A Strawberry Pavlova is the perfect gluten free dessert! A light baked meringue cake topped with whipped cream and seasonal produce. Dairy free cream topping choices included.
For the Pavlovas
- 6 large egg whites (225 milliliters) at room temperature.*
- 1 cup superfine sugar (caster sugar). Adjust to preferred sweetness (220–250 grams).**
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (see notes)***
- 1–1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
For the Toppings:
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream or 13 ounces canned chilled coconut cream (for coconut cream whip)
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sliced strawberries and any additional fruit of choice
- Optional honey or maple syrup to drizzle
- Optional mint leaves to garnish
For the Pavlovas:
- Preheat the oven to 300F (150°C ). Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking sheets or use a silicone mat. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer, add the egg whites and whisk on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. About 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, letting the batter whisk together with the sugar for 20 seconds before adding more. Repeat until all the sugar has been added. It takes 7-8 minutes to fully incorporate all of your sugar into the egg whites, and they should look stiff and glossy by the end.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Place back on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until glossy and combined.
- Spoon six to seven 3-4 inch rounds of meringue onto the large baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to make a small crevice in the center of each meringue.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F (120 C) and place the meringues in the oven to bake for 45 minutes up to an hour (or until slightly golden). Baking times vary depending on the size of the meringue. Since we are baking mini pavlovas, the meringue batter should bake quicker.
- Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool in the oven for 1 hour. Do not open the door until 1 hour is up. End result should create a dry and crisp crust for each meringue. While the pavlovas are cooling, make your whip topping.
For the Topping:
- Place chilled heavy whipping cream in a cold bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, then whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 -3 minutes. Coconut whip frosting may be substituted, but note that it is heavier than whipped cream and could cause pavlovas to crack a bit.
- Once the cream is spreadable, gently spread the whipped cream on top of each pavlova.
- Top with sliced strawberries and any additional fruit of choice. Optional honey to drizzle.
- Store extra whip cream covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
As much as I would love it to, and I keep trying, this recipe will not work with a sugar-free fine sugar.
*Due to various egg sizes, it’s best to measure the liquid of the egg whites.
**To make your own caster sugar, grind granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until ultra fine.
***High Altitude Tip: While traditionally a pavlova would include cornflour or no starch at all, because I’m baking at a high altitude the cornstarch will help the egg whites to stay firm. I also reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup.
Make-ahead tip – The meringue batter can be made beforehand and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Do not bake until ready to serve.
- Category: dessert
- Method: oven
Keywords: pavlova, egg whites, dessert, desserts for one, gluten free dessert, meringue