Traditional Pavlova

One of the great things about being a food blogger is belonging to a large, supportive and nurturing community. I have found the food blogging community to be such a great group of people – helping one another through issues (technical problems, marketing questions, working with brands, etc.) – everyone seems to jump to help one another. The community mourns together. And it celebrates exciting life moments just the same. Which is why Lisa and Marla put together an awesome virtual baby shower for Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod, who is expecting her first bundle of joy in just a few short weeks. Not surprisingly, the way food bloggers celebrate a virtual baby shower is by sharing some food! This pavlova is my contribution to the shower that is taking place across dozens of blogs today.

Marla and Lisa were super stealth – they even sent all of us bloggers who are friends with Maria these super cute invitations. How fun!

I admittedly haven’t been to many baby showers in my time (most of my friends are just getting around to that stage in life) but when I think of baby showers, I think of cute little bites, fresh flavors, and light textures. I racked my brain trying to think of a great dish to bring to the shower, and then it finally hit me – pavlova! It’s a dessert that I’ve always been intrigued by, but have never had the pleasure of making. The dessert was named after a Russian dancer, Anna Pavlova, to honor her while touring in either Australia or New Zealand (it has apparently been a source of contention between the two countries for years). Pavlova is essentially a big pile of meringue that is baked up and topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

My good friend Beth actually sent me this recipe back at the beginning of the year for me to try (thank you Beth!). She figured I might want an authentic Aussie recipe for the dessert, and this comes from her friend’s mom (who is Australian). This is actually remarkably easy to make – you whip up egg whites into a stiff and glossy meringue and pile it into a circle. Bake it and let it cool, and then top it with fresh whipped cream and your favorite fruit. As it dries it will crack and dip and do all sorts of funny things – I love its character! It slices clean and pretty and has an incredibly light texture. I enlisted my sister as a taste tester and she said she wasn’t expecting to like it, but LOVED it. She said it was better than cake, and that she’s going to request it for her next birthday. Definitely a sign that something is a winner!

Happy Baby Shower, Maria! I hope you enjoy the virtual display of food and are relaxing and getting ready for your little man! Congratulations!

Be sure to check out all of the other recipes that were a part of the virtual baby shower! I would have loved to attend such an awesome food gathering in person! (Scroll down for the pavlova recipe!)

Virtual Baby Shower for Two Peas & Their Pod


Simple Bites – Lemon Balm infused Lemonade

Ingredients, Inc. – Healthy Fruit Punch

Food for My Family – Lemongrass Soda

Heather’s Dish – Mixed Fruit Punch

She Wears Many Hats – Mini Pistachio Smoothies
Georgia Pellegrini – Watermelon Agua Fresca & a New Pea


Appetizers/Savory Bites

With Style and Grace – Truffle Popcorn

Family Fresh Cooking – Baby Peas & Cheese Frittata

Barbara Bakes – Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and Fruit

Aggie’s Kitchen – Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette

Reluctant Entertainer – Nutella Berry Bruschetta



TidyMom – Baby Blue Velvet Cake Truffles

i am baker – Baby Pea Baby Shower Cake

Brown Eyed Baker – Pavlova

Picky Palate – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich

What’s Gaby Cooking – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Cookin’ Canuck – Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondies

Kevin and Amanda – Baby Blue Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cups

Sweetopia – Decorated Sugar Cookies

Mountain Mama Cooks – Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Sweetapolita – Decorated Sugar Cookies

Bake at 350 – Petit Fours with fondant pea pods

RecipeGirl – Baby Button Cookies

RecipeBoy – Mud Cups with Gummy Worms

Add a Pinch – Blackberry Tartlets

Dine and Dish – Oven Baked Cinnamon Apples



Wenderly – Handmade Sweet Pea Cards

Our Best Bites – How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece

Traditional Pavlova

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour + cooling time

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


6 egg whites, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh fruit


1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle in the middle. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream of tartar and beat for one additional minute. Spoon the mixture onto the circle, and use a spatula to shape the egg white mixture into a circle with decorative sides, if desired.

3. Bake for 1 hour, or until firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the pavolva to cool completely in the oven.

4. When ready to serve, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed. When the cream gets foamy, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.

