Recipe: Yuzu Pavlova

If Jingle Bells Triggers Your Pavlovian Response, Reach For This Classic Dessert

By Amya Miller
December 24, 2019
Food & Drink

The upcoming holidays—whatever you celebrate—means a need for decadent desserts, yes? Wow your guests with this seasonal twist on the Aussie Christmas favorite.

Practically a cultural phenomenon in Australia, and also New Zealand, pavlova features heavily on menus across homes and restaurants at Christmas time. 

Though it’s not much to look at, the experience of eating a pavlova is fantastic. It’s chewy, crunchy. soft, warm and sweet all at the same time.

This recipe uses Japanese yuzu—a lemon-like Japanese citrus packed with flavor (and vitamins)—that is a classic December-y fruit here. In Tokyo around this time of year, you’ll spot them everywhere; in food, beauty products and even in onsen.

My Yuzu Pavlova takes a while to make but the end result is a sure crowd-pleaser—one that’s perfect for your holiday get together. 

Japanese yuzu


  • Five yuzu
  • Two eggs plus two egg yolks
  • Six egg whites
  • 0.5 cups of sugar plus another 1.5 cups for later
  • 7 tablespoons of butter (softened)
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • Fruit and herbs for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.  This is important to evenly cook the base.
  2. Mix the eggs and egg yolks in a large pot. This next part differs on how comfortable you are with making a custard. If you want to put the pan straight on the stove, go for it. This takes a bit of courage if you’re not accustomed to making custards as it can go from liquid to scrambled eggs in a flash. If you want to be sure to get it right on the first try, place the eggs and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and place water in the pan instead. Boil the water and place the mixing bowl on top and let the heat and steam turn the egg mixture into custard.
  3. Whichever way you choose, add the sugar, juice of five yuzu, grated peelings of three yuzu, and lastly the softened butter. Yuzu flesh is much softer than lemon so you’ll need a grater with larger holes. Yuzu is also full of large seeds and has less juice than lemon, hence the need for so many in this recipe.
  4. Mix this constantly until it begins to thicken. Don’t step away. It takes zero time for this mixture to split (a fancy baking word for you-now-have-scrambled-eggs). Stir and stir some more. After it’s thickened into a soft mixture, remove from the heat and place into a bowl to cool.
  5. Take the six egg whites and mix until you have stiff peaks. Don’t cheat! The peaks really need to be stiff.
  6. Slowly (again, don’t cheat) add 1.5 cups of sugar. One tablespoon at a time. The whipped mixture should turn into a very shiny, white, billowy puff.
  7. Place a sheet of oven paper onto your oven tray. This is a crucial step so make sure you’ve got some oven paper ready. Pour the whipped egg white mixture on top of the paper. It will spread when you’re baking so leave plenty of room at the edges. Flatten the top of the mixture.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 130C/265F and bake for an hour.  
  9. Pavlova is meant to be crunchy and crispy on the outside and soft and marshmallowy on the inside.  It will crack. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to!
  10. After an hour in the oven, open the oven door and let it cool for an hour.
  11. After an hour, take it out and make sure it’s completely cooled.
  12. Place a large plate upside down over the pavlova and flip it over.  Remove the oven paper and spread the yuzu mixture over the top.
  13. Whip the fresh cream into whipped cream and grate some more yuzu onto the top. Garnish with blueberries (goes beautifully with yuzu) or strawberries (because Japanese strawberries are glorious). Add herbs for decoration.
  14. Slice and serve.
  15. Watch everyone swoon and tell you what a great chef you are. 

yuzu pav Yuzu Pavlova (Slice)

Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday!

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