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Recipes » Desserts » Easy Pavlova Recipe with Berries

Easy Pavlova Recipe with Berries

Pavlova is a sweet, crunchy, and light dessert as visually stunning as it is tasty, my classic variation topped with fresh cream and berries.

Pavlova is a dessert that is sure to satisfy any sugar craving! It’s filled with sweet cream and homemade jam and is topped with seasonal fresh berries. Once you taste this melt-in-your-mouth pavlova, you won’t be able to get enough!

I always think of pavlova as a “special occasion” dessert. Whether it is Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, the 4th of July, a baby shower, or a birthday celebration, this decadent dessert will be the perfect finale to your meal.

Fresh berries and ‘berry kissed’ cream sits atop a light crispy meringue with a marshmallow-like center to create this light and fresh treat. Pavlova can be a bit intimidating, but don’t let this discourage you.

If you follow my easy directions, this light and airy dessert will turn out perfect every time. Plus, this elegant treat only requires a few ingredients that are likely in your kitchen right now.

a white ruffled cake platter with Pavlova with fresh berries

Easy Pavlova Ingredients

  • Egg Whites – creates a light and crispy base for this fluffy dessert
  • Sugar – is whipped into a thick foam and gives your egg whites a nice gloss
  • Vinegar – stabilizes the egg whites and makes them firmer
  • Vanilla Extract – gives this dessert a light and sweet flavor
  • Cornstarch – helps to dry out the finished pavlova
  • Salt – just a pinch to help promote coagulation of the egg proteins
  • Cold Water – gives your meringue a light marshmallow middle
  • Jam – a thick and fruity mixture of berries, sugar, and lemon juice
  • Filling – heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar whipped to light and creamy perfection
  • Garnish – fresh berries and mint leaves will add a pop of color
the bowl and beater of a stand mixer with egg white meringue

How to Make Pavlova

Before you begin, preheat your oven to 275°F. Gather all necessary ingredients.

Make a Meringue

Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites to medium peaks. Add water and sugar and continue mixing to stiff peaks.

Transfer the meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into a heaped, medium-sized circle with a slight crater in the middle and the top flattened.

It may help to trace something round, about 6-inches in diameter, onto the parchment paper so you have a template. Turn the parchment over so the side you traced is now facing the baking sheet. You will still be able to see the circle.

Bake the Meringue

Bake the pavlova in the preheated oven until dried out and matte, about 1 hour. Reduce the heat now to 250°F and bake an additional 45 minutes more.

During the bake, it is important NOT to open the oven door. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool at least 1 hour or overnight in the oven. Again, leave the oven door closed the whole time.

For the Jam and Cream

While the pavlova is baking, make the jam by simmering together the berries, sugar, and lemon juice until mushy and thick. Set aside.

Create the filling by first whipping the heavy cream to very stiff peaks. Fold in the vanilla and a bit of the homemade jam and gently distribute. 

Assembling

Place the baked meringue on a pretty serving platter or rimmed cake stand. Fill the baked pavlova with the ‘berry kissed’ cream and drizzle on the remaining jam.

Garnish with fresh berries, mint leaves, and powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

How to Store and Serve Pavlova

Pavlova is a dessert that’s best served immediately after garnishing. The textures and flavors are best when fresh and at room temperature. You can slice and serve your pavlova with a cake cutter or serrated knife.

If at all possible, store any leftover pavlova without any topping or filling. Keep your baked meringue in an airtight container and store in a dark, cool place for up to 2 days. Store the filling, jam, and garnishes in the fridge and add it to your dessert just before serving. 

Modifying the Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average

  • Make your pavlova on a dry day. Allow it to cool in the oven with the door ajar until room temperature. This usually takes at least 1 hour, but it’s best to leave it in the cool oven overnight.
  • Overbeating the egg whites will result in a collapsed dessert during baking. If the egg whites start to separate or look curdled when you are whisking, they’ve been overbeaten. Start over with fresh egg whites.
  •  It’s ok for your pavlova to not look perfect! This is a rustic dessert that’s often served misshaped or cracked.
featured image for Easy Pavlova Recipe with fresh berries

Easy Pavlova Recipe with Berries

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
Pavlova is a sweet, crunchy, and light dessert as visually stunning as it is tasty, my classic variation topped with fresh cream and berries.
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Jewish, Southern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 489 kcal

Equipment

  • large rimmed baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • stand mixer with ship attachment or electric mixer

Ingredients
 

for the meringue

  • 5 large egg whites reserve yolks for another use
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch sifted

for the jam

  • 1 pound berries fresh; cleaned; may be any kind such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh

for the berry cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

garnish

  • berries fresh; cleaned
  • Confectioners' sugar sifted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 275°F. Trace around a 6-inch round bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the parchment paper over and lay flat on a large rimmed baking sheet. You will still be able to see the circle.
  • Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites to medium peaks. Add water and sugar and continue mixing to stiff peaks.
  • Transfer the meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into a heaped, medium-sized circle with a slight crater in the middle and the top flattened.
  • Bake the pavlova until dried out and matte, about 1 hour. Reduce the heat now to 250°F and bake an additional 45 minutes more. During the bake, it is important NOT to open the oven door. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool at least 1 hour or overnight in the oven. Again, leave the oven door closed the whole time.
  • While the pavlova is baking, make the jam by simmering together the berries, sugar, and lemon juice until mushy and thick. Set aside. Create the filling by first whipping the heavy cream to very stiff peaks. Fold in the vanilla and a bit of the homemade jam and gently distribute. 
  • Once cooled, CAREFULLY shimmy the baked meringue onto a pretty serving platter or rimmed cake stand. The use of parchment will help it to glide more easily, but you should go slow to avoid unnecessary cracking of the fragile exterior.
  • Fill the baked pavlova with the ‘berry kissed’ cream and drizzle on the remaining jam. Garnish with fresh berries, mint leaves, and powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
Tips and Tricks
  • Make your pavlova on a dry day. Allow it to cool in the oven with the door ajar until room temperature. This usually takes at least 1 hour, but it’s best to leave it in the cool oven overnight.
  • Overbeating the egg whites will result in a collapsed dessert during baking. If the egg whites start to separate or look curdled when you are whisking, they’ve been overbeaten. Start over with fresh egg whites.
  •  It’s ok for your pavlova to not look perfect! This is a rustic dessert that’s often served misshaped or cracked.
Store Leftover Pavlova Without Topping or Filling if possible. Keep your baked meringue in an airtight container and store in a dark, cool place for up to 2 days. Store the filling, jam, and garnishes in the fridge and add it to your dessert just before serving. 
When Serving Pavlova it’s best served immediately after garnishing. The textures and flavors are best when fresh and at room temperature.
Use a Serrated Knife to Cut and a cake server to carefully lift each slice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 489kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 59mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 2gSugar: 83gVitamin A: 618IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword blueberry, fruit, meringue, Passover desserts, strawberry
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance can you assemble pavlova? 

You can make the meringue base 1-2 days in advance, but don’t add the cream filling or fruit and jam topping until just before you serve. The liquid in the cream and berries will eventually turn your light and crispy pavlova to mush.

How do I know when my pavlova is done?

Finished pavlova will be pale and look dry. It might even be a light brown on the very edge and have fissures or cracks. When you insert a skewer into the center of the meringue, it will come out with a thick marshmallow-like coating.

Can you open the oven door while baking pavlova? 

In order to keep the pavlova dry and crispy, it’s important that you don’t open the oven door while it’s baking. You can slightly open the door while the meringue is cooling, but you do risk the surface of the pavlova cracking a little bit.

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