Recipe: Raspberry Pavlova (GF)

I HOPE YOU’RE HUNGRY, because I’ve made a Raspberry Pavlova for you. What a rapturous dessert! The chocolate meringue base is crispy on the outside, and marshmallow-gooey on the inside. The whipped cream center is sprinkled with chocolate shavings, and crowned with crimson thimbles. Ready to taste this work of art? Here’s the recipe:

First, set a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, and draw an 8-inch-diameter circle in the center. I used a small cake-stand as a template for my round.

Next, separate six large eggs. Put the whites in the bowl of your standing mixer. Save the yolks for another purpose.

No standing mixer for you? Use your hand-held electric beaters.

Let the whites twiddle their thumbs about for 30 minutes. They’ll whip better when they reach room temperature.

While the egg whites are resting, grab a bar of good-quality bittersweet chocolate.

Break off 2 squares…

And chop them finely.


Now start beating the egg whites at medium speed. When they begin to foam, add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar is an acid that helps egg whites to achieve their full mounting potential. It also tends to whiten the whites.

Increase the speed to “high,” and when the whites form soft peaks, add 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.

With the machine still running, gradually add  1 cup of “super-fine” or “caster” sugar.

Why use super-fine sugar? Because it dissolves instantly. Granulated sugar might give your meringue a gritty texture.

Beating is complete when the whites are stiff and shiny. In other words, when you feel like scooping them up with hands, and shoveling them into your mouth.

Put 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons unsweetened (“baking”) cocoa in a sieve…

And sift them over the meringue.

Add the chopped chocolate…

And then fold the additions into the whites with the aid of a green spatula.

Mound the works into a fat circle, staying within the boundary you drew on your parchment paper. Smooth the top and sides with the spatula.

This next step is crucial:

Lick the spatula.

You might as well lick the mixing bowl, too.

True Confession: I licked the spatula, the mixing bowl, and the whisk that was attached to my standing mixer.


Bake the meringue at 250°F for 75-90 minutes. Baking is complete when the sides of the “cake” look crisp, and the top feels dry. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and let the meringue rest for 2 hours, or until it cools to room temperature.

Note: Sometimes, even if you beat the meringue perfectly…even if you bake it for the right amount of time…and even if you leave it in the turned off oven…it will still collapse after it cools.

But don’t despair! Even a collapsed meringue is a beautiful meringue. Its sides will be crisp, and its interior will be chewy-gooey-wonderful.

Invert the meringue onto a big plate or cake stand…

And then spread it with sweetened, softly-whipped cream.

And to make this dessert even more decadent, grab another square (1/2 ounce) of bittersweet chocolate, and grate it with a common vegetable peeler.

Sprinkle the gratings over the cream, right to the very edge.

Then scatter the berries on top, leaving a one inch border all around so the chocolate bits will be visible.

In the comments field below, let me know if you might like to try this poetry some day. It’s gorgeous to behold. It’s elegant to serve. And it’s outrageously delicious!

And here, for your convenience, is a copy-and-paste version of the above recipe:

Raspberry Pavlova (GF)
Kevin Lee Jacobs
Makes enough for 6-8 servings
For the meringue:
6 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup super-fine (instant dissolving, or “caster”) sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 ounce (2 squares) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 ounce (1 square) bittersweet chocolate, grated with a vegetable peeler
12 ounces red raspberries

Special Equipment: a standing mixer or electric hand-held beaters; a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Preliminary step: Draw an 8-inch-diameter circle on the parchment paper.

Set the oven rack at the lower-middle position; preheat the oven to 300°F.

1. Beat the egg whites at medium speed. When they begin to foam, add the cream of tartar. Increase speed to high, and when soft peaks form, add the vinegar. With the machine still running, add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Stop beating when the whites become firm and shiny.

2. Pour the cornstarch and the baking cocoa into a fine-mesh sieve, and sift them over the whites. Sprinkle on the chopped chocolate. Use a spatula to gently fold these additions into the whites.

3. Scoop the meringue into the center of the circle you drew on the parchment paper, smoothing its sides and top with a spatula. Place in the oven, and then immediately reduce the temperature to 250°F. Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until the sides look crisp and the top feels dry to the touch. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly, and let the “cake” cool for 2 hours.

Advance preparation: When completely cool, the meringue can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

4. Just before serving, whip the cream and sugar until thick but soft. Spread the cream atop the meringue, sprinkle on the chocolate gratings, and top with the raspberries.

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More good eats from Kevin:
Perfect Gluten-Free Pancakes
Ham, Kale, and Swiss Cheese Tart
Chicken and Lemon Polpettine


  1. So elegant ….could I have mine with a nicely chilled glass of wine?

  2. Absolutely! And I will lick the spatula, too. Oink, oink…you make me laugh and give me great ideas for , well, every meal! Thanks!

  3. Nichole says:

    I’m drooling.

  4. Frederica Huxley says:

    I’m fascinated, as I have been making pavlovas for 40+ years, and have always used 3 egg whites (and 6 oz caster sugar) for a dessert for 6-8 with seconds!

  5. Oh my! <3

  6. Bette Kratoska says:

    Looks and sounds delicious and gluten free so I can eat it.

  7. Brenda Johnson says:

    Heavenly!!!! A bed of light meringue, crisp around the edges, soft in the middle…studded with chocolate bits and the wonderful cocoa goodness. Ruby red raspberries dot the celestial cloud of whipped cream, and additional chocolate curls adorn the top- providing not only an additional layer of flavor and texture, but visual appeal as well! Truly a stunning presentation- that tastes as good as it looks! (Or better!) Thank you so much for sharing Kevin!!!

