Classic Australian Recipes

Ceylon Punch

Nothing says summer (and party time) like punch. This Ceylon Punch recipe is non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy it. It's also a little bit special. Eighty years ago, my great Nana Ling entered it in a weekly recipe competition with her local paper, The Maitland...


This Pavlova recipe is super-simple to follow and is a winner for those who love more of the marshmallow centre and just a little of the crisp meringue shell.  A dessert worth fighting for This dessert not only sees family members fighting for the last slice, it's...

Christmas Pudding

It may be steaming hot in Australia most Christmas days, but the traditional Christmas pudding – served hot with custard – is still on my Christmas dessert menu. The first mouthful transports me straight back to my early Christmases, sitting around fold-up tables with...

Mini Trifles

The Christmas table isn't quite complete without a Christmas Trifle. These layered, individual mini trifles are inspired by Nana Ling's flummery recipe. They can be made up a day ahead and the best thing about a mini trifle is that you can have it all to yourself. No...

Chocolate Fudge

This Chocolate Fudge Recipe comes from the pages of Nan Mac's handwritten recipe book. Nan Mac was my maternal grandmother and Nana Ling's daughter. Nan Mac was home schooled by Nana Ling, and she followed Nana Ling's tradition of keeping a notebook filled with...

Celebrating a long tradition of home cooking in the Hunter Valley

Nana Ling portrait

From 1939 to 1943 Nana Ling carefully recorded her recipes in a notebook.

She noted the date, the source, the ingredients and the method. She sometimes added a star rating.

She recorded hundreds of wonderful recipes, from classic sweets that we still love today to forgotten gems.

That notebook eventually found its way to me, Libby, her great granddaughter.

the baking team

In 2018, I started testing, tweaking and recording my great grandmother’s recipes here on this blog.

Making time for Cooking with Nana Ling every week – learning, remembering, and creating – has made me a happier home cook.

I’m also encouraging the next little generation of home cooks, my two daughters, to enjoy a little time in the kitchen. I’d love to inspire you to become a happier home cook, too.

As featured on

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More recipes you’ll love

Fruit and Nut Clusters

Packed with sultanas, peel and peanuts and topped with a little white chocolate, these fruit and nut clusters are only a little bit naughty and a lot nice.  We've decorated them here with red cherries and crushed green pistachio to add a little Christmas...

Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween is here and these mini pumpkin Halloween cupcakes are definitely a treat. We've used Nana Ling's cupcake recipe and added some buttercream icing along with our marzipan model creations. My kids are Halloween crazy and loved baking these and then creating...

Banana Cake with Lemon Frosting

I have a go-to banana cake recipe that I've been using for about 20 years. When I spotted this Banana Cake with Lemon Frosting recipe in Nana Ling's cookbook, I had a hunch that my go-to recipe was about to be replaced. My feeling came from the state of the Banana...

Cheese Biscuits (with savoury filling)

These Cheese Biscuits with savoury filling can be served as a little something to enjoy with a drink or as a welcome addition to any finger food platter. The recipe is from 1938 – a year before Nana Ling started writing hundreds of recipes onto the pages of the...

Spring Sponge Sandwich

I'm celebrating another sponge cake success. Hooray! This Spring Sponge Sandwich is simple, light, and sweet. Nana Ling named this recipe the "3 Minute Sponge Sandwich" but I thought it deserved a more beautiful name. Also, I didn't want to set expectations too high,...

Blood Orange Marmalade

There's something very decadent about blood oranges, with their pretty crimson-infused flesh and the berry-like flavour which swirls through the citrus tang. They're certainly lovely to eat on their own, and are just as wonderful as an ingredient in...

Monte Carlo Biscuits

We've already made Butternut Cookies and Iced VoVo Biscuits here in the Cooking with Nana Ling kitchen. This recipe is for  another biscuit made famous by Arnott's: the Monte Carlo Biscuit. The Monte Carlo was first manufactured by Arnott's back in 1926. Growing up in...

Simple Strawberry Jam

I've been in search of a simple Strawberry Jam recipe for a while, after fluking a great batch and then following that up with a disaster (yes, you can burn jam and, yes, it is messy). This recipe is the product of my experimentation with Nana Ling's Mandarin Jam...

Make the kitchen the heart of your home

The Cooking with Nana Ling Shop has only the loveliest hand-picked items for your home kitchen.

All items are things we use in the kitchen or items that are at the top our wish list.


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