These mini pavlovas are a beautiful and elegant dessert. Perfect little meringue nests for serving up at a party with a variety of toppings, especially fresh fruit and whipped cream.
If you’ve never had pavlova, it’s a meringue based dessert baked up to give them crispy shells, and a fluffy, and marshmallow-ey middle. The meringue shells are filled with whipped cream and your choice of fresh fruit, and other toppings.
They’re such a beautiful and sophisticated dessert, and these mini pavlovas are extra fun because you then each person can have their own pavlova and decorate it with whichever toppings they like.
Mini pavlovas are adorable, easier to eat, and so fun for a group. It’s tradition to top them with fresh whipped cream, which I think is a must, but you can put whatever fresh fruit on top you like, and I’ve got some other delicious ideas later in this post.
I am obsessed with the texture of pavlova, with it’s crisp edges and chewy middles I think you’ll love it too! And with mini pavlovas you’re ensured everyone gets lots of that delicious crunchy texture.
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Mini Pavlova recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- egg whites – whipped egg whites are the base of pavlova, they make the pavlovas light and fluffy like a cloud.
- caster sugar (ultra fine sugar) – we want to make sure our egg whites are sweet, but the sugar also helps stabilize and bind the egg whites. You can substitute granulated sugar if needed
- cornstarch – helps the pavlova have a softer, fluffier, marshmallow like center.
- white vinegar – the acidity helps the egg whites get their volume by helping the air mix into them.
- vanilla extract – helps add a delicious flavor to the pav.
- heavy cream – to make a whipped cream topping for the pavlovas.
How to make Mini Pavlovas?
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks while they are still cold, this helps them separate better. Then put the egg whites in a bowl and let them come to room temperature for a few hours.
- Once they’re ready beat the egg whites in a bowl for a few minutes until they start to form soft peaks. I recommend using a hand mixer, or stand mixer as you’ll have to mix them for several minutes overall. Keep beating the egg whites while you add in your sugar, a small spoonful at a time. Keep mixing over high speed with your electric mixer until the egg whites start to turn thick and glossy, and you have stiff peaks.
- Fold in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornstarch, and mix them in for about 30 seconds..
- To help get even meringue nests I like to roughly trace out my circles onto my parchment paper first. I usually use the top of a mason jar, or a round cookie cutter to get the sizes I want, making sure to draw them each a couple inches apart for spreading. Then flip the parchment paper over so you still see the circles, and put it on your baking pan.
- Scoop the meringue into a piping bag or ziplock bag, I like to use my 1M tip with them, and pipe it in rounded circles to fill in the drawn circles. Then a couple layers around the edges to make the edges higher. I make them about 3 inches high, and 2 inches tall. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out the middle, and slightly indent it.
- Bake the mini pavs in the oven for almost an hour, then let them cool in the turned off oven so they cool slowly. Once they’re cooled top them with your choice of fillings.
For more tips and making the perfect pavlovas, check out our traditional pavlova recipe here.
Tips and Tricks:
- Separate the egg whites and egg yolks from each other straight from the fridge when they are still cold. This is the easiest way to get clean separation.
- Use your leftover yolks to make ice cream, coconut pecan frosting, or hollandaise sauce.
- Draw small 3-inch circles on the bottom of your parchment before piping the mini meringues onto the parchment paper. Use a mason jar, cookie sheet, or small bowl and trace the edges to get the sizes you want. Keep them each a couple inches from each other to allow a little space between the meringues for air. Flip the paper over then pipe the pavlova into the space.
- Make your mini pavlovas and your whipped cream the day before your event, so you are extra prepared. Pavlovas take an hour to bake, and a couple hours to cool, so you don’t want to feel rushed in the process.
What toppings are best on pavlova?
- fresh whipped cream (a must)
- kiwi fruit
- passion fruit
- peaches or nectarine
- chocolate sauce
- mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
- lemon zest
- caramel sauce
- lemon curd
- peanut butter
- cookie butter
- mint leaves (to garnish)
What is the difference between a meringue and a pavlova?
Meringues are a type of dessert or candy that is made with whipped egg whites and sugar, often with vinegar, lemon, or cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. There are several types of meringues from different countries. They usually have a dry texture and are crispy throughout.
Pavlova is also a meringue-based dessert, made from egg whites and sugar, but is baked to have a soft marshmallow like middle, with a delicate and crispy outside.
How to store mini pavlovas?
The dry pavlova shells can be stored for about two to three days, in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Once topped with whipped cream and fruit, the mini pavlovas should be eaten right away. With the whipped cream added, the pavolvas will soften and they will only last about an hour or two at the max.
These mini pavlovas are such a fun way to let everyone choose how they want their own individual pavlovas. Make a beautiful display with a choice of toppings, and let people pick what they want to put on their pavlovas from the choices.
Everyone will love the crisp shell, soft filling, and lightly sweet flavor of these small pavlovas.
More meringue dessert recipes:
- Lemon Merinuge Pie
- Fullsize Pavlova
- Chocolate Macarons on Sugar Geek Show
- Baked Alaska on Preppy Kitchen
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- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar (ultra fine sugar)
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
For Topping the Pavlova:
- 1 cups heavy cream
- 2 TBS powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, mango, etc.
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks while the eggs are still cold. Make sure no yolk gets into the egg whites. Set aside to let the whites come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Add the egg whites to a large bowl, the bowl of a stand mixer is preferred. Beat the egg whites for a few minutes, or until soft peaks form.
- Continue beating the egg whites at a medium speed, adding the sugar in 1 TBS at a time, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition.
- After the sugar is all added, keep mixing another until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites, and thick, stiff, and glossy.
- Add in the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Scoop the egg white mixture into a piping bag, or a ziplock bag fitted with your piping tip of choice.
- Pipe the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper, about 3 inches in diameter each, repeating with remaining mixture to pipe about 12 total.
- Indent the top slightly with a spoon, the pavlovas may spread a bit on the sides.
- Place the pan in the middle of the oven and turn the temperature down to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the shells are dry to touch.
- Turn the oven off and leave the door closed for 30 minutes to let the pavlovas start to cool slowly.
- Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let the pavlova continue to cool in the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Transfer the baking pan to the counter, and let the pavlovas continue to cool at room temperature as needed.
- Transfer them carefully to an air-tight container at room temperature until ready to serve them.
For Topping the Pavlova:
- Beat cold whipping cream and sugar in a large bowl at high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Spread whipped cream over cooled pavlovas.
- Top them with your favorite fruits.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- Enjoy immediately for best results.