Peanut Butter Pavlova

May  2, 2014
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Here is a sweet, crunchy, gooey peanutty spin on the classic pavlova -- with fresh strawberries and cream. If you don’t like peanuts, substitute natural almond butter or hazelnut butter or cashew butter, but don’t miss it.

Note: Use natural peanut butter -- just peanuts and salt, without emulsifiers or sugar. This type of peanut butter separates and must be stirred to reincorporate the oil. —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • For the Pavlova
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, preferably superfine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites (about 1/2 cup), at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup well-stirred natural (preferably salted) peanut butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries
  • Equipment
  • A baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Food processor, optional
  • Electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer with whisk attachment)
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven for a single large pavlova, or in the upper and lower thirds for individual pavlovas, and preheat the oven to 275° F.
  2. Trace a dark 7-inch circle on the parchment paper and flip it upside down on the baking sheet. Or, for individual pavlovas, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. If your sugar is not extra fine, you can spin it in a clean dry food processor for 15 seconds. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together thoroughly and set aside.
  4. Combine the egg whites and the vinegar or cream of tartar in the mixer bowl. Beat on medium high speed (in the stand mixer) or high speed (with a hand-held mixer) until the egg whites are creamy white and hold a soft shape when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the sugar mixture, a heaping teaspoon at a time, taking 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to add it all; you should have a very stiff, creamy-looking meringue.
  5. Scatter small spoonfuls of the peanut butter over the meringue. With a large rubber spatula, fold the peanut butter partially into the meringue leaving lots of streaks and pockets of unmixed peanut butter visible.
  6. For a single pavlova, scrape the meringue into the traced circle and use a metal icing spatula or a rubber spatula to sculpt the mass into a low dome -- smooth or swirly, it’s up to you. Bake the pavlova for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it looks golden brown with a distinct pinkish hue and feels crusty on the surface, though it will be marshmallow-y inside. It may be cracked on the surface -- that’s ok.
  7. Set the baking sheet(s) on a rack to cool completely (they will probably sink a little). If you are not serving the Pavlova(s) the same day, cover it loosely and leave it at room temperature; it keeps for several days.
  8. To Serve: Cut the berries in halves or quarters if they are large. Beat the cream with the vanilla until it is almost stiff. Slather the dome with swirls of cream and garnish with berries. Pass a bowl of extra fruit if you like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kate Valleri
    Kate Valleri
  • Cory P
    Cory P
  • Elisabeth Benson
    Elisabeth Benson
  • Kt4
  • CookingIsLikeLove
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

9 Reviews

Kate V. August 20, 2018
This was an immediate favourite, and perfect crossover for my Australian/American family. Just when I though you couldn’t improve on a pav! The peanut butter is the business. Bravo and thanks!
Cory P. June 23, 2014
I found this too much peanut butter, surprisingly. Next time, I'd cut the amount by as much as a half. I live in a dry climate, so the pavlova itself was perfect. Elisabeth, chill your whipping cream bowl, but keep your egg whites bowl at room temp.
Elisabeth B. June 18, 2014
should the mixing bowl be chilled first or room temp?
Amara May 24, 2014
My pavlova "weeped" (ended up spreading out all over the baking pan). Looked it up on the internet and it looks like more cornstarch and using both vinegar and cream of tartar would have done the trick. Making this for another Memorial Day BBQ tomorrow; will try with more cornstarch and the cream of tartar/vinegar combo and hopes it holds it's shape. The result was delicious, nonetheless! I paired it with a recipe for dark chocolate whipped cream I found on the site and the strawberries. Everyone loved it...even if I was disappointed by the shape.
EmFraiche April 28, 2015
I had the same problem with this recipe just now. Glad it should still tasted delicious though. =)
Kt4 May 23, 2014
Hmmm... What about using Nutella?
SusanluvsNY May 21, 2014
I have been making Pavlovas for years! I wish I thought of adding peanut butter! Cant wait to make! Thank you!!
Sally May 17, 2014
If I only have natural unsalted PB, how much kosher salt would you add? Thanks!
CookingIsLikeLove May 12, 2014
I am definitely going to have to try a low carb version of this. I'm a sucker for anything peanut butter! :D