Vanilla Slice

Vanilla Slice

Guilt-Free Snacks by Luke Hines, Published by Plum, RRP $26.99, Photography by Rob Palmer and Mark Roper

Is it just me or does every small town across Australia claim to have the best vanilla slice? Look, no disrespect to them because they are all delicious, but you can make your own without the fuss of making puff pastry – and now you, too, can put up a sign out the front of your house saying ‘home of the best vanilla slice’.


  • 3 tablespoons monk fruit icing sugar (optional)


  • 225 g (11⁄2 cups) raw macadamia nuts or cashew nuts, lightly toasted
  • 135 g (11⁄2 cups) desiccated coconut, lightly toasted
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, or monk fruit syrup for low carb
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) melted butter or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or powder


  • 750 ml (3 cups) canned coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or powder
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, or monk fruit syrup for low carb
  • 2 tablespoons gelatine powder
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water


  1. Line a 20 cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. For the base, combine the macadamias or cashews, desiccated coconut, sweetener, butter or coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor and blitz until a sticky crumb forms that holds together when pressed with your fingers.
  3. Tip the base mixture into the prepared tin and use your fingers to smooth, flatten and press it into the edges. Transfer to the fridge or freezer to set for 20–30 minutes while you start on your custard.
  4. For the vanilla custard, place the coconut cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium–low heat and, whisking constantly, bring just to a simmer for about 5–6 minutes. Remove from the heat. Combine the egg yolks, arrowroot or tapioca flour and sweetener in a bowl and whisk well. Whisk in the hot coconut cream until well incorporated. Place the gelatine powder and boiling water in a small heatproof bowl, stir to dissolve the gelatine, then slowly whisk into the coconut cream mixture. Place the pan over very low heat and cook, whisking frequently, for 25–30 minutes, or until the custard is lovely and thick, silky and creamy. Be mindful to watch the heat and keep the custard moving so it doesn’t burn or curdle. Set aside to cool for 20–30 minutes.
  5. Pour the cooled custard over the base, cover and place in the fridge to set for 6–8 hours or overnight.
  6. Once the vanilla slice slab is firm, cut into nine squares with a warm knife, dipped in hot water between slices. Sift over the monk fruit powder (if using) and serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Makes 9