Pavlova Cake Recipe – Red, White and Blue Dessert
Pavlova Cake is light as air, fluffy as the softest pillow, absolutely delightful meringue dessert that combines, marshmallowy pavlova cake, fluffy whipped cream and berries that come together into a delicious and simple dessert.
Coming to this recipe I have baked a good share of Pavlova Cakes and not one has come out wrong or bad. I am convinced that if you follow the instructions below you’ll be able to re-create this stunner Pavlova yourself!
So, what is Pavlova?
Pavlova Cake is made with egg whites and sugar as the main ingredients, which are then whipped and shaped into a disk to make a cake layer. It’s naturally gluten free and once baked it looks like a beautiful cloud of fluff, crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. Traditionally it is topped with whipped cream and berries, or curds.
Tricks for perfect meringue
Many have troubles with meringue or meringue based desserts, but in in their simplicity, they require very little of effort or know how to come out perfect. There are several things to keep in mind when working with meringue. Check a more complete guide to perfect meringue HERE.
- Start with a thoroughly cleaned utensils for whipping. Any stray egg yolk or streak of grease can hinder the whipping of the egg whites.
- Whip the meringue for long enough. Sometimes, you whip the meringue for 2-3 minutes and it looks like it’s increased in volume and it’s good to go. But, the meringue goes through stages, first is when it’s whipped to a good volume, but the air bubbles are large and unstable. As you continue whipping it, the meringue deflates a bit and it looks like there’s less of it. Then, you continue whipping it and it increases in volume again. That’s the stable meringue you’re looking for.
Cornstarch or No Cornstarch in Pavlova Cake
You can make the pavlova with or without corn starch. If you’re a newbie to meringue though, I would start with recipes that have the cornstarch added. The cornstarch stabilizes the meringue and keeps it from deflating or collapsing as you take it out of the oven. The meringue with cornstarch does have a bit of grittiness to it. So continue perfecting your meringue game until you can make it stable with no cornstarch added.
How to make perfectly white meringue
The lower the temperature, the whiter the meringue will be. Using the convection setting in your oven will allow you to reduce the heat at which the meringue dries, while still getting the job done.
If using the bake setting in the oven, dry the meringue at 225F. If using the convection setting, you can reduce it to 200F.
This perfect Red White and Blue dessert in the form of Pavlova is the perfect dessert for family get togethers (easy 4th of July dessert recipe, anyone?), or parties. Even though it needs to be assembled right before serving (for best results), it takes 5 minutes to do that.
How to make this Pavlova a Make-Ahead-Dessert
If you bake the meringue the morning of, and refrigerate the whipped cream, all you have to do is layer the dessert. I keep the Pavlova disk inside the oven until I am ready to assemble. I have baked the meringue as much as 8 hours before assembling it without any loss in quality.
The balance of sweet meringue and unsweetened whipped cream balances nicely and the berries provide the needed tartness. If you’re not a fan of heavy, cakey desserts, this one’s for you!
Blueberry Raspberry Pavlova
Ingredients for the Pavlova Recipe
- Don’t bother using the freshest eggs you can find for meringue based desserts. Egg whites whip better if the eggs are not super fresh. A couple days, or even a week old is best.
- Granulated sugar or powdered sugar can be used interchangeably, as long as you use the same amount by weight, not volume
Add the egg whites and sugar to a bowl of a mixer and whip for about 15 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Then sift in the cornstarch and cream of tartar and gently fold it in.
Transfer the pavlova mixture to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 1hour at 225F. Then turn off heat, stick a wooden spoon into the oven door and cool for 30 minutes. After that remove from the oven and cool completely.
How to make the Vanilla Whipped Cream:
Combine the cream, vanilla extract and rum in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip or the cream might separate and become grainy.
How to layer the Berry Pavlova Cake
Transfer the Pavlova Disk to a platter, then spoon the cream on top and sprinkle with berries.
How gorgeous does this look?!
Want to see more Meringue Desserts? Click HERE!
Wondering what to do with all those EGG YOLKS? Here ya go!
- Homemade 4 ingredient Pasta Recipe – Savory option to accompany your dessert 🙂
- Creme Brûlée – super simple, super easy, but oh so, so delicious!
- Baked French Toast? – Oh yes!!
Pavlova Cake Recipe
- 6 egg whites , from large eggs
- 1 3/4 cup sugar , granulated
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch optional
- 1 tsp cream of tartar optional
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 cup whip cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp rum
How to make Pavlova Cake
Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high speed for about 15-20 minutes, or until drastically increased in volume, pearl white in color and the meringue has stiff peaks.
Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace an 8 inch round circle around a baking pan or a salad plate. Turn the parchment paper over, set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F with the baking rack in the middle.
Once the meringue is properly whipped, sift in the corn starch and cream of tartar. Then, carefully fold them in completely.
Transfer the meringue within the traced circle and place in the oven. Immediately reduce heat to 225F and bake for 1 hour. Then, turn off heat, place a wooden spoon between the oven and the door and allow to cool for 30 minutes. After that, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
How to make the Vanilla Whipped Cream
Combine the whip cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and rum (optional) in a bowl of a stand mixer and whip for 3-4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip or the cream will look grainy and even start to separate.
How to Assemble the Berry Pavlova
Carefully transfer the Pavlova Cake disk to a serving platter (use this cake transfer spatula to make it easier.
Spoon the Chantilly Cream on top of the Pavlova Cake disk.
Top with the berries.
Serve right away, or within 30 minutes of assembling, for best results.
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