Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess is the perfect dessert for any patriotic celebration or colour themed party. This recipe is egg, dairy, and gluten free as well as top 8 allergen free so it will suit many guests dietary needs.
- Why We Like This Recipe
- The Ingredient Low Down for Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess
- Which Fruit works best for Eton Mess?
- How to use Different Fruits in an Eton Mess
- Instructions/ Directions and Tips
- Variations /Adaptations
- Equipment for Making the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Top Tip
- What To Serve With
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- 📖 Recipe
- Food Safety
- Latest Posts
Why We Like This Recipe
Essentially, an Eton Mess is like a pavlova that has been smashed. The flavours are very similar as are the ingredients. The Eton mess is super easy so it is a perfect quick posh looking dessert for a big crowd and is served in individual dishes. Traditionally Strawberries are the fruit used in an Eton Mess along with crumbled meringues and whipped cream and a bit of strawberry puree. Today though most restaurants and chefs have their own fruit pairings for Eton mess to make the dessert their own.
It is a typical summer treat and reminds us of going to England every summer. Before allergies it was the warm weather dessert I always chose. One year for my birthday my friends took me to a little pub in the shadow of the walled town of Arundel, in West Sussex. After dinner we ordered these amazing Eton mess trios in different flavours. The memory of this day has stuck with me over the years and is one reason I choose Eton Mess as my favourite summer pudding.
- Lemon Juice
- Cold Water
- Coconut Cream, or Liquid Whipping Cream Substitute
- Vanilla Sugar
- Vegan Meringues
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down for Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess
For the puree, you can use frozen berries. Thaw frozen berries to use them. For the whole berries they should be fresh ones for the best texture, taste, and look.
Fresh strawberries are best in this recipe. Cut them in medium to large cubes to sprinkle in the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess. Thaw frozen strawberries for the puree as a substitution.
Freshly squeezed works the best to add a tiny tang flavour to the puree.
Coconut Cream, or Liquid Whipping Cream Substitute
Store the cans of coconut cream overnight in the fridge. This allows them to work well as a whipping cream replacement in this red, white, and blue eton mess. Use the full fat rather than the light for the best creamiest whip. If coconut cream is not available in your area cans of full fat coconut milk will work but only use the cream that solidifies in the chilled can. We tried the Silk Liquid Whipping Cream Substitute and it worked. Overwhipping will curdle it a bit so really watch it when mixing it. The taste is okay and it is easy to use. Our favourite no hassle is the Gaylea coconut whipping cream in a can as it is really fluffy and zero effort. Always check that the products are safe for you.
We make our own vanilla sugar by storing a vanilla bean husk in a jar of sugar. You can also grind a dried vanilla bean husk and mix it in with the sugar. The latter will make the sugar gritty with the powder so we prefer the first method. If it is not safe for you, use regular plain organic vegan sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (if it is safe for you) instead.
Check out our recipe for Vegan Meringues made with aquafaba for this part of this dessert.
Which Fruit works best for Eton Mess?
Strawberries are the traditional fruit for an Eton Mess but you can definitely take the recipe and make it your own. There are so many different kinds of fruits and flavours that can be used in a dessert like an Eton Mess. Berries are the obvious choice but not the only one. A few flavours that make excellent options are:
- Passion fruit
- Dragon fruit
- Currants (black or red)
How to use Different Fruits in an Eton Mess
You can change the fruit for a specific colour combo or flavour palette. For other colour combos than a red, white, and blue Eton mess use other berries or fruit such as kiwi and mango, or peaches and raspberries. Tailor the colours to your event. Great for bridal or baby showers, graduation bbqs, work functions or any other time that desserts and puddings would be served.
If using a hard fruit like pears, figs, cranberries or rhubarb to make the puree heating the puree to soften the fruit and then straining it before letting it cool and chilling it may be necessary. This will give you the smoothes puree for certain fruits.
Cranberries and rhubarb will need sweetening in the puree. It is best to taste the puree for the right level of sweetness for you.
Waterier fruits like oranges, limes, grapefruit and watermelon omit the water in the puree. Add more sugar to make the puree more like a compote or jam but without the pectin. The liquid will need to be reduced by simmering over a low to medium heat until reduced by half. Cool and chill before using.
Instructions/ Directions and Tips
In a blender put 1 cup of Blueberries, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1-2 Tablespoons of water. Blend until fully pureed. Transfer to a measuring cup with a spout for ease of pouring later. Set aside. Rinse out the blender cup.
Repeat step 1 with Strawberries. Set aside when done.
Using a stand mixer, add the chilled coconut cream or liquid non-dairy whipping cream substitute. On medium high speed let the cream start to whip. When soft peaks start to form add in the vanilla sugar one tablespoon full at a time. Set aside when the sugar is fully integrated and the cream is whipped to slightly stiff peaks. If using a pre-made vegan whipped cream already whipped you can skip this step.
Crumble 2-3 Meringues into bite sized pieces. You can use your hands for this as they will break easily. Set aside. Save the small bits too as they are perfect for garnishing the top layer.
In a glass or bowl start to layer the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess. We start with whipped cream, a bit of strawberry puree ¼ cup of blueberries. Then layer on the meringue pieces. This should bring you halfway up the dish. Add more whipped non dairy cream, blueberry puree and ¼ cup of diced strawberries. Sprinkle on smaller bits of the meringue that crumbled when broken to finish the dish. Get creative with the layer order. Pouring the puree right up against the glass will give a really pretty design.
Hint:Garnish with a sliced whole strawberry or a mint sprig.
- Vegan Meringues - If aquafaba meringues are not safe for you or you would like a different flavour honeycomb bits would make a great substitution as they are light and airy but still sweet.