5. Transfer the pavlova to a serving plate. Top with the whipped cream and fresh fruit.


60 Responses to “Traditional Pavlova”

  1. Kathryn on August 31, 2011 at 6:07 am

    What a fabulous idea!

    This pavlova looks like a wonderful addition to the party 🙂


  2. Nisrine on August 31, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Lordy, this pavlova sure looks good and very elegant.


  3. Christine on August 31, 2011 at 6:43 am

    What an awesome idea! The Pavlova looks beautiful. Nice job.


  4. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on August 31, 2011 at 6:44 am

    This looks like heavenly fluff in a cake


  5. Robyn | Add a Pinch on August 31, 2011 at 6:52 am

    You are so right, pavlova is perfect for a shower! Yours is gorgeous!


  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on August 31, 2011 at 7:41 am

    What a wonderful celebration for Maria! That pavlova looks like the perfect thing.


  7. Jen on August 31, 2011 at 8:01 am

    My mom used to make this, except she made hers into several smaller, individual-sized portions and called it schaum torte! (we come from a very German part of Wisconsin.) It’s divine with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, or ice cream!


  8. Heather (Heather's Dish) on August 31, 2011 at 8:35 am

    pavlova is one of those things that i love watching people make and need to make myself!


  9. Wenderly on August 31, 2011 at 8:41 am

    So ethereal and lovely! Perfect for a baby shower!


  10. Maria on August 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

    THANK YOU! I love this dessert! SO pretty! You are all so kind. I am still in shock:) Thanks so much for thinking of us. Now you better come visit us soon so you can meet our little pea! Love ya girl!


  11. Aggie on August 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I would love to make this!! It looks so delicious…light and delicious!! Love the fruit on it…thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    Congrats Maria and Josh!!


  12. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes on August 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

    It looks so elegant! A perfect addition to the shower.


  13. Fiona on August 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Thank you thank you thank you!! As a kiwi living in America I’ve seen a few misrepresentations of ‘our’ beloved pavlova. Thank you for making a nice, high one! Gorgeous!!


  14. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on August 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I LOVE Pavlova! It is relatively new to me, but I will never live without it again. Your is gorgeous! And how cute for a virtual baby shower idea!


  15. Lisa Williams on August 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

    What a beautiful dessert! How can any leftovers be stored?


    • Michelle on August 31st, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you Lisa! I stored it in the refrigerator (due to the whipped cream) and leftovers tasted delicious!


  16. Cookin' Canuck on August 31, 2011 at 11:18 am

    This is the perfect dessert for a baby shower. It makes such a beautiful presentation, Michelle.


  17. Rachel @ the Avid Appetite on August 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I love when bloggers come together for this kind of thing! I’ve never made (or eaten!) pavlova…this looks beautiful and delicious!


  18. Alice on August 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I like to use baker’s sugar in my pavlova as it is easier to dissolve; it’s a more finely ground sugar. Alternatively, you can run your sugar through the food processor first for a few seconds. This cuts down on the grittiness of the meringue. Good fruit choices include strawberries, kiwi, and PASSION FRUIT!
    Also, New Zealanders will tell you that pavlova is a New Zealand dish, not an Aussie dish, but who knows who is right?


  19. Priyanka on August 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Stunning pavlova….
    Have been thinking of trying this recipe since a long time but didnt turn it to reality yet….thanks for inspiring me


  20. Kristen on August 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Looks so fresh and delicious!


  21. mis-cakes on August 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    this looks so good. i have pavlova on my list of things to make and this just bumped it up. beautiful!


  22. bridget {bake at 350} on August 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try a pavlova, but never have. Yours is BEAUTIFUL!!!


  23. CouponClippingCook on August 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    This Traditional Pavlova dessert looks so pretty and I’m sure is delicious. What a very cool idea to have a virtual baby shower. Thank you for describing it and for including links for the other bloggers “attending” the shower. I feel like I’m attending it myself when reading through your, and the other’s posts.


