Vanilla Slice

2 Sep

Some time ago my lovely friend Bethany came for dinner and brought dessert. It was the beginning of an era-of vanilla slice. It was so delicious I stole 3 slices out of the fridge everyday while it lasted. And then I dreamed about it. And then I asked her for the recipe. I would have given a kingdom for that recipe. I worked up the courage to make it after a week or two of holding back-fearing it would not compare to hers. But made it I did, and several times over several weeks. And it was amazingly good.  The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of custard powder-however, I was concerned about the food colouring, so I made some changes. I substituted the custard powder for cornflour and egg yolks. The only difference between the two is that the recipe with custard powder produces a custard that sets more firmly. But this one still tastes pretty darned good. Below is a photo tutorial of how I make it.


  • 2 cups milk (500ml)
  • 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks (700g egg)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 sachet/2 tablespoons gelatine powder
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 puff pastry sheets
  • icing sugar
  • desiccated coconut
  • baking paper
  • 9 x 13 x 1 inch jelly roll pan
  • 2 baking trays

Makes 8-10 serves and for one jelly roll pan.

First preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line the pans and the baking trays with baking paper.

Line the pans with baking paper

Make sure that the paper is longer on the sides of the jelly roll pan-you don’t want the custard to flow under the paper.

Put the pastry sheets on the lined baking tray and prick well with fork.

Lay the pastry sheets and prick with a fork

This ensures that the pastry does not get too puffed up-you want it relatively flat.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes-do not burn. You want it cooked but still pale  golden and not brown.

While the pastry is cooking, we’ll make the custard.

Measure out 1/2 cup of caster sugar

Then add…

1/2 cornflour

Now the…

2 cups of milk

Whisk the mixture over low heat.

Whisk whisk

Stir constantly. You’ll know it’s starting to cook once you meet some resistance. When it starts to gently bubble, keep cooking for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and continue to whisk till smooth.

Stir in the sachet of gelatine into 1/3 cup of boiling water till dissolved.

Stirring the gelatine into the custard

Make sure the gelatine is evenly distributed into the custard.

Now we add the vanilla extract.

Stir one tablespoon of vanilla extract into the custard. Very thoroughly.

I loooooooove vanilla.

Separate the yolks and beat. And then…

Stir the beaten yolks into the custard

Beat briskly.  Your custard will start looking like the store-bought one. Like this. However, be careful not to beat in the egg yolks while the custard is still hot-you don’t want the eggs to curdle.  Drip the yolks in bit by bit and whisk constantly.

Custard is nearly ready

Tastes delish at this point. People will start licking the stirring spoon at this point. Do not let it out of your sight! And don’t finish it by yourself!

Time to add the heavy cream.

Stir in the heavy cream.

I think it is possible to omit the cream if you don’t want it too heavy. Your custard will probably set a lot better and not be too squishy. But I haven’t tried it yet. I like decadence. In the form of heavy cream. Low-fat be damned!

It’s time to get back to the pastry sheets. Trim them to fit the pan, and put one layer in. Like this.

One down. One more to go.

Pour in the custard over the pastry.

Yummy custard filling

And then put the other pastry sheet, trimmed of course, over the custard.

Sprinkle LIBERALLY with icing sugar and desiccated coconut.

It's done! It's done!


Chill overnight in the fridge. But I like to cheat. I put it in the freezer for 3-4 hours. This sets it hard enough to cut into slices.

And tada!!!

Food for the gods

I love vanilla slice. And so does Wyld Man. Thanks Bethany!

Vanilla Slice Recipe

  • 2 cups milk (500ml)
  • 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks (700g egg)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 sachet/2 tablespoons gelatine powder
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 puff pastry sheets
  • icing sugar
  • desiccated coconut
  • baking paper
  • 9 x 13 x 1 inch jelly roll pan
  • 2 baking trays


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Lay pastry sheets on and prick well with fork. Cook for 10 minutes till lightly golden. Remove and let cool.
  2. Mix caster sugar, milk and cornflour thoroughly over low heat, stir constantly till it bubbles slightly. Cook for 1 minute then remove and continue stirring till cool.
  3. In another bowl, dissolve the gelatine in 1/3 cup of boiling water, and stir thoroughly into custard.
  4. Stir vanilla extract into custard, whisking briskly.
  5. Separate the yolks, beat, and stir into cooled custard.
  6. Trim the pastry sheets to fit the lined jelly roll pan and pour custard over one layer. Cover with the remaining pastry sheet.
  7. Sprinkly liberally with icing sugar and desiccated coconut.
  8. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 3-4 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

**Update: I’ve found that using 2/3 cup of cornflour, and beating the egg yolks gradually while the pot is still on the stove and hot helps it set better. And a tiny bit more gelatine too.

2 Responses to “Vanilla Slice”

  1. Bethany September 2, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Ah Joyce you make me laugh!!
    Thanks for being a pioneer woman 🙂
    God bless you, I miss you and much love xox
    P.S. Care for a parmigiana recipe?! My hubby loves it and so will yours.. it’s somewhat time-intensive but now you’re a pioneer woman… I received mine handwritten from his aunt

    • Wyld Woman September 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

      I’m sure I wouldn’t mind another great recipe! Sorry for the late reply-didn’t realise you’d posted a comment.

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