Classic Pavlova
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • 4 egg whites for smaller pavlova (or 6 egg whites for larger pavlova)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar for smaller pavlova (or 1 1/2 cups caster sugar for larger pavlova)
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch) for smaller pavlova (or 3 teaspoons cornflour for larger pavlova)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste (optional)
  • About 2 cups whipped cream to serve
  • Seasonal fruit to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C (265°F). Place some baking paper on an oven tray and draw a 16cm (6 inch) circle in the middle of it (I use a bread plate and a marker) for the smaller pavlova (or an 18cm (7 inch) circle for the larger pavlova). Turn the baking paper over so the drawn circle is now underneath, but still visible. You'll be using it as a guide later on.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of your electric mixer with the pinch of salt and whisk the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. A little at a time, add the sugar until the mixture is very stiff and glossy (this should take around 10 minutes all up). If you rub a little mixture between your fingers, you shouldn't be able to detect any sugar granules in the mixture once finished.
  3. Sift in the cornflour and add the vinegar and vanilla (if using) and beat until combined (about a minute more).
  4. Spoon the mixture onto the baking paper in large dollops (using the circle as a guide). Slightly level the top so that it creates a good surface to add the cream later on. Bake for 1 hour for smaller pavlova (1 hour 15 minutes for larger pavlova).
  5. Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool completely in the oven, oven door closed, for several hours, or overnight.
  6. Transfer the pavlova carefully to a serving plate (I use a large plate sized metal spatula).
  7. Whisk the cream to a soft peak stage and spread over the pavlova. Top with seasonal fruit and serve.
If you make this ahead, store the pavlova (without cream) in an airtight container - it should last for up to about 3 days so long as it's not too humid. Don't refrigerate it as it will become soft. However, if you want to store left-over pavlova (with cream), you'll need to refrigerate it - just eat it as soon as possible.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at