New Zealand Pavlova

New Zealand Pavlova with fresh berries and red currants

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
406 Calories
11g Fat
74g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 406
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 69g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 21mg 105%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 181mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Pavlova, made with a meringue shell, whipped cream, and fruit, is one of New Zealand's national desserts. It is not only beautiful to look at, but also a wonderful mix of flavors and textures.

When preparing a Pavlova recipe, the most important thing is to have scrupulously clean utensils, free of grease, egg yolks, or eggshells. In fact, the success of the meringue depends on it. To get more volume, it's necessary to have the egg whites at room temperature before beating them.

Pavlovas have a habit of deflating and forming cracks when you open the oven but don't be disheartened. Just make some extra whipped cream to fill in any holes if this happens. It will still be a spectacular dessert.

A variety of fruit can be used, including berries, kiwi, and bananas. If you use bananas in the topping, toss them in lemon juice to stop them from oxidizing or turning brown.


For Meringue Shell:

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1 cup castor sugar (also known as caster sugar, berry sugar, or superfine sugar)

  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (also known as confectioners' sugar)

For the Fruit Garnish:

  • 2 cups whole berries or sliced fresh fruit of choice (strawberries, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, bananas)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional

  • Fresh mint sprigs, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Meringue Shell

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meringue shell gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Heat the oven to 275 F/140 C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

  3. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and score a 7-inch circle on the foil with the blunt edge of a knife, without tearing the foil. (Use a bowl as a guide.) Set aside.

    Foil with a seven-inch circle drawn on it. Foil covers a rimmed baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats 

  4. In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with a clean electric mixer on medium speed until the whites form soft peaks.

    Beaten egg whites in metal bowl

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating continuously until the whites form stiff glossy peaks.

    Beaten egg whites with sugar in metal bowl

    The Spruce Eats

  6. Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently with a plastic spatula.

    Spatula in meringue mixture for Pavolva dessert

    The Spruce Eats

  7. Add the vanilla and gently fold the mixture again.

    Meringue mixture in metal bowl with spatula and vanilla

    The Spruce Eats

  8. Now gently spread the meringue in the circle on the foil to make a circular base. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center so you have a shallow well in the middle.

    A large circle of meringue on a foil-lined pan

    The Spruce Eats

  9. Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it turns a very pale, pinkish eggshell color.

  10. Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringue cool completely. As the meringue cools, it will crack slightly.

    Cooled and baked meringue on a plate

    The Spruce Eats

  11. Just before serving, take the meringue out of the oven and gently transfer it from the foil to a plate.

Make the Whipped Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for whipped cream and fruit garnish gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Whip the cream with the vanilla and icing sugar until it forms peaks and set aside.

    Whipped cream, vanilla, and icing sugar in a metal bowl

    The Spruce Eats

Prepare the Fruit

  1. Prepare the fruit by washing it and slicing any that aren't going to be left whole.

    Fruit in colander, bowl, and on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats

  2. If using bananas, toss with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

    Tossing banana slices in lemon juice in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats

Assemble the Pavlova

  1. Gently spread the cream over the top of the cooled meringue with a spatula.

    Whipped cream spread over the top of meringue

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Arrange the fruit on top. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

    New Zealand Pavlova with whipped cream, berries, red currants, and mint

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Serve immediately and enjoy.


  • When preparing the meringue shell, make sure to use the whipped egg whites immediately to form the pavlova base. If the egg whites sit, they will begin to deflate and make for a less airy meringue.
  • You can make the meringue base ahead of time. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for several days. Keep in mind that if the weather is humid, the meringue will become soft and chewy.

What's the Difference Between Pavlova and Meringue?

Although both are made with whipped egg whites and sugar, a pavlova includes additional ingredients, like cornstarch and white vinegar, that create a marshmallow-like center.