An Aussie classic, this is really the best pavlova recipe ever! Make sure to follow along with my tips and tricks so that you can make the best pavlova at home with ease! Perfect for summer and holiday celebrations, wow your guests with this gorgeous dessert!
IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!! The best pavlova recipe ever, and I am SO excited to share this recipe with you today!
I've been wanting to make this on the blog for basically forever, but just never got around to taking the photos of the finished pav! But here it is, and I am so proud to be sharing with you today, what is my favourite Aussie dessert!
Not to brag, but I am the pavlova master in my family. I've been trying and testing my pavlova skills for years now, and for some reason, I'm the only one that ever seemed to get it right after many attempts! I'll always remember my brother frustratingly call me, asking why his pavlovas never turned out like mine! Well today, you'll learn my secret tips and tricks for making pavlova.
Pavlova is a recipe that we usually make for Christmas back at home. It's the perfect summer dessert because it's cold, light and usually stacked high with berries! I always make it at Christmas time in the US to bring a little bit of home to our holiday season.
This dessert has also wowed a lot of our friends at home and at parties. My bestie Eve demanded I made her a pavlova for her birthday, and we've taken it to various parties as our signature dessert. I can't count how many times Americans have absolutely lost their mind tasting it begging me for the recipe!
So What is Pavlova?
Pavlova is the dreamiest dessert in the world. If you can imagine, a light, fluffy marshmallow centre, surrounded by a crispy shell, topped with whipped cream and berries - it's basically a cloud of dessert!
It's a heavily debated topic whether pavlova originated in Australia or New Zealand, but being bias, I'm saying it's Aussie!
Pavlova actually requires only a few simple ingredients - eggs, sugar, white vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla, plus the toppings for the end. It's definitely one of those desserts though, that can be easy to make, but really easy to mess up!
Which is why I am sharing my top tips for making the best pavlova ever! Be prepared, however, this will end up taking almost half your day (with most of it is resting time), so make sure you allow plenty of time before you need to actually serve the pavlova! I like to make mine the morning of my dinner or event so that I have plenty of time in the evening to dress it before serving.
How to Make this Best Pavlova Recipe
- The egg whites need to come up to room temperature so that they whip better. The best solution is to separate the cold eggs first into a bowl, then bring the whites to room temperature.
- Initially, the egg whites need to be whisked until firm peaks appear. The best method to turn the bowl of eggs whites (very, very carefully) upside down. If they start to slip and slide, they need longer. If you can hold the bowl upside down and they don't move, they are whipped enough!
- Use a clean whisk and clean bowl, and there must be absolutely no egg yolk in the egg white mixture.
- The sugar needs to be incorporated well to avoid sugar syrup seeping out of the pavlova. A good indication is to get a little bit of the meringue and sugar mix and rub it gently between your thumb and finger. If it feels grainy, keep whisking.
- Once the sugar is incorporated keep whisking for around three minutes. This will really stiffen up the mixture and make it easy for shaping.
- Once the vinegar, vanilla and cornflour are added, you only need to whisk the mixture about 30 seconds more to ensure it is only just whisked in.
- Preparing the pavlova for the oven is important. I cut a piece of baking paper/parchment paper into a round sheet, and place it on a round pizza oven. To keep it in place, take a ¼ of a teaspoon of the meringue, and dab it onto four spots on the outside of the paper round to keep it in place.
- Shaping the pavlova is also important. I start by spooning all the pavlova mixture out onto my prepared oven tray. Then, using a spatula, I very carefully shape into a round shape. Start from the bottom, and make upward movements. The top will naturally form together. I don't tend to make a small mound in the middle because I find one naturally forms when the pavlova cools (see images for shaping!).
- Preheat the oven to 300F/150C first, then reduce the oven temperature to 250F/120C when you put the pavlova into the oven.
- Very important!!! DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN throughout the cooking time! If you need to check on it, use the oven light, but do not open the oven!
- Also VERY IMPORTANT!!! Once the pavlova has had 1 hour and 15 minutes in the oven, turn the oven off and leave the pavlova to fully cool for around 2-3 hours. By allowing it to fully cool in the oven, you are reducing the chances of the pavlova cracking!
- Traditional toppings for pavlovas are cream and fruit. I love using a mixture of seasonal berries such as strawberries and blueberries. Passionfruit is also a good option, but personally, I don't think you can go wrong with cream and strawberries!
This best pavlova recipe is a must try if you are looking for a dessert that totally WOW's your guests! This serves up between 10-12 people, depending on serving size, and I guarantee everyone is going to absolutely love your show-stopping dessert!
Georgie x x
Best Pavlova Recipe
- 6 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated/caster sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 teaspoon cornflour/cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup cream for whipping
- strawberries or other fresh berries for serving
- Preheat oven to 300F/150C
- Get some paper towel, and soak it in in a little white vinegar. Wipe out your bowl and whisk with the vinegar.
