Classic Australian Recipes

… from family favourites to forgotten gems …

Passionfruit Curd

Passionfruit pulp: is there anything that smells so wonderful, looks so exotic and conjures up so many recipe ideas? Nana Ling has quite a few lovely recipes jotted down in her notebooks, including this simple passionfruit curd recipe. Growing PassionfruitWhen we...

Ginger Sponge Cake

This Ginger Sponge Cake is also known as Ginger Blowaway Sponge Cake. As the name suggests, it's a deliciously light and fluffy cake that's warmed with ginger and spices.This cake was created from the top down. After finding these lovely dehydrated orange slices at my...

Keen’s Chicken Curry

This retro chicken curry was made famous by Aussie mums. If your mum didn't make a version of this growing up, well you really missed out!But you no longer have to miss out, because I've recreated my own Mum's version of this Aussie classic, with a few little tweaks...

Honey Joys (for Grown-ups)

If you loved Honey Joys as a child, you'll go crazy for this "grown-up" version of Honey Joys as an adult.  A Corn Flakes treat called...Recently, there was some debate about what Aussies call the cornflake treats in patty cases that are made with honey, butter and...

Mars Bar Slice

Mars Bar Slice has been around for decades in Aussie home cooking, and was hugely popular in the 80's and early 90's. While padded shoulders, perms and neon are best left as memories, Mars Bar Slice is in an entirely different category. It's just as good today – and I...

Butterfly Cakes

Butterfly cakes are cupcakes with a little added magic. Wings and a sprinkling of icing sugar take ordinary vanilla cupcakes to soaring new heights.Birthdays and butterfly cakesWhenever I see butterfly cakes – and we don't see them near enough these days – I think of...

Celebrating a long tradition of home cooking in the Hunter Valley

Nana Ling portrait

During the 1930's and 40's Nana Ling carefully recorded her recipes in a notebook.

She recorded hundreds of wonderful recipes, from classic sweets that we still love today to forgotten gems. She sometimes added a star rating and was always very precise.

Thanks to  a love of home cooking that's wound its way down the maternal line, that notebook eventually found its way to me, Libby, her great granddaughter.

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.

It’s inspired me to better align my cooking with the seasons, and reminded me of the memories that home cooking creates and the connections that can be made through a shared recipe.

As featured on

Channel 7’s The House of Wellness

ProBlogger Podcast

The Maitland Mercury

More recipes you’ll love

Raspberry and Rosella Jam

If you need something to brighten your day, this raspberry and rosella jam may be the answer. It'll brighten not just your day but the weeks ahead as you enjoy it on toast, scones or wherever else you can squeeze in some jam. It's inspired by one of Nana Ling's jam...

Date and Walnut Slice

Dates, walnuts and rosewater come together in this layered slice to create something that's definitely greater than the sum of its parts.Date and Walnut slice has always been a favourite of mine. My sister made a divine date slice with a lemon icing way back when we...

Dutch Apple Pie

This Dutch Apple Pie recipe is from the pages of Nana Ling's handwritten recipe book and dated November 1942. Dutch Apple Pie recipes go back to the middle ages, according to Wikipedia, and are characterised by a crust on the bottom and sides, apple slices, cinnamon...

Victoria Sponge

Is there any dessert as regal as the  Victoria Sponge? Perched on a cake stand, with a jam and cream filling and icing sugar dusting , the Victoria Sponge is a quintessential afternoon tea treat. I've added some strawberries and cream on top of the sponge here, though...

Easter Biscuits

Want to enjoy an Easter treat minus the chocolate overload? These Easter Biscuits are light and crisp, with a delicate spiced flavour and only a teeny bit of white chocolate. I've adapted this Easter Biscuits recipe from Nana Ling's lovely Monte Carlo recipe....

Pumpkin Cake

The warm colours of autumn are a highlight of the season, and this Pumpkin Cake Recipe captures everything that's wonderful about autumn.There's the pumpkin, of course, which comes into peak season as the weather starts to turn cool. The maple cream cheese frosting...

Lemon Meringue Tart

Lemon Meringue Tart is one of my mum's specialties and is high on my list of childhood favourites.  This recipe is from the pages of my great grandmother's recipe book and one of the key ingredients is another of my childhood favourites – condensed milk.  I'd...

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice is traditionally a side dish in Mexican cuisine.  Its simple ingredient list, full flavour and versatility, though, makes it more widely appealing. A search of Australia's digitised newspapers on the Trove website shows that Spanish Rice was quite popular...

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Remembering the classic Aussie recipes made famous by mums and nanas (and discovering a few forgetten gems)

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