Mini strawberry pavlova is the lightest dessert that is made with a light meringue that is baked at low temperature and topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Our pavlova is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is ever so slightly chewy on the inside, depending on how long you let it dry out.
We love making desserts with strawberries like this recipe. If you like strawberry desserts, you should check out our fresh strawberry sheet cake, strawberry jam cake, and strawberry crumble cake.
What is pavlova?
Pavlova is a dessert that is popular in New Zealand and Australia. It is made with a meringue base, and topped with homemade whipped cream, and fresh fruit. We love adding our homemade strawberry sauce on top for extra flavor and texture.
If you haven't had pavlova yet, you are in for a treat. This dessert simply melts in your mouth and feels like a light cloud of heaven. When I first tasted pavlova, I was shocked by how delicious it was and wanted to make it as fast as possible.
Making pavlova is not hard as it looks! It's simply making a simple meringue, piping it onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, baking it over low heat for an hour, and letting it dry in the closed oven for a few hours or overnight.
You can make pavlova in different shapes like little nests (like we made) or into a pavlova cake. You can add jam on top of the pavlova, you can add the lemon curd, chocolate ganache, or anything you like!
Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
For the pavlova:
Egg whites- carefully separate your egg whites and make sure that there is no egg yolk in your egg whites. If a bit of egg yolk will be in your egg whites, the egg whites won't reach stiff peaks. Get your egg whites to room temperature, that way they will whip faster and will reach stiff peaks easily.
Sugar- we suggest using caster sugar for making meringue. When making meringue, you are looking for the sugar to dissolve as it whips into a stiff mixture. If you have granulated sugar, simply place the granulated sugar in a blender and mix it for a few seconds until it's finer in texture.
Almond extract- we used almond extract for extra flavor, but you can use any of your favorite extracts like vanilla extract, lemon extract, etc.
Lemon juice- you will need a type of acid to balance the meringue. The acid helps the egg whites hold on to the air and stay fluffy. For acid, you can use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar.
Cornstarch- cornstarch is an important ingredient in making pavlova. The cornstarch makes the pavlova slightly chewy on the inside.
For the whipped cream:
Heavy whipping cream- use cold heavy whipping cream.
Powder sugar- you will need powder sugar for this recipe. you don’t have to buy powder sugar, you can simply make it at home by blending granulated sugar in a blender or food processor.
Vanilla extract- for extra flavor.
Strawberry sauce- we like using our homemade strawberry sauce as a topping for these mini pavlovas, but you can use strawberry jam as well!
Strawberries- you will need fresh strawberries, both for the strawberry sauce and for the top of the pavlova.
Step 1: Preheat an oven to 110c (230f) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Clean your mixing bowl and remove any excess oils with lemon or vinegar. Wipe with a paper towel.
Step 2: Into a stand mixer bowl, add the egg whites and start whipping for about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar while mixing on medium heat. Take your time, adding a tablespoon of sugar every 20 seconds. We want to sugar to mostly dissolve, so it's okay to mix it for a long time.
Step 3: Mix on high speed to stiff peaks. Add the almond extract, and the cornstarch. Mix for a few seconds until fully incorporated.
Step 4: Transfer the batter into a big piping bag with a 1M piping tip or any star piping tip. Pipe 9 little nests (as seen in the video) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure that there are spaces left between each pavlova.
Step 5: Bake the pavlovas in a 110c (230f) preheated oven for about an hour. After an hour, turn off the heat and don't open the oven door. Let the pavlovas cool and dry out in the closed oven for at least 2 hours.
Make the whipped cream:
Into a big mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powder sugar. Mix with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pavlova:
Top each pavlova with a big dollop of whipped cream. Make sure that you fill out the middle of the pavlova with whipped cream so there will be whipped cream in every bite.
Add slices of strawberries on top and top it with a strawberry sauce or strawberry jam. Serve and enjoy!
- If you don't have caster sugar (or superfine sugar), simply pulse the granulated a few times in a food processor or a blender until you get a fine sugar texture. Don't over blend the sugar so you won't get powder sugar.
- Preheat your oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the pavlova from sticking to the pan.
- Bake the meringue on low heat to make sure that the pavlovas bake evenly and perfectly. Baking the pavlova over low heat makes sure that your pavlova doesn't crack.
- Let the pavlova cool in a closed oven. After baking the pavlovas, turn off the heat and let the pavlovas cool for at least an hour in the oven, while the door is closed.
- Make a pavlova cake if you don't want to pipe the meringue, or don't feel comfortable using a piping bag.
- Make sure that your mixing bowl is CLEAN! This step is super important. If there is oil remaining on your spatula, or mixing bowl, that will stop your egg whites from whipping into perfect stiff peaks. The solution is easy, simply wipe your bowl with lemon or vinegar, using a paper towel.
No! you can add any of your favorite fruit on top of this pavlova. You can also skip the strawberry sauce. Some people don't like strawberries, so simply replace them with your favorite fruit like raspberries, blueberries, peaches, mangos, etc.
Yes! Simply place the whole meringue onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and shape it into a circle using a spoon or a spatula.
Yes! simply replace the heavy whipping cream with coconut milk or vegan heavy whipping cream. Or use store-bought whipped cream.
Yes! you can make pavlova 3 days ahead. Simply follow the instructions as written, and store the pavlovas in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
There are so many ways to top and eat pavlova! Personally, we like the classic strawberry and strawberry sauce topping, but here are a few topping ideas:
- Lemon curd
- Whipped cream and Nutella
- Whipped cream and chocolate ganache
- Homemade jam
- Homemade sauces
- Hot fudge
More strawberry recipes you may like:
Strawberry sheet cake- This extra moist and fluffy strawberry sheet cake is made with fresh strawberries and topped with strawberry whipped cream. It’s really easy to make and the flavor will not disappoint.
Strawberry crumble cake- This strawberry crumble cake is made with a one-bowl vanilla cake, topped with slices of fresh strawberries, and topped with a delicious crumble topping.
Strawberry jam cake- This strawberry jam cake is made with a moist and fluffy vanilla cake, filled with strawberry jam, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries, covered in vanilla buttercream and topped with more fresh strawberries!
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Mini Strawberry Pavlova Nests
- 5 Egg whites
- ½ teaspoon Almond extract
- ½ tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 ⅓ cups Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
- ½ cup Strawberry jam or strawberry sauce
- 1 cup Fresh strawberries sliced
- Preheat an oven to 110c (230f) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Clean your mixing bowl and remove any excess oils with lemon or vinegar. Wipe with a paper towel.
- Into a stand mixer bowl, add the egg whites, and start whipping for about 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually add the sugar while mixing on medium heat. Take your time, adding a tablespoon of sugar every 20 seconds. We want to sugar to mostly dissolve, so it's okay to mix it for a long time.
- Mix on high speed to stiff peaks. Add the almond extract, and the cornstarch. Mix for a few seconds until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the batter into a big piping bag with a 1M piping tip or any star piping tip. Pipe 9 little nests (as seen in the video) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure that there are spaces left between each pavlova.
- Bake the pavlovas in a 110c (230f) preheated oven for about an hour. After an hour, turn off the heat and don't open the oven door. Let the pavlovas cool and dry out in the closed oven for at least 2 hours.
Make the whipped cream:
- Into a big mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powder sugar. Mix with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pavlova:
- Top each pavlova with a big dollop of whipped cream. Make sure that you fill out the middle of the pavlova with whipped cream so there will be whipped cream in every bite.
Such a light dessert. Love this so much and my family ate the whole thing in one evening!
This recipe is so delicious!