| | | | | | |

Perfect Pavlova Recipe with Red Wine Cherry Compote & Mascarpone Whipped Cream

The perfect pavlova recipe.  Fruity, sweet, chewy and creamy.   This light and delicious dessert is so easy to make and its the perfect summer dessert especially when entertaining because you can make this pavlova recipe ahead of time then just assemble before serving.

two layered pavlova with whipped cream in the middle and top and cherry compote on top

Doesn’t this pavlova look spectacular!

I promise, it tastes as good as it looks and it is pretty easy to make.  Debbie and I don’t do a lot of desserts, though I always jump at the chance to make one.   I really enjoy baking, it was the first thing I loved to do in the kitchen and I used to bake all the time, but my waistline can’t handle baking like it used to…

This pavlova recipe is not super easy on the calories, but it is light and fluffy and doesn’t leave you with a heavy feeling in your tummy.

What is pavlova?

Pavlova is a traditional New Zealand and Australian dessert.  It’s basically a meringue dessert made by whipping egg whites and adding sugar and a little vinegar.  It’s usually topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit or fruit compote.

a beauty pavlova recipe on a cake stand with cherry compote dripping over the sides

Can you make this Pavlova recipe ahead of time:

Yes!  That’s one thing that makes this dessert so great for entertaining.  You can make the meringue and the cherry compote even a couple days ahead of time, but you can’t assemble the dessert until right before you serve it.

As long as your house isn’t really humid, you can keep the meringues wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container on the counter and they will stay firm for a day or two.  Don’t put them in the fridge as the meringues will absorb the moisture from the fridge and they will wilt and get wrecked.

If your house is humid, eat them right away 🙂

looking down at the pavlova where the cherry compote is on top and drizzling over the sides

Did I mention how gorgeous it is?

Say you are having a dinner party and you bring this beauty pavlova out for dessert.  It looks impressive.  Like you really know what your doing, but if you can beat eggs in a mixer, stir some sugar and cherries together with wine in a pot, and whip some cream to top it all off then you can make this pavlova recipe.

The hardest part is keeping your fingers out of the whipped cream and not drinking the wine you need for the cherry compote!

layered pavlova recipe with whipped cream in the middle and cherry compote on top. a slice is missing from the dessert

How do you make pavlova?

  • whip egg whites, sugar, and a little vinegar to stiff peaks and then form it into round discs on parchment lined baking trays.
  • bake it slowly so that the outside gets a nice crust and the inside is soft and fluffy.  Let it cool completely before trying to take it off the baking tray.
  • You can bake it as one tall layer slightly concaved in at the top to fill with fruit and whipped cream, you can layer it like we did and fill the layers with billowy mounds of whipped cream and mascarpone cheese, or you can also make mini pavlovas and serve them as individual desserts.  Love that idea.

They look impressive and fancy, but as you can see, they are quite easy to make!

A piece of this pavlova recipe on a plate with the main dessert in the back ground

Alternative toppings for this pavlova recipe:

This dessert is fabulous with fresh fruit, but we love a good fruit compote/sauce and this one with fresh cherries and red wine was our top pick, but there are countless ways to make this desert your own.

I have made it with a raspberry sauce which was delicious and I have seen it made with chocolate added to the meringue or drizzled on top.  Strawberries, kiwi’s, or passion fruit on top or a combination of fruits would be sooo good too.  Any fruit in season is the best fruit to use.

Any kind of fruit curd would be amazing.  Like lemon, or rhubarb or a raspberry curd!  Holy yum!!  (also a great way to use up the leftover egg yolks)

If you want this to be an even lighter dessert, leave the whipping cream out altogether and just serve the Pavlova with fresh fruit alone or topped with a fruit compote.

So many delicious options!

A slice of pavlova on a plate with whipped cream and cherry compote on top

Useful tools to make this perfect pavlova recipe even easier:

  1. Parchment Paper – a staple in our kitchens and a must for this pavlova recipe
  2. Silicone Baking Mats – these are so awesome and versatile!  We often use parchment paper, but these work the same and are reusable.
  3. Baking Sheet – these sheets without sides are great because you can easily slide the Pavlova off the trays without having to lift and possibly wreck the rounds.
  4. Cake Stand – you need a cake stand to display this beautiful dessert.   We LOVE these ones:

If you’ve tried this pavlova recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you!

To save this recipe for later on Pinterest:


We love to see your creations!  Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of this recipe on INSTAGRAM

Pavlova with Red Wine Cherry Compote & Marscapone Whipped Cream

Pavlova with Red Wine Cherry Compote & Marscapone Whipped Cream

The perfect pavlova recipe.  Fruity, sweet, chewy and creamy.   This light and delicious dessert is so easy to make and its the perfect summer dessert especially when entertaining because you can make this pavlova recipe ahead of time then just assemble before serving.
3.86 from 102 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Canadian
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Julie & Debbie



  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla clear vanilla if you have it


  • 2 cups whipping cream , chilled
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar


  • 1 1/2 cup cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Make the pavlova first so preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  • Beat the egg whites in a mixer on low speed at first and then increase the speed to medium and beat until they get frothy and start to turn white.  Add the sugar into the egg whites bit by bit until its all incorporated. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.   Add the vinegar and the salt and mix it in on low speed for about 5 - 7 seconds.  
  • Line a baking tray with parchment then take the parchment and put a 9-10 inch plate on top on one end of the paper. Draw a line around the plate and do the same on the other end so you have two perfect circles. Turn over the paper and put it back on the tray. Take the egg whites and spread them inside the two circles evenly.
  • Place them in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 mins then turn off the heat and let the pavlova cool in the oven slowly. Don't take the pavlova off the parchment paper until it has completely cooled or it could stick and break.
  • Next make the cherry compote. Pit the cherries and slice them in half. Put the red wine in a sauce pan and heat to a boil. Reduce the wine to 1/2 a cup. Add the cherries and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 30 mins or until the cherries are nice and soft, then set aside to cool.
  • When the pavlova has cooled completely its time to make the whipped cream by pouring the chilled whipping cream into a chilled mixer bowl. Beat on high speed until the cream starts to get fluffy. Add the sugar and the mascarpone cheese bit by bit and be careful not to over whip the cream. You don't want butter! Set the whipped cream aside.
  • Assemble the pavlova by placing one of the rounds on a serving platter. Top with half of the whipping cream and a good ladle of the cherry compote. Place the second round on top of the filling and cover with the rest of the whipping cream and another good ladle of the cherry compote.
  • Serve!


The pavlova can be wrapped in plastic or sealed in an airtight container and kept for several days on the counter unless your house gets very humid (in which case, eat your pavlova right away!)
Don't store pavlova in the fridge, the fridge can make it soggy. 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 208mg | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 1030IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Similar Posts


    1. Hi Amy, I have no idea. I would probably just eliminate the wine all together and just have the cherries in the sauce.

  1. Could I substitute other berries instead of the cherries and do I still cook them according to the instructions?

    1. Hmmmm I don’t see why not. I think blackberries would go nicely with this recipe. Or a mix of raspberries and blackberries. Raspberries are always one of my favorites so I think they would do well too. I might be tempted to try white wine with the raspberries though so they don’t get overpowered. If you try it, we would love to hear how it worked for you!


    I am Eszter from Hungary. Just found your recipe and I am stunned… I want to make this dessert for our Christmas eve dinner. I have only one question, is it a problem if I make it in the morning and leave it in a cold place until the dinner?

    Thanks in advance,

  3. I’m making this now for dinner tomorrow (will wait to assemble) and find the the cherry compote to be very runny…is this right or should it have thickened up?

    1. Hi Marnie, the cherry compote should be a bit runny. It should be syrup thick, but runny enough to drizzle over the top and have it run down the sides nicely.

    1. Hi Stacy, It really doesnt matter, just whatever you have or if you go out to buy some, just get a cheap one. We usually go for a cab sav or a merlot.

  4. i am making this wow dessert for my granddaughters 20th birthday tomorrow. i am using tart cherry juice in place of water and wine, and adding 1/4 cup more of sugar due to cherry juice is tart. i tasted the compote and it is amazing. this is the most wowsome dessert i have ever seen. i will let you know how it turned out tomorrow. i also used the dark cherries {frozen}. thanks so much for this recipe.

  5. What diameter salad plate do you use to draw the circles? The photo looks like it’s larger than a typical salad plate. Looks awesome and I want to make for 10 people so wondering if I need to make a double recipe.

  6. Made this yesterday/today and served for Christmas Eve dinner. It was a huge success. I made lemon curd with the yolks and put that as a center layer. Instead of cherries I did blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. To give a little pop of green I sprinkled some thinly sliced mint leaves. So good!!! Will definitely make this again.

  7. Made this today, and it is decadent! Substituted cherries for strawberries because our grocery store didn’t have any cherries. Is there anything you can do to cut the sweetness?

    1. Glad you loved it! Just cut down the sugar in the whipped cream and the sauce if you want to make it less sweet 🙂

  8. Finally getting ready to make this beauty….one question, however, you mention cream of tarter in the instructions but I dont see it listed in the ingredient list so not sure how much to use?

    1. Sorry! We updated the recipe slightly to use vinegar instead of cream of tartar. It does the same thing and vinegar is more readily available. Ive updated the instructions now as well. I guess I missed that one spot. Thanks for letting me know!

  9. Thanks for that gorgeous Pavlova, I made it for Christmas and it was a success. So much that it was required for a birthday.
    Thanks also for simplification in the recipe, translation in French is way easier 🙂
    Did you delete the mention to the russian dancer or did I see it on another website ??

    1. Wonderful. So glad you loved it. Not sure about the russian dancer lol, but I did rewrite this post lately so that it contains more useful information.

  10. I made this today. It was my first pavlova. I did put the vinegar and salt into my egg whites sooner then the recipient said to and it worked out well. I also beat my whites for about 15 min which, I thought was too long. I was worried that I over beat them so googled it and realized that when there is sugar in egg what’s “stiff peaks” look differently than a whipped cream or whites without sugar.

    I think someone else above addressed this but, knowing a circumference for how big the layer should have been as well as the height (if doing two layers) becuase we did not have any standard circular plates in the house (we have square plates).

    Next time I would also reduce the amount sugar in the wine sauce. Otherwise really yummy!

    1. So glad you liked it and the recipe worked well for you Allison! The plates or circles should be about 9 – 10 inches in diameter. Sorry for any confusion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating