Recipes

Cakes and muffins

Butterscotch Pinwheel Scones

Butterscotch Pinwheel Scones

If you love scones, you'll love testing out this sweet twist on the traditional recipe. These Butterscotch Scones are best matched with a cuppa and a lazy afternoon.Making pinwheel sconesThis recipe is named "Butterscotch Curls" in Nana Ling's recipe book, but when I...

Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake

This old-fashioned lemon cake recipe has a charm that defies the years. Bake it now and bring some sweet, lemony loveliness to your day. Lemons: always in season and always usefulWