Home Desserts 23 Traditional Australian Desserts

23 Traditional Australian Desserts

by insanelygood
Lamington

When I think of Australian Desserts, I’m immediately taken back to my very first Lamington in Brisbane. 

How had I never had one before? With a soft sponge and coconut covering, this treat is a true national treasure!

But my new love for all things sweet Down Under didn’t end there. From fairy bread to Anzac biscuits, I can’t get enough of these traditional treasures.

So, if you’re in the mood to bring the taste of Australia into your own home, try one of these 23 tasty Australian desserts!

1. Lamingtons

A classic Lamington will consist of a lovely buttery square sponge cake, completely enrobed in a chocolate glaze, and covered with desiccated coconut.

In some cases, you may find that the cake is cut in half and filled with some raspberry jam.

As much as I love the classic, I have to admit that I’m partial to a Strawberry Lamington. Instead of a chocolate glaze, the cake is dipped into strawberry jelly before rolling in coconut. 

2. The Iced Vo-Vo

Brits have their custard creams, Americans have their chocolate chip cookies, and Aussies have their iced vo-vos!

The cookie base is quite basic, consisting of the usual butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. It needs to be chilled before rolling, and the rectangle shape is traditional. 

After baking and allowing to cool, you will need to spread your pink fondant over the whole cookie. 

It’s easier to cover the whole cookie rather than using stripes. Instead, cover two to three cookies and then pipe a line of jam down the center.

Doing this while the fondant is still wet will allow the jam to settle in place.

Sprinkle it with coconut, and that’s it. You’ll have a real classic in about an hour.

3. Chocolate Crackles

Just five ingredients come together to make these adorable little chocolate bites. 

Icing sugar, cocoa powder, rice puff, and coconut are all mixed with melted Copha. This is a crispy and fun dessert everyone will love.

Did I lose you with the Copha? Don’t worry. It’s essentially a vegetable shortening made from coconut oil. You can substitute Crisco or coconut oil in this recipe. 

I like these plain in colorful paper cups. Or better yet, top with some mini-marshmallows or sprinkles for something more fun. 

4. Beetroot Cake with Orange Frosting

Did you know that Aussies put beetroot on everything?

It’s true, and it’s not just burgers and salads. 

Their love for the vibrant earthy veggie has found its way into their cakes, too.

This spiced cake incorporates grated beetroot with apple sauce and orange zest for a refreshing change to the usual carrot cake.

Topped with a tangy, orange-flavored cream cheese frosting and passion fruit, you’ll thank me for this crazy good recipe.

Serve with a cuppa, naturally.

5. Chocolate Caramel Slice

As a baker and all-around foodie, it’s a necessity to try all the local favorites when traveling.

Well, it’s safe to say that this is a favorite, not just of the Aussies, but for me, too.

Known by the Brits as Millionaire Shortbread, this version incorporates not beetroot, but coconut into the base.

(You may have noticed coconut is just as popular and pops up in a lot of their recipes!)

The coconut shortbread base is the perfect combination of buttery and crumbly.

A tip for the caramel layer is to be sure you use full-fat condensed milk, or it won’t set right, and you won’t get the gorgeous layers when you cut. 

6. Easy Milo Balls

Milo is every Australian child’s favorite drink, and it’s actually quite popular with adults too. 

After outrage over a slight tweak in the formula, which caused people to all-but boycott the drink, manufacturers changed it back, and it sits front and center in most households. 

The flavor is a cross between hot chocolate and malted milk. When combined with crushed biscuits and condensed milk, you’ll have truffle-like cake balls that are to die for. 

These little cuties can be ready in just 10 minutes flats and are coated in… you guessed it, coconut!

7.  The Vegemite Brownie

Before you scroll by… hear me out!

I know – you either love it or you hate it.

The issue with Vegemite is that people put way too much on their toast. A small, super-thin spread is all you need.

This recipe incorporates the salty, rich caramelized flavor of the Vegemite with bitter chocolate to create something that is hard to describe. You just have to trust me and try it.

8. Pavlova

Pavlovas are as synonymous with Australia as shrimp on the barbie. 

The meringue has a perfectly crisp outer crust with a soft and chewy marshmallow center. 

