Home » Fresh Berry Pavlova Recipe – Easy and Foolproof

Fresh Berry Pavlova Recipe – Easy and Foolproof

What is Pavlova?

Pavlova is an Australian and New Zealand meringue layered dessert. It is absolutely delicious! And probably difficult to find in a restaurant or bakery (at least in Seattle).

Pavlova typically has at least 3 layers – meringue, whip cream, and fruit. The recipe we’ll be sharing today has an additional layer of jam.

Pavlova slice with layers marked


About 7 months ago, we watched the series Nadiya Bakes on Netflix. We were big fans of Nadiya on The Great British Bake Off so we were super excited that she was hosting her own baking show. In her 2nd episode, she bakes a pavlova.

I always liked a good baked meringue. Especially ones fresh from the oven. I remember being particularly fond of the ones from this little cute French bakery in Washington DC called Un Je Ne Sais Quoi. Of course my husband can make a pretty mean meringue too.

Our Attempts at Pavlova

I’ll preface this recipe by saying we attempted to make pavlova at least 5 times, and each time we learned something new (aka: we failed). The problem with pavlova is that you don’t know you failed until maybe an hour in.

So we’re sharing this recipe so that you DON’T make the same mistakes that we did. When Nadiya made it on her show, it seemed really simple and easy. Before we attempted to make it, we cross-referenced many other recipes.

Our 1st attempt actually wasn’t too bad, but it came out too sweet for our taste and a bit brown. We posted the picture on our instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CL0owagp6hK/. It was still really delicious, light, and airy.

For our next attempts we tried decreasing the sugar considerably. It was just too sweet when we first made it, and we didn’t understand why all the recipes used so much sugar.

Little did we know, the ratio of sugar to egg white was really important. Unfortunately it wasn’t something any of the recipes we researched mentioned. After we finally learned that the sugar-to-egg white ratio shouldn’t be altered, we instead removed the sugar entirely from the whip cream, and used less sugar in the jam. We’re pretty happy with the result.

Desired Outcome

Meringue layer should be:

  • White / off-white
  • Crispy exterior
  • Solid color on the entire bottom
  • Interior is like a soft, slightly creamy, airy marshmallow
  • Ok if it’s cracked

Tips to Make it Foolproof

Use the Swiss Meringue Method

Most of the recipes we looked at initially used the French Meringue method. But if the granulated sugar is not fully dissolved in the egg white, it’ll spell doom for your pavlova.

A way to ensure that the sugar is dissolved is to heat up the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler to a specific temperature. This makes the meringue very stable. It’s also called the Swiss Meringue method. There’s also an Italian Meringue method, but we don’t need that here.

We learned about this Swiss Meringue method from an episode of America’s Test Kitchen where they made pavlova, and explained the importance of heating up the mixture. So definitely kudos to them!

Make sure every tool you use is clean

Moisture and fat (egg yolk, oil) are pavlovas kryptonite. Make sure your mixing bowl and any tool that touches the meringue are dry and clean. You can use a little swipe of vinegar to remove any oil residue.

Use a conventional oven

We initially used our little convection oven, and used our speed convection setting. (It’s a bit like an air fryer.) Of course we lowered the temperature to accommodate. But we realized that the broiler actually turns on when we’re baking as well. Coupled with the fact that there wasn’t much distance between the top of the pavlova and the broiler, the pavlova took on a brownish hue. (Which in all honesty, tastes just fine, but perhaps isn’t what people want in a pavlova.)

To keep the pavlova looking white, we used our full-sized conventional oven instead.

Troubleshooting (Important!)

CracksThis is normal
BrownTemperature too high
Chewy / styrofoam texture ;
– Sugar is not dissolved (known as “weeping” – you can see crystallization on the bottom)
– Didn’t “dry” long enough
– Not enough sugar (a good egg white to sugar ratio is needed to give it the correct texture)
– Meringue wasn’t whipped to stiff peaks
– Too humid (moisture is the enemy of pavlova)
Hard and not soft/airyTemperature too high
(Congrats you made meringue instead of pavlova!)
Table that lists potential problems and their corresponding reasons

Fresh Berry Pavlova Recipe

Recipe by StirCozyCourse: DessertCuisine: Australian, New ZealandDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Baking and wait time




  • Meringue
  • Sugar – 1 cup

  • Egg whites – 4

  • Cornstarch – 1 tsp

  • White distilled vinegar – 1 tsp

  • Vanilla extract – 3/4 tsp

  • Blueberry Jam
  • Blueberries – 1 cup

  • Sugar – 1/4 cup

  • Lemon zest – 1 tsp

  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp

  • Whip Cream
  • Heavy whipping cream – 175 ml

  • Toppings
  • Blueberries – 1 cup

  • Raspberries – 1 cup


  • Prep
  • Cut parchment paper to fit in a half sheet pan
  • Draw a 7 inch circle and flip the parchment over
    (We used a 7 inch bowl as a stencil.)
  • Meringue
  • Prepare a double boiler
  • Whip sugar and egg whites to 160°F – 165°F
  • Whisk on high until you get stiff peaks (~4 minutes)
  • Add cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla extract
  • Whisk on high for several seconds
  • Dab a little bit of the meringue underneath the 4 corners of the parchment paper
    (This will help keep the parchment paper from moving.)
  • Spread in a circle according to the outline from earlier
  • Bake at 250°F for 1.5 hours
    (Make sure to preheat your oven and check the temperature with a thermometer inside.)
  • Turn off oven, and prop it slightly open about a couple inches
  • Let it sit in the oven for at least 1.5 hours
  • Blueberry Jam
  • Simmer everything on medium heat for ~ 6 minutes
  • Mash the blueberries with a fork while simmering
  • Separate the blueberry skin and lemon zest from the jam
  • Store in fridge to cool down
  • Whip cream
  • Whisk until thick (don’t over whisk or it’ll become butter)
  • Assembly
  • Place the meringue on a plate
  • Top with whip cream in an even layer
  • Pour jam over the whip cream
  • Top with blueberries and raspberries (or fruit of choice)

Recipe Video


  • This will not keep well, so try to enjoy it the day you make it, or wrap and store it in the fridge for 1-2 days.

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