A beautiful spiced Christmas pavlova that will tantalise and transport your tastebuds to a German winter market. This is a show stopper dessert for a winter dinner party that you will LOVE!
Why I Love This Show Stopping Dessert
OMGEEEE this recipe! It's like an Australian summer meets German winter and it's an explosion of flavour! Although it make not be Christmas just yet, I couldn't go past naming this recipe Christmas pavlova because of the amazing mulled flavours in it.
Pavlova makes a beautiful dessert for any occasion and it is actually a lot easier to make then you think. It's as simple as following a few tips and tricks! This winter pavlova is an absolute hit and the toppings are customisable.
To make pavlova, you'll need the following ingredients.
Eggs - eggs need to be at room temperature. You'll need 6 egg whites.
White sugar - if you have it, super fine aka caster sugar is the best for pavlovas.
Pinch of salt
Cornflour - also know as cornstarch. This will give your pavlova it's stability
Vanilla extract - or vanilla bean paste
White vinegar - along with the cornflour, this will give your pavlova stability
Spices - ground cinnamon, cardamom and all spice
Rhubarb - for topping, or any other winter fruit like blood oranges, fresh cranberries, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries.
How to Make A Pavlova
In a nutshell, making a pavlova is quite simple. To make a pavlova, take the following steps (full recipe in recipe card!)
- Preheat oven and prepare your baking tray
- Beat egg whites until stiff, then gradually add sugar
- Add cornflour, spices, vinegar and vanilla
- Shape pavlova using a spatula
- Bake for 1 hr to 1 hr and 15 minutes
- Cool down in oven
There is definitely some key tips and tricks you need to know however to troubleshoot this recipe.
Trouble Shooting FAQ
My Eggs Won't Whip
Tip #1 - everything should be very clean, and you cannot contaminate the egg whites! Use a piece of paper towel and some vinegar to wipe our your bowl and whisk before whipping.
Tip #2 - Even if the slightest bit of yolk gets into the egg whites they won't whip. Your eggs need to be be separated proper.
Tip#3 - eggs need to be at room temperature. It's a pain, but take them out first thing in the morning so that they are at room temperature when you are ready to bake.
My Pavlova is Leaking
Sugar seepage can occur, but there are ways to stop this.
Tip #1 - use caster sugar if you can. In the US it's called super fine sugar, in Australia/UK caster sugar is best.
Tip #2 - make sure your sugar is fully incorporated. To test, once you've finished whipping your egg whites and sugar, get a small piece and rub it between your thumb and index finger.
If you can feel the granules, then you need to keep whisking.
My Pavlova Collapsed!
Pavlova's do have a tendency to crack and can collapse a little bit, but there are a few tricks to help.
Tip#1 - your pavlova mixture needs to be stiff. Once you've whipped the egg whites and added your sugar you need to whisk them on medium to high for 3 minutes.
The mixture should be really, really stiff.
Tip#2 - when shaping your pavlova, it needs a little height., but not too much. Try and not work it too much, but it helps to keep it small and high(ish).
Tip#3 - tread very carefully around your pavlova. This sounds silly, but avoid running around your oven and bumping the oven.
Tip#4 - do NOT open the oven during cooking time! It's hard, but if you have a light then use this to check on the pavlova, but don't open it halfway through cooking.
Tip#5 - leave the pavlova to cool in the oven for 3-5 hours until it's fully cooled. if you're in a hurry, use a wooden spoon to jam between the oven door to keep it slightly ajar after it's cooked.
Tip #6 - a little bit of cream can fill the holes! Seriously, I do this all the time, cream can cover most cracks and flaws on the top of your pavlova, no one will ever know!
How to Bake a Pavlova
- Preheat oven to 300F/150C (fan forced).
- When you've shaped your pavlova, reduce your oven to 250F/120C (fan forced)
- Bake your pavlova for 1 hour, to 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Pavlova should be dry to touch and lightly browned. This is when you can open your oven door to check. If the pavlova is sticky, it needs longer.
- Once cooked, you need to turn off your oven and let the pavlova cool and dry in the oven until it's fully cooled.
Any type of winter fruit goes beautifully on this Christmas pavlova! For this pavlova I used;
- whipped cream with a little vanilla
- baked vanilla and lemon zest rhubarb
How to Bake Rhubarb
- Wash your rhubarb - it's ok to leave some water on it as this will create a lovely sauce.
- Place about 500g of chopped rhubarb in a lined baking dish.
- Sprinkle over ¼ cup of sugar and some lemon zest.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake in an 200C/400F oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Rhubarb should be firm enough to handle and not break down.
You could also use any winter fruit. I've used blood oranges in the past and they are absolutely gorgeous too!
For a christmasy feel, sugared cranberries and pomegranate would be stunning too with fresh berries!
This is a beautifully, warming pavlova that screeches Christmas! If you're looking for a show stopping dessert, any time of year, this is your one stop dessert!
Georgie x x
Want more pavlova inspiration?
- Try my Best Pavlova Recipe ever! The original on the blog and one of my most popular recipe!
- Vanilla Meringue with Blackberry Pinot Sauce - not quite a pavlova, but these make beautiful individual desserts!
- Chocolate Meringues - a great idea for date night!
- Keto Pavlova - from Mad Creations Hub
- Aquafaba Meringue Cookies - from A Baking Journey
- Individual Lemon Curd Meringues - from It's Not Complicated Recipes
- Kids Pavlova - from Kidgredients
Christmas Pavlova with Baked Rhubarb
- Hand beaters or stand mixer
- Round oven tray
- Bowl for seperating eggs
- Measuring cups
- Baking paper
- 6 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups white sugar castor sugar if you have it
- pinch salt
- 3 teaspoon cornflour/corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ¼ tso ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground all spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 500 g rhubarb cut into long pieces, about 1 medium size bunch of rhubarb
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest zest of one lemon
- 1 cup cream for whipping
- Preheat oven to 300F/150C
- Get a piece of paper towel and soak it in a little vinegar. Wipe your bowl and whisk clean with the vinegar.
- Whisk the egg whites in your bowl on medium until stiff peaks appear.
- Add the salt and whisk for 30 seconds.
- Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites, ¼ of a cup at a time. Whisk for 1 minute after each addition.
- After your final ¼ cup of sugar is added, whisk on high for 3 minutes. The mix will be thick and glossy.
- Test to see if the sugar is dissolved - get a small piece of meringue and rub it between your thumb and index finger. If you can still feel the grainy sugar, whisk for a few minutes longer.
- Add the cornflour, vinegar, vanilla essence and spices.
- Whisk again until just combined.
- Line a 12"/30cm 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"/20cm 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. Make a small indent on the top of the pavlova.
- 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 have 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. Remove from oven and place on your serving dish. Cut the excess paper from the pavlova.
- Wash your rhubarb, then cut it into 5cm/2" long pieces.
- Place it in a baking tray and sprinkle over the sugar and lemon zest. Shake the pan.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and take away the foil. Bake a further 5 minutes. Rhubarb should be tender and still in shape.
- To serve the pavlova, whip your cream and add a ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (optional). Spread the cream on the top of the pavlova, then carefully place the cooked rhubarb on top.
- Serve! Best enjoyed straight away.
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!