This Pumpkin Spice Pavlova Cake is stacked and stuffed with pumpkin whipped cream and topped with boozy raisins, pecans and sea salt.
This is the time of year where you find pumpkin mixed into everything. And why should I be any different?! I love all things pumpkin. It’s Fall and why should pumpkins be reserved for decor alone?
I prefer roasting my own pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin purée compared to purchasing canned pumpkin. But, I can certainly appreciate the convenience of pre-made pumpkin purée. I decided to go all out and fancy schmancy by using my pumpkin purée to make a pumpkin pavlova with pumpkin whipped cream.
Best pumpkins to make homemade pumpkin purée
Did you know that many popular brands of canned pumpkin purée do not contain pumpkin, but other varieties of squash? In all honesty, squash and pumpkins are basically the same. But we all know that they differ in flavor.
I love a good butternut squash, but I want my pumpkin pie to have pumpkin flavor. So if you notice that your pie is lacking in flavor and you used canned pumpkin, now you know why.
You can make homemade pumpkin purée with most any pumpkin variety. The typical jack-o-lantern pumpkins aren’t super sweet, so I don’t recommend using those.
The smaller sugar pie pumpkins are the most popular pumpkins for roasting and make pumpkin purée. But I also like to use any variety of the Cinderella pumpkins.
What is a pavlova?
A pavlova cake is a meringue type dessert named in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. It was created in either Australia or New Zealand, both have claimed the honor, after the famous ballerina’s tour performed there in the 1920s.
Is a pavlova a meringue? Well, kinda. A meringue is basically whipped egg whites and sugar. It is crunchy all the way through. A pavlova is whipped egg whites and sugar, but also has the addition of corn starch and vinegar. This gives the dish the crunch of a meringue on the outside, but a softer inside.
Tips on making a pumpkin pavlova
So if a recipe requires my complete and total attention without distractions, then odds are, I’ll screw it up somehow. Making a pavlova is one of those baking adventures that requires calmness and patience.
My first attempt at this recipe, didn’t quite turn out. My pavlova collapsed. I didn’t whip the egg whites enough and then it cooled too quickly after baking.
Tsk, tsk. Patience, patience, Laura.
I looked at my disastrous kitchen, sucked in a big breath and attempted it again. This time, more slowly and more diligently.
So take your time and pay attention while whipping up your egg whites to stiff peaks. You can create two large meringue-like cakes, or small individual sized mini cakes.
Finishing touches to your pumpkin pavlova cake
For this Pavlova cake, I whipped up some pumpkin whipped cream. I added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves as well as pumpkin purée to make this a really delicious filling for the pumpkin pavlova.
I soaked raisins in Grand Mariner and used them plus pecans and a dash of sea salt to garnish this festive fall pavlova. You can also serve this pumpkin pumpkin pavlova with fall fruit like pomegranate, figs and poached pears.
This light and airy dessert is cushioned with fluffy pumpkin whipped cream for a real show-stopper dessert. Perfect for a fall dinner, Halloween party or even Thanksgiving dessert. To serve, cut into it like you would any other cake. Just be sure your knife is sharp or you will crush the meringue.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup super fine granulated sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 TBS cornstarch
- 1 ⅝ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
- ⅜ tsp ground nutmeg, divided
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 275ºF and line 2 baking pans with parchment paper or silicone sheets.
- Using a stand mixer or electric mixer and beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Very slowly, beat in super fine sugar one tablespoon at a time (total of 1 cup).
- Make sure sugar has completely dissolved and mix until glossy.
- Whisk in vinegar.
- Whisk in cornstarch, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg and ⅛ tsp cloves.
- Beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (longer if using handheld mixer).
- Spoon mixture onto the prepared baking sheets and form 2 9-inch circles. Using a rubber spatula or palette knife, shape into circles as evenly as possible to resemble two traditional flour cakes. Run a spatular/knife up the sides of pavlovas, all the way around to keep the meringue structure sturdy.
- Bake meringues for 45 minutes. Then, turn oven off and cool meringues in the oven for one hour. Remove from oven and continue cooling meringues to room temperature, about one more hour.
- If you are not serving meringues right away, they need to be stored properly. Moisture in the air will soften the once crispy meringues. As soon as meringues have cooled completely, pack them into air-tight containers in a cool room. Be extremely careful when handling the very fragile meringues.
- You can prepare the pumpkin whipped cream in advance, store in the refrigerator and then assemble the pavlova cake later. The longer the whipped cream sits on the pavlova, the softer the meringue will be. So, do not assemble cake until right before serving.
- For the pumpkin whipped cream, add cream, 2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp nutmeg and ⅛ tsp cloves in a large cold metal mixing bowl.
- Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold in pumpkin purée.
- Approximately 30 minutes prior to serving, warm Grand Marnier in the microwave oven or stove top then add raisins.
- Gently transfer one pavlova to cake stand and spread half of pumpkin whipped cream evenly over it.
- Carefully place second pavlova over the whipped cream, and spread with remaining pumpkin whipped cream.
- Drain raisins and sprinkle over cake. Further garnish with pecans, ⅛ tsp cinnamon and ⅛ tsp sea salt.
- Serve immediately.
Serving Suggestions: Serve alone or with seasonal fall fruits like figs, pears and apples. Drizzle a little melted caramel for even more decadence.
Cooking Tips: To make this kid-friendly, soak the raisins in hot water instead of Grand Marnier.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g