Christmas Pavlova Wreath
This Christmas Pavlova Wreath is festive, gorgeous, and delicious. Who wouldn’t love meringue topped with whipped cream and berries??
Forming this Pavlova Dessert into a ring instead of a circle and adding red berries and green mint sprigs adds the perfect holiday flair!
Why You’ll Love this Pavlova
- At least among my friends, many have never heard of nor eaten a pavlova! You will be serving something special for dessert.
- If you can make meringue cookies or a meringue topping for a pie, you can make a pavlova.
- It’s one of the most delicious desserts ever! And it makes a stunning presentation.
- Superfine Sugar – I can easily find Domino’s brand. I’ve tried blitzing regular sugar in my food processor to make my own, but I’ve read that this creates sharp edges on the sugar grains that can reduce the quality of your baked pavlova.
- Cornstarch – Helps keep the Pavlova soft in the center while the sugar keeps the exterior crisp.
- Egg Whites – Have at room temperature for better volume when whipped. Make sure any bowls or utensils that will come in contact with the egg whites are free of oil or grease. I make sure my mixer bowl and whisk have been run through the dishwasher, so they’re scrupulously clean.
- Lemon Juice or White Vinegar – The acid helps to stabilize the whipped egg whites allowing them to hold the air that keeps them light.
- Salt – I use table salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer. Desserts will taste flat without a touch of salt.
- Vanilla Extract – Make sure it’s pure vanilla. Do not use imitation.
- Whipped Cream and Berries – To garnish.
Many of these tips are appropriate for any type of meringue.
- Separate your eggs one at a time and have a third bowl for the egg whites. It’s crucial not to get any yolk into your whites and having the third bowl is key. Separate the yolk and the white into separate bowls, then add the whites to a third bowl once you know it hasn’t been contaminated with any yolk.
- PRO-Tip: Cold eggs separate best as the yolk is less likely to break.
- PRO-Tip: Make sure all your equipment is free from oil or grease. Run your beaters and bowl through the dishwasher to make sure they’re scrupulously clean. Whites will not beat properly if they are contaminated by a little fat (this includes a speck of egg yolk).
- Use superfine sugar. It will incorporate better than regular granulated sugar.
- Add the sugar slowly. My mom taught me to rub some of the meringue between my fingers to see if the sugar has been absorbed. If you feel grains, it needs more mixing. I don’t think I’ve ever not felt a few granules of sugar, but in a perfect world, all the sugar would get incorporated into the whites.
- This bears repeating: Do not top your meringue with cream until about an hour before serving. The meringue can absorb some of the moisture and get very chewy (been there, done that!).
- PRO-Tip: Also, meringues are best kept in a dry location. Any humidity will also affect the texture. The refrigerator is too humid for storing your ungarnished wreath.
- You can store your ungarnished pavlova in your oven. But make sure to put a note on the door so you don’t accidentally turn it on!
Frequently Asked Questions
This isn’t the first pavlova recipe I’ve shared, but the others have been the classic round shape. It’s an egg white dessert sweetened with sugar and stabilized with a bit of acid, like lemon juice, and cornstarch.
Pavlova is basically a large meringue that’s baked slowly so that it has a crisp, melt-in-your-mouth exterior and a squidgy (a Nigella Lawson term), softer interior. It’s a popular dessert in Australia and New Zealand, and each likes to claim it was first made in their country.
You can make the meringue the day before, but don’t top it until just before serving. Keep the meringue in a low humidity location or the texture will be compromised. Do not refrigerate.
You can make the meringue the day before, but don’t top it until just before serving. An hour before serving is fine.
Keep the meringue in a low humidity location or the texture will be compromised. You should refrigerate any leftovers.
I found the easiest way was to draw a template on a sheet of parchment paper. I used a 10-inch cake pan for the diameter, then a small 4-inch or so mixing bowl to draw the middle opening. Turn the parchment over onto a sheet pan. Use dabs of your raw meringue to “glue” the paper to the pan.
Use a large piping bag with a tip with a large opening if you have those available. Otherwise, use a large Ziploc bag and cut a corner off. The latter may look a little more rustic!
Next, I piped round mounds between the two lines. You can always add more so start slowly. Pipe one mound, then another on the opposite side. Aim for 8-10 total. Alternatively, you could use an offset spatula and smooth the sides and top, but the mounds were easy and pretty.
You May Also Like:
- Peppermint Meringue Cookies from Shugary Sweets
- Egg White Cookies
- Individual Pavlovas
- Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
- Layered Chocolate Meringue Cake
- More of the Best Dessert Recipes
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- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons of superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Fresh raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate arils, mint sprigs
- Preheat your oven to 275°.
- LIne a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 10-inch circle in the middle of the sheet, then a 4-inch circle in the center of the larger circle. This will be your template for the wreath. Flip the paper over so the markings are on the bottom side.
- Mix together the 2 teaspoons of sugar and the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the egg whites, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt. Beat on medium-high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer running, slowly add the rest of the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Scrape down the sides as needed. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and vanilla, scrape down the bowl, then mix until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks, about another minute.
- Use a dab of the meringue to glue each corner of the underside of the parchment paper to the baking pan.
- Use a large piping bag and a large open piping tip to pipe 8-10 circles of meringue between the two lines drawn on the parchment. Start with one, then pipe the second on the opposite side of the wreath. Repeat until the center area of the wreath outline is filled with meringue. You can always go back and add more to any of the mounds.
- Using the back of a spoon, make a divot in each mound. These indentations will help hold the whipped cream on the baked pavlova.
- Place the meringue in the oven, then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 250°.
- Bake until dry and crisp, about 1 1/2 hours. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time.
- Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool with the oven door open slightly.
- When ready to serve, whip the cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks.
- Place the pavlova on a serving plate.
- Add a generous spoonful of whipped cream to each divot in the pavlova, then top with berries, pomegranate arils, and mint sprigs.
- Serve within an hour.
Make sure your bowls and utensils are free of any grease and your egg whites don't have even a molecule of yolk or your egg whites will not whip properly.
Use a 10-inch cake pan and a 4-inch mixing bowl to draw your template.
Store your baked pavlova shell in a dry location like the oven (with a note so it's not accidentally turned on), but never in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking (Pavlova with Rhubarb and Strawberries).
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
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