There is so much to love about this Layered Pavlova Cake! It tastes like a macaron cookie grew extra large and gave you a hug, but kept it’s signature fluffy merengue texture and intense filling flavor. The raspberry sauce and ice cream in the middle is such a textural delight – creamy, crunchy, gooey, smooth and sweet. I just served this for a Galentine’s/Birthday party with friends last night and it was so good. It is light yet hits the sweet spot perfectly.
It also happens to be really easy to make. It takes around 10 minutes of prep and then it cooks for a while (see directions). If you love someone who can’t abide gluten this is for you! If you love someone who doesn’t do well with dairy, we ate ours with vanilla coconut milk ice cream and it was amazing.
You start by beating 8 egg whites + 1/4 teaspoon salt in a stand mixer with the whisk setting. It takes 5-8 minutes, and your oven should be warming up during that time. (You put it in a 350 degree oven then immediately turn it down to 225. It is low and slow for cakes). Then you slowly add 2 cups of sugar while it is still beating. Then you gently fold in 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar (or cream of tarter – the egg whites need acid to create stiff peaks) and 4 teaspoons cornstarch.
You can add a drop of food coloring for a light pink color, but white is so pretty too. Then you make 2 circles on parchment paper using a 8-9 inch cake round pan. Turn over the paper so the pencil doesn’t get onto the cake. Then you spread the mixture into the two circles.
You bake them for 50-70 minutes (see below) until they are hard and then I let mine rest in the oven for another hour, but you only need to let them rest until they are cool.
While they are cooling, you can make the raspberry sauce. I use Ina Garten’s recipe – it is so easy just fresh raspberries, sugar, water, all cooked together for a few minutes. Then that mixture is blended with a jar of raspberry jam and raspberry liquor. The result is such an intense raspberry flavor, you will be so in love when you taste it and you will want to put it on everything.
Then add the second pavlova on top, cover with raspberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can add the rest of the sauce on top if you want but it is so pretty and good with just raspberries.
So add some extra eggs and raspberries to your grocery list and consider your Valentine’s Desert covered. You will float away on a cloud of bliss, I promise.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Pavlova Layered Cake with Raspberry Sauce
FOR THE PAVLOVA
- 8 (about 260 g) egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons (10 g) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons (5 g) cream of tartar, OR 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- a couple drops of food coloring (optional), I used one drop of red but pink is better to get a nice pink color. I have also made this without any food coloring, and the white is so pretty too so it is totally optional.
- NOTE: This recipe makes TWO pavlovas. You can split the recipe in half for one layer.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (NOTE: you will reduce this temperature later). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace a circle on each, using an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan as your guide. Flip the parchment paper over, so the pencil doesn’t get on the pavlova. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Note: the eggs will foam first and then come together to create soft, white peaks. Be patient. This will take a few minutes.
Once the soft peaks have formed, gradually (very gradually), add the sugar (about one tablespoon at a time).
After the sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks have formed, stop the mixer and fold in the cornstarch, cream of tartar (or vinegar), vanilla bean paste, and food coloring (if using).
Divide the meringue in half and pour one half onto each of the parchment sheets with circles on them. Gently spread the meringue to the edge of the circle you drew, making sure the top is fairly level. The edges don’t need to be perfectly round or even. In fact, the more rustic and left alone, the better.
Place the pavlovas in your oven. If you have two ovens, you can place one baking sheet in each. If you have one oven, you can place both baking sheets in at once, on two different racks, making sure to switch the baking sheets halfway through baking.
When you place the pavlova in the oven, immediately reduce the temperature to 225 degrees F.
TWO OVENS: If you are using two ovens with one pavlova in each, your bake time will be about 50 to 60 minutes.
ONE OVEN: If you are using one oven with two pavlovas, your bake time will be closer to 70 to 90 minutes.
You are looking for the meringue to harden, but not get too brown or crack too much around the edges.
Once the pavlova is done baking, turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
FOR THE RASPBERRY SAUCE:
1 half-pint package fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam
1 tablespoon Framboise liqueur (I used a local raspberry liqueur)
Place the package of raspberries, the granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and Framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.
Place one pavlova layer on a cake stand or plate. Cover with a pint of ice cream and half of the raspberry mixture and then fresh berries. Cover with second pavlova and garnish with fresh raspberries and powdered sugar. (You could also top with more ice cream and the rest of the raspberry sauce if desired but the ratio was lovely of meringue to ice cream and sauce with it just in the middle.)
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Cake by Courtney.