  8. Kenneth F says:

    I’m just minute from heading out to go shopping. I have added these things to my list. This looks awesome and I am ready to Taste it.

  9. looks delicious

  10. Leslie G says:

    My best friend visited Australia years ago where she first had a taste of one and brought back the recipe for it. We have both made them with different fruit toppings and they are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your recipe 🙂

  11. Hi Kenneth F – Let me know how the pavlova turns out for you!

  12. sharon lee dube says:

    Hi Kevin, this looks yummy and I’m hoping to try it soon. I have to wonder how you manage to stay so thin? I gain weight just looking at your recipes 😉
    I made you blueberry squares for a recent family gathering. They were delicious and gone in minutes!!
    Thanks again for sharing and the step by step photos which are such beautiful “eye candy”!!

  13. Oh my gosh, that looks GOOD! Can you tell me, if I was to make this in smaller, individual sized circles, what baking adjustments would need to be made?

    Looking forward to your cookbook coming out!

  14. Looks absolutely divine. Will make it for the next Birthday Party.
    Waiting for your cookbook too

  15. This sounds fabulous! Can’t wait to try it. My favorite dessert of all time is a floating island – meringue island floating in soft custard (and you can top it with raspberry sauce for a very special treat. You might like that too, Kevin!

    Thanks for all the love and joy you put in your posts. I always look forward to your blog, your flowers, sharing your beautiful gardens and your terrific sense of humor. Bless you and your sweet family! <3

  16. Sharon A says:

    Another surprise for the quilting group. Love making you desserts for them. My husband and I can enjoy but not over enjoy – sharing works best.

  17. Sounds awesome. Love meringue, chocolate, marshmallow & raspberries. Perfect. Can’t wait to make this. Love your blog. Wait for it every week.

  18. Valerie C. says:

    I love this recipe. I’m not super talented in the kitchen, but, I’ll try it. I can’t wait for your book!

  19. It looks great and gluten free. I like it, thank you very much.

  20. it looks yummy!

  21. You are so funny Kevin. This looks delicious. I love that you wrote the whites are ready when you want to scoop them up with your hands and shovel them into your mouth. That is how real cooks feel so why not admit it. AND licking the bowl, spoons, beaters, etc. Heck, I even bake just so I CAN lick the bowl (and spoons, etc). Just saying!

  22. I need to get the chocolate and raspberries..have everything else then you KNOW I’ll be making this. I didn’t know you could add what you did to meringue. I always learn something from your blog. It makes my Sunday morning.
    Can’t wait for your cookbook to come out..It’s going to be on my Birthday, Christmas or any holiday wish list..depending when it becomes available!

  23. Looks wonderful, and gluten free to boot. Really looking forward to your cookbook.

  24. Mary Ann Fiske says:

    I made this for dessert last night! One quest had 3 pieces. Yes , it is very important to lick the spatula!

  25. Julie B says:

    I had the pleasure of finding Pavlovas on the menu several times last month in Australia, so am very happy to have such a guaranteed-to-be-great recipe for this light and luscious dessert. Thanks, Kevin!

  26. naturegirl says:

    Good lord – that looks amazing! And probably worth every sinful bite..You bet I’ll try it. Thank you, Kevin. Think you could use strawberries when they’re in season? Especially local, organic ones. Thanks for your terrific recipes –Now I need to get a green spatula.

  27. Linda ( the gardenstudent) says:

    Kevin, I am going to try this one! but I am confused with the directions… the written directions (with no pictures) are different for the ‘oven’ compared to the first instructions… I won’t be making it until I hear back from you. Got to get me a green spatula too! Kevin, thank you once again! you are just fantastic and so talented!

  28. Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says:

    I hang my head in shame as I have never heard of a Pavlova.

    Kevin to the rescue, with a fabulous looking method and final result.

    Now ingrained.

  29. I’m very concerned that I only have blue, purple and yellow spatulas. Do you think the recipe will work with one of those?

    Seriously though, this looks lovely. As an Aussie, I’m very accustomed to seeing pavlovas everywhere, but I’ve never seen a chocolate one. Going to try it and shock my friends hahahaha.

    Thanks again.

  30. Hi Linda (the garden student) – The copy-and-paste directions are accurate: Pre-heat the oven to 300°F, and then immediately reduce the temperature to 250°F. Hope you’ll try this pavlova, even if you don’t own a green spatula!

  31. Heather says:

    This looks AMAZING!!!

  32. Oh my word, Kevin! That is almost obscenely decadent…and I can hardly wait to make it! Thank you for sharing – Fawn

  33. This looks divine. I just might try this when I have some putzy time in the kitchen.

  34. Thank you for a wonderful gluten free dessert. I can’t wait to make one.

  35. ohmigosh, I cannot believe I turned one down many years ago from an Aussie friend! I had no idea she had worked so hard ! We were absolutely STUFFED after a fabulous meal .but still I should have had some! I’m so ashamed of myself! I deserve to have my first one flop for penance , but i will eat ti anyway. Thanks for the clear description and inspiration

  36. Yummo! I will make this soon!

  37. Natalie says:

    I would LOVE to try this version someday! I’ve fairly recently become aware of this elegant dessert and the idea of a chocolate base is intriguing.

  38. OMG!!!! I’m salivating! I love meringue, I love whipped cream, and I adore chocolate!! Best of all worlds. Oink!!

  39. Is this the same as, excuse my spelling, the Shaum Torte my mother used to make? I have been searching for a recipe for the raspberries from my yard. I have a 5′ round garden of raspberries and yielded 12-14 lbs.!! I am going to make this tonight! It’s good to know if it falls it’s okay. I’ve been looking for a recipe for a breakfast bar with raspberries, do you know one?

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