Gluten Free

Is Pavlova Gluten Free?

Really? Are you going to go through all these holidays without going through lists of decadent desserts like panna cotta, tiramisu, and pavolva? Pavlova is enchanting, and I have yet to make it for any of my guests without them being blown away, but is Pavlova gluten-free?

Being celiac or having non-celiac gluten sensitivity means we have to take extra care so we don’t provoke those annoying symptoms like brain fog, diarrhea, bloating, and the rest. This is why we have thoroughly investigated this dessert and provided you with everything you need to know. Let’s go!

What is pavlova?

Pavlova is a famous dessert, with its origins tied to both Australia and New Zealand. This dessert was named after Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina, as it was crafted for her while on tour in Australia and New Zealand and has gone on to become a national dessert in both countries.

Pavlova has a similar make to merengue; egg whites are beaten to a rigid consistency, caster sugar is added gradually, then an edible acid like lemon juice or vinegar is added, and then finished off with cornflour and vanilla essence.

The resulting mixture is shaped like a round cake on baking paper with a slightly hollow center, baked for 40 to 60 minutes, then left to dry out and cool overnight. When ready to be served, whipped cream is used as a topping, and fruits like strawberries, kiwifruit, and passionfruit are used to decorate the dessert.

What does Pavlova Taste Like?

Pavalova’s taste can be described as sweet with a note of the flavor you baked it with (usually vanilla); this is further elevated by the rich cream or custard used to fill the hollow middle or used as a topping. This decadent dessert is chewy, has an external crisp texture, and has an airy, light marshmallow taste midway.

What is the difference between a meringue and a pavlova?

Pavlova is usually considered a meringue-based dessert since they are both made with similar ingredients and baked at the same temperature. However, a notable difference lies in the texture. Unlike the pavlova, which is fluffy inside (all thanks to the inclusion of cornflour) and crispy outside, the meringue is dry and crispy throughout. Pavlova is quicker to bake than meringue, and it is versatile and can be flavored or styled to your taste.

Is Pavlova Gluten Free?

Fortunately, traditional pavlova desserts are gluten-free because they are made with gluten-free ingredients. However, store-bought pavlova may contain gluten, as wheat flour may be used instead of cornflour to ensure it stays longer in the refrigerator and to achieve a more chewy texture.

I prefer to make my desserts myself to ensure things are done correctly, but when I am too lazy to do so, then I consume all the information in the store-bought pavlova dessert.

Furthermore, at restaurants, ensure to communicate your dietary restrictions to the server so they can take the necessary precautions when processing your order. Better still, visit restaurants that are known to offer gluten-free meals.

Ingredients In Pavlova and Their Gluten Status

Ingredient Gluten Status
Egg whites Gluten-free
Sugar Gluten-free
Cornstarch or vinegar Gluten-free
Whipped cream Gluten-free
Fresh fruits (e.g., berries) Gluten-free

Health Benefits

Pavlova is made from egg white, which makes it a great source of protein. For those who use fruits as toppings, you will further enrich this dessert with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

However, pavlova has a relatively high amount of calories from sugar and whipped cream used, making the desert not so safe if you have diabetes or are trying to watch your weight.

To ensure your dessert is healthy, you always need to choose healthy toppings. Also, you have to reduce the amount of sugar whipped with the egg whites, or if you are eating in a restaurant, let them know to reduce the sugar.

By using low-fat whipped cream or Greek yogurt, having a healthy portion size in alignment with your daily calorie value will ensure you enjoy this dessert without compromising your weight goals.

Brand That Sells Gluten-Free Pavlova Mix

If you’re not down for making this dessert from scratch, you’re in luck, as some of the brands that offer a gluten-free mix could do the trick for you:

SQUIRES KITCHEN Perfect Pavlova Mix

When I first started making pavlova, I struggled a bit, and I purchased this product out of frustration, but it turned out to be a great decision. It was just as great as the ones my grandmother would make at home.

It is gluten-free and GMO-free, but if you have nut allergies, you may want to stay away from this one. It is made with cane sugar, natural vanilla flavor, maize starch, free-range egg albumen, cream of tartar, and anti-caking agents.

Final Thoughts

Pavlova is gluten-free, but like every other food, cross-contamination could still occur in restaurants. Always ensure to communicate your dietary needs, or better yet, make them yourself at home. And the good news? It is easy to make!

Cortiso Davids

My culinary adventure began at an early age when I would stand on a chair to help my mom stir pancake batter. Over the years, I've honed my skills and knowledge, drawing inspiration from family recipes, celebrated chefs, and the vibrant food cultures that make our world so diverse and fascinating.

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One Comment

  1. If using vinegar in your Pavlova ensure it is white vinegar as malt or brown vinegar contains barley which most gluten free people are unable to use

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