  24. Sereena on August 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    You’ve made a beautiful looking pavlova! Usually I just decorate it with sliced kiwifruit – I really like how you’ve decorated with three fruits!
    My Mum’s trick (and probably my grandmother’s before her) is after the pav has cooled on the tray to then flip it over onto the serving plate, then peel off the parchment paper. Often pavs sink in the middle and so with it flipped over, if it does sink the sides will still stay up and then you can put the cream in the sunken part.
    Oh, and didn’t you mean to say “authentic Kiwi recipe”??? hehe 🙂


  25. Vickie on August 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Great job! It’s exciting to see a Southern Hemisphere dessert on a Northern Hemisphere blog! Pavs are also awesome with lemon curd swirled on top of the cream, and topped with strawberries and passionfruit… YUMMO! Also, you can make a brown sugar version – the caramel-y flavour is amazing! That’s my favourite, I always make it for our Australia Day BBQ.

    And Sereena, I’m pretty sure “authentic Aussie recipe” is the correct term here 😉


  26. Rosie @ Sweetapolita on August 31, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous, Michelle! It’s so elegant and decadent looking, all at the same time. The photos are also beautiful!


  27. Skye on August 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Lovely to see our Aussie pavlova on your blog…here in Oz we nick name it “Pav”! My husband has one every year for his birthday and Fathers Day and it is Gluten free so it is perfect for our 5 yr old daughter too! I add a few drops of white vinegar and vanilla essence to mine. The vinegar helps make the meringue marshmellowy Mmm Yum!!!


  28. Ann P. on August 31, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Gorgeous!! I made pavlova for Easter, but it didn’t look anywhere near this beautiful! I’m going to try your recipe next. 🙂 awesome job, and I’m sure “two peas and their pod” loved it as well!


  29. Mercedes (Satisfy My Sweet Tooth) on August 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Are pavlovas truly as simple as you make them seem? i have seen so many recipes for them lately and they sound easy enough, but for some reason, I am intimidated! This looks beautiful though!


  30. marla on August 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    I have never had a Pavlova but girl I would LOVE to dive into this one. Such a lovely treat for Maria’s baby shower or any special occasion.
    “cute little bites, fresh flavors, and light textures” you got all that with this one.
    So glad you joined in on the fun 🙂


  31. Rachel on September 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Yummm Pav’s are my favourite desert! So easy – and so delicious.

    I think the votes overwhelmingly point to this being a Kiwi desert! 😉


  32. Becki's Whole Life on September 1, 2011 at 7:16 am

    What a perfect light dessert for a baby shower. This looks just beautiful and if I can get the meringue right very doable….I will have to try this!


  33. Amanda on September 1, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Beautiful! What a lovely and perfect recipe for a shower, great job!


  34. mary rosenbaum on September 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Is the oven temperature correct? 250 degrees seems low…


    • Michelle on September 1st, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Mary, Yes that temperature is correct; pavlovas are baked at a low temperature for a fairly long amount of time (about an hour).


  35. Ally on September 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve always thought making pavlova would be terribly challenging but your recipe & instructions seem very attainable!


  36. Megan on September 2, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Your Pav looks fantastic. I’m a New Zealander (or a Kiwi as we known) and yes the contention between the countries as to who made up a Pav is a strong one BUT one which has finally been resolved when they found the oldest dated recipe ever…in NZ (so there you Aussies). The best thing about a Pav is that it doesn’t have to be perfect looking on top. You can flip it over or else cover the crater with cream. Although you can use any fruit you like on top, the favourites would have to be strawberries or passionfruit. Yoy can also make it in a swiss roll tin, fill it and roll it (like a chocolate log) as a yummy alternative for dessert. I always use castor sugar because it dissolves faster and I always add in a bit of white vinegar and a bit of cornflour to help to stabilise the egg whites so it holds its shape. Your Pav looks absolutely delicious….maybe you have some Kiwi genes in there?


  37. Jackie on September 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

    What a gorgeous looking pavlova!


  38. Stephanie on September 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    such a pretty dessert for a lovely occasion!


  39. Imelda on September 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    I love the cake stand! so elegant and a great set up for the pavlova. You DO take such nice pictures!!! I hope I can try this recipe as soon as possible.


  40. Barbara on September 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I’m going to make this beautiful dessert for a family get-together this weekend. It looks like the perfect ending to a meal of grilled beef tenderloin, my Bonefish grill salad, and your own green been casserole. A great use for some end-of-summer berries! Thanks for sharing.


  41. Anne@frommysweetheart on September 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    What a wonderful idea to have a virtual baby shower! The pavlova looks beautiful. And you are right…could you imagine the spread of all of this fabulous food in person!?!


  42. Ann on September 4, 2011 at 12:32 am

    That is absolutely the sweetest thing! The pavlova looks delightful and Two Peas in a Pod is such a sweetheart!


  43. Lisa {With Style and Grace} on September 4, 2011 at 3:58 am

    What a beautiful dessert, I love it – even more that’s gluten-free! Thanks again for the kind words and for joining the party, Maria has spoken nothing but wonderful things about you 🙂


  44. Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor on September 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    This cake looks sooo good, and is pretty too. I’m for sure going to make this cake for next weekend. It sounds so easy to make and I’m sure my hubby will love it.


  45. Jessiker @ Jessiker Bakes on September 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I love Pavlova!! I haven’t made it in quite a while maybe over a year, but it’s amazing!! Yours is so pretty =)


  46. Liz on September 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Pavlova is such a stunning dessert! Your fruit combination is just perfect…as is this dish for a baby shower!


  47. Martha on September 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I made this dessert this weekend and it was delicious. Thanks to Alice for the tip about putting the sugar in the food processor first. I used the six leftover egg yolks to make lemon curd that was delicious with the fruit (raspberries , blueberries and strawberries). When I left my pavlova in the oven, it started to crack quite a bit. It didn’t affect the taste and I covered it with whip cream, but my question is how long should it cool in the oven to prevent cracking? Would using a bit of white vinegar( as suggested by Skye) help?


  48. Jess on October 15, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Pavlova is DEFINITELY a kiwi recipe! Our McD’s even sells it as “kiwi pav”! damn aussies, always stealing out thunder! 😀

    Works amazingly in chocolate or coffee flavour!


  49. Cheryl P on December 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I know this recipe has been up for a while, but I just found it before Christmas, and we made it for our Christmas dessert. It was yummy, and my family literally Raved! about it! Thank you! I loved the simplicity of this recipe – I followed directions (especially whipping the meringue for 10 min after adding the sugar) and even using organic rough sugar, it was nicely melted and no grittiness at all, when using the full 10 min. This comes together so easily! but to make it easier (and less of a load on anyone for Christmas dinner), we split it up each one bringing one component (meringue, whipped cream, fruit), then assembled to eat. Just fyi, the meringue was made 3 days before it was used, stored loosely covered on a tray in a cool garage – and seemed to work out just fine. 🙂


  50. Yelena on August 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I followed the instructions just the way it’s written. I whisked everything with an electrical mixer with a timer but the mix didn’t stay in a circle of 9″, it just spread around…What did I do wrong?! It’s in the oven now but I expect this thing will come up pretty darn ugly… 🙁


  51. Yelena on August 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Yep. Total fiasco! Not pretty like in the picture, it looks like a big flat pancake. I didn’t waste it though. I just made crumbles out of it in separate little bowls and decorated it with whipping cream and fresh berries. Taste is great but representation is quite different… 🙂 is it possible to use 9″ ring form next time? Please, give me some advice, folks…


    • Michelle on August 17th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Yelena, You really want to free-form a pavlova so that it develops that exterior crust. If it was runny, the egg white mixture likely wasn’t beat to stiff enough peaks. You should easily be able to shape the mixture with a spatula.


  52. Bursa Ev Fiyatları on November 14, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I know this recipe has been up for a while, but I just found it before Christmas, and we made it for our Christmas dessert.


  53. Mary @ Fit and Fed on December 23, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Hi Michelle, I made the merengue base for this tonight and will frost it with the whipped cream tomorrow for my son’s birthday. So far, so good. The egg whites whipped up very high and firm, I was very pleased. I ran the sugar through the Vitamix before adding it to the egg whites.


  54. Angela on April 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    How long will this keep in the fridge before I put the cream & fruit on the top? Thanks 🙂


    • Michelle on May 1st, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Hi Angela, I would only keep it for a day before serving.


  55. NZPAV on November 29, 2015 at 12:57 am

    The Pavlova is from New Zealand, not Aussie!!! Good recipe all the same!


  56. Stacy on February 5, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I followed the direction of this to a T. My peaks were stiff and perfect, and then it all fell apart when I added the sugar. It never firmed up again. I beat it for over 30 minutes waiting on it to stiffen up again, and nothing. I ended up putting in a pie dish to bake, as it was the only way to keep it contained. It’s in the oven now, and frankly I’m not expecting much. Pretty disappointed.


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