Strawberry Pavlova is the perfect showstopper dessert. Sweet, delicious and beautiful. This recipe will wow your family and friends with its beauty and taste.
A pavlova meringue that is crispy on the outside but soft and marshmallow-like inside. Topped with a creamy vanilla chantilly cream (whipped cream) and perfectly ripe strawberries.
Frozen or fresh strawberries can be used in this recipe, perfect for both winter or summer desserts. Try adding icing sugar for a Christmas pavlova!
Don't forget to take a picture when you serve it up. Everyone will want one for the Instagram feed after seeing this masterpiece!
How to make a strawberry pavlova?
See our step by step slideshow below to see how simple it is to make a pavlova at home.
We love making our own homemade pavlova meringue for this recipe. It has a crispy outside and marshmallow centre.
Pavlova meringue recipe
Meringue is easy to make from scratch. You need to follow the directions carefully to make sure the egg whites form into stiff peaks for the perfect pavlova.
First, you must prepare all the equipment needed. Ensure your mixer is clean, as any oil or butter residue will inhibit the egg whites from whipping into stiff peaks.
We like to squeeze fresh lemon juice (or white wine vinegar) on a kitchen paper towel, wipe over the mixing bowl and whisk to ensure no grease is on them.
Whisk egg whites
Separate the egg whites from the yolk; add the whites to the mixing dish one at a time, so if you have an accidental yolk pop, you can just throw that one away; without having to start again!
Whisk the egg whites on low using a stand or hand mixer until bubbles have formed. Then increase speed until white and frothy with soft peaks.
Turn the mixer off to add lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Now turn back on to medium speed, and add caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time.
Once all added, increase speed and stop when it has reached stiff peaks.
The best test to whether the meringue is ready is tipping the bowl upside down without any meringue falling out, if you dare!
Add cornstarch to the whipped meringue using a spatula. This gives the fluffy soft marshmallow texture inside whilst you still have a crispy meringue exterior—the perfect pavlova base.
How to shape?
Using a pencil, draw around a plate to mark a circle on parchment/baking paper, creating a template to shape your pavlova meringue.
Turn the baking parchment upside down and use some of the meringue in each corner to stick it to the baking sheet.
Use a spatula to shape into a circle. Create a small indent into the middle of the meringue, ready for the strawberry and cream filling.
You can make it as pretty as you like; we use the spatula to make small peaks around the outside.
Alternatively, use a spatula to drag the meringue from the bottom of the baking tray to the top. Repeat to create a uniform pattern all around the edge.
It’s important to preheat the oven to 150°C - 130°c fan - 300°F - Gas Mark 2.
When you insert the pavlova base into the preheated oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 120°C - 100°c fan - 250°F - Gas Mark ½.
This low temperature will cook the pavlova meringue, so it is soft in the middle and crispy on the edges.
Cook pavlova base at 120°C - 100°c fan - 250°F - Gas Mark ½ for 1 hour 10 minutes.
Then turn the oven off BUT DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR, the quick change of temperature will make it all crack!
I recommend keeping the pavlova in the oven for at least 3 hours to allow it to naturally cool and prevent cracking. It can even be left overnight in the oven if you are making it a day ahead?
Whilst waiting for it to cool, let’s get on with the whipped cream and strawberry sauce.
Strawberry Coulis Sauce
We made our delicious strawberry coulis to drizzle over the strawberry pavlova. So easy to make with 3 basic ingredients, strawberries, sugar and lemon.
We like to make our own whipped cream, otherwise known as chantilly cream, to put on top of the strawberry pavlova base.
It is easy to make; simply whisk together the double cream, 1 tbsp of icing sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract in a stand mixer, until it forms medium-soft peaks which hold their shape. Be careful not to over whisk it as it will be too grainy and thick.
Strawberry and Cream layers
Place the meringue on a serving plate, put a layer of cream into the centre of the pavlova then add some halved strawberries.
We like to use a piping bag for the next layer of chantilly cream to keep it neat! Then top with the remaining strawberries.
Frozen or Fresh Stawberries?
You can use either, fresh strawberries in the summer are deliciously sweet and ripe.
However, if you are making this pavlova for Christmas, frozen strawberries may be better. Simply defrost them before adding on top of cream layers.
There you have it, as easy as that, one fantastic Strawberry pavlova dessert for the family to enjoy.
A freshly prepared Strawberry Pavlova is best, but you can make it one day ahead and store it covered in the fridge.
When making the pavlova meringue ahead of time; Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for two days.
Or freeze in an airtight container (do not let any moisture get to it) for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature the day before making.
You can serve as it is or if serving for a Christmas dessert like we have here, with a gentle sprinkle of icing sugar using a sieve.
If you made our strawberry coulis, drizzle some over the top, allowing it to ooze over the edges for the extra wow factor and Instagram worthy pictures!!
Add some extra strawberry coulis once cut too!
Got some strawberries and cream left over? Make some cute Strawberry Santas for the kids, they will love them!
- ½ Lemon - Juice only for cleaning equipment
- 4 egg whites
- 220 grams caster sugar
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 300 ml Double cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
- 230 grams Strawberries Fresh or Frozen - Whole or Halved
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar To sprinkle on top
Optional - Strawberry Coulis
- 340 g Strawberries Frozen are best for making coulis
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- ½ Lemon - Juice only
- Preheat oven to 150°C - 130°c fan - 300°F - Gas Mark 2. Clean the mixing bowl and whisk attachment and wipe over with the juice of ½ a lemon on a tissue½ Lemon - Juice only
- Separate egg whites from the yolks.4 egg whites
- Whisk egg whites using a hand/ stand mixer on low speed until frothy
- Increase speed to max, when white froth and soft peaks form stop mixer and add lemon juice and vanilla extract1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp Lemon juice
- Turn the speed to medium. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time whilst still whisking220 grams caster sugar
- Once all sugar has been added, increase speed until firm peaks form.
- Sieve in cornstarch2 tsp cornstarch
- Stir in with a spatula
- Draw around a plate onto parchment paper to give you a circle guide to follow when shaping the meringue.
- Turn the drawn on parchment paper upside down into a tray and use a smear of meringue on each corner to keep the paper down.
- Add meringue into middle and shape with the spatula into a circle.
- Make a slight indent in the middle of the meringue. Give the sides some texture using the spatula to drag up or dap around to make some peaks.Place meringue in preheated oven at 150°C - 130°c fan - 300°F - Gas Mark 2. Immediately reduce the oven to 120°C - 100°c fan - 250°F - Gas Mark ½ cook for 1hr 10min
- Once time is up, turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven for at least 3 hours do not open the door. It needs to cool slowly to prevent cracking. You can make the strawberry coulis or chantilly cream whilst waiting!Once completely cooled remove from the oven.
Chantilly Cream and optional Strawberry Coulis
- Optional - make a strawberry coulis sauce - see blog post for the how-to! Store in the fridge until needed.340 g Strawberries, 2 tbsp Caster Sugar, ½ Lemon - Juice only
- Create a chantilly cream by whisking up double cream with vanilla extract and icing sugar. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, it should not be as thick as the meringue was! Store in the fridge until needed.300 ml Double cream, 1 tbsp Icing Sugar, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Assembling strawberry meringue
- Fill the meringue centre with the prepared chantilly cream.
- Add some strawberries, then another layer of cream we used a piping bag for neatness.230 grams Strawberries
- Finally, top with more strawberries.
- Add either strawberry sauce; a sprinkle of icing sugar or both!1 tbsp Icing Sugar
How to Cheat
If you want to cheat and save time, we won’t judge! Here are a few cheats and how they may change the result.
Instead of seperating the eggs yourself buy some and to save waste, try Two Chick's egg whites
Buy a ready-made meringue pavlova from the supermarket; they won’t have the soft marshmallow texture in the middle like our homemade one does, but it will save you a lot of time!
You could also buy a canister of spray whipped cream instead of mixing your own. However, this will not hold its shape, as well as our homemade chantilly cream does. So if using this, don’t make it ahead of time; serve immediately!
More dessert recipe ideas
Looking for more dessert ideas? Very similar to this recipe with meringue, strawberries and cream, you can try our eton mess.