A delicate and crunchy meringue shell with a marshmallow-like center, this Christmas Pavlova Wreath topped with almond cream and fresh fruits is the most beautiful holiday dessert you’ll ever make!
This post is sponsored by C&H® Sugar. All opinions are my own.
About This Recipe
- Taste – Sweet, tangy, fresh, and creamy
- Texture – Crispy outside, soft and marshmallow-like inside, juicy, refreshing, and smooth
- Effort – This christmas pavlova wreath is relatively easy to make, perfect for beginner bakers.
- Time – It takes about 20 minutes to make the meringue, plus an additional hour and 15 minutes to bake.
What is Pavlova?
A melt-in-your-mouth large meringue cake named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, made with whipped egg whites and sugar.
I partnered with C&H® Sugar to bring you this recipe! C&H® Sugar is my go-to brand whenever I need sugar, which is pretty often! I used C&H® Confectioners Sugar to make the almond infused whipped cream. It’s a very fine, powdered sugar with exceptionally smooth texture. It’s perfect for making frostings, glazes, and for stabilizing whipped cream because it contains cornstarch.
- Egg whites: The base of the Pavlova! beaten to stiff peaks, the key is using room temperature egg white.They provide structure and allow the meringue to rise and become crisp.
- C&H® Granulated Sugar: Sugar gives pavlovas their crisp texture and helps stabilize the egg whites as it bakes in the oven, preventing it from collapsing.
- Cornstarch: Adds a subtle chewiness to the meringue and prevents it from becoming too sticky or runny.
- Distilled White Vinegar: Adding an acidic ingredient also stabilizes the egg whites and can prevent splits and cracks.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a subtle flavor to the meringue
For the Toppings
- Heavy Whipping Cream: adds a smooth and creamy texture to the almond cream
- Almond Extract: add a subtle almond flavor to the cream
- Confectioner’s Sugar: also known as powdered sugar, adds sweetness and balances the richness of the heavy cream and the almond flavor. I like C&H® Confectioners Sugar.
- Fresh Fruits: such as raspberries and pomegranate arils for decoration.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make the Meringue Base:
- Separate the eggs; it’s easier while cold, but make sure to use the eggs whites at room temperature (Photo 1)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium speed, until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes (Photo 2).
- Add in the sugar a little bit at a time, continue whisking until stiff peaks form (Photo 3 and 4). This takes between 5-8 minutes on high speed.
Top Tip: Stiff peaks are when the egg whites hold their shape and don’t flop over.
- Add in the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla extract (Photo 5, 6 and 7).
- Beat until fully combined (Photo 8).
Make the Pavlova Wreath
- Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a plain style pastry tip (I used Ateco 809). Pipe onto parchment paper, forming 9 or 10 evenly sized mounds (Photo 9).
- Use the back of a spoon to create small dents on each mound. Making a slight indentation in the center of the meringue will help to prevent the pavlova from cracking (Photo 10).
Top Tip: Using a pencil, trace a 9-inch circle on the parchment, and a 6-inch circle in the center of the larger circle. This will serve as a guide when making the wreath.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off heat, but do not open the oven! Cool pavlova in the oven for at least an hour.
Make the Almond Cream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream, confectioners sugar and almond extract until stiff peaks form (Photo 11, 12, 13 and 14). Refrigerate until ready to use.
Decorate the Christmas Pavlova Wreath
- Spread the almond cream on top of the pavlova, using the back of a spoon (Photo 15).
- Top with raspberries, pomegranate arils and decorate with mint leaves. Sprinkle some confectioners sugar and enjoy (Photo 16)!
- For a vegan Pavlova: use aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) instead of egg whites. Here’s an example.
- To make a sugar-free Pavlova: use a sugar substitute such as erythritol or monk fruit. Use a ratio of 1:½, substituting 1 cup of sugar with a ½ cup of Monkfruit Sweetener
- You can substitute tapioca or arrowroot flour for cornstarch.
- Use Greek yogurt for heavy whipping cream to make a lighter pavlova.
- Sliced Figs
- Toffee or Bark
- Chocolate Shavings
- Candied Oranges
- Dust with C&H® Confectioners Sugar
- Mixing bowls
- Hand mixer
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Pastry bag
- Piping tip, or simply cut the corner of the pastry bag
- Make Ahead Instructions: Pavlova can be made ahead a couple of days. Store in a cool dry place, completely covered or in a large air-tight container. Add the cream and toppings when ready to serve.
- Store the Pavlova Wreath without toppings in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Prepared whipped cream can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- Although you can freeze the Pavlova meringue without toppings, more often than not it will lose its crunchy texture. Store cooled meringue in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the meringue at room temperature, ensuring it doesn’t come into contact with any moisture.
Top Tips for Making a Pavlova Wreath
- Use room temperature egg whites. Although it’s easier to separate the egg whites from the yolk while cold, leave the egg whites on the counter for 30 minutes before using.
- Make sure your equipment (bowls, beaters) is clean and grease-free. Any grease or oil will prevent the egg whites from whipping up properly.
- Make a slight indentation in the center of the meringue. This will help to prevent the pavlova from cracking.
- Bake the meringue at a low temperature and don’t open the oven door while baking. Low and slow is the key to a crispy and delicate meringue.
- Let the pavlova cool completely in the oven (to prevent cracks) and before adding the whipped cream and fruits, otherwise it will collapse.
- Some cracks are normal and expected!
- Don’t overbake the meringue, as it will become tough and dry.
- Allow the meringue to cool completely before adding the toppings.
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