Best vanilla slice recipe

vanilla slice

Blanche Clark

Posted November 21, 2022

Who can resist a vanilla slice and especially one that’s home-made? Follow this vanilla slice recipe from Le Petit Gateau and impress your family and friends with this melt-in-your mouth combo of crisp pastry and creamy custard.

The vanilla slice is a quintessentially Australian treat, keeping good company with the sausage roll, pavlova and Anzac biscuit.

In its most sophisticated form it’s a mille-feuille, a delicately layered custard and pastry dessert that originates from France. The Australian version, found in roadside cafes across the land, is often more robust: a solid slab of custard that’s sandwiched between two sheets of pastry with a shiny white fondant on top. It’s delicious whether you eat it out of a paper bag or off a plate - no fork required.

Cafes all over Victoria claim that they make “the best vanilla slice”, with Sharp’s Bakery in the Victorian town of Birchip winning the Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph this year. But perhaps the best vanilla slice ever will be made in your own home?

This recipe from RACV’s award-winning chefs at Le Petit Gateau patisserie - where you’ll find cakes and tarts for every occasion - takes time but it’s worth the effort. It’s more akin to the layered mille feuille than the basic “snot block”. If you’re up for a challenge, see our recipe for puff pastry and make that from scratch as well.

If you buy the puff pastry from the supermarket, Le Petit Gateau Executive Pastry Chef Amit Sinha suggests you buy the best quality puff pastry sheet you can find. Bake the pastry sheets at about 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. You should be able to find the liquid/pouring fondant for the icing at the supermarket as well. Otherwise, dust your irresistable creations with icing sugar.

If you love creamy textures and lemony flavours, Le Petit Gateau shows you how to make an amazing lemon tart.

Mille feuille pastry

You can make a fancier vanilla slice with layers of piped custard and berries. Image: Unsplash

Best vanilla slice recipe 


10-12 portions

Time to make

2 hours, 30 min




  • 1 x packet puff pastry sheets
Pastry cream
  • 1litre milk
  • 90g sugar
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 70g custard powder
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 50g unsalted butter

Vanilla mousseline

  • 500g pastry cream
  • 100g unsalted butter


Baked pastry sheets

  1. Line a tray with baking paper and preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Bake pastry sheets, one at a time, until they are puffed and just starting to brown, about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. Key an eye on them to ensure the pastry doesn't burn.
  3. Leave to cool on tray or wire rack.

 Pastry cream

  1. Place milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in a saucepan, bring just to the boil and remove from heat.
  2. Combine custard powder, egg yolks, caster sugar and plain flour in a large bowl, whisk until combined and smooth.
  3. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until the custard is thick, and flour is cooked out.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and gradually whisk in softened butter. Cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Mousseline cream

  1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add half of the pastry cream (crème patisserie) and emulsify with the smooth butter.
  3. Add the remaining pastry cream to the mixture and whisk well until the butter gets emulsified with the cream and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until required.
Vanilla slice

This vanilla slice recipe has three layers of pastry like the traditional mille-feuille. Image: Getty

Method continued


  1. Take the baked puff pastry sheets, cut in long strips 11cm x 35cm (3 pieces).
  2. Take the first strip and pipe vanilla mousseline lengthwise, then place another puff sheet strip and repeat the process.
  3. Place the final puff sheet on top and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once the cream is firm spread the liquid fondant on top and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, skip this step and dust your slices with icing sugar.)
  5. Remove from freezer, cut into individual portions of 3.5 cm wide and enjoy!

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