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The finished vanilla slice made with lattice biscuits and instant dessert mix, sprinkled with icing sugar.

Easy Cheat's Vanilla Slice Recipe

Make this cheat's Vanilla Slice recipe in just 5 minutes! With lattice biscuits and vanilla instant dessert, it's a no-fuss recipe guaranteed to impress.
Course Snack
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Setting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 9 slices
Calories 268kcal
Cost $5-$10




  • Pour the milk and cream into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the vanilla instant dessert mix and beat until thick and creamy (around 1-2 mins).
  • Line a square baking dish with baking paper and place a 3x3 grid of lattice biscuits (sugar glaze down) into the tray. Pour whipped dessert mix into the centre, gently pressing it out towards the edges and smoothing out the top as you go.
  • Top with another 3x3 grid of lattice biscuits (sugar glaze up). Pop in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar, then cut into slices by gently running a knife between the biscuits.



  • Lattice Biscuits - These sweet biscuits are made from flaky pastry with a sugar glaze and are the perfect size for vanilla slice. You can buy them in any supermarket across Australia, and may also be able to buy them from Amazon depending on where you live. If you can't source these specific biscuits, the best substitute is store-bought puff pastry or shortcrust pastry (baked first, of course). Otherwise, you could try using any kind of firm, flat cracker or biscuit, such as Sao (Aus) or Huntley & Palmers (UK). 
    • Sugar Side Out - Lattice biscuits have a sugar glaze on one side only. For the best looking slices, pop the sugar side down for the bottom later, and sugar side up for the top layer. If using baked puff pastry, use the cooked side in the same way.
  • Vanilla Instant Dessert Mix - We used Aeroplane brand. Cottee's Instant Pudding Mix is another popular option and essentially the same thing. It's the easiest and quickest prep for our cheat's vanilla slice recipe, requires no cooking, and sets perfectly after just an hour in the fridge. You could use custard powder if you prefer - just cook it on the stove according to packet directions and allow it to cool before proceeding with the recipe below. If making homemade custard from scratch, make sure it's cooked long enough until it's nice and thick so it will set firm enough to make into a slice.
  • Cream - We use thickened cream for this recipe, which is the same as heavy cream for our readers in the US/Canada. We don't recommend pouring cream or whipping cream as they won't give the right texture for the custard to set.
  • Topping (Optional) - For this simplified recipe we prefer a quick sprinkling of icing sugar - it tastes and looks great for such a simple decorative effect. It's also much less sweet than a traditional icing sugar glaze. For more topping and icing ideas, see our variations section below.
  • Line the Baking Dish - Use a sheet of baking paper or aluminium foil that's a bit wider than you'd normally use when lining a baking tray. This way you can use the edges to neatly pull the slices out of the tray.
  • Don't Over-Whip - Instant dessert mix only needs to be whipped for a minute or two before it's thick and ready to use. If you over-whip, it just means the filling will look a little lumpier and less smooth, but will still be totally fine to use.
  • Quick Set - If you need to shave off a bit of time, you can pop the tray of vanilla slices in the freezer for half an hour (after slicing) to help them set more quickly.
  • Variations
    • Puff Pastry - Swap the lattice biscuits for puff pastry sheets. Place them on a lined baking tray and prick holes with a fork all over the top so that they don't puff up too much while baking. Bake for around 15-20 minutes (220˚C / 430˚F), then follow the recipe below as normal to assemble.
    • Dessert Mix - Instead of vanilla, try it with strawberry or chocolate flavoured dessert mix instead.
    • Extra Flavour - Try adding a tsp of vanilla, almond or lemon essence in with the instant dessert mix before whipping.
      Icing - It's a popular tradition in some Aussie bakeries to serve vanilla slice with a passionfruit icing. You can make it from 100g icing sugar and 1 tbsp passionfruit pulp. Mix and slather a thin layer over the top and refrigerate to set before slicing into portions. If you don't like passionfruit, try it with a splash of lemon juice instead.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 534IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg