Pavlovas with Lemon Coconut Cream

If you've never had a pavlova for dessert, you're in for a treat! In my recipe, I top vanilla meringue with lemony coconut cream, berries & fresh mint.

Pavlovas with Lemon Coconut Cream

For me, there’s such an overlap between cooking and traveling – I just love navigating new recipes as much as I love exploring new places. I’m in my happy place when I’m getting lost, trying new things, and tasting new foods… whether in my kitchen or somewhere around the world.

We’ve had a serious case of wanderlust lately. Jack and I have spent a good amount of time in Europe and Asia, but one place that’s been high on our travel list is New Zealand. By an amazing stroke of coincidence, Air New Zealand approached us to partner up for their Calling all Travelers campaign.

What does that mean? It means you can win a trip to New Zealand by creating your own action-packed-food-&-wine-or-whatever-you-like itinerary. And while we’re all planning our Kiwi adventures (and maybe sampling some New Zealand wine on the flight…), why not be adventurous, start at home, and make an NZ recipe that you’ve never tried before?

Pavlova meringue on a baking sheet

Pavlovas were created in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1920’s while she was touring through New Zealand. We had fun recreating this meringue dessert. I had never made one before but I love a new recipe challenge. They’re crispy on the outside and are sort of like a marshmallow in the center. They’re usually topped with whipped cream, but I used a lemony version of my go-to coconut cream with berries and fresh mint to make this pavlova dairy-free.

Dairy-free pavlovas with berries and coconut cream

If you’re like us and are looking for a spring getaway, (with comfortable seating of course!)check out some really great travel deals Air New Zealand is offering. Or click over and build a customized vacation itinerary (before March 31st) for a chance to win a trip of your own!

This post is in partnership with Air New Zealand as part of their Calling All Travelers campaign. Check out their video and round trip tickets for as low as $1K! Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking! 

4.9 from 9 reviews

Pavlovas with Lemon Coconut Cream

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Use whatever in-season fruit you like for the topping here, and if you're not dairy-free, a dollop of regular whipped cream would be delicious in place of the coconut cream.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 4-inch pavlovas
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar, or fine white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
for the topping:
  • solids from 2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • ⅓ cup sifted powdered sugar
  • a few drops vanilla extract
  • a few drops lemon oil
  • 2 cups mixed berries & mint
  1. For the pavlovas, I followed the instructions from this recipe exactly (using an electric mixer to beat the egg whites). Let them cool to room temp before topping with the cream.
  2. Make the coconut cream: remove your coconut milk from the fridge and carefully scoop the thick solid part off the top. Save the watery part for another use. Use an electric mixer to whip the coconut cream until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon and mix again.
  3. Top pavlovas with a spoonful of coconut cream, berries and mint.
  4. Serve immediately.
For the coconut cream: every now and then you get a can where the solids won't separate. I've had consistently good luck with the 365 Whole Foods brand full fat canned coconut milk. And/or Trader Joe's sells canned "coconut cream" that doesn't require separating.

Pavlova recipe adapted from here and many places on the internet.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Margot

    I made these recently and they were absolutely delicious! However, the one thing I would change if I made them again would be to put far less sugar in the coconut cream— the meringues were already very sweet, plus the sweetness of the berries, it was just very very sweet altogether. Still delicious though, the whole family loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  2. Lovely

    Perfectly cute and delicious! =)

  3. These look so good. And the presentation is so cute!I would love to make these at home….

  4. Alex

    How long does the coconut cream keep? I’ve never made it before and am hoping to make/take these somewhere for an Easter dinner. Wondering if I can make it ahead and store it for 24 hours or have to bring the stuff to make it at the host’s like whipped cream?

    • jeanine

      You should be able to make it 1 day in advance and store it in the fridge (it’s thicker and less fluffy than whipped cream). Just keep it separate from the pavlovas until you’re ready to serve.

  5. Vicky from

    Mmm these look great. I made a huge pavlova last night with lemon curd and blackberries. I love the idea of mini individual sized portions!

  6. Gemma from

    So beautiful! The meringue came out perfect!
    I love your plates and that measuring cup is to die for!<3


  7. Cleo

    Expats living in AU and recently went to South Island, NZ; spectacular. The venison and lamb shanks are must tries. Fell in love with a pinot noire named Roaring Meg from a winery outside of Queenstown if you would like a pretaste of to come. Pavlova is also claimed by Aussie’s but as an American they are just delicious.

  8. Air New Zealand was seriously the best flights i have ever taken… 14 hours was a dream, which i realized sounds nuts but seriously they were so lovely and served some awesome wine!! Only thing better was actually landing in that amazing country. So much beauty. xo

  9. Renee

    those looks amazing. I have to give this a try

  10. lucy from

    this looks amazing!! and love those gold trimmed plates.

  11. I had no idea pavlovas were a New Zealand thing. Yours are just gorgeous and that cream sounds to die for! I’m dreaming of going to NZ too some day :-).

  12. Rachel

    Yay – a good ol’ pav! I’m a Kiwi (aka New Zealander) too and pavlova is one of my absolute favourite desserts. I made one yesterday and it was yum. Great idea with the lemon coconut cream. So pleased you have had a taste of our little piece of paradise.

  13. All of your food is so beautiful. I would be honored if you guys would check out my cooking vlog. The kick ash kitchen.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.