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Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Raspberries

This Lemon Curd Pavlova is topped with fresh raspberries. You can make lots of mini pavlovas and serve them individually, or make one large pavlova as a dessert centerpiece. Either way, this dessert is sure to impress!

Creating This Pavlova Dessert

What do you do when you’ve made Lemon Curd and have a whole bunch of egg whites leftover? Make individual pavlovas for dessert! That’s what I did, at least.

I topped my pavlova with lemon curd and fresh raspberries, but the nice thing about a pavlova is that you can top it with whatever you want and whatever is in season at the moment.

I have been craving berries lately. Especially raspberries. For breakfast, snacks, desserts…pretty much anytime. They’re hands down easily one of my favorite fruits.

But they’re so expensive! When I saw a sale on them this week I had to snatch up a couple containers. I enjoyed their bright fruity flavor with the crunchy meringue and creamy lemon curd.

I can’t help thinking of the other possibilities for pavlova as spring progresses into summer. One thing that I particularly love about this pavlova dessert is you don’t need an incredibly hot oven, so it is still doable on a warm day.

On a side note, for some reason Madeline had the bright idea to call this a “dessert quesadilla.” I have no idea what that means.

Eric says it’s because they were white and flat (like tortillas) and it had yellowish stuff on top (like cheese). I’m not seeing the resemblance, so maybe she just thought “Pavlova” was too difficult to say.

What is Pavlova?

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert. It has a crispy, crunchy meringue-like shell that is soft and moist on the inside.

Pavlovas can be made as simple or complicated as you’d like. Sometimes you see layered pavlova desserts with fruit curd and fresh fruit between the layers of meringue.

While I think more elaborate pavlovas are beautiful to look at, I prefer keeping mine simple. These individual lemon curd pavlovas with raspberries are easier to make than you’d think!

AND you probably have all the ingredients to make the meringue-like base. There’s not really anything too fancy about this fancy looking dessert.

pavlova with raspberries and pastry cream

Click HERE to save this recipe for Lemon Curd Pavlova!

What’s in a Pavlova?

For this simple pavlova dessert, you’ll need:

  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon juice
  • Cream of tartar
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • Egg whites*
  • Lemon curd, raspberries, and whipped cream (for topping)

*Need help separating the egg whites from the yolks? Check out these tips for how to separate eggs.

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Pavlova

Separate the egg whites from the yolks, then let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, whip the egg whites together with the cream of tartar until soft peaks begin forming.

Slowly add in the sugar and cornstarch, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla. Continue beating the mixture until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form.

Portion the meringue (carefully!) onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray, then bake until set. Baking times may vary, but your meringue will likely take 45 to 60 minutes to bake. Remove the homemade meringue from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Can I Prep These in Advance?

You don’t want to bake the meringue too far in advance, as it tends to deflate and become chewy over time. I’d say you’re probably safe to make the meringues the morning you plan on having people over, but not much before that.

Also note that you don’t want to assemble the pavlovas too soon before serving them, as the lemon curd can start to break down the meringue if left sitting on top of it for too long!

lemon curd pavlova topped with raspberries

Click HERE to save this recipe for Lemon Curd Pavlova!

Tips for Making Pavlova

If you’re looking for an elegant dessert for an upcoming holiday or family gathering, this pavlova will surely be a hit.

Just dress it up with whatever toppings you like best (citrus curd, mounds of fresh whipped cream, or anything else light and refreshing that comes to mind). Then, pile on your seasonal fruit of choice.

I prefer to prepare these as individual desserts rather than a larger pavlova. There’s just something charming and likable to me about mini versions of desserts and individual small replicas of the full sized dessert.

If you prefer a larger pavlova, just make one large circle rather than 6-8 small sized nests. You will need to watch the baking time, however.

Also note that it’s useful to form a small well in the center of the meringue with the back of a spoon prior to baking the meringue. This will help the lemon curd and raspberries rest more easily on top of the pavlova.

Pavlova Substitutions Ideas

The great thing about Pavlova Recipes is that they provide a good opportunity to get creative! All you really need to worry about is that the toppings you add on the meringue nest pair well together.

It is best to have something for moisture like a curd, custard, pastry cream, or whipped cream, and then top that with whatever fruit you think will pair best.

Don’t want to use lemon curd in this Lemon Curd Pavlova? Try Raspberry Curd, Orange Curd, Coconut Lemon Curd, Grapefruit Curd, Almond Custard, or even just whipped cream would be great!

