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! 

5.0 from 8 reviews

Pavlovas with Lemon Coconut Cream

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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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  1. June Burns

    What a pretty dessert! Pavlovas really are lovely 🙂 This variation sounds fabulous!

  2. Meghan from

    Pavlovas are my absolute favorite things ever (to make and eat) and these have such a lovely springtime flair! I would have never thought to replace the topping with coconut whip. (And also, those gold trim plates are stunning!)

  3. So lovely! Also, New Zealand?? I’m on it! Clicking over to the site and fingers crossed I win. Someone’s gotta, right?

  4. Love your idea of using coconut as a topping! I’m a New Zealander, and pavlova is a personal love. Traditionally, it’s made into a ‘cake’ but there are lots of versions now of single serve pavs. I use white vinegar, not white wine, and this with the cornstarch is what gives it the marshmallowy texture in the center. I love it most with raspberries, although kiwifruit is the trad way to go. I’ve got an absolutely O.T.T. (over-the-top) version on my site made with Limoncello, raspberries and cream (and it’s in American measures,too), topped with mini meringues! And there are heaps of tips on meringue making. I’d love to meet you in NZ if you return!

    • jeanine

      Thanks Julie, I’ll have to check out your version! I’ll let you know next time we’re on our way to NZ 🙂

  5. Sarah from

    This is so beautiful! I am seriously jealous of your food photography skills. Not to mention the recipe sounds absolutely divine. I’ve never seen lemon oil at the grocery store… is this just expressed from the lemon peel, or can you buy it somewhere?

    • jeanine

      Hi Sarah, you can just use lemon zest if that’s easier! I find lemon oil in the baking section with the vanilla extract, almond extract, etc. (Simply Organic makes the one I have).

  6. These look sooooo good and they remind me of my childhood because at the time, my gran’s pavlovas were my favourite dessert (well, that and lemon meringue pie). I like mine topped with TONS of berries, so these are right up my alley!

  7. My little heart breaks every time I see a meringue or pavlova! Food science, please create a vegan version!

  8. Leah from

    These pavlovas look divine! I just heard of these recently and have been dying to try them. Adding to my must-make ASAP list!

    and New Zealand sounds incredible. I could go for a vacay like that right about now 🙂

  9. I love pavlovas! I was thinking about making one this weekend for spring, so same wavelength! This is gorgeous, I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  10. I’ve never made a pavlova either but I’m planning to try soon, and of course your version sounds wonderful. I’d also love to go to New Zealand someday .. it’s on the bucket list!

  11. Andrea

    Thanks so much! That’s actually quite a relief… 🙂

  12. Andrea

    These look great! I’ve never made meringue before, but this makes me want to try. 🙂 When the recipe says to whisk the egg whites with salt, I assume that means by hand. Is it ok to use a mixer or would that affect the texture? Thanks!

    • jeanine

      Definitely use an electric mixer (I used my stand mixer), it takes awhile for peaks to form and would be a big arm workout if you tried it by hand 🙂 (thanks for pointing that out I’ll include that in my notes!)

  13. Zooey

    Looks delicious!

    I have to ask — where did you get that plate with the gold trim in the first photo (the one on top)? My great-grandmother had a set of these and I’ve never seen them anywhere else before!

    • jeanine

      I got it at a thrift store in Chicago 🙂

  14. Serena from Sparklestyleandiy,

    I have never heard of Pavlovas, but now they’re on my list of things to make. Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for sharing recipes from other countries, it’s always neat to try.

  15. (1) New Zealand has been on my bucket list for years
    (2) These Pavlovas look divine!

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.