This super easy mini Pavlova cake is light, fluffy, not too sweet, and it’s a delightful springtime dessert, topped with your favorite fresh fruits and berries.
Ready for a bright springtime dessert? I love how these adorable and pillowy mini pavlova cakes are soft and chewy on the inside and still crispy on the outside. They’re like little crunchy clouds!
This is one of my favorite dessert recipes to serve after dinner on a warm night. They’re not too sweet, perfectly light and fluffy and always bring a smile on people’s faces.
Depending on what’s in season, you can dress up your mini pavlova cakes with fresh berries, tropical fruits, or even chocolate and nuts. Whatever you do, don’t forget to add a generous dollop of whipped cream on top.
And now let’s see the usual Tips & Tricks…
How To Make Mini Pavlova Cake – Best Tips & Tricks
1. How to make Pavlova chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside?
There are a few key tricks to making a mini pavlova cake that is still sticky and creamy on the inside, with a crisp outer shell.
First of all, when you’re making the meringue in steps two and three, whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. When you turn off the mixer and flip the whisk upside down, the meringue should stay in a stiff, upright peak. It should be dense, glossy, and bright white. If the egg whites slide off or your peak flops, keep whisking.
When piping the meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, keep in mind that the size of your cake will affect its texture. Smaller pavlova cakes, 3-4 centimeters, for example, will dry out and crisp up faster in the oven than 10-centimeter cakes.
The other key to chewy and crispy pavlova dessert cakes is to bake the piped meringue at 225°F (100°C) for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then finish cooking by turning the oven off and without opening the door, allow the meringue cakes to sit in the still-warm oven for another 30 minutes.
For even crispier mini pavlova cakes, you can bake the meringues for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 225°F (100°C). Then turn the oven off and leave the cakes inside for 3 to 4 hours. This time in the oven helps the meringues dry out. Moisture is evaporating from the egg whites, leaving behind an extra crispy mini pavlova cake.
2. How to make this mini pavlova recipe vegan
If you can’t eat eggs or are following a vegan diet, but you still want to enjoy a sweet summer pavlova dessert, you’re in luck!
You can make this easy mini pavlova recipe egg-free and vegan by using aquafaba instead of egg whites. Aquafaba is actually the liquid from canned chickpeas. It might not sound all that tasty, but it’s an amazing vegan substitute for egg whites.
And don’t worry, it won’t make your dessert taste like chickpeas. In fact, it whips up beautifully and creates light and fluffy vegan meringues.
To make this mini pavlova recipe vegan, substitute the egg whites with the liquid from 1 can (400g) of chickpeas. You want the aquafaba to be very cold, so be sure to pop the can of chickpeas in the fridge overnight. Come morning, your aquafaba will be perfectly chilled and ready for whipping.
Other than that simple ingredient swap, the rest of the ingredients and the cooking method are the same.
To serve, simply dollop a heaping scoop of whipped coconut cream on top of your egg-free pavlova dessert along with plenty of fresh fruit.
3. Can you make this berry Pavlova dessert Keto, Paleo, or Whole30?
You bet! This is the best pavlova recipe to make Keto, Paleo, or Whole30-friendly.
Of course, you’ll want to choose a topping that’s also Paleo and Whole30-approved. Luckily, whipped coconut cream is a diet-friendly option to top this berry pavlova dessert.
To make the mini pavlova cakes keto, swap out the sugar for powdered erythritol*. 100 grams of erythritol should sweeten meringues made with 4 egg whites.
Another option is to add ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum* when you stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. The xanthan gum helps give some structure to your pavlovas and keeps them light and fluffy.
4. What ingredients can be replaced in this easy mini pavlova recipe?
In general, the meringue base should stay the same (egg whites and sugar, unless you use a vegan, Keto, Whole30, or Paleo swap described above). But if you’re out of lemon juice, a dash of apple cider vinegar will do the trick.
The fun part comes with toppings for your mini pavlova cakes. Mix and match your favorite toppings to dress up this light and fluffy dessert however you like.
Here are some of my favorite pavlova toppings:
- Fresh cut up tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and kiwi
- A mixture of fresh berries
- Fluffy homemade whipped cream or whipped coconut cream
- Warm fudgy chocolate sauce
- Silky caramel sauce
- Chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts
- Sweet fruit jam
- A scoop of easy homemade fruit sorbet
5. How to make the whipped cream for the berry pavlova dessert?
I’m so glad you asked. There’s nothing more inviting than a dessert piled high with a fluffy mountain of homemade whipped cream. Here’s how to make your own whipped cream for berry pavlova dessert:
- First of all, make sure that the whipping cream is super cold before you start whipping. You also want the bowl and whisk to be as cold as possible. I recommend sticking them in the fridge or freezer for an hour before you start whisking.
- And secondly, when you start making the whipped cream, use an electric whisk on medium-low speed. Keep mixing until stiff peaks form in the cream. This should take no more than 10 minutes. The cream is ready when you lift out the whisk, flip it upside down, and the cream stays in a nice firm peak.
6. How to store these homemade mini pavlova cakes
If you’re not going to serve up your mini pavlova cake masterpiece immediately, this is a fantastic make-ahead dessert recipe.
The meringues can be stored in an airtight container* for 3 to 5 days at room temperature. Don’t store them in the fridge or they’ll get too soft.
Whip the cream and decorate the mini pavlova cakes just before serving.
More Summery Desserts with Fresh Berries
Mini Pavlova Cake Recipe
- 4 large egg whites - at room temperature
- 1 cup (220g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
For Whipped Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy whipping cream - very cold, chilled overnight
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract - or one vanilla pod (seeds of)
- 3-4 cups (450-600g) fresh fruits of choice - such as blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries, mango, passion fruit, etc.
- Fresh mint leaves - to garnish (optional)
To make The Mini Pavlova Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed for 1 minute, until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on high speed for 10 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
- Stir in the vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch, then whisk on low for 15 seconds to incorporate.
- Transfer the meringue into a piping bag.
- Use the top or bottom of a 4.5-inch (12cm) cup to draw 5-6 circles on the prepared parchment paper. The diameter can vary slightly, and it will dictate the size of your pavlovas. Flip over the parchment so the ink is facing down.
- Pipe the meringue, using your circles as a stencil, and shape it like a bird's nest.
- Place the tray in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 225˚F (100°C).
- Bake at 225˚F (100°C) for 1 hr and 30 min, then turn the oven off and let the meringue sit in the hot oven for another 30 min. Don't open the door to peek!
To Make the Whipped Cream:
- Add the chilled cream to the bowl of an electric mixer with the sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk continuously for about 10 minutes, or until almost stiff peaks form.
- Keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
To Assemble the Pavlova Dessert:
- Once the pavlovas have cooled completely, transfer to a plate.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh fruit of choice.
- See how to make the pavlova cakes crispy on the outside but soft and chewy inside at Tip 1.
- To make this recipe vegan, check out Tip 2.
- Tip 3 has the ingredients swaps that make this recipe Vegan, Keto, Paleo and Whole30 compliant.
- For simple ingredients swaps, read Tip 4.
- To perfect the whipped cream topping on your berry pavlova dessert, be sure to read Tip 5.
- Tip 6 has the best way to store this easy make-ahead pavlova dessert, plus some of my other favorite desserts featuring fresh berries.
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