- Whisk together the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar, ¼ of a cup at a time and whisk after each addition for about 1 minute. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. To test to see if it's dissolved, gently rub a little bit of the meringue mixture between your fingers. If it's grainy, keep whisking.
- After the last of the sugar has been added, whisk on high for 3 minutes. The mixture should be very thick and glossy.
- Combine the cornflour/cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla essence in a very small bowl.
- Add to the meringue mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Line a 12" round pizza tray with a piece of baking paper/parchment paper cut into a circle.
- Start scooping out the meringue mixture, forming a circle roughly 8-9" in diameter.
- Use a spatula, to gently start shaping your pavlova. Start at the bottom and gently make nice neat lines moving toward the top of the pavlova (see image).
- Reduce oven temperature to 250F/120C and place pavlova in the oven on the middle shelf.
- Cook for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn on oven light to see the pavlova. The pavlova should be lightly browned. If you to, quickly open the oven door and touch the pavlova. It should be dry to the touch.
- Turn off the oven, and leave the pavlova in the oven with the door closed for 3 hours until the pavlova is cooled down.
- To serve, whip the cream, and gently spoon into the centre of the pavlova. Top with fresh berries.
If you love this best pavlova recipe, then you'll love my vanilla meringues with blackberry pinot sauce, or my chocolate mini meringues!
If you loved this recipe, I'd love for you to leave a comment and review! Also, don't forget to snap a pic of your finished recipe and share it on our on our Instagram account using the hashtag #thehomecookskitchen or tagging me @thehomecookskitchen. I'd love to see your creations!
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This recipe made me look like a James Beard award winning chef! I made the recipe for my daughter's birthday celebration. It was so, so good! Look no further, this recipe is a keeper. I must admit I was a bit intimidated at first. Follow the directions step by step and you you will be successful too! Bon appetite
That was AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for the recipe and the tips were great. I made it for mothers day and it was a big hit. I wowed my gourmet cook mother and my chef sister , it was EXCELLENT and it was sooo tasty!!! Thanks again!
Julia Stringer says
I am planning to make this for a party of 46 next weekend! I have made pavlova many times before, but my friend used your recipe recently, and it was EXCELLENT. The only bit I don't understand, is where you say soak some paper towel in white wine vinegar and wipe out the bowl and whisk with the vinegar? That is confusing! Do you mean wipe the bowl with the vinegar soaked paper towel, and just leave the vinegar in the bowl i.e. don't wash it out! I'm just not sure what the recipe is saying with that!
soak the paper towel in the vinegar then wipe the bowl out! I'll update the recipe so it makes sense 🙂 it should just be a small amount, not so that its wet but so you can clean the bowl.
Question: you whisk the vinegar- do the eggs get added to it?
Hi Terri - the vinegar gets added after the egg whites are all whisked up with the cornflour and vanilla.
I know you need to account for 20 degrees difference between bake and fan bake. Should it be 150 fan bake or 130 fan bake? Thanks
150C fan forced, then reduce to 120C prior to putting your pavlova in the oven
Thanks. For the oven temperature: with fan or without?
preferably with fan!
Any tips for getting the pavlova off of the parchment paper before putting the finishing touches on and serving?
Hi Kelly, it probably the hardest part of this recipe. Usually I get scissors and cut as close as I can to the pavlova and serve it with the parchment paper still on the underneath.
Can I make it a day ahead
At the latest I would make it in the afternoon or evening and let it cool in the oven overnight. Don't add the cream or berries or anything because it will go soggy 🙂 hope that helps.
Maheen Syed says
I made this into a pavlova wreath and it was lovely! How can this be adapted to make mini pavlovas (size to pipe/ baking time)?
Sounds delicious Maheen! I haven't made them into mini pavlovas yet, but I have had other people who have done so successfully. I imagine the baking time would still be about an hour. Alternatively, I have a recipe for individual mini meringues you can use 🙂 https://www.thehomecookskitchen.com/vanilla-meringues/
I have a different question maybe you can help with please ☺️ I’m struggling to get ‘crisp’ meringue peaks in my Lemon Meringue Pie. With the meringue on top of the pie, I couldn’t get my knife to make swirls, it was kind of fluffy not shiny. Ingreds were whites sugar tsp white vinegar . Any help would be much appreciated
Hi Helen - hmmm I haven't made a lemon meringue pie before, but some tips I have would be to whip your egg whites until they're still before adding the sugar, then whining on high for about 3 minutes before adding your vinegar. I also find using a piping bag works best to get those high peaks. if you don't have piping bag, a small palette knife would work well as well. This recipe is for my individual meringue, this would work perfectly for a lemon meringue pie! https://www.thehomecookskitchen.com/vanilla-meringues/