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Make Pavlova the Star of Your Holiday Dessert Table

Sweet, surprising, and light, this Aussie dessert does it all.
By Published Nov. 3, 2022

As an Australian expat living in America, I often find myself trying to incorporate my favorite childhood treats and desserts into my celebrations here in the States.

I’ve made myself a few slices of birthday Fairy Bread. I made Vegemite sandwiches for my colleagues. But my very best Aus-merican mash-up will be the hero of my holiday menu: the iconic Aussie dessert, pavlova.

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If you haven’t tried this heavenly Down-Under dessert, you should definitely acquaint yourself. Baked meringue, silky cream, and handfuls of fresh fruit make this the perfect holiday treat.

It’s gluten-free, can be made ahead of the celebrations, and—most importantly—it’s as light as the powdered snow on your windowsill.

After heapings of mashed potato, a second (or third) helping of succulent turkey, and a healthy serving of buttery vegetables, it can be difficult to face the prospect of a heavy pumpkin pie or chocolate dessert. 

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Boards: Stylish Spreads for Casual Gatherings

Take boards beyond cheese and crackers. Show off your effortless entertaining style with showstopping spreads (including a build-your-own-pavlova board!) that will impress your guests but give you the flexibility to make or buy components as you choose.

That’s why pavlova is such a welcome and delicious alternative: You can enjoy a light, sweet, and fruity dessert without feeling even more weighed down. But it still satisfies that something-sweet craving.

And lucky for you, we have several different recipes for pavlova that will suit any preference. Here are a few of them.

orange cranberry mint pavlolvaindividual pavlova

Orange, Cranberry, and Mint Pavlova with Whipped Cream (left) and Individual Strawberry, Lime, and Basil Pavlovas with Whipped Cream (right).

chocolate pavlovabrown sugar pavlova

Chocolate Pavlova with Berries and Whipped Cream (left) and Brown Sugar Pavlova with Stone Fruit (right).

  • Chocolate Pavlova with Berries and Whipped Cream. Okay, I know I was having a go at chocolate desserts earlier, but this recipe is definitely an exception; all the decadence of chocolaty flavors with none of the density that can often result. The classic combination of chocolate, cream, and berries sings in this delectable dessert.
  • Brown Sugar Pavlova with Stone Fruit. Finally, this deeply rich and caramelly take on the classic pavlova transforms it into a decadent dessert with all the lightness of other forms, and it only takes one ingredient switch: brown sugar. With the addition of syrupy stone fruit, this is one pavlova recipe not to miss.