Strawberry-And-Basil Pavlova


A simple sheet pan dessert (plus two variations) for Passover or any special gathering.

Southern Living Strawberry-and-Basil Pavlova

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Melissa Gray; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Active Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
2 hrs
Cool Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins

The beauty of pavlovas is that they are much easier to make than they look. The meringue-based dessert is also the ultimate blank canvas for any combination of toppings, from fresh fruit to chocolate, so once you master the meringue, you can endlessly recycle this recipe for everything from bridal showers to Sunday brunch.

Without the cream of tartar, which is an optional addition, it's also a wonderful dessert to serve for Passover

While some pavlovas are piped, this recipe simply spreads a brown-sugar meringue on a sheet pan, meaning no special equipment is needed. After baking and drying, the pavlova is topped with a non-dairy whipped topping for those keeping Kosher for Passover, but you can also use regular whipped cream.

On top of the cream, macerated strawberries and raspberries are paired with sweet baby basil for a delightfully syrupy contrast to the crisp meringue. If berries aren’t in season, try one of our variations, including a Lemon-Pistachio Pavlova (below) made with store-bought lemon curd for an easy pop of citrus, or a Coconut Macaroon Pavlova, drizzled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with toasted coconut chips.


  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 9 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 1 (6-oz.) pkg. fresh raspberries

  • 6 cups thawed frozen nondairy whipped topping (from 2 [8-oz.] containers)

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh baby basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together brown sugar and 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar until no lumps remain. Set sugar mixture aside.

  2. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar (if using), and salt with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high, and gradually add sugar mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. (The meringue should be glossy, and sugar should be dissolved completely.)

  3. Spread the meringue almost to the edges of the prepared baking sheet using an offset spatula. Bake in preheated oven until pale off-white, about 2 hours. Turn off oven, and let meringue cool, undisturbed, inside oven with door closed, at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours.

  4. During the last 30 minutes of cooling, toss together the strawberries, raspberries, and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.

  5. Transfer cooled meringue to a platter. Spread whipped topping evenly over meringue, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Spoon berry mixture over whipped topping, and top with basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Pistachio Pavlova

Prepare recipe as directed, omitting berry mixture and basil. Drop spoonfuls of lemon curd (1 cup) over whipped topping on meringue in Step 5; swirl with a knife. Top with 1/2 cup chopped pistachios.

Southern Living Lemon Pistachio Pavlova

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Melissa Gray; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Coconut Macaroon Pavlova

Omit berry mixture and basil; sprinkle 1 cup toasted coconut over whipped topping on meringue. Drizzle with 2 oz. melted dark chocolate.

Southern Living Coconut Macaroon Pavlova

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Melissa Gray; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

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