Chocolate Pavlova

5 from 1 vote
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Chocolate Pavlova – a light and airy chocolate meringue layered with almond flavored whipped cream for an over the top delicious dessert!

Almost every time I think of Pavlova, I think of a vanilla version topped with whipped cream and berries. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is crazy good and something we make often! But this chocolate lover had to make a version that was rich, decadent, and chocolate-y!

This recipe as been on the blog for over 10 years, but I was never truly happy with it. Well, after lots of tweaking and testing, it is perfect and I am so happy with it!

a slice of chocolate pavlova on a white plate

 

What Is Pavlova

Pavlova is a meringue dessert that is often topped with whipped cream and berries. There is a debate if it originated in New Zealand or Australia, but either way it is a delicious dessert that has spread across the globe. When we visited New Zealand, it was very common to see on a menu, and they had many different flavors and varieties.

What You’ll Need

  • Egg Whites
  • Salt
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract
  • White Vinegar
  • Chocolate Chips

I turned this into a chocolate meringue cake by layering it with whipped cream. It happens to be a naturally gluten free cake that way, so it is perfect for everyone!

chocolate meringue ingredients

How To Make Chocolate Pavlova

  1. This cooks for a long time at a very low heat. Start by getting your oven set to 225º F. I have found that the meringue dries out and is the most light and fluffy when I place it on parchment paper. Something about it just works better than silicon liners. So place parchment paper on your baking sheets and you are ready to go.
  2. In the stand mixer bowl, whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt, until stiff you have stiff peaks, about 4 minutes on high speed.
  3. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the sugar in over the course of 2 minutes.
  4. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back onto high and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy and stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and vinegar to the mixer. Sift in the cocoa powder, then mix until just combined (you might have to use a spatula). Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the batter in half. Spread onto baking sheet, in about two 8 inch circles. You want them about 1 inch high, and evenly sized.
  7. Place the meringue into the oven and bake for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for 2 more hours. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature before assembling.
chocolate pavlova cake with whipped cream

Chocolate Pavlova Cake

To turn this chocolate meringue into something that looks more like a slice of cake, I layered it with fresh whipped cream. I love the combination of chocolate and almond together, so I flavored my whipped cream with almond extract. That is completely optional! If you like vanilla, just use vanilla!

  1. Whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add sugar and almond extract, whisk to combine. 
  2. Place on chocolate meringue onto a serving platter. Spread with about half of the whipped cream.
  3. Top with the second meringue and spread the remaining whipped cream over the top.
  4. Garnish with shaved chocolate or more mini chocolate chips if desired.
chocolate pavlova on a cutting board topped with whipped cream

Recipe Tips

  • Start with room temperature egg whites. I get that this can be a pain to plan in advance, but if you want your meringue to be light and airy, you want to be able to really beat the air into it and incorporate the sugar. This happens most easily when the eggs start at room temperature.
  • Don’t be tempted to cook this for less time at a higher temperature. A lot of recipes you see out there do this, and after so many attempts, I finally lowered the temp and it worked! So many other times you still get a gooey almost marshmallow inside. The chocolate in the center does change things a little from a vanilla one, so trust me and go low and slow!
  • Use a timer. There are lots of descriptions of what the eggs should look like at each different stage, but I have found when I just set a time, and use my mixer at the right speed for the designated amount of time, it works perfectly, every time.
  • Leave the oven close for cooling. I know 4 hours is a long time to invest, but if your meringue cools too quickly it can collapse. So leaving the door closed for the whole baking time really is key to getting that crisp, light, and airy meringue you are going for.
chocolate meringue cake with a bite missing on a white plate

What Does Vinegar Do In Pavlova

Meringue or Pavlova has just a few simple ingredients. The vinegar looks odd, but you really don’t want to skip it. The acid helps to stabilize the meringue, so it doesn’t collapse and remains light and airy. You may see a recipe call for lemon juice or cream of tarter instead, those accomplish the same thing.

Can I Make Ahead

You can definitely make the chocolate meringue ahead, but you do want to wait to assemble the full cake until you are ready to serve. The meringue will last for 2 days in you store in an airtight container at room temperature. So you can definitely make the day before, and then just assemble when you are ready to enjoy!

close up chocolate pavlova for pinterest

More Delicious Dessert Recipes

close up slice of chocolate meringue cake
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Pavlova

By Erin
Chocolate Pavlova – a light and airy chocolate meringue layered with almond flavored whipped cream for an over the top delicious dessert!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
2 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

Chocolate Meringue

  • 6 whole large eggs whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Almond Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Optional garnish
  • Shaved Chocolate

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 225º F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the stand mixer bowl, whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes on high speed.
  • Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar over 2 minutes.
  • Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy and stiff peaks, 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and vinegar to the mixer. Sift in the cocoa powder. Mix until just combined (you might have to use a spatula). Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter in half. Spread onto baking sheet, in about two 8 inch circles. You want them about 1 inch high, and evenly sized. Place the meringue into the oven and bake for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for 2 more hours. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature before assembling.

Prepare the Whipped Cream

  • In the bowl for an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add sugar and almond extract, whisk to combine. ** You can store in the fridge until the next day if you need to, just whisk by hand for a minute to stiffen it up again.

To prepare the cake

  • Place on chocolate meringue onto a serving platter. Spread with about half of the whipped cream.
  • Top with the second meringue and spread the remaining whipped cream over the top.
  • Garnish with shaved chocolate or more mini chocolate chips if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 344
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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46 Comments

  1. I absolutely adore any sort of meringue or pavlova – so I just want to reach in and grab a big piece! Beautiful.

  2. Meringue is on my bucket list too. I was going to make coconut macaroons for Channukah dinner last year but I kind of forgot to whip the egg whites. lol!

  3. Make sure you specify what type of temperature you are using i.e celsius vs Fahrenheit. I had to learn the hard way that you meant Fahrenheit. Not everyone is American.

  4. This is one of the best and most interesting desserts I’ve ever made. I absolutely love the flavor and the texture. It’s a huge hit here.