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Pavlova – A light, crispy, chewy, and delicious meringue topped with fresh whipped cream and lots of fresh berries!

I first discovered or even heard of pavlova when we visited New Zealand, right around the time I started this blog. It was one of the very first recipes I shared after we got back from that trip. It quickly became one of our go-to desserts in this house, it is so much easier to make than you might think!

After more than 10 years I figured it was time for a little refresh on the images and better directions for the recipe, so I really truly hope you make this one!

pavlova with whipped cream and strawberries


What Is Pavlova

Let’s start with the basics. It isn’t a super common dessert in the United States, so not everyone knows what it is. There is a big debate in New Zealand and Australia as to which country actually invented it. It is basically a large meringue that is stopped with whipped cream and a variety of fresh fruit. Sometimes there may be a lemon or other fruit curd involved as well.

Whatever fruit is in season they use. The first one I ever had in New Zealand used passion fruit. I also had a rolled chocolate version there as well. So you can definitely get creative with it!

a slice of pavlova on a plate

What’s Pavlova Made Of

It is just a few super simple ingredients, then when blended and cooked the way they are turn into something magical!

  • Egg Whites
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • White Vinegar
  • Cornstarch

The key to success with pavlova is room temperature eggs, so you can really beat them to full stiff peaks and easily incorporate the sugar. As well as following the timing listed in the recipe card. It is pretty fool-proof when you follow the instructions!

pavlova ingredients

How To Make Pavlova

  1. In an electric stand mixer add the room temperature egg whites and a pinch of salt. Using the whisk attachment, beat to stiff peaks – to get true stiff peaks, beat for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the mixer to medium speed, and slowly add the sugar over the course of 2 minutes.
  3. After you have added all the sugar, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
  4. Turn the mixer back onto high and beat for 6-7 minutes, until you have stiff peaks that are very smooth and glossy looking.
  5. Turn the mixer onto low and add in the vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Mix until they are just incorporated.
  6. Pour the meringue onto a lined baking sheet and spread into about a 9-inch circle. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Do NOT open the oven. Turn off the heat, and leave it in there for another 3 hours.
  8. After 3 hours, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely (about 30 more minutes) before topping with whipped cream and fruit.
meringue on baking sheet ready for the oven

Recipe Tips

  • Use a Timer! The times in the recipe really do matter for getting exactly the right pavlova. So when it says mix for 6-7 minutes. I set a time for 6 minutes, and then watch for a few more seconds to see if it meets the description, or if I need to go the full 7 minutes.
  • Room temperature eggs. You want your egg whites to be room temperature. This allows them to really incorporate the air to get stiff peaks, and the sugar to fully blend with the eggs.
  • Get Creative – top with whatever fruit you have available. Add fruit curd to give it a different flavor and texture. You can even top with chocolate or make Mini Pavlovas instead.
  • Do not open the oven. The pavlova will finish cooking and dry out in the oven. I know 3 hours is a long time, but you want those crispy edges with the marshmallow soft inside. You need a very dry and warm environment for that, and as the oven cools down it is perfect.
  • Use a kitchen scale! The best way to have the perfect meringue and pavlova every time is to use weight. Eggs all are slightly different, so measuring in ounces is so much more accurate than just saying 4 eggs.
topping baked meringue with whipped cream and a bowl of strawberries near by

Can I Make Ahead

You can make a pavlova about 2 days ahead. But you do NOT want to top it with whipped cream or fruit until you are ready to serve. You can make the base, and then once it is room temperature, store in an air tight container or wrap in plastic wrap for up to 2 days. It should still be crispy and delicious.


This is best served the day you top with fruit and cream, but it will still be good the next day. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. It won’t be quite as crisp and the fruit juice may bleed some, but it will taste good, so don’t throw it away!

putting strawberries on a pavlova

More Tasty Dessert Recipes

pavlova with strawberries up close for pinterest
slice of pavlova close up for pinterest
4.75 from 4 votes


By Erin
Pavlova – A light, crispy, chewy, and delicious meringue topped with fresh whipped cream and lots of fresh berries!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 4 ounces egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sliced Strawberries


  • Start by heating your oven to 250º F, Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper, or a silicone linear.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer bowl add in your egg whites and a pinch of salt. Using the whisk attachment on high, whisk until stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • 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 with stiff peaks for, 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Decrease speed to low, and add the vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch. Mix just to combined.
  • Gently spoon the meringue onto the lined pan, and spread to make about a 9 inch circle forming a slight well in the center.
  • Place the meringue into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat, do not open the oven, and leave it in the there for 3 more hours.
  • After 3 hours, open the oven door and cool completely before removing from the oven, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Just before serving top the meringue, make the whipped cream and top with fresh berries.

To Make Whipped Cream

  • Beat heavy creamy until you have stiff peaks. Add in sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated and the mixture is stiff and spreadable.


Recipe from Alton Brown


Serving: 8Servings | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 42mg | Sugar: 26g

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

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 211
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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