Strawberry Pavlova is an easy, make-ahead, show-stopping dessert recipe. It tastes delicious with the classic combination of strawberries, cream and meringue. With its crisp meringue, billows of whipped cream and juicy strawberries, it also looks beautiful and makes a great centrepiece for a buffet or celebration meal. It is best eaten soon after it has been assembled but you can keep any left over pieces in the fridge for up to a couple of days.
What you need to know about Strawberry Pavlova
Adding the cornflour and lemon juice helps to stabilise the meringue and ensure that your pavlova is crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside.
You can make your pavlova any shape you like. Just spoon the meringue mixture into your desired shape. I generally make mine either round or oval but have occasionally made one heart-shaped.
It is important to cook the pavlova and a very low heat. Check towards the end of the cooking time to make sure that it is not starting to turn light brown which is a sign that it is over-cooked. Once the pavlova has finished cooking, open the oven door and leave it to cool in the oven. This should prevent cracking.
It is important to allow your pavlova to cool completely before adding the cream and strawberries. I generally make mine the day before I serve them. They keep very well at room temperature if covered in cling-film or foil.
You should add the cream and strawberries just before you are ready to serve the pavlova. If you add them a long time in advance, they will make the meringue soggy.
It is possible to get sweet and full-flavoured strawberries. However, sometimes they do not taste so good. If you have some flavourless strawberries, cut them in half and put in a bowl with a sprinkling of caster sugar and leave for about an hour before spooning them on to the pavlova.
I created this Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake for a family birthday. My brief was to produce a simple Victoria Sandwich cake with jam and cream with no “funny stuff” (why do my family always say this….?). I tried very hard to stick to the brief and started off with a classic strawberry-and-cream Victoria Sandwich cake but, inevitably, I got enthused by the possibilities of adding an element of rose (strawberry and rose – such a great combination!).
My efforts resulted in a lovely buttery Victoria sponge cake, sandwiched together with strawberry and rose-flavoured jam and billowing cream, and adorned by romantically-strewn rose petals. I was very proud until my daughter said to me “It’s not the most masculine of cakes, is it?” and I was struck by the realisation that perhaps my hearty, hill-walking husband might not be as enthusiastic about the rose petals as I was….. Luckily, he tends to focus on how things taste and was quite happy with his rather girly looking cake. (And as one of my sons, quite rightly, commented, “you need to break those gender stereotypes, mum…!”).
I made some Crystallised Rose Petals to decorate the cake because I think they are beautiful. They are very easy to make but you do need to make them the day before so that they have time to dry off. I also used my home-made Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam in this cake but, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make this, you can flavour ordinary strawberry jam with .
Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
Cream the butter with the sugar. (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
Add the milk, vanilla extract and rosewater.
Grease your Victoria Sandwich tins or containers and then add the cake mixture.
Bake your cakes in the oven for around 35 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin. You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers.
Method: Filling and topping
Spread the rose-flavoured strawberry jam over the top of one of your cakes.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Spread it on top of the jam. Then place the other cake on top.
Put the icing sugar in a sieve and sift it over the top of the assembled cake.
In the (unlikely) event that there is any cake left over, this needs to be stored in the fridge due to the cream icing. It will keep for a couple of days but, like all sponge cakes, it tastes better when it is freshly made.
Keywords: rose and strawberry cake, victoria sandwich, cream