Peach Pavlova with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Easy make ahead dessertLast week Elsie and I hosted a housewarming party at the ABM studio. I know, we're super late! But we've only just recently felt like the house is *almost* finished. Many of our friends haven't even been over to see it in person, so we decided to throw a little party. Next week we'll be sharing more about the party, like how we decorated, activities we had prepared, food we served, cocktails we made, who was there, what they wore… all the juicy gossip.

Jk about that last part. Guys, it was just a fun little party. NBD. But, I think parties can be intimidating to host. So seeing how others do it is something I've always enjoyed. 

A Beautiful Mess front porch party A Beautiful Mess front porch party  A Beautiful Mess front porch partyFancy make ahead dessertFor dessert I served peach pavlova parfaits with bourbon whipped cream. I know, sounds fancy and somewhat unusual, right? Maybe you've never had pavlova before. I certainly did not grow up knowing what this delicious dessert was. Here's the secret, it's simply sweetened fruit (think jam or pie filling), meringue, and whipped cream. Once I figured that out, I was all in. I grew up loving lemon meringue pie and absolutely anything topped with whipped cream. 

What I love most about this dish as a party treat is you can easily make the meringue the day before, the whipped cream earlier in the day, and the peaches just sit in a slow cooker until you are ready to serve. So you won't be stuck in the kitchen while guests are over having a good time. You can have a good time too. I think it's a host's duty to have the best time, if you can call that a duty. 🙂

How to make pavlova Peach Pavlova Parfait with Bourbon Whipped Cream, serves 6-8

6 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup sugar

24 oz frozen peaches
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon

For the meringue, beat together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt for about 3 minutes until the mixture begins to look white and frothy and starts to thicken. Slowly add the sugar while your mixer is running until you have added all the sugar and the mixture forms stiff peaks (see the photo above). You should mix for about 6 minutes total. 

How to make pavlovaPipe the meringue onto two baking sheets lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. You can do this using a pastry bag fitted with any tip you like (I used a star tip), or you can just dollop small amounts onto the baking sheet using a spoon. Just depends what kind of look you are going for. Bake at 250°F for 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking so they will bake evenly. 

Once they are done baking, allow to cool before you try to remove them from the baking sheets. Place in a large ziplock bag or other air tight container to store them (they will last for up to 3-4 days this way!).

For the peaches, simply place the thawed peaches (or mostly thawed is fine), brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 hours. Most slow cookers will keep food on a warming setting once the cook time is over, and this is perfect for a party so guests can assemble their dessert whenever they are ready. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon to remove excess liquid when you are ready to serve.

For the whipped cream, you probably don't need any directions. But, just in case, beat the heavy cream on high for a couple minutes until it begins to thicken. Slowly add the sugar and then bourbon. Once the mixture looks like, well, whipped cream, you're done. Store covered in the refrigerator if you don't need it right away, but it's best if you use the whipped cream the day it is made.

Peach pavlova parfaitThanks for letting me share my fancy-seeming but actually way-easy-to-make-ahead dessert! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Amazing individual warm idea for a pavlova fave, I’ve been raving about the flavours before even trying it, which I just did, and WOW. SO yummy and super easy, had my folks asking for the recipe and pouring every last drop of flavour from the glass onto their spoons. Thanks for the ever yummy inspiration (I also had your yummy beerbello burger beforehand…the kitchen is now somewhat of a beautiful happy mess!)

  • That looks SO good! I really want to start hosting more little parties so I can make delicious food.
    Also, your dress is gorgeous!

  • This looks yummy! I have to ask, where is her bag from (the forth picture down)? I’ve been on a search for a new one, and that one is adorable!

  • I’m a Kiwi and I have to agree – this is not a pavlova! It makes me sad that all these people (many other American bloggers have posted similar recipes this summer) are missing out on how amazing an actual pavlova can be – crispy on the outside and so soft and marshmallowy in the middle!

  • Yum! This looks amazing! I’ve made pavlova from one of your other recipes, it was easy to make and tasty. I’m excited to try this one!

  • The first time I ever had pavlova was in Australia, and it was AMAZING! I have a tough time making meringue here in Hawaii, too humid? Any tips? Because I love my island…but I’d like some meringue on the side too please;)

  • Pavlovaaaaa. God I love Pavlova. But wait, aren’t those meringues? I thought pavlova was a meringue cake. Regardless, it looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Anything with meringue is inherently delicious.

  • What a gorgeous recipe! Perfect for the upcoming spring entertaining plans I have. Congrats on having your place “almost finished”. I’ve loved following you through the process!
    Anisa – The Macadames. xx – Discover Australia through the eyes of twenty something women.

  • This recipe looks interesting, but it is definitely not a pav. Pavlova is characterised by a large, soft-centred meringue topped with cream and cool, FRESH fruit.

  • Wow! I love the photography in this post! And I’m digging the design updates for the blog! You guys are really inspiring!

  • So funny to know that Russian surname is a name for the dessert! My surname is Konovalova and I demand my own blueberry delicacy! :)))

  • This looks absolutely delicious! <3

  • This looks really good! I will try it as soon as I have time!
    Isabella (

  • These pavlova cups are the perfect for a party! Also, you looked so lovely in that lace dress:)

  • Fellow kiwi here! My first thought was the same as yours, not quite a pavlova but hey, a fun take on it!

  • I know this post is about a delicious treat, but that dress!!

    Love love love it.


  • Those are perfect stiff peaks! I’m going to have to try this recipe because peaches are still in season out here in California:)

  • Delicious as this looks (and boy does it look delicious!!), this still isn’t pavlova 😛 It’s more like an Eton Mess 🙂 🙂

    As an Australian, pavlova is a dessert very close to my heart!! It’s the foodstuff of birthdays and Christmasses and the dinner parties my parents used to throw.

    I’m making a pavlova next week – I’ll make sure you see it on Instagram 😀

  • Fancy but easy-to-make-ahead desserts are where it’s at 😉 This looks so yummy! Thanks Emma!

  • Love your dress…and the pavlova looks delicious!


  • Oh my goodness, I love pavlovas. This reminds me of learning to make meringue with my mom when I was in middle school. Fun times!


  • Sigh. Just yes. Because of reasons.
    The Accidental Mama

  • Yum! My dad is from New Zealand so I grew up eating my Nana’s and Auntie’s Pavlova. I think the best part is that you can really use any fruit. Kiwi’s are my favorite! (although I might be bias.. 😉 )

  • Interesting take on Pavlova! We kiwis “invented” it way back in the twentys and it has always been more of a large meringue cake with cream and fruit on top, i have never seen it done like this! Always love seeing new takes on old favourites!
    This reminds me more of an eton mess but not messy!
    Hhaha, love seeing what you guys come up with everyday, your blog is more first internet check in each day. Can’t wait to see more of this gorgeous party!


  • Aww, your housewarming party looks like so much fun! I wish I was at a point in my life that I could throw chic parties like that, haha. The whip cream on your dessert looks gorgeous. Nothing like a KitchenAid mixer to make creating desserts scarily simple!


  • Looks delicious!!! By the way that dress is gorgeous haha I have a cardigan that’s the same exact look and I am in love with it!
    Much Love, AnnCates xx

  • Pav in Australia is usually served with fresh fruit. Typically slices of kiwi fruit, mango, strawberries and blueberries then topped with lashing of passion fruit pulp. I love your spin on my favourite summer dessert!

  • Agree. I haven’t whipped cream by hand since getting one and it’s SO nice.

    But I’m also sort of a lazy cook.



  • yeah i’m gonna bypass all that wonderfulness and go straight for the superficial: where did you get that amazing dress?

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