Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (2024)

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This EASY Australian Pavlova recipe is all about that crunchy, chewy meringue shell and soft, pillowy marshmallow centre. Have the meringue base in the oven in just 15 minutes! Includes recipe video, step-by-step instructions and creative topping ideas.

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (1)

Why We Love This

Pavlova reminds us of backyard BBQ’s spent with friends under the summer sun. Just like custard trifle and ice cream pudding, it’s a beloved dish at Christmas time in Australia. Especially good after a heavy roast lunch, it’s the perfect light and fluffy dessert that leaves you feeling light and not sick from an overabundance of sugar.

To this day we’re not sure whether the crunchy outer shell or melty marshmallow centre is our favourite part of this dessert.Maybe it’s both!

What about you? What’s your favourite way to eat pavlova? Looking for more pavlova ideas? Try our pavlova roll (meringue roulade) or eton mess!

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (2)

What is Pavlova?

Pavlova is a classic dessert recipe that is always served for family events or celebrations – big or small. Whether it’s a humble BBQ dinner, a birthday, Christmas, New Years Eve celebrations or even Australia Day. It’s super popular because it’s so easy to make and always looks impressive!

Pavlova is traditionally made from a base of meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit – although these days there’s lots of creative ways you can make it. Another super popular variation is to make it into a meringue roulade aka pavlova roll. See below for more ideas!

Where Does It Come From?

There’s been huge debate overwhether this simple sweet dessert of meringue, cream and fruit has Australian, New Zealand or even American origins.

But to anyone who’s pondering this, we’ve got only one thing to say:Just eat it already! When pavlova tastes this good, we’ll share ownership with anybody.

No matter which origin story you subscribe to, today we’re sharing the Australian “version” handed down from our Mums and Grandmas. This is the pavlova style we grew up with, that just gets better and easier with every repetition!

Where We Learned This Recipe

Pavlova sparks so many happy feels and memories of family celebrations for us.Like that time Laura’s Aunty made the biggest pavlova she’d ever seen for Grandma’s birthday. Or those days Sarah spent inside with Mum, beating the eggs and sugar and licking the beaters afterwards.

Growing up with pavlova on both sides of the families meant we just had to share both the recipe and our love for this special dessert.

Pavlova vs Eton Mess

Eton Mess is basically a super quick 5 minute version of pavlova, made into individual portions rather than a full size dessert. It’s like a cheat-mode version, using pre-made mini meringue nests topped with sweet cream and fruit.

If you’re short on time and need a super quick dessert – or even just a mini pavlova to celebrate with friends – then our Eton Mess has you covered. You can also use your homemade mixture to make mini meringues or nests – they’ll taste much better than store-bought meringue, so it’s worth the extra effort.

What You’ll Need

The meringue shell is a super simple blend of eggs, sugar and vanilla essence, with a little vinegar and corn starch added to make it both fluffy AND crispy. A few quick notes on these ingredients:

  • Eggs – For best results, make sure to use room-temperature eggs. We use chicken eggs for this recipe, but duck eggs are absolutely fabulous if you can get your hands on them!
  • Sugar – We recommend caster sugar, aka super fine sugar. It dissolves into the egg whites more quickly and will give you that smooth texture you’re looking for.
  • Vinegar – The acid in vinegar helps the egg whites become fluffy and hold onto all that air that’s beaten in. Regular white vinegar (or white wine vinegar) is the best choice, but you can substitute with apple cider vinegar, cream of tartar, or even lemon juice in a pinch. We don’t recommend strong dark vinegars like balsamic or malt as they’re more likely to add a strong flavour to the meringue.
Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (3)

How to make Pavlova:

This is the EASY method to make pavlova which we’ve called 2-4-6-8, due to the speed settings used to get that glossy meringue mixture we’re looking for! You can make it in a Kitchenaid Mixer, a regular stand mixer, or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer and gradually increase the speed settings to get it just right.

  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (4)
  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (5)
  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (6)
  1. Pop your egg whites into the mixing bowl and attach the whisk to the stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Start by whipping them on Speed 2 then move through to Speed 4 after a couple of minutes.
  2. When the egg whites turn into bubbly soft peaks, up the speed to 6 and add the caster sugar and cornflour, then increase to Speed 8 for 10 – 12 minutes until you’ve got yourself a luxuriously smooth, glossy meringue mixture.
  3. Now bring the speed down to 4 and pour in the vinegar and vanilla essence. You might need to scrape down the meringue from the sides of the bowl every now and again with a spatula to make sure it mixes through. Let it mix for 1 minute then switch off your mixer.
  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (7)
  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (8)
  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (9)
  1. Scoop out the glossy meringue mixture onto a lined baking tray and form a flat circle shape. Smooth it out or get creative with decorative patterns, twists or twirls. Pop in the oven and bake for an hour to an hour and a half until the meringue sets into a crunchy, crispy outside with a soft golden glow. When the outside is firm and dry, and cracks start to appear on the top, you’re ready to go. Switch off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven with the door slightly open.
  2. While the pavlova is cooling, pour your cream into your cleaned mixing bowl and pop in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When your pavlova is cool, place the bowl back on the stand mixer (or grab your hand mixer) and whip the cream on Speed 6 – 8. Add in the sugar and vanilla essence and continue to whip until the cream thickens and holds a nice shape.
  3. Top your cooled pavlova with whipped cream and sliced fruit, and dust with icing sugar.

