PavlovaA Vegetarian World Tour: New Zealand

Recipe contributed by: Garalynne Binford, NZRD
Food Photo by: Meredith Hink, MS, RD

The next stop on our vegetarian world tour is New Zealand, home to Garalynne Binford, NZRD. Garalynne recently moved to New Zealand and is sharing a recipe for New Zealand’s national dessert, Pavlova. The dessert was named in honor of Ánna Pávlova, a famous Russian ballet dancer who visited New Zealand. Garalynne attributes the following recipe* to a recipe by Averil Norman, which she found in Home Made, a collection of New Zealand recipes compiled by Kim Knight. Pavlova is served with fruit, typically persimmons, kiwi fruit, and tamarillos in New Zealand, as well as heavy whipping cream. For a “lighter” filling, use a light whipped topping.

*The recipe was modified slightly for best results in US kitchens.


  • 4 egg whites
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


Preheat oven to 250°F. Beat the egg whites with a dash of salt until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar slowly until all the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites have taken on a pearly sheen. Then fold in the vanilla, white vinegar, and cornstarch.

Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and dampen the paper with water. Spoon the mixture into a circular shape, mounding it higher than you would want it. The circle should be approximately 6-7 inches in diameter, depending on how high you mound it. Form a slight “well” in the middle of the mound. Place into the middle of the oven quickly and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After the pavlova is done baking, shut off the oven and allow the oven to cool before removing the pavlova. When cool, place cut fruit and whipped topping or whipped cream in center of the pavlova’s “well” and serve.

Serves 8

About Meredith Hink MS, RD, CD

I am a Corporate Dietitian with a foodservice distribution company. My professional areas of interest include food safety and sanitation, food marketing, food law, and vegetarian nutrition. In my spare time I am an avid food photographer and enjoy spending time with my husband and two dogs.

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2 Responses to Pavlova

  1. Ruth Wright says:

    My granddaughter (25) has turned totally vegetarian. Her birthday is in a couple of weeks and I wanted so much to present her with a Vegetarian Pavlova or Mousse Cake. I guess that means using something other than egg whites.
    And what about the whip cream and any other suggestions you may have in this case.
    I would appreciate any help you can provide.
    Thank you,

    • That is so sweet of you to make something to celebrate your granddaughter’s birthday. I have not found any successful attempts at making a meringue but you can make a 100% plant-based whipped cream with coconut milk. It only takes 1 can of coconut milk and 2-4 Tablespoons of powdered confectioners sugar.
      Put the can of coconut in the refrigerator for about 12 hours — do not shake it prior or after taking it out of the refrigerator.
      When you open the can skim off the thickest part and place it into a chilled mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy, then add your desired amount of powdered sugar. Optional add vanilla or other flavorings.
      If you search the internet for coconut whipping cream you will find a host of ways to use this in creating delicious desserts.
      Good luck and happy birthday to your granddaughter.

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