Serves a Crowd

Fancy Pavlova

November  9, 2010
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

Pavlova is crispy on the outside but light and fluffy inside and is believed to have been created to honour Anna Pavlova during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand. The exact location of its first creation and the nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two countries for many years. New Zealand claims invention though, as a printed copy of the recipe appeared in 1929. It's a favourite Thanksgiving alternative to pie at my house.

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: SweetTea is an avid traveler and restaurant veteran -- she owned a restaurant in New Zealand before moving to the United States.
WHAT: A sweet, creamy pavlova that's fancy in all the right places.
HOW: You make a pavlova that's airy but soft, fill it with a mascarpone mixture, roll it up like a log, and top it with berries.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is the perfect party dessert; it's impressive, it's unexpected, AND it can be made ahead. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • for the cake
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup double-cream or heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons icing (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grand marnier
  • 7 egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting
  • for the berry compote
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups raspberries (these may be thawed frozen ones)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries (these should be fresh)
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine mascarpone, cream, icing sugar, and grand marnier. Cover with some plastic wrap and refrigerate to firm up slightly.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together sugar and cornflour; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 320F (160C).
  4. Grease with shortening the base of a jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray (you really, really don't want this to stick!) Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, with electric beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly begin adding the sugar cornstarch mixture while continuously whipping. Continue whipping until thick and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved. Gently fold in the vinegar.
  6. Spread the egg white mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or just until firm. Remove from oven and set aside for 3 minutes to rest.
  7. Remove from oven and set aside for 3 minutes to rest. Lay a clean tea towel on your work surface. Top with a large sheet of baking paper and dust with extra powdered sugar. Turn your pavlova out onto the baking paper, gently peel away the paper on which it was baked. Set aside to continue cooling.
  8. Spread chilled mascarpone mixture along the long side of meringue closest to you. Carefully roll pavlova, using the paper and tea towel as a guide, to enclose the filling. Keep pavlova wrapped in baking powder and tea towel. Transfer pavlova roll to a tray and place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to set.
  9. Make berry compote: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2 minutes longer or until thickened slightly.
  10. Place the sugar syrup, 2 cups raspberries and their juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
  11. When ready to serve, transfer pavlova roll onto a serving platter. Remove paper and tea towel. Top pavlova roll with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Drizzle with half the raspberry coulis. Cut into slices to serve with remaining raspberry coulis.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • tinadatabase
  • Emilia Rosa
    Emilia Rosa
  • cratecooking
  • Lindsey Kahn
    Lindsey Kahn
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly

20 Reviews

alicia D. April 3, 2021
Made this a few nights ago for a brunch the next day. It presents beautifully and is a wonderful make-ahead dessert. I'm not crazy about the filling, so next time I will try a lemon, chocolate, or coffee-enhanced whipped cream, with a dollop of mascarpone to stabilize. Like a few other reviewers, I cut back on the sugar by a skimpy 1/4 cup and found it perfectly sweet. Very excited to have this new type of pavlova to add to my repertoire.
Evie October 10, 2015
This original recipe by Cynthia Black from Notebook Magazine Australia is such a success. The only difference here is that Cynthia's recipe doesn't use Cream of Tartar. I have made it many times without, so it can be easily omitted with successful results. I like to adorn it with whipped cream on top, the coulis and the berries cascading down. Beautiful presentation for a Christmas table. The original recipe is on the Taste website.
ChinaLatina April 29, 2014
Hi sweet tea, I'm excited to try your recipe. Forgive me for asking but I am a total novice baker and I want to get this right. What size jelly roll pan should I use? Thanks! And congrats on the wildcard win!
melcooks August 4, 2013
Made the Fancy Pavlova this weekend, turned out beautifully! Sinfully delicious. Only changes to the recipe I would make next time: use 1/4 cup (vs. 1/2 c) heavy cream in mascarpone filling for thicker consistency and use a little less than 1 3/4 cup sugar called for in the meringue. The finished meringue is very sweet but the berries and coulis help offset the sweetness. The small amount leftover held up very well over night so dessert could easily be made day ahead. A most impressive dessert that our guests thoroughly enjoyed! Thank you SweetTea for sharing this recipe.
Gram June 3, 2013
Wow! Don't know if I can get this one to work for me. I am going to give it a try. Sounds wonderful.
tinadatabase May 25, 2013
This reminds me of a traditional Filipino dessert I grew up eating : )
Emilia R. March 21, 2013
OK, I made it for my birthday party and it was a super-hit—was left with only a small slice, sniff! There were a few problems—my fault though—I thought I’d relate them for the benefit of not so experienced cooks, like myself... First, mine is a very small (old) oven. So, the large pan took most of its space… As the top started to darken, I removed it before the time allotted in the recipe. When I unmolded it (very easy task!) the bottom was quite sticky… I did not vacillate, since I recall my grandmother choice for cake icing was always “merengue” (egg whites beat stiff with lots of sugar, and applied raw). The filling was in the refrigerator for a long time, but didn’t firm up. So, I attacked it with the electric beater until I got the right consistency. Pavlova was nicely malleable and rolled graciously over the filling—just like Anna would have done! I trimmed the edges and tried them: delicious, but, oh, so sweet! So I served with a bowl of freshly whipped cream; it was the talk of the party! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Emilia R. March 6, 2013
How long in advance can this be made? I'd love to make it for my B-day, but I have so many things to prepare I always like to make as many in advance as I can!
cratecooking February 5, 2013
Delicious and elegant. Very interesting twist on pavlova. The mascarpone cream filling is to die for!
Lindsey K. December 25, 2012
I just finished this beautiful Pavlova! I trimmed the edges for a clean look & it is just gorgeous. I can't wait to serve it after Christmas dinner tonight.
quaker August 21, 2012
i'm going to make this for my card party. what a wonderful recipe.

thank you
Kitchen B. August 2, 2012
What a gorgeous recipe - many congratulations
fiveandspice August 1, 2012
Gorgeous. And seriously fancy! Congratulations on the wildcard!
em-i-lis August 1, 2012
oh how beautiful! i can't wait to make this! congrats!
Bevi August 1, 2012
I have always admired this recipe. Congrats!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 1, 2012
WOW! This looks amazingly delicious! Really stunning. Many congrats on making wildcard pick!!
drbabs August 1, 2012
Maria T. August 1, 2012
I'm a pavlova freek and never in my wildest dreams did I eve think that you could roll a pavlova! Amazing idea and hope I can achieve it! Congratulations SweetTea!
vrunka November 11, 2010
Wow, that's amazing. I make pavlovas all the time and never would have thought to fill and roll it. It's gorgeous!
monkeymom November 10, 2010
I've never seen a pavlova rolled like this. It is lovely!