If you want to mix up the fruit, you can try a variety of different berries: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a mix of them all together would be great in this pavlova recipe. For non-berry fruits I recommend fresh peaches in the summer paired with the almond custard or whipped cream (or a combo of both!).

Advice When Making Substitutions in this Pavlova Recipe

Typically I don’t recommend making a bunch of substitutions when preparing a new recipe. When making substitutes, you won’t know if you don’t like the recipe or if the recipe didn’t turn out due to a preparation mistake, an ill effect from the substitute, or something else.

However, if you do choose to make substitutions in a recipe, I recommend only making one substitute at a time so you don’t have a building effect of multiple poor substitutions.

In this Pavlova Recipe, I wouldn’t recommend any substitutions in the meringue part of the recipe unless it is swapping out the extract or adding some citrus zest.

More Special Occasion Desserts:

If you’re looking for an easy dessert the whole family will love, I highly suggest making a batch of Strawberry Fool. It’s essentially strawberries and cream, and it’s perfect during the warmer months!

These Raspberry Almond Angel Food Cake Parfaits look incredibly fancy, but they’re secretly so easy to make. This is a great dessert to make with kiddos!

I made this particular batch of Iced Vanilla Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day, but you can cut them into any shape you want!

Another simple dessert recipe with a major wow factor are these Balsamic Strawberry Shortcake Parfaits. Trust me, balsamic and fresh berries pair beautifully together!

No one can resist these Dark Chocolate Almond Molten Lava Cakes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dive right in!

Have you ever eaten pavlova before?

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recipe for individual pavlova

Lemon Curd Pavlova with Raspberries

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This Lemon Curd Pavlova is topped with fresh raspberries. You can make lots of mini pavlovas and serve them individually, or make one large pavlova as a dessert centerpiece.


Meringue Nests

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean (seeds only)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 ounces egg white, about 5-6 large eggs


  • Lemon Curd - Recipe: Citrus Curd 3 Ways
  • Fresh Raspberries, Strawberries or Blueberries
  • Whipped Cream
  • Mint Leaves, for garnish


  1. Divide the egg whites from the yolks. Save the yolks for a later use, such as Citrus Curd or another favorite recipe that requires egg yolks. Bring the egg whites to room temperature for 30 minutes before beginning the recipe.
  2. Prepare by preheating your oven to 250 degrees F and lining a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, turn the speed on to low. Mix for 1 minute, then gradually increase the speed to medium-low.
  4. Continue to beat at medium-low for another minute, then increase mixer's speed to medium. Continue until the mixture has small bubbles and soft peaks start to develop, about 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the sugar mixture into the bowl as the mixture continues to beat. Increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. It is ready when the meringue is shiny and has developed stiff peaks.
  7. For individual pavlovas, you can spoon little nests (6-8 total) of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet.* Then, bake at 250 degrees F for 45 – 65 minutes. Rotate the pan(s) halfway through baking.
  8. Finished meringue should be crisp and dry, but not cracked. The insides will have a marshmallow-like consistency. Cool baked meringue on a wire rack.
  9. After pavlova has cooled, top with lemon curd and fresh berries. Best served immediately. If you assemble the dessert too soon then the lemon curd with begin to dissolve the meringue.


*Tip: Form a dip in the center of each pavlova with the back of the spoon before baking to act as a dish to hold the lemon curd and berries.

Nutrition Information
Yield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 514Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 293mgSodium 272mgCarbohydrates 84gFiber 1gSugar 79gProtein 14g

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Click HERE to save this recipe for Lemon Curd Pavlova!


Friday 23rd of March 2018

How far in advance can these be made, will it stay fresh enough for 2-3 days dry?

Sylvia Fedyk

Sunday 14th of August 2011

Thanks for this. I made it for a dinner party when I wanted a dessert that could include my lactose-intolerant 20 year old and this was perfect. Easy, company worthy and beautiful, I just replaced the butter in the lemon-lime curd I made with solid Earth Balance. It also used up the container of egg yolks languishing in my freezer from my last meringue foray.

Kristin Morden

Sunday 8th of May 2011

This looks amazing and I can't wait to make it!


Saturday 7th of May 2011

I stumbled upon the Pavlova/w raspberries and cream! This looks wonderful and I would love to eat it right now!

Beth @ Hungry

Wednesday 4th of May 2011

I Stumbled Upon the Pavlova with Raspberries recipe.

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