Pavlova Topping Ideas

While the magic is happening as you bake your pavlova in the oven, you’ll have plenty of time to plan your toppings. Here are a few of our favourite topping combinations to get you started!

  • Classic: strawberries + kiwifruit + passionfruit + cream + icing sugar
  • Mandy’s Favourite (thanks to Sarah’s Wandermum): banana + kiwifruit + passionfruit + cream
  • Berry Elegant: strawberries + raspberries + blackberries + blueberries + cream
  • Choc Top:nutella + strawberries + cream
  • Fruity Goodness: blueberries + mango + passionfruit

Also, whatever you do, don’t skimp out on that whipped cream. Slather a nice thick layer over the top of your pavlova, and make yourself a nice base for your fruit and extra decadence for your plate.

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (10)

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Always use room-temperature eggs – cold eggs can cause your meringue mixture to be too runny.
  • Don’t be tempted to add the sugar into the egg whites too quickly. If added too soon, this can make the meringue runny.
  • Give the egg whites and sugar plenty of time to combine fully. If you don’t, it can lead to a gritty texture and may cause the pavlova to crack or collapse.
  • Cooking the pavlova on the lowest rack in the oven can help to stop it cracking.
  • One of our readers suggested humidity can have an effect when cooking meringues! For best results, try avoiding super humid days/environments if possible.
  • Leftover egg yolks? Use them to make Italian almond crescent cookies.
Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (11)

FAQs

When is my pavlova mixture ready?

You’ll know when it’s ready, becauseyour meringue mixture should stay firmly stuck in the bowl, even if you tip it upside down. Testing this theory overyour head is, of course, completely optional!

How long should I let my pavlova cool?

Our general rule is at least an hour or two, or even overnight if you want to play it safe. Once the oven is cool, the pavlova should be too, so it’s all good to take it out.

Why does my pavlova sink or collapse?

If you take the Pavlova out the oven too soon while it’s still warm this will cause it to sink, collapse and shrink from the cold air.
To help the oven cool down quicker, we open it just a crack so the hot air can escape faster without allowing the cold air to come in too quickly.
If you’re worried, leave the pavlova in the oven overnight with the door shut then top it first thing in the morning.
Don’t worry though, pav is such a forgiving recipe – even if the meringue cracks or sinks in the middle, once it’s covered in whipped cream and toppings no one will ever know. And no matter what it ends up looking like, it always tastes amazing!

Can pavlova be made in advance?

Yes! You can make pavlova in advance, even up to a few days. Just store in an airtight container or wrapped in a clean tea towel. Keep the meringue base separate from toppings to keep it crisp, crunchy and fresh for when you serve it up.

How do I store pavlova?

It’s always best to store leftovers in the fridge, especially due to the whipped cream topping. While the shell will be softer and won’t stay as crispy, it’ll still be delicious the next day!

Variations & Substitutes

  • Make Mini Pavlovas (aka Eton Mess) – Portion out the mixture into separate circles as big or as small as you like. Once cooked, top with a simple topping of whipped cream, strawberries and a sprig or two of mint leaves.
  • Crush it! – Deliberately crack the pavlova into pieces, then add to a bowl and top with whipped cream and fruit. For bonus points, serve in glass for a stunning visual effect.
  • Play with Shapes – Make it as a square, a wreath (perfect for Christmas!), or a love heart. Make thinner layers of pavlova, then once cooked, layer them up into stacks with the toppings as ‘fillings’ in the middle.

Want more delicious desserts? Try these:

  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (12)
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  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (14)
  • Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (15)

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe

This EASY Australian Pavlova recipe is all about that crunchy, chewy meringue shell and soft, pillowy marshmallow centre. Have the meringue base in the oven in just 15 minutes! Includes recipe video, step-by-step instructions and creative topping ideas.

4.84 from 49 votes

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Prep Time: 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 2 hours hours

Servings: 1 cake

Calories: 3584kcal

Author: Wandercooks

Cost: $10-15

Ingredients

For the Pavlova Meringue

For the Whipped Cream

Optional Toppings

MetricUS Customary

Instructions

For the pavlova meringue:

  • First up, preheat your oven to 150˚ Celsius and line your tray with baking paper.

  • Pop your egg whites into the mixing bowl and attach the whisk to the stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Start by whipping them on Speed 2 then move through to Speed 4 after a couple of minutes.

    6 egg whites

  • When the egg whites turn into bubbly soft peaks, up the speed to 6 and add the caster sugar and cornstarch, then increase to Speed 8 for 10 – 12 minutes until you’ve got yourself a luxuriously smooth, glossy meringue mixture.

    390 g caster sugar / superfine sugar, 1 tsp cornstarch / cornflour

  • Now bring the speed down to 4 and pour in the vinegar and vanilla essence. You might need to scrape down the meringue from the sides of the bowl every now and again with a spatula to make sure it mixes through. Let it mix for 1 minute then switch off your mixer.

    1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • Scoop out the glossy meringue mixture onto a lined baking tray and form a flat circle shape. Smooth it out or get creative with decorative patterns, twists or twirls. Pop in the oven and bake for an hour to an hour and a half until the meringue sets into a crunchy, crispy outside with a soft golden glow. When the outside is firm and dry, and cracks start to appear on the top, you’re ready to go. Switch off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven with the door slightly open.

For the whipped cream:

  • While the pavlova is cooling, pour your cream into your cleaned mixing bowl and pop in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When your pavlova is cool, place the bowl back on the stand mixer (or grab your hand mixer) and whip the cream on Speed 6 – 8. Add in the caster sugar and vanilla essence and continue to whip until the cream thickens and holds a nice shape.

    400 g thickened cream / heavy cream, 75 g caster sugar / superfine sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence

To assemble:

  • Top your cooled pavlova with whipped cream and sliced fruit such as strawberries, kiwi fruit, banana and passionfruit, and sprinkle with icing sugar.

    1 punnet strawberries, 1 kiwi fruit, 1 banana, 1 passionfruit, 1 tbsp icing sugar / powdered sugar

Video

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (17)

Recipe Notes

  • Eggs – For best results, make sure to use room-temperature eggs – cold eggs can cause your meringue mixture to be too runny. We use chicken eggs for this recipe, but duck eggs are absolutely fabulous if you can get your hands on them!
  • Sugar – We recommend caster sugar, aka superfine sugar. It dissolves into the egg whites more quickly and will give you that smooth texture you’re looking for.Don’t be tempted to add the sugar into the egg whites too quickly. If added too soon, this can make the meringue runny.
  • Vinegar – The acid in vinegar helps the egg whites become fluffy and hold onto all that air that’s beaten in. Regular white vinegar (or white wine vinegar) is the best choice, but you can substitute with apple cider vinegar, cream of tartar, or even lemon juice in a pinch. We don’t recommend strong dark vinegars like balsamic or malt as they’re more likely to add a strong flavour to the meringue.
  • Give it Time – Give the egg whites and sugar plenty of time to combine fully. If you don’t, it can lead to a gritty texture and may cause the pavlova to crack or collapse.
  • Stop it Cracking or Collapsing – Cooking the pavlova on the lowest rack in the oven can help to stop it cracking. Humidity can have an effect when cooking meringues -for best results, try avoiding super humid days/environments if possible. Both cracking and collapsing could be caused by taking the pavlova out of the oven too soon while it’s still warm. To help the oven cool down quicker, open it just slightly so the hot air can escape faster without allowing the cold air to come in too quickly. If you’re worried, leave the pavlova in the oven overnight with the door shut then top it first thing in the morning.
  • Make Mini Pavlovas (aka Eton Mess) – Portion out the mixture into separate circles as big or as small as you like. Once cooked, top with a simple topping of whipped cream, strawberries and a sprig or two of mint leaves.
  • Crush it! – Deliberately crack the pavlova into pieces, then add to a bowl and top with whipped cream and fruit. For bonus points, serve in glass for a stunning visual effect.
  • Play with Shapes – Make it as a square, a wreath (perfect for Christmas!), or a love heart. Make thinner layers of pavlova, then once cooked, layer them up into stacks with the toppings as ‘fillings’ in the middle.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe

Amount per Serving

Calories

3584

% Daily Value*

Saturated Fat

92

g

575

%

Cholesterol

548

mg

183

%

Sodium

484

mg

21

%

Potassium

1596

mg

46

%

Carbohydrates

549

g

183

%

Fiber

15

g

63

%

Sugar

507

g

563

%

Protein

32

g

64

%

Vitamin A

7116

IU

142

%

Vitamin C

130

mg

158

%

Calcium

314

mg

31

%

Iron

2

mg

11

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (18)

About Wandercooks

Wandercooks is an Australian recipe site reaching over 9 million views annually. Our recipes are here to inspire you with fresh and exciting food ideas from a range of Asian, European and Australian cuisines. As seen on Google.com, Today.com, Buzzfeed, Jetstar Asia and Lonely Planet.Read more...

Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is the difference between New Zealand pavlova and Australian pavlova? ›

"No one has embraced the pavlova like Australia or New Zealand. Both countries have different approaches, I think the Australian meringue is crunchier and the classic topping is cream and passionfruit. The New Zealand one is more marshmallowy inside with cream and slices of kiwifruit.

What does pavlova mean in Australia? ›

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert. Originating in either Australia or New Zealand in the early 20th century, it was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Taking the form of a cake-like circular block of baked meringue, pavlova has a crisp crust and soft, light inside.

How to make pavlova not crack? ›

Check the sugar has dissolved fully by rubbing the meringue mixture between your fingers. If you can still feel sugar granules, keep whisking. Not cooling your pavlova slowly: Once the pavlova has finished cooking, allow it to cool slowly in the oven. This will ensure your pavlova keeps its height and doesn't crack.

What does vinegar do in pavlova? ›

Vinegar added to the meringue will lower the pH of the egg whites. This acidic environment will also help to stabilize the egg white foam, preventing the meringue from collapsing too much. The acidity helps to unravel the protein and prevent the proteins from binding together too tightly.

Is pavlova Russian or Australian? ›

pavlova, meringue-based dessert of Australian and New Zealand origin that is commonly topped with whipped cream and fruit and served at holidays. New Zealanders and Australians compete for ownership of pavlova, which in both countries is an iconic national delicacy.

What is in Cowell's pavlova? ›

Ingredients: Pure Cane Sugar, FRESH EGG WHITE, White Vinegar (Gluten Free), Vanilla Essence, Emulsifier (339).

Why do Australians eat pavlova? ›

As the New Zealand story goes, the chef of a Wellington hotel at the time created the billowy dessert in her honor, claiming inspiration from her tutu. Australians, on the other hand, believe the pavlova was invented at a hotel in Perth, and named after the ballerina when one diner declared it to be “light as Pavlova.”

What is the slang word for pavlova? ›

Pav: the shortened term for pavlova, which is a popular dessert across Australia and New Zealand. Pokies: a slang word for gambling slot machines, which you'll find in casinos and pubs across Australia. Pressie: short for present.

Did Australia or New Zealand invent the pavlova? ›

In its relaunched online edition, the dictionary says the first recorded Pavlova recipe appeared in New Zealand in 1927. This was in a book called Davis Dainty Dishes, published by the Davis Gelatine company, and it was a multi-coloured jelly dish.

What are common pavlova mistakes? ›

Post bake issues
  • Meringue is never bright white.
  • My pavlova is cracked.
  • My pavlova collapses when cooling.
  • Pavlova sticks to the paper / the base is too soft.
  • Tastes and smells like egg.
  • Meringue is too chewy.
  • My meringue isn't chewy enough.
  • Sogginess.
Aug 21, 2021

What went wrong with my pavlova? ›

Egg whites can be over whisked & sugar will not dissolve in over whisked egg whites. I've noticed on a lot of stand mixers that the stated speed for whisking egg whites is nearly full bore. If you whisk them at this set speed you will not have enough time to add the sugar before the egg whites are over whisked.

Why does pavlova flop? ›

Overbeating egg white breaks down the structure and the meringue is likely to collapse during baking. Beat until firm peaks form, then start adding sugar. If the egg white starts to separate or looks curdled, it's overbeaten and you'll need to start again with fresh egg whites.

Is pavlova traditional in New Zealand? ›

"Pavlova is a traditional dessert in New Zealand. It is a meringue base that is topped with whipped cream and fruit, usually kiwifruit. Children's birthday cakes are often pavlovas in New Zealand and may be decorated with candy.

Are lamingtons from Australia or New Zealand? ›

Many believe that the recipe for lamingtons was brought to Australia by Lord Lamington's wife, Lady Lamington, who was a New Zealander. Regardless of the exact origin, lamingtons have become an iconic Antipodean treat and hold a significant place in both Australian and New Zealand culture.

Is pavlova only in Australia? ›

Though there's much debate over the development of pavlova in both Australia and New Zealand, there's an accepted difference between the two versions: Kiwis usually top theirs with kiwi fruit, while Australians prefer passionfruit.

Why is pavlova the national dish of New Zealand? ›

Pavlova is considered to be New Zealand's national dish. It is, in fact, a sweet dessert made of a meringue base topped with whipped cream and slices of fresh fruit. It is believed to be named in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who visited the country in the 1920s.

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