5 Minute Recipes/ Australian/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Recipes/ Super Simple/ Valentine's Day

Super Quick Eton Mess – Meringue Dessert

08/12/2022

For a fast, easy and super impressive dessert, look no further than eton mess! Get this crunchy meringue dessert on the table in just 5 minutes using store bought meringue nests, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Close up shot of eton mess, showing the meringue base topped with fresh cream, strawberries, kiwi fruit and mint.

Why We Love This

Eton mess is one of our favourite quick and easy dessert recipes! It’s delicious and looks spectacular with (almost) zero effort. 

The decadent combo of crunchy meringue, sweet fruit and whipped cream is the best way to finish a meal – especially as a cheeky weeknight dessert or after a full Sunday chicken roast.

We usually make strawberry eton mess (see the full recipe below), but feel free to adapt the recipe with your fav fruit combinations or to use up leftover coulis, jams or spreads!

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Related: Easy Pavlova / Meringue Roulade / Matchsticks

Eton mess dessert on a plate, sprinkled with beetroot powder and garnished with fresh mint leaves.

What is Eton Mess?

Eton Mess is a classic British dessert traditionally made with meringue, whipped cream and fresh berries.

Most versions are made from scratch by whipping egg whites and caster sugar until glossy, then baking the mixture to make the meringue. For our super quick eton mess recipe, we use store bought meringue nests or meringue cookies to save on time and effort.

There are three easy ways to serve this delicious meringue dessert: 

  • Keep the meringue nests whole and serve on a plate topped with whipped cream and sliced fruit like we did. Crumble an extra meringue nest over the top as a crunchy garnish.
  • Assemble the dessert as layers of crumbled white meringue and bright red strawberries in tall glass jars for a fancy visual effect.
  • Place the crushed meringues, cream and fruit into a bowl and mix everything together!

What You’ll Need

  • Meringue Nests – We love using store bought meringue nests to save time. They also  hold the whipped cream and fruit toppings really well. If you have the time you can make your own mini pavlova nests in any size or shape you like! 
  • Cream – Make your own whipped cream with thickened cream / heavy cream, caster sugar (aka superfine sugar) and vanilla essence. It always tastes so much better when you make it yourself! If you’re really short on time though, sub with ice cream or canned whipped cream.
  • Fruit – Fresh strawberries are the most iconic eton mess topping, but feel free to get creative or use your own fruit combinations. Keep reading for more ideas.
  • Mint – Optional for extra flavour and as a beautiful garnish.
Top down view of two eton mess desserts, with a hand placing a sprig of mint on top of one as a garnish.

How to Make Eton Mess

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Pour the thickened cream / heavy cream into a medium mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Add the caster sugar and vanilla essence and whip on medium high for 2-3 mins until the cream becomes light and fluffy and holds its shape. 
  2. Place your meringue nests on serving plates or bowls and top with whipped cream, strawberries, kiwifruit and fresh mint leaves.
  3. Garnish with extra crumbled meringue and/or sprinkle with icing sugar.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Reduce the Sweetness – Add a little Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche into the cream to temper the sweetness. 
  • Storage – Once assembled, it’s best to serve eton mess straight away so the meringue will stay nice and crunchy. Store any leftover ingredients separately in airtight containers. Whipped cream and fruit should be stored in the fridge, but store bought meringues can be stored on the bench or in the pantry.

FAQs

Where does eton mess come from?

Like sticky date pudding, this is a classic British dessert. But there are several captivating origin stories! Was it first served at the Eton versus Winchester cricket match in 1796? Was it popularised by the Eton Tuck Shop (colloquially known as the Sock Shop) as a sweet treat made of strawberries or bananas with cream or ice cream? Or was it the accidental inspiration of an overly excited Labrador that sat on someone’s picnic and squashed a strawberry pavlova? Personally? We really hope it was that last one!

What’s the difference between eton mess and pavlova?

The main differences are in the origin stories and the presentation. While eton mess is English, pavlova is claimed by both Australia and New Zealand as a dessert created in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. In terms of presentation, eton mess is usually served as an individual dessert, while pavlova is made as a huge dessert to feed a crowd.

Can I make it in advance?

We don’t recommend assembling the dessert in advance as the meringue will become soft and basically disappear into the cream. You can prepare all the toppings in advance (a few hours before, or the night before) and store them separately until you’re ready to serve.

Try these amazing recipes next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A mini eton mess pavlova on a plate with fruit, cream and crumbled meringue garnish.

Super Quick Eton Mess – Meringue Dessert

For a fast, easy and super impressive dessert, look no further than eton mess! Get this crunchy meringue dessert on the table in just 5 minutes using store bought meringue nests, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 362kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $15

Equipment

Ingredients

Optional garnishes:

Instructions

For the whipped cream:

  • Pour the cream into a medium to large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your KitchenAid) and add the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Whip on medium to high for 2-3 mins until the cream becomes light and fluffy. Optional: Fold through any fruit puree/coulis (if using) until evenly blended.
    300 ml thickened cream / heavy cream, 80 g caster sugar / superfine sugar, 2 tsp vanilla essence

To assemble the eton mess:

  • Place your meringue nests on serving plates or bowls and top with whipped cream, strawberries and kiwifruit.
    4 meringue nests, 1 handful strawberries, 1-2 kiwi fruit, 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • Optional garnish with and fresh mint leaves, extra crumbled meringue and/or sprinkle with icing sugar.
    1 tsp icing sugar / powdered sugar

Recipe Notes

  • Meringue Nests – We love using store bought meringue nests to save time. They also  hold the whipped cream and fruit toppings really well. If you have the time you can make your own mini pavlova nests in any size or shape you like! 
  • Cream – Make your own whipped cream with thickened cream / heavy cream, caster sugar (aka superfine sugar) and vanilla essence. It always tastes so much better when you make it yourself! If you’re really short on time though, sub with ice cream or canned whipped cream.
  • Fruit – Fresh strawberries are the most iconic eton mess topping, but feel free to get creative or use your own fruit combinations. Keep reading for more ideas.
  • Mint – Optional for extra flavour and as a beautiful garnish.
  • Reduce the Sweetness – Add a little Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche into the cream to temper the sweetness. 
  • Storage – Once assembled, it’s best to serve eton mess straight away so the meringue will stay nice and crunchy. Store any leftover ingredients separately in airtight containers. Whipped cream and fruit should be stored in the fridge, but store bought meringues can be stored on the bench or in the pantry.
  • More Creative Topping Ideas:
    • Fresh Fruit – Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwifruit, mango and banana pair perfectly with whipped cream.
    • Fruit Powder – Ie dried and finely ground fruit as a colourful garnish. We used beetroot powder for a cute pop of colour without changing the flavour of the dish.
    • Berry Coulis – Check out our vanilla blancmange for an easy blackberry coulis recipe.
    • Spreads – Lemon curd, speculoos spread, Nutella, chocolate sauce or chocolate cream.
    • Healthy Toppings – Serve with fresh Greek yoghurt and granola for crunch.
    • Chocolate – Chocolate buttons, shaved chocolate, chocolate hagelslag sprinkles.
    • Other Sweet Treats – Top with your favourite lollies or candy, marshmallows, stewed fruit (apples, rhubarb or peaches would be amazing!). You could even top them with leftover apple crumble or persimmon pie.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Super Quick Eton Mess – Meringue Dessert
Amount per Serving
Calories
362
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
28
g
43
%
Saturated Fat
 
17
g
106
%
Cholesterol
 
103
mg
34
%
Sodium
 
34
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
165
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
9
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
22
g
24
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
1198
IU
24
%
Vitamin C
 
33
mg
40
%
Calcium
 
59
mg
6
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Super Quick Eton Mess - Meringue Dessert

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Deanna
    24/05/2017 at 9:09 pm

    5 stars
    This sounds so divine!! YUM!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2017 at 12:05 pm

      Who would think something so quick to prepare could end up looking so impressive! ????

  • Reply
    Sarah
    24/05/2017 at 8:33 pm

    5 minutes? Sold! These look beautiful and delicious! Perfect, in my book!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2017 at 12:04 pm

      Yep haha – totally should be illegal shouldn’t it! 😛

  • Reply
    jacquee | i sugar coat it!
    24/05/2017 at 8:23 pm

    I LOVE a good Eton Mess!! It’s our go-to dessert for impromptu guests and get-togethers. Your photos looks scrumptious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2017 at 12:04 pm

      High five to that! ????

  • Reply
    Carlos At Spoonabilities
    24/05/2017 at 6:54 pm

    5 stars
    This dessert look SO beautiful and yummy!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2017 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks Carlos, hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    24/05/2017 at 6:41 pm

    5 stars
    Easy, delicious and such a treat that it’s made in less than 5 mins! Looks scrumptious

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2017 at 12:03 pm

      Yup haha – exactly why we love this one!

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