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    Mum's Vanilla Slices

    Even though I call these "Mum's Vanilla Slices"; Mum never made them. My mum loved to clip or copy out recipes by hand, then over coffee she would  *hint *hint "oh, if only someone would make that"... and of course I always would  :) 

    Many countries have versions of a puff pastry with custard cake, in Australia it's the 'Vanilla Slice' that rules. Puff pastry base, covered in creamy custard and topped with more pastry and then iced or perhaps just a dusting of icing sugar. The vanilla slice is so popular thousands compete each year in the 'Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph". With categories for professionals, amateurs and juniors, the baking competition attracts the best of best in classic vanilla slices in the country.

    You're thinking I'm going to segue into the best of the best classic recipe now don't you?? Wrong... my family and friends do love this thoroughly nice recipe, but Mum's handed down recipe is an odd version of a vanilla slice in that it is egg free, the custard is made up wholly of custard powder (sorry to all MasterChef purists) and uses gelatine as a setting agent. 

    *custard powder; is a sweetened flavoured cornflour product that when milk is added and heated to correct temperature it becomes a custard sauce. Also used in baking, particularly shortbread type biscuits (cookies).

    I suspect many years ago Mum must have acquired the recipe from a brand name product as she names all the brands on the hand written scrap... wish she was still here to tell me about it, but I can still share the recipe for "Mum's Vanilla Slices" :)

    Mum's Vanilla Slices

    Makes 12

    23 cm square cake tin (9x9 inch) sides and base lined with foil or baking paper

    I haven't "poshed up" this recipe at all and it is as it was written, albeit minus the brand names of the products. The completed slice needs to be refrigerated overnight for ease of slicing.


    2 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry

    *5 tablespoons of custard powder

    1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine)

    600ml of milk (20 fluid ounces)

    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatine

    1/3 cup hot water

    250ml of cream

    2 tablespoons of sour cream

    1 tsp pure vanilla essence/extract


    1 1/2 cups of pure icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

    1 1/2 tablespoons of water

    1 tsp pure vanilla essence/extract


    Preheat oven to 230C (450F)

    1. Place pastry sheets on greased baking trays and prick well with a fork. Bake for 6 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Whilst still warm and using the base of your tin as a template trim the pastry to the size of the tin. 

    2. In a saucepan blend the custard and powder and sugar with sufficient milk to make a smooth paste. Add remaining milk. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until milk boils and becomes thick. Cook 1 minute before removing from heat.

    3. Sprinkle the gelatine onto hot water and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Stir into custard and place a piece of wetted paper on top to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool.

    placing wetted paper on top of custard will prevent a skin forming

    4. Place both creams, vanilla and custard in a mixer bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until well blended. 

    beat together creams, vanilla and prepared custard

    Place a prepared pastry sheet in the bottom of your prepared tin, pour over custard and top with remaining pastry. Press down firmly with your hand. Set to one side.


    Place icing sugar and water in a saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring constantly until a good spreading consistency is reached. Add vanilla. Pour over pastry. Allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

    Happy Baking :)

    You might also like Vanilla extracts, essences, pods and pastes

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    Reader Comments (3)

    We (the Netherlands) have something called "tompouce" I'ts pretty much the same thing, except we use pink fondant(teh liquid kind) instead of white icing

    October 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisette

    How lovely to have recipes from your mother...and in her writing...that is very special. My family adore vanilla slice but the one I make is a bit of a pain to make with lots of egg yolks etc. Your Mum's seems so simple to make and the addition of cream would certainly make it a lovely custard mixture. Emotional attachments aside, how do you think it compares with egg-yolk ones? I would love to try it but not sure whether it would please the finicky ones.
    So pleased you are back blogging. I adore your has to be the most creative one on the world-wide scene.
    Thanks so much for all the time you put in.

    October 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

    Hi Lisette, oh thank you for sharing that information. I googled "tompouce" and that is very similar and quite probably the origin of ours :)

    Hi Angela, thank you :) I'm a bit of a purist, so I would go with an egg-yolk recipe... but that said, my family/friends (particularly the men) prefer this one... I think because it is very creamy. Every time I serve it, it reminds me of when I was teen and made an apple pie for my boyfriend... he ate it and said "it's very nice, but not as good as your Mum's"... thing is "Mums" was a frozen Sara Lee Apple high pie ;)

    October 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

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