You haven’t enjoyed dessert until you’ve tried a decorative layered Pavlova Cake. Pavlova is crispy on the edges, chewy on top, and marshmallow soft in the center. Then, topped with vanilla whipped cream, blueberry hibiscus compote, and fresh blueberries! All the textures and flavors marry together in one fabulous party in your mouth experience.
Tips for Blueberry Hibiscus Pavlova Cake Recipe
- Make sure your egg whites are fresh, room temperature, and don’t have any hint of yolk!
- Slowly add your sugar a spoonful at a time, don’t just dump it all in at once:)
- When egg whites are first beaten and form small mounds, this is the soft peak stage.
- The longer you beat your eggs or egg whites & sugar, you should start to notice thick tips in your mixture. If you remove the whisk or beaters, the egg whites will hold their shape as if solid. This is the stiff peak stage! Test by inverting your mixer bowl over your head, if you stay dry, then you have stiff peaks:)
- Transfer whipped meringue gently onto prepared baking tray. I use a rubber spatula and gently create a round ball.
- Then take an offset metal spatula and gently swipe upwards from the bottom to the top to create a petal shape, working your way around the meringue mound.
- For added effect, take a smaller offset spatula placing the tip at the base with the handle angled upward and add smaller striped from bottom to top around the meringue. This will create vertical lines around the sides and whisps at the top.
- Don’t worry about the center, it will sink some, but still leave a firm layer to hold cream and berries.
- DO NOT open the oven door every 5 min. for a peek. Trust that its baking and be patient.
- Let you meringue cool in the oven, by turning the oven off.
- Once cooled about an hour or so, then remove and prepare your toppings.
Blueberry Hibiscus Compote
- Place sugar and dried hibiscus leaves in food processor and pulse until blended into a powder.
- Use fresh or frozen blueberries.
- Let compote cool before adding to pavlova.
Pavlova is best enjoyed the day of. Either plan to eat all of it or call your friends over to share 🙂
Dried Hibiscus Flowers
For this recipe I used dried hibiscus flowers in the blueberry compote and as a garnish. The petals come from a tropical hibiscus flower, known as “flor de Jamaica”. They can be found in most spice stores, specialty stores, or online. When cooked the dried hibiscus gives off a cranberry flavor and goes well with the lemon juice and blueberries.
Orange Blossom Water
Orange blossom water has been added to the meringue base of the Pavlova Cake for an added flavor. Meringue is usually bland, which is why we add fruit toppings. But in this case I decided to give it a little hint of orange. Orange blossom water is distilled from orange blossoms, and gives a subtle orange flavor, not as strong as orange extract or juice.
Blueberry Hibiscus Pavlova Cake
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1 ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Orange Blossom Water
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp White Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Cornstarch
Blueberry Hibiscus Compote
- 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Dried Hibiscus Flower Petals
- 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
- Dried Hibiscus Flowers for garnish
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Trace an 6 inch circle with pencil onto paper. (use a cake an 6” cake pan)
- In a medium bowl stir together sugar and cornstarch.
- Separate your egg whites carefully. (make sure you do not have any yolk sneak over)
- Pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment beat on high for 3-5 minutes, until thick and foamy.
- Keep mixer on and slowly add sugar a large spoonful at a time, while incorporating the vanilla and orange blossom water.
- Once all the sugar is added, continue to beat until glossy, smooth stiff peaks have formed.
- Test by turning your bowl upside down. If the meringue starts to move, beat longer. If you have stiff peaks, it should stay firm in the bowl.
- Remove bowl from mixer.
- Transfer whipped meringue gently with rubber spatula onto prepared baking tray creating a mound on the 6 inch circle.
- Then take an offset metal spatula and gently swipe upwards from the bottom to the top to create vertical lines in a flower petal shape.
- Place tray in the oven on middle to lowest rack.
- Bake at 300 F for 30 min.
- Then lower oven temperature to 275 F and bake an additional 40 min.
- Turn off oven. Do not open door. Leave meringue in the oven to cool slowly for an hour to prevent cracking.
- While meringue is cooling make blueberry compote and vanilla cream. Place in the fridge until ready to assemble Pavlova Cake.
Blueberry Hibiscus Compote
- Place sugar and hibiscus flower leaves in food processor and pulse into a powder.
- Combine ingredients into medium sized sauce pan on medium high heat. Cook until blueberries are wrinkled and soft. About 5-6 minutes.
- Remove berries with a slotted spoon and transfer to bowl.
- Cook liquid an additional 2-3 minutes and then pour over berries.
- Compote will thicken as it cools.
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- In bowl of stand mixer, add heavy cream and vanilla extract.
- Whip on medium high for 3-4 minutes until thick.
Assemble Pavlova Cake
- Place baked meringue on serving dish.
- Cover the top center with whipped vanilla cream.
- Spoon hibiscus blueberry compote onto cream.
- Top with fresh blueberries and dried hibiscus petals.
- Slice and eat!