Light and airy while still full of flavor, Pavlova with Fresh Berries is the perfect end to a spring or summer meal!

My mom Sally was first introduced to Pavlova with Fresh Berries – named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova – by friends in Australia. Comprised of a sweet meringue base topped with flavored whipped cream and fresh berries, it’s been a family favorite for years and has been served at many a birthday party by request. I also have several Jewish friends who serve Pavlova for Passover Seder dinner, substituting whipped coconut milk for the whipped cream (see details in the “notes” section below) and omitting the alcohol.

While the instructions for this recipe appear long, it’s not difficult to prepare and can be made in stages. If you don’t have the time or energy to make the sauce, don’t worry – it’s just as good without it!

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Pavlova with Fresh Berries

Pavlova with Fresh Berries is comprised of a sweet meringue base topped with flavored whipped cream and fresh fruit. It can be prepared ahead of time, making it perfect for entertaining. It’s gluten free, and directions are provided to make it diary free.

  • Yield: 8 servings 1x




  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Cream and Berry Topping

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla-flavored brandy or Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Mixture of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and/or sliced strawberries

Raspberry Sauce (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package (10 ounce) frozen unsweetened raspberries (if sweetened, reduce amount of sugar)



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and draw a 10-inch circle in the middle.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the cornstarch and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer on high, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together until just frothy.
  4. With the machine running, start adding the remaining sugar to the egg white mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. Next add the sugar-cornstarch mixture, then the vinegar and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Try not to overbeat, as the meringue doesn’t come out right if the mixture gets dry.
  5. Using a spatula, spread the meringue mixture within the circle on your parchment, stopping 1-inch inside the border. Spread it slightly higher around the edges than in the middle.
  6. Place in the preheated oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour, or until lightly browned and dry on the surface. Remove the meringue from the oven – don’t be worried if it cracks.
  7. Cool completely. Wrap airtight with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to use (up to 24 hours).

Whipped Cream and Berry Topping

  1. With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream, sugar, liquor, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.


  1. Just before serving, spread the whipped cream mixture over the meringue, covering it completely (you may have some left over).
  2. Spread the berries over the top in a decorative pattern.

Raspberry Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cornstarch, sugar and salt.
  2. Whisk in the water, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Add the berries and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens and turns more clear (this is when the sugar and cornstarch have dissolved).
  4. With an immersion blender, puree the mixture. Put it in a fine mesh strainer set over a medium mixing bowl, and using a wooden spoon, push the mixture through the strainer to remove the seeds.
  5. Cool, then place in a glass jar with a fitted lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve on the side of the Pavlova.


Make ahead: The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. The meringue can be made up to 24 hours in advance, wrapped airtight, and stored at room temperature. The whipping cream can be made earlier in the day and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Whip it slightly more than you would normally.

Non-dairy version: substitute coconut milk that has been refrigerated for the whipped cream.

  • Author: (From "A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Category: desserts, make ahead, gluten free


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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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