Pavlova Sweetest of Sweet

Pavlova – The sweetest of sweet

iconic pavlova

Iconic Aussie pavlova

Maria Venter – South Africans to Oz

So this is my all time favourite desert, and as luck would have it, it
seems pretty high on the list for most Australians too!

So high in fact that it’s voted the number one dessert consumed in Aussie households on
Christmas day each year.

Cased in a delicate meringue, crisp on the outside and marshmallow soft on the inside, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, the pavlova is undoubtedly easy on the pallet.

The name may be exotic but the dessert is all local; it was created and named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova during a New Zealand and Australian tour in the

For this reason, the verdict is still out on exactly where it originated and the long-standing argument will continue.

The fruit used in pavlova varies, but the most popular choices are berries, kiwi fruit, passion fruit and, more recently, mango.

Here’s my sweetest recipe

  •   1 tablespoon cornflour
    • 6 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    • 200ml pure cream
    • 250g frozen raspberries, slightly mashed


Step 1 – Preheat oven to 200°C. Draw a 24cm (diameter) circle on a sheet of baking paper. Place, pencil-side down, on a baking tray. Dust lightly with 1 teaspoon cornflour.

Step 2 – Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Add remaining 3 teaspoons cornflour with the last tablespoon of sugar. Fold through vanilla and vinegar.

Step 3 – Spoon meringue onto baking paper. Shape into a circle, using the pencil mark as a guide, with a slightly higher edge and a low centre.
Reduce oven to 100°C. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until dry and crisp. Turn off oven and open oven door. Cool completely in oven (pavlova may sink during cooling).

Step 4 – Slide pavlova onto a serving plate. Spread with cream and top with raspberries. Serve.

 The berry pavlova

The berry pavlova

For a real tasty alternative try one of these options 


Always a crowd pleaser and one of the most impressive desserts
out there, it’s hard to beat a pav.

Here are some new twists on this classic, from trying a no-bake alternative to adding chocolate and nuts to the mix.


Chocolate pavlova

What can I say?

Rich, fudgy and with a serious chocolate flavour, these pavlovas are not
for the faint-hearted. Try topping it with whipped cream, berries and flaked almonds for a seriously decadent dessert.


Fold any nuts you like through a pavlova mix and taste the difference.
The resulting pavlova takes on a nougat quality that is very irresistible.


In the heat of summer this is the recipe you want. With no oven required
to heat up the house, there’s no excuse not to make a pavlova.


The strawberry roll

The strawberry roll

These marshmallow rolls are delicious when stuffed with the best summer fruit. They are also incredibly quick to make and ideal for feeding a crowd.

Strawberry Meringue Roulade
Strawberry Pavlova Roll

Pavlova-based desserts

banoffee pavlova desert

Banoffee pavlova desert

The pavlova is also the base of some great spin-off desserts, including these two recipes.
Banoffee Pavlova
Walnut Pavlova Pie

Alternative toppings

Lemon curd
Passionfruit curd
Flaked, toasted and crushed nuts
Shaved chocolate
Whipped cream infused with rosewater or orange blossom water
Stewed and preserved fruit

Simply create and enjoy!

More popular Australian recipes