The trick is to bake it low and slow, allowing the whole thing to cool after you turn the oven off to dry the crust out.

Traditionally, a pavlova is served smothered in whipped cream and fresh berries. 

Personally, I love a passion fruit pavlova!

This recipe uses an ultra-creamy combination of passion fruit curd and mascarpone for a mouth-watering twist on the classic.

9. Neenish Tarts

These little tarts have a crumbly pastry case, sweet lemony filling, and a fun two-tone icing top.

Found in both Australia and New Zealand, sometimes they have an extra layer of jam in the base.

The filling is custard-like and is made by mixing butter, icing sugar, and condensed milk. Most often, that is flavored slightly with lemon juice.

These tart are cute little bites and can have a brown and white top, or sometimes pink and white.

This recipe wouldn’t work too well in a large tart, as the filling won’t set up completely.

10. Matt Moran’s Gaytime Trifle

Golden Gaytime is a favorite Australian ice cream. Consisting of toffee and vanilla ice cream coated in chocolate and dipped in biscuit pieces, it’s a must-have for a day at the beach. 

As a trifle, you will need to layer caramel and vanilla gelato (or ice cream) with chocolate and crushed biscuits pieces. 

The whole thing gets topped with caramel popcorn for an eye-catching dessert.

Serve with all those layers and a drizzle of salted caramel.

11. Fairy Bread

Fairy bread is a quintessential Australian treat that every kid grew up with. 

It’s made with sliced white bread, butter, and sprinkles.

Crazy? Maybe. 

Deliciously nostalgic? Absolutely!

It really is as easy as it sounds, and it will take you back to your childhood with that first bite.

Even if you didn’t grow up eating it, there’s something about the simplicity and fun of it that will have you reaching for the hairbrush and blasting some 90s classics. 

The key to this crazy easy recipe is getting the right rainbow sprinkles

12. Jelly Slice

Typically, a jelly slice will have a base made from Arnott’s Biscuits, a layer of condensed milk filling, and Aeroplane jelly topping. 

These are light, sweet, and so cute.

This recipe calls it a cheesecake filling, but it’s a condensed milk and gelatin filling. 

Although it might not be traditional, I’m always first in line to incorporate cheesecake wherever possible. 

Be sure to let the middle layer set and cool completely before adding your jelly to the top. The jelly should also be cool to keep the line perfect.

13. Authentic Anzac Biscuits

These classic cookies are chewy, and they’re made with oats and golden syrup for a sweet and flapjack-like texture.

They differ slightly from normal biscuits and cookies because they contain no eggs. 

They do, however, have that coconut addition I know you were waiting for. 

When baked just right, they will have a lovely caramelized and crisp edge, with a wonderfully chewy, oat-y, and coconutt-y center. 

14. Dolly Varden Cake

Dolly Varden is a character in Barnaby Rudge, a Charles Dickens novel, who was known for her over-the-top dresses and fashion choices.

This cake is inspired by the character and features a doll in the middle of a boxed cake. 

You can actually buy a Dolly Varden cake pan to make this childhood birthday favorite. It’s possible to cut and stack your cakes and trim where necessary. 

The key to achieving the traditional look is to cut your pink and white marshmallows in half and carefully placing them over her “dress.”

15. Vanilla Slice

Popular in the UK too, vanilla slices are so delicious and can be surprisingly easy to make. 

Using store-bought puff pastry, cream, and instant vanilla pudding mix, you can have this ready in under 15 minutes.

Bake your pastry at around 220°F and gently flatten before allowing it to cool completely. 

Whisk your cream with the vanilla pudding, vanilla, and icing sugar until smooth and creamy and spread over one of the pastry sheets before topping with the other. 

This recipe has a simple powdered sugar dusting on top, but I would suggest an icing glaze to cap it off of just right.

16. Louise Cake

Another great coconut recipe from Down Under, this cake is more of a tray bake, if you ask me. 

The base is a cross between sponge and shortbread that gets topped with raspberry jam and a coconut macaroon layer.

The tartness of the raspberries stands out against the subtle coconut here, though I think any jam would work well. 

The only thing missing is some dark chocolate striped over the top.

