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+ servings
Cherry Pavlova Tree
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hrs
Drying Time
3 hrs

Looking for the perfect dessert for your Christmas dinner? This Cherry Pavlova Tree is a decadent treat perfect for any Christmas celebration or dinner. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: christmas gourmet dessert recipe, christmas meringue recipe, christmas pavlova
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Jackie
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1 ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Red & green sanding sugar optional*
Cherry Sauce:
  • 3 cups chopped cherries
  • cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Whipped Cream:
  • 2 ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a sharpie to mark outlines for the round layers that are 8 ½-9”, 7”, 6”, 5-5 ½”, 4”, 3 ½”, 2” in diameter. Leave at least 1 ½” of space between each circle to account for any possible rising and swelling of the meringue. You can use things around your house such as cake pans, bowls and cups to make the outlined circles. Leave about 4” of space to one side of the parchment for the star. I left the space on the parchment with the largest circle for the star.
  2. To make the meringue, place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed, 4, for 1 minute or until a microfoam with small bubbles has formed. With the mixer still going, slowly stream in the sugar. Continue whisking for 1 minute or until the microfoam has increased and the bubbles are larger and frothy. Add in the vinegar and salt and whisk for 3-5 minutes or until a white meringue with medium stiff peaks have formed. When you pull the whisk out of the meringue, a peak should form but the end will swoop down. The peak should not fall back into itself. Add in the cornstarch, vanilla and almond extract and whisk for 2-3 more minutes or until the meringue is stiff and the peaks hold themselves up.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip ¾ full with meringue. To help keep the parchment stuck to the baking sheet, pipe or use the back of a spoon to spread a touch of the meringue on the back of each corner of parchment and press down. Using a rubber spatula, divide the meringue between each of the circle outlines. Be sure to leave about ⅓ - ½ c of meringue for the star. Spread the meringue around the circles leaving about ¼” of edging visible for piping the ruffle. The meringue does not have to be completely flat but do try and make the layers as smooth as possible so that they stack well in the end. Pipe a ruffled edge around as many layers of the meringue as you can, ensuring that the ruffle does touch the meringue circle so that it is attached.
  4. To pipe the star, start by piping 5 lines in the shape of the star. Pipe a small connecting line from one leg of the star to the adjacent leg making sure that it is close to the center. This helps to fill the star out. Pipe a swirl into the center to cover up any funny lines that may be there from shaping the star. Push a cake pop stick or small dowel into the bottom of the star making sure that it is at least halfway into the star but does not come out of the top of the star tip. Optionally, sprinkle red and green sanding sugar over the star to add some depth and color.
  5. Layer all of the pans into the oven, making sure that if the pans are slightly overlapping each other that they do not touch the meringues. Contrary to other baked goods that do not bake evenly when crowded into the oven, meringues are slowly baked and dried so feel free to layer the pans in on multiple racks. Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the meringues in the oven with the door closed for 3 hours to finish drying.
  6. While the meringues are drying, make the cherry sauce. Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Place over low heat to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching it. Once the mixture is cooked, use an immersion blender to blend any remaining cherry chunks. Pour into a heat proof bowl to cool to room temperature.
  7. Once the meringues have dried out, carefully lift them from the parchment paper. Make the whipped cream by adding all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip together on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until a thick and fluffy whipped cream has formed.
  8. Place the largest meringue layer onto a cake stand or serving platter. Spoon about ¾ c of whipped cream onto the center of the meringue and spread out to the edges of the meringue but do not cover the ruffle. Spoon several tablespoons of the cooled cherry sauce over the whipped cream. Place the next largest layer on top and top with about ⅓-½ c of whipped cream and several tablespoons of cherry sauce. Place the third largest layer on and top with ¼ c of whipped cream and more cherry sauce. Carefully press a cake pop stick or dowel rod down through the center of the meringue layers to keep them centered. Continue doing so with the layers, using less and less whipped cream and cherry sauce each time. Once the top layer is topped with whipped and cherry sauce, carefully press the star onto the top using the dowel to stand it up. For added decoration, place 2” long pieces of rosemary into the whipped cream layers, add on mini pine cones then dust the entire tree with powdered sugar.
Recipe Notes

Storage: Pavlova is only good the same day it is assembled.

Almond extract - This can be completely omitted from the recipe, just know that it will slightly alter the flavor.
Cherries - You can use a different berry or fruit in place of the cherries, such as raspberries, strawberries or even blueberries for a change in flavor.

Before adding the egg whites to the bowl of the stand mixer, ensure that it is dry and not at all oily. If you feel that it has an oily texture after thoroughly washing and drying it, you can wipe it down with a paper towel and some white vinegar.
Be sure to maintain the mixer speed when making the meringue. Increasing the speed will add too much air too quickly which will in turn create a faulty meringue which can deflate in areas when baking.
Do not over whip the whipped cream as it will separate and you will have to start over. If you find that creating a good, stiff whipped cream is difficult, try streaming the sugar in while the mixer is going.

What is the texture of this pavlova?
Meringue is baked into round layers that are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and overall very chewy. Each layer is slathered in a soft, sweet whipped cream and then topped with a delicious cherry sauce that brings in a contrasting flavor that pulls all of the sweetness of this dessert together into one delicious bite.