This pavlova is airy and light but feels decadent and indulgent. The vanilla cherries are lush and flavorful.

Watch our short instructional video!


For the Meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (180 g) superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (20 g) Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa
  • 2 ounces (56 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for finishing

For the Cherries:

  • 3 cups (430 g / 1 scant pound) sweet cherries, stems removed, halved and pitted (or frozen cherries), plus 1 cup (150g / 1/3 pound) for the top (all pitted and halved)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon, brandy, cherry juice, or water
  • 3 tablespoons water or cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle Vanilla Paste
  • Pinch salt

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle Vanilla Paste

For the Meringue:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300ºF.
  2. Draw an 8-inch round with pencil on a piece of parchment paper and place the parchment on a baking sheet, pencil side-down.
  3. Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
  4. Increase the speed to medium high, gradually sprinkle in the sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture looks glossy and holds firm peaks, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cocoa over the meringue, add the chocolate, and fold gently until just combined.
  6. Place a dab of meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper to secure it to the pan and spread the meringue inside the drawn circle, leaving it a bit messy and rustic, taking care not to overwork the meringue or it will start to deflate.
  7. Place the meringue in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meringue is puffed and crisp all over, but still soft underneath the crust.
  8. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open and leave the meringue in the oven to cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes.
  9. Once cool, press the center of the meringue with the back of a spoon to form an indentation.
  10. The meringue can be made a day or two ahead and stored airtight until you’re ready to serve.

For the Cherries:

  1. In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Add the cherries, bourbon, vanilla paste, water, and salt and toss to combine.
  3. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the juices have thickened to a sauce, 10-15 minutes.
  4. Chill the cherries until cold, 1-2 hours and up to 1-2 days.

For the Cream:

  1. Place the cream, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
  2. Whip on high until the cream holds firm peaks, being careful not to overwhip. (If you do take it too far and the cream starts to clump up, you can gently fold in fresh heavy cream to loosen up the mixture.)

To serve:

  1. Fold half of the chilled cherry compote into the whipped cream just to swirl slightly; don’t overfold.
  2. Spoon the cream into the baked and cooled meringue.
  3. Toss the remaining fresh cherries with the remaining cherry compote and spoon them over the cream.
  4. Sprinkle the pavlova with the chopped chocolate.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve right away.
  6. The pavlova is best freshly assembled when the meringue is crisp, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.