Mini pavlova nests are a delightful and elegant dessert to enjoy for afternoon tea. These bite-sized mini pavlovas are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without overindulging.
Plus, they’re really easy to make. You can also use the same recipe as a base to make a variety of fancy mini pavlovas. We have included instructions for 5 mini pavlova nests that will take your meringues from simple to fancy!
If you are wondering what to serve for you Afternoon Tea or you Christmas Tea Party, these will make a delightful addition. Here are our top 5 favorites:
- Pistachio and Raspberry
- Vanilla and Forrest Fruits
- Tropical Fruits and Passion Fruit
- Chocolates in a Nest
- Hazelnut and Nutella
A variety of fancy mini pavlova nests are a great way to show off your creativity and impress your guests. This recipe can be made into mini pavlovas or one large one, so it’s a lovely recipe to have in your toolbox.
Pistachio and Raspberry Mini Pavlova Nest
Our favorite is the recipe for this Pistachio and Raspberry Mini Pavlova. The light and delicate outer shell, contrasted by the squidgy center, is simply delicious. The ground pistachios settle into the middle of this mini pavlova nest, so you bite through the cloud and land on a fudgy, nutty base.
The recipe below makes 24 mini pavlova nests. Decorate with green glitter and gold painted almonds.
Vanilla, Forest Fruits and Clementines
If you’d prefer a pretty pink hue, you can omit the pistachios and green food coloring, add some vanilla and fold in a teaspoon of pressed raspberry juice or red food coloring. Any food coloring can be added to the pavlova mix right at the end to create a swirl in the color of your choice.
You can add a variety of fruits to your vanilla based pavlova. The raspberries, strawberries, red currants, blackberries or clementines add a tart sweetness that contrasts nicely with the fluffy meringue. The pavlova smells sweet and fruity.
These fancy mini pavlova nests will look stunning on a platter for your Afternoon Tea or Christmas Tea Party!
Tropical Fruit and Passion Fruit Fancy Mini Pavlova Nests
Tropical fruit and Passion Fruit Pavlovas are Australia’s traditional pavlovas. These delicious “pav’s” (short for pavlova in Australian) taste light and refreshing, with a slightly sweet and tart flavor.
The texture is fluffy and soft, while the whipped cream adds a touch of richness. The kiwi and passion fruit give it a beautiful bright green color and a lovely fruity aroma. You can also add mango, bananas, strawberries – whichever fruit is most in season. Top with fresh or canned passion fruit.
Here is a little secret – the canned passion fruit actually works better. Mix your fruit with the passion fruit syrup and then spoon on to your fancy mini pavlova. The syrup from the canned passion fruit will give the fruit a lovely glaze.
Fancy Mini Pavlova filled with Chocolates
Vanilla mini pavlova nests can be decorated with little Easter chocolate eggs for your Easter Afternoon Tea. Or you could place a fancy Christmas themed chocolate for your Christmas Tea Party. Or a heart shaped chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
Hazelnut and Nutella
I haven’t got a decent photo, but this is the mini pavlova I make the most often, because it is so easy to make. It is actually my mother’s invention.
She once went to a restaurant and had a pavlova with some hazelnuts and chocolate. She came home and tried to replicate the taste as best she could. And although she says this one does not taste exactly like the one she had that one night, she claims it is even better! It is definitely one of our family favorites.
Simply replace the ground pistachios with ground roasted hazelnuts and bake as per the recipe. Then spread a tiny, tiny bit of Nutella on top of the completely cooled pavlova. Top with whipped cream and strawberries.
There you have it. Five fancy mini pavlova nests that are so easy to make. They taste delicious and look fabulous on your table. They will be sure to impress your guests.
A couple questions that keep coming up…
What is the difference between a meringue and a pavlova?
Pavlova is a meringue that is baked for a longer time at a lower temperature. This results in a cake-like texture and a sweeter taste. Meringue is made from egg whites and sugar, while pavlova also includes cornstarch and vinegar. This addition of starch and vinegar helps to create the cake-like texture and prevents the pavlova from shrinking as it cools.
How long do you bake a mini pavlova?
There is a lot of debate about how long to bake the perfect mini pavlova. Some say to bake it for 40 minutes, others say for just 30 minutes. So what’s the right answer?
Well, it depends on your oven. I’ve found that my oven runs a little hot, so I have to bake my pavlovas for only 35 minutes total. However, if you have an oven that runs cooler, you may need to bake yours for up to 45 minutes.
I advise you to try out a batch before your actual Afternoon Tea Party or other special event. Every oven is slightly different and you don’t want to over cook or under cook them. Timing is crucial. They should be a very, very light tan color, with a crisp outside and a fluffy inside. If they are darker on the outside, your oven is too hot.
After you make them for the first time, you will know how long to bake them in your oven.
How to store you mini pavlova nest
Mini pavlova nests can last in an airtight container for two days. Keep them in a cool, dry place. Don’t place in the refrigerator, because this may impact the shells crispiness because of condensation. Ideally, pavlovas should be consumed the next day. I make them the night before my afternoon tea party.
Do not put cream and toppings on your fancy mini pavlova nest until the very last minute. Pavlovas as very sensitive to moisture and will start losing their crispiness very quickly. You can wait for an hour before your guest arrive, but don’ leave it much longer than that if you can help it.
Having said that, if I have leftovers, I keep them in the fridge, toppings and all, and they are still delicious for the next few days, even if the presentation is not quite as elegant.
Mini pavlovas are one of the easiest and prettiest sweets you can serve for your afternoon tea, and once you bake them, you will find yourself making them again and again.
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- 350g (1 1/2 cups) castor sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- A drop of green food coloring
- 60g (1/2 cup) ground pistachio nuts
- 250ml (1 cup) whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 punnet of raspberries
- Gold-dusted slivered almonds (or edible silver balls)
- Edible gold drizzle or glitter
- 1 TBS powdered icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC/356 ºF.
- Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
- Place the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk by hand or using an electric beater until the stiff peak stage is reached. You will know you have reached this stage when the egg whites can be lifted with a spoon and remain at a stiff point. The other method you can use to test this is to hold the bowl upside down (carefully), and if the whites don’t move, you’re ready!
- Whisk in one tablespoon of castor sugar until each spoonful has dissolved into the whites.
- When the meringue mixture is ready, it will be glossy.
- Fold in the rest of the pavlova ingredients.
- Use a piping bag to pipe the mixture into little nests on the tray. Alternatively, you can use a tablespoon to pop a mound of meringue onto the tray and then hollow out a small center.
- Bake for 3-4 minutes, turn the temperature to 120 ºC/250 ºF, and bake for roughly 30 minutes more. Allow them to cool slightly before moving them from the tray.
- Whip the cream until thick and stiff.
- Sieve in ½ TBS icing sugar and fold in with the vanilla essence. If you’d prefer a less sweet version, the icing sugar can be omitted at this point.
- Top each pavlova nest with a dollop of cream, a fresh raspberry, the slivered almonds, and then a squeeze of the edible golden drizzle or glitter.
- For your Christmas Tea Party you can dust with some powdered icing sugar for a lovely Christmassy look.
- Vanilla and Forest Fruits Mini Pavlovas
Leave out the ground pistachios
Fold in 1 Tbs vanilla
For a pink color, add a few drops of crushed raspberry juice or a drop of red food coloring (optional).
Add 1 tsp vanilla to the whipped cream
Garnish with Strawberries, raspberies, red currents, blackberries, clementines (no, clementines are not a forest fruit, but they add a beautiful burst of color to your platter).
- Chocolates in a Nest
Exactly the same as the Strawberry mini Pavlova
Simply fill you vanilla pavlova with the vanilla cream and top with Easter eggs or other chocolates of your choice.
Sprinkle with chocolate shavings or edible silver balls.
- Tropical Fruit and Passion Fruit
Leave out the ground pistachios
Add one tsp vanilla
Garnish with kiwi, mango, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blueberries
Top with canned or fresh passion fruit
- Hazelnut and Nutella
50 g ground hazelnuts, 70 g dark chocolate, punnet strawberries (optional)
Fold in the hazelnuts instead of the pistachios. Once cooled, gently spread 1/4-1/2 tsp Nutella on top of each mini pavlova. If you don't have nutella, you can drizzle 1 tsp of melted dark chocolate instead. Top with Whipped Cream. Garnish with shaved chocolate (use a vegetable peeler) and Strawberries.
It’s important to note that the mini pavlovas are delicate and should be handled with a cake lifter or a spatula rather than with your fingers.
Make sure you place even amounts of pavlova mix on your pan so that they cook evenly.
Don't worry if you do not have a piping bag - It really is not difficult to make them look pretty just by swirling the middle with the long end of your spoon.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
I used a nutrition calculator to calculate the nutrition information. This is a rough guide and may contain errors.