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Meringue Nest piled with festive cranberry sauce

Cranberry Mini Pavlovas Recipe

Emma Duckworth
These Festive Cranberry Mini Pavlovas combine a crisp on the outside, marshmallowy on the inside pavlova with double cream and a sweet yet tangy cranberry-orange sauce. They are the perfect light dessert this holiday season.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cool Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Method Meringues & Pavlovas
Cuisine Australian
Servings 8
Calories 309 kcal


Meringue nests

  • 4 large egg whites - room temperature
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour (corn starch) - melted

Cranberry Sauce

  • 150 g fresh cranberries
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 oranges - juice and zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate

  • 300 ml double cream (heavy cream)
  • Fresh cranberries, sprigs of rosemary and dried orange slices, optional  - optional


Meringue nests

  • Prep the oven and trays.
    Preheat your oven 140°C (280°F).
    Prep the trays. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and trace 8 circles about 5cm (2-inches) in diameter in pencil, leaving space between each circle. Then turn the paper over so that the pencil marks are underneath. 
  • Whisk the egg whites. In a clean and dry bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. 
  • Add the sugar gradually. Turn the mixer to low, whilst beating, add one tablespoon of caster sugar at a time, whisking well between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
  • Continue to whisk until glossy then add in lemon juice and cornflour. Once all the sugar is added, turn the mixer back up to high and continue whisking for 10 minutes. 
    Then add the lemon juice and fold through with a rubber spatula until well combined. The mixture should be thick and glossy and the sugar fully incorporated. It should hold its shape when you pull out the whisk. (When rubbed between finger and thumb, the mixture should not feel grainy). If it is still gritty then continue whisking.
  • Spoon onto trays and bake. Using a spoon, dollop 2-3 heaped tablespoons of meringue inside the pre-drawn circles on the parchment paper. Use the back of a spoon to shape the meringues into nests and to create a slight hollow in the top. Don’t go right to the pencil edge as the meringue will expand in whilst baking. 
  • Bake. Place the baking tray in the centre of the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 110°C (230°F) and bake for 1 hour. Then turn the oven off and leave to cool completely. Whilst baking and cooling, don’t be tempted to open the door and have a peek!

Cranberry sauce

  • Make the cranberry sauce. Whilst the meringues are baking, make the cranberry sauce. Set aside a quarter of the orange zest to sprinkle over the finished pavlovas. Place the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over low heat on the stovetop. Stirring frequently, simmer the cranberries until they start to burst, and the sauce thickens. At this point, if you prefer a looser sauce then stir in an extra tablespoon or two of orange juice. Spoon contents into a bowl and allow to cool completely.

To assemble and decorate

  • Whip the cream. In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. (Use electric hand-held beaters or whisk by hand).
  • Layer up the mini pavlovas. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the whipped cream onto the top of each pavlova, then spoon some cranberry sauce on top of the cream. Decorate with a few fresh cranberries, remaining orange zest, a sprig of rosemary and a dried orange slice. Serve immediately.


Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.
To store: Mini pavlovas are best stored 'undressed', The cream and cranberry sauce will gradually moisten the crisp shell making it disintegrate and go soggy. Once cooled completely, gently place meringues into an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to two days. Do not refrigerate them. Whipped cream and cranberry sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.
To freeze: Yes, meringue can be frozen. Freeze on the baking tray and then once hard, store in a freezer-safe container or zip lock bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature making sure they do not come into contact with any moisture.
To make your own caster sugar: Add granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the sugar grains are a finer texture. Don’t process too much though, otherwise, you’ll end up with powdered (confectioners’) icing sugar!!
TIP 1: Prep your baking paper. By drawing a circular guide on the paper for your meringues, you'll nail getting them all one size and they'll look like a professional has made them! Remember to flip it over though.
TIP 2: Stop the paper from slipping around. Nothing more annoying than trying to shape your meringue and the paper slips and slides everywhere! A little dollop of meringue on each corner will 'glue' the paper down.
TIP 3: Clean bowl and whisk. This is an absolute must if you want any success at meringue making.
TIP 4: Make sure the sugar has fully dissolved into the egg whites. Do the grit test. If you feel any grit when you rub the meringue between your thumb and finger- it's not dissolved. Carry on whipping and test again!
TIP 5: Bake low and slow. Low temp and for a long bake time are needed for the shell to crispen and inside to cook through.


Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 40mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 2gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 636IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cranberry Mini Pavlovas, Mini Pavlova
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