Don't let the fancy-sounding name fool you.
overhead view of mini pavlovas topped with lemon curd, berries, and mint leaves
Credit: Meredith

What is Pavlova?

Pavlova – it sounds fancy, but it's essentially just a large meringue, topped with cream and fruit. It was named after a Russian Ballerina, Anna Pavlova and it was created for her while she was on tour in Australia and New Zealand. It's since become a national dessert in both countries, and is really popular around the world. What I can't understand is why it's not 'that' popular here in America.

What's the Difference Between Pavlova and Meringue?

Pavlovas and meringues are both made of whipped egg white, but a Pavlova has a delicate crispy exterior with pillowy soft marshmallow inside, while meringue is dry and crisp all the way through.

Credit: Stasty

7 Great Reasons to Make a Pavlova

Really, you won't believe how delicious it is and how easy it is to make. Here are just seven reasons why you need to make a Pavlova for dessert tonight.

1. You Probably Have All the Ingredients

The beauty of a Pavlova is that it requires ingredients you probably already have on hand. If I ever have last-minute guests call over for dinner, Pavlova is always my go-to dessert. The basic ingredients you need are egg whites, corn starch, and sugar! Got those? Then, go forth and make this Easy Pavlova. Once it's cooked, you can garnish with whatever you have on hand - whipped cream, whatever fruit you have in the fruit bowl, Nutella, lemon curd, etc.

2. Pavlova Is so Easy to Make

Egg whites beaten to soft peak stage
Credit: Blaine Moates

So many desserts are complicated, but Pavlova is one of the simplest dessert you can make. It just involves whipping some sugar and egg whites together. Your electric whisk does all the hard work. You put the whipped whites on a sheet of parchment paper and bake in the oven, and you are done! Watch the video to see how easy it is!

3. Pavlova Tastes Divine


Pavlova is light, crisp, and marhmallowy all at the same time. Unlike store-bought meringues, Pavlova feels delicate and light and tastes fresh. Every time I make a Pavlova people are converted and want the recipe. It looks and tastes like you have slaved over it all day, but really you just whipped it an hour ago.

4. It's so Versatile

Banoffee Pavlova sitting in pool of caramel
Credit: abapplez

Once you master the simple art of making Pavlova, there is a whole world of flavor out there for you to explore. You can add some coffee to your meringue. Then garnish with cream spiked with Marsala and you've got an exciting Tiramisu flavored dessert. You can make a Chocolate Pavlova, then top with rum flavored cream and cherries for a Black Forest twist. There are literally so many flavor combinations you can try. If you like bananas and toffee, you'll love this Banoffee Pavlova.

5. It's a Party Showstopper

Triple Layer Pavlova with Cherry Berry-Sauce
Credit: Adam Albright

A Pavlova is impressive enough to stand in as a birthday or celebration cake. For Valentine's Day, you can make a heart shaped pavlova and top with fresh raspberries. For Christmas you can make a wreath shaped Pavlova and top with red fruits and mint. You can also make multiple Pavlovas and make one big impressive tower like this Triple-Layer Pavlova with Cherry Berry Sauce. Pavlovas are made for parties!

6. It's Gluten-Free and Low in Fat

Pavlova With Lemon Curd
Credit: Blaine Moates

Looking for a gluten-free dessert that doesn't require a ton of expensive gluten-free flour, then Pavlova is the one to make. It's naturally gluten-free, and it's something different. Pavlova is also low in fat as it doesn't require any fat to make it. Granted, you do increase the fat if you add a pile of whipped cream on top, but you can always add a healthier topping such as a fruit sauce or a lemon curd.

7. It Can Be Different Every Time

Hazelnut Pavlova
Credit: Blaine Moates

You can make pavlova all year long but make it different every time. You can even follow the seasons – strawberries and mint in the summer, blood oranges in the winter, blackberries in the fall. If you don't have fruit, you can use flaked chocolate and toasted nuts any time of the year.

Related: Explore our complete collection of Pavlova Recipes.