Cream Puff Pavs – A Sugar-free Alternative to a Pavlova

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Pavlovas are a popular summer and Christmas dessert. However, I find the process of making fluffy meringue base too involved for a last minute dessert and I find it a touch too sweet. My solution? I use choux pastry and serve the ‘pavs’ layered in a similar fashion to a Pav – with all the traditional toppings of fluffy vanilla whipped cream and choice of fruit, it’s a quick quick to make and fun to serve sugar-free alternative. Real simple – the recipe comes from The Wholesome Cook book.

Cream Puff Pavs - A Sugar-free Alternative to a Pavlova (1)

There are a few things that, here in Australia, are quite synonymous with Christmas: seafood – most likely prawns (here is a recipe idea for a delicious lemon myrtle prawn dipping sauce), baked ham with a generous glaze of some sort and a dessert that more often than not is a sweet, fluffy pavlova, layered with whipped cream and the season’s ripe fruit: mango, cherries and passionfruit.

My version which comes from The Wholesome Cook book and has been featured over on I quit sugar is made using choux pastry as a base – these can be made both gluten- and dairy-free. Serve puffs with whipped dairy or coconut cream and your choice of diced fresh fruit tableside. Real simple and festive still.

On that note, I wanted to wish you a happy and safe Christmas as you take the time out to spend with your closest family and friends. Have a great time, enjoy the festivities and see you in the new year!

Cream Puff Pavs - A Sugar-free Alternative to a Pavlova (1)

For more healthy living inspiration check out my debut cookbook, The Wholesome Cook, featuring 180 refined sugar-free recipes all with gluten-free options. Plus detailed additive-free shopping guides, wholefood kitchen tips and my take on sugar, fat, gluten and legumes, soy and dairy. 

Get a signed copy of The Wholesome Cook Book

Cream Puff Pavs - A Sugar-free Alternative to a Pavlova
Recipe type: dessert sugar-free, gluten-free, Christmas, cream puffs, pavlova
The recipe comes from The Wholesome Cook (Harlequin MIRA) by Martyna Angell. It can be made gluten- and dairy-free and has no added sugar.
Choux Pastry
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached plain flour or rice flour
  • 1 egg.
Cream and Fruit Topping
  • ½ cup pure cream or 1 x 400g can coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or natural vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh fruit and berries
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper. For the choux pastry, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring water and butter, ghee or coconut oil to a simmer. Add flour and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan and forms a ball. This will only take a few seconds.
  2. Transfer dough to a bowl and flatten to cool slightly. Add egg and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until glossy and smooth. Using a spring-loaded ice-cream scoop or soup spoon, form eight evenly sized balls of dough and place on prepared baking tray, about 5cm apart. Bake for 8 minutes, reduce temperature to 180 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off oven and leave with door slightly ajar for 5 minutes. Transfer puffs to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting in half horizontally. Whip cream or the strained thick part of the chilled coconut cream (reserve the water for smoothies or porridge) with vanilla until firm peaks form.
  4. Top each puff with a good tablespoon of whipped cream and fruit and serve. Store unfilled puffs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Top with fruit just before serving.


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2 Responses to Cream Puff Pavs – A Sugar-free Alternative to a Pavlova

  1. Deborah says:

    I tried to make these but they did come out correctly. I realized you are using Celsius and not Fahrenheit for the oven temp. It didn’t look right to me but I didn’t question it as Pavlovas are baked in a lower oven.



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