Cranberry Orange Pavlova

Some women want diamonds for Christmas.  Some women want pearls.  All I want is local produce.  We’ve really been missing the fresh produce from California.  I heard a rumor at work that the FFA kids in Kansas sell big cartons of local citrus and avocados around the holidays.  I dreamed about it.  I lusted after it.  Citrus and avocados in Kansas—could it really be true?  And then!  I came home from work on Thursday to find that Mr. Dessert For Two bought a carton from his coworker’s son.  I didn’t even tell him I had heard about this glorious thing!  He just knew that avocados the size of a linebacker’s fist and dozens upon dozens of sweet oranges, ruby red grapefruits and fresh lemons right off the tree were my dream for the holidays.

I’ve been gobbling up citrus like a monkey lately, but I paused for a day to dream up citrus desserts for you.  In a world of holiday cookies and sweet fudge, I thought you might need an impressive (yet effortless) festive holiday dessert.  What’s not to love about pavlova?  The crisp shell remains slightly chewy and marshmallow-y on the inside, and the thick layer of fresh whipped cream and fruit on top is divine.  The effortless part is that this contains only 5 ingredients.  Egg whites, sugar, cream, fresh cranberries and an orange.

This is my entry for Kristan and Shelly’s Creative Holiday Recipe Contest.  Wish me luck!

Oh, and how about a winner for the gift basket of Tate’s Bake shop goodies giveawayI used to generate the number 28.  Comment #28 belongs to Christopher S.  He has been emailed and alerted of his prize.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cranberry Orange Pavlova
Makes 2 pavolvas
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 8 tablespoons sugar, divided use
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup cold heavy cream
  1. To make the perfect meringue, you must have a scrupulously clean bowl. I wipe out a clean bowl with a small amount of vinegar on a paper towel to make sure it's very clean. Ensure your beaters are clean as well. Also, when separating the egg, it is very important that no trace of yolk is in the white. If the yolk breaks, the white is no longer good to use. Sorry, but these are the rules.
  2. Once you have 2 perfect egg whites in a bowl, line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200.
  3. Beat the egg whites until fluffy, then slowly stream in 3 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of orange zest. Beat the mixture until stiff picks form (maybe take up to 5 minutes). Divide the mixture into 2 rounds on the baking sheet. With a spoon, make a divot in the center of each to hold the toppings later. Bake for 60-80 minutes, until the meringue lifts easily off the parchment paper. Let cool. (These can be made 2 days in advance, if stored air-tight).
  4. In a small saucepan, add the cranberries, 4 tablespoons of sugar and the juice of 1 orange. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when the berries begin to pop. Let cool completely.
  5. When ready to serve, whip the cold cream until it slightly thickens, then sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Beat until almost stiff.
  6. To serve, layer each meringue with whipped cream, then top with cranberries.




  1. says

    This is lovely – I do like a not-too-heavy dessert at this time of year and this sounds like the perfect combination of sweet and tart and crisp and creamy.

  2. Joanne says

    I have always loved your desserts. But for medical reason, I am now on a strict low fat diet. In fact, I was hospitalized the night I made the Nutella Eclair cake! And I didn’t even eat it! Anyway, finally I have found a low fat dessert recipe for 2 that is different from what I have resorted to in order to satisfy my sweet craving! I’ll just get creative with the whipped cream. I have cranberries in the freezer. Thank you!

    • says

      Oh gosh, Joanne! I’m sorry to hear about your hospitalization :( Well, for the substitution of whipped cream in this recipe, have you seen that you can whip coconut cream? Not sure how coconut/plant fat fits into your diet. Happy baking :)

      • Joanne says

        Coconut cream, oh so yummy, actually has a higher fat content that whipping cream. Ready Whip, though not ideal, works in a pinch. :)

        I still love following your recipes.

  3. says

    I think you just created my dream dessert, although I’ve never had a pavlova before… but it’s not super sweet chocolate and fudge so I love it! Can’t wait to make it! And I want to hear more about wedding planning!!


  4. says

    Ah! I love you and B. You guys are so damn cute!!

    I could have told you that the midwest gets very sad and depressing this time of year with the lack of produce. It’s actually kind of tough. That’s why my mom has always been such a fan of getting excessive amounts of strawberries/etc when they are in season and freezing them (no canning…too much work) so that we can make things like smoothies or shortcake in January. Not quite the same, but it does help. :-)

  5. says

    I’d take healthy nutritious produce over sparkles and diamonds any day. I’d feel distraught if I felt like my town didn’t have the produce I was looking for. I’d send you some but it’d probably be green and fuzzed out with mold by the time it made it to ya ;) Your pavlova look amazing! I’ve never made them before so I’ll let you know when I try them!

  6. says

    Your story made me smile. Welcome to life in the Midwest during the winter months! Joe actually JUST said last weekend how he can’t wait to go home for Christmas and get a bunch of citrus from his mom who always buys a couple cases from the local FFA.

  7. says

    We love pavlova but there are only two of us, so this is perfect! Just found your site and am very excited to benefit from your efforts to downsize dessert. Thanks!


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