17. Homemade Tim Tams

If you’ve never had a Tim Tam, then you’ve probably also never had the pleasure of a Tim Tam Slam. 

A Tim Tam Slam is when you bite off the opposite corners of your Tim Tam and sip your drink through the middle. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

This national treasure is made from chocolate biscuits with malted milk and chocolate filling, and a chocolate covering. 

The biscuits come together like normal, using everything you would expect: flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and Dutched cocoa powder, which provides a much deeper chocolate flavor.

Allow the dough to chill before rolling and baking. 

The filling is more or less malted milk and chocolate buttercream. If you bought the milo for the easy milo balls, you could use that instead.

When assembled, covered, and cooled, make your favorite coffee and try out a Tim Tam Slam!

18. Salted Honey Macadamia Tart

If you’re a pecan pie lover, chances are you’ll love this Aussie twist.

Made using the same general idea, you have a pastry base and a crunchy, chewy, nutty filling. 

The salted honey is a fantastically sweet and perfect alternative to salted caramel. It really is something different and special and will make you perk up a little at the first bite.

After just 20 minutes of prep, this tart needs around 45 minutes in the oven. 

I would suggest toasting your nuts before adding them to the filling. It enhances the flavor and is such an easy step. 

This tart sets like a pecan pie and would be perfect served with vanilla ice cream.

19. Picnic Cake

Great for having at home with tea, this cake travels so well, hence the name.

The oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon base provide a breakfast bar feel to this cake. It’s soft and dense, and the chocolate chips add a little extra sweetness. 

I think this recipe would be great with some added chopped fruits or maybe peanut butter chips. 

20. Yo-Yo Biscuits

These sandwich cookies are a lot like the Australian version of whoopie pies. 

The biscuits are made using custard powder, which not only enhances their creamy flavor but makes them super moist and tender.

When rolled into little balls and baked for just 10 minutes, you’ll have the cutest afternoon tea treats.

Served alone, they’re a great little cookie. But when filled and sandwiched together with colorful buttercream, they’re even better.

For something a little different, try adding some lemon or passion fruit curd to your buttercream for a flavor change. 

21. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey pokey is New Zealand slang for honeycomb. 

If you can find it in the store, then perfect! You’ve saved a step.

But don’t be afraid if you have to make it yourself. All you need is a good pot, sugar thermometer, and a little patience.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned my honeycomb because I stepped away at just the wrong time!

If you can’t find honeycomb in the store, you can often find chocolate covered honeycomb candy bars that you can chop up. The chocolate will just be an added bonus. 

Whether using store-bought or not, honeycomb is such a great flavor. And when mixed into the creamy vanilla ice cream, you’ll get a fabulous caramel crunch in each bite.

You’ll need an ice cream maker for this. 

I suggest adding it to your Christmas list because once you taste homemade ice cream and realize how easy it is to make your own great flavors, you won’t buy from a store again. 

22. Choc-Cherry Tart

This tart is a twist on the Aussie favorite Cherry Ripe Cake. The Cherry Ripe is a chocolate and cherry candy bar found all over Australia. Its flavors are often used in tray bakes and cakes.

For this tart, you’ll need chocolate pastry, which you can make yourself pretty easily if you can’t find in the store. 

The filling is akin to a cherry pie, made with morello and glace cherries.

Before putting into the baked and cool pastry case, you’ll fold through some coconut and refrigerate for an hour. 

The top is a simple ganache that gets spread over and textured with a fork. 

23. Mango and Passionfruit Australian Mess

An Eaton Mess is an English dessert with meringue, strawberries, and cream.

This recipe, from their cousins Down Under, is very similar. The only difference is the use of their favorite flavors. 

No, not beetroot and coconut… mango and passionfruit!

More often than not, you can find mini-meringue nests in the supermarket, and I won’t tell if you use those. 

But the good news is, as the name would suggest, being neat isn’t the goal here. 

You can make your favorite pavlova and not worry about creating that lovely round. You’re going to break it up and serve in a glass anyway.

Layer your meringue with mango chunks, cream, and mango and passionfruit puree for a super simple, tropical, and delicious Australian dessert. 

23 Traditional Australian Desserts

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Australian Desserts

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