing photos! looks delicious!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 3, 2014 at 4:37 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  5. The Blonde Chef
    December 2, 2014 at 10:35 am (2 years ago)

    This pavlova looks divine! You have inspired me to make this ASAP! Pinned!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 3, 2014 at 4:36 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! Do make this ASAP! 🙂

      Reply
  6. FitSweet
    December 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

    perfect

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 3, 2014 at 4:36 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply
    • Shiran
      December 3, 2014 at 4:37 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Alexandra! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Sara
    March 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Shiran! I came across your website yesterday and made the Orange muffins and they were DELICIOUS! I missed out on sleep because I was drooling over all your creations! I want to attempt this but wondered if the meringue is really time sensitive? Also do you think I could modify this (cut amounts in half) to make a smaller Pavlova?
    Thanks so much! Love your site!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      March 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Sara! Thank you so much for the kind words 🙂 I tried making a smaller batch once, and it worked out well, just make sure to reduce the baking time when making smaller pavlovas. As for making the meringue, whisk it until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy, then spread it onto the parchment paper and bake. I’m sure you’ll be just fine 🙂 Enjoy!

      Reply
  8. Sara
    March 31, 2015 at 1:16 am (2 years ago)

    So I just wanted to say I finally got the chance to make this tonight for my anniversary! It’s been impossible with a newborn. WOW it’s incredible, easy and gorgeous! We did strawberries and freshly whipped cream. Question: can I cut the sugar in the meringue? It was really sweet. Thanks for the great tips!!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      March 31, 2015 at 8:47 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Sara! I’m glad it turned out great. The amount of sugar is needed because sugar serves as a stabilizer to keep the meringue from collapsing. Meringues are usually very sweet because of that. You can omit the sugar in the whipped cream to balance it. Happy anniversary 🙂

      Reply
  9. Eileen Moore
    May 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my… this looks so yummy and beautiful. My meringue never looked like this… I wish I had your hands, Shiran 😉

    Reply
    • Shiran
      May 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm (2 years ago)

      My hands aren’t perfect, trust me 😉 But thank you so much, Eileen!

      Reply
  10. Sandra Roberts
    March 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm (3 weeks ago)

    I make Pavlova several times a year for the last 20 years Here’s a hint to keep it from cracking turn your heat down to 184F/140C as soon as you slide it into the oven. It won’t change the texture,, flavor or color so your creation comes out pristine!

    Reply

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