- Berries - Use raspberries or pomegranates, if strawberries are not safe for you. Use blackberries Instead of blueberries. After blending strain with a fine mesh sieve to make the puree smoother.
- Coconut Cream - Coconut is really hard to substitute in this recipe as most whipping cream alternatives contain coconut cream for the fat content. You can whip aquafaba and add powdered sugar and cream of tartar to it. In our opinion it is bitter and needs to be used right after whipping as it does deflate quicker than whipped cream. Truwhip has a vegan/plant based option but it contains soy where we live. Becel Canada just came out with a whipping cream alternative that is lentil based and looks like it may be coconut free. Do check with the manufacturer for any product to ensure it is safe for you.
- Adult Flavours - You can add a splash of your favourite alcohol to the fruit puree for a more adult flavour. For strawberries and blueberries add a bit of vodka to taste. For mango and passion fruit in a tropical Eton Mess a bit of rum will elevate this puree. If you are using strawberries and oranges try adding a splash of Pimms to the purees and garnish with leaves and a cucumber. This version is not one for kids or those under the legal drinking age.
- Tropical - Using fruit like pineapple, passion fruit, guava, mango, starfruit, dragon fruit will give an amazing tropical spin on the traditionally British dessert.
- Kid friendly - this dessert is pretty kids friendly as it is but using flavours that the kids like and instead of using dairy free whipping cream use dairy free vanilla ice cream in place.
Equipment for Making the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess
High Speed Blender or Immersion Blender
Puree the fruit, water, and lemon juice in the blender. Use your favourite method of pureeing. A small individual mini blender would work as well.
Stand mixer with Whisk Attachment or a Hand Mixer
Whip the chilled coconut cream with a whisk style beater. Chill the bowl and whisking attachment before using for the fluffiest non-dairy whipped cream. If using pre-made soy and milk free whipped cream this isn’t needed.
Cutting Board and Knife
The dicing of the strawberries is the only thing that needs cutting.
Glasses or bowls for serving
Coupe glasses are our personal favourite serving dishes for the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess. Chilling the glasses will keep the Eton Mess colder longer.
Measuring cups and spoons
Both liquid measuring cups and dry measuring spoons may be needed.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
The Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess is a really tough dessert to store. Leaving the Eton mess in the fridge will cause the meringue to lose a great deal of crispness and get soggy. If needed, make the individual components ahead and store them separately and then assemble before serving for the best texture.
The assembled Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess will keep for upto 6 hours in the fridge. Unassembled the components will keep for up to 24 hours in the fridge. The dairy free whipping cream may need to be re-whipped a bit to fluff it back up. The cream should be stored in a container with a lid, as should the purees, so they do not absorb tastes from other items in the fridge. The berries should be stored with a paper towel or two to absorb the moisture in the container. They store best in a clean mason jar with a tight lid. The Vegan Meringues should not be stored in the fridge but instead in an airtight container with parchment in between the layers and at room temperature.
The Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess assembled is not well suited for freezing. The puree can be frozen in a lidded container for 2 months. The meringues by themselves can be frozen for up to 4 weeks in a well sealing container with parchment separating the layers. The fruit is best fresh, typically an Eton Mess is not made with frozen fruit chunks. The non-dairy whipping cream stored on its own may or may not be able to be stored in the freezer depending on if you use premade whipped topping or whipped coconut cream. If using coconut cream it will not freeze well but storing a processed dairy free should be done following the instructions from the manufacturer.
We use large coupe glasses or ice cream dishes to serve the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess. Use tumblers or bowls for the wow factor. To see the layers translucent dishes are best. For large parties and buffets use large shot glasses or small tumblers that fit a small spoon.
What To Serve With
This Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess recipe is an excellent dessert with any meal. The Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess is perfect for a 4th of July barbecue or a British inspired Afternoon Tea. Put out the individual servings of this dessert for large gatherings and on dessert tables in small tumblers or large shot glasses. This pudding works as an upscale dessert for a dinner party or family gathering.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Gluten Free and Vegan Black Forest Trifle
- High Speed Blender or Immersion Blender
- Stand mixer with Whisk Attachment or a Hand Mixer
- Cutting board
- Glasses or bowls for serving
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 C Blueberries washed and dried and divided
- 2 C Strawberries large diced washed and diced and divided
- 4 Tbsps Fresh Lemon Juice divided in 2
- 2-4 Tbsps Cold Water
- 2 C Coconut Cream or Liquid Whipping Cream Substitute, chilled
- 6 Tbsps Vanilla Sugar or Granulated Sugar
- 2 - 3 inch Vegan Meringues
- In a blender put 1 cup of Blueberries, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1-2 Tablespoons of water. Blend until fully pureed. Transfer to a measuring cup with a spout for ease of pouring later. Set aside. Rinse out the blender cup.
- Repeat step 1 with Strawberries to make the strawberry puree. Set aside when done.
- Using a stand mixer, add the chilled coconut cream or liquid non-dairy whipping cream substitute. On medium high speed let the cream start to whip. When soft peaks start to form add in the vanilla sugar one tablespoon full at a time. When the sugar is fully integrated and the cream is whipped to slightly stiff peaks set aside. Skip this step if using an already made vegan whipped cream.
- Crumble 2-3 Meringues into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- In a glass or bowl start to layer the Red, White, and Blue Eton Mess. We start with whipped cream, a bit of strawberry puree ¼ cup of blueberries. Then layer on the meringue pieces. This should bring you halfway up the dish. Add more whipped non dairy cream, blueberry puree and ¼ cup of diced strawberries. Sprinkle on smaller bits of the meringue that crumbled when broken to finish the dish.
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment and us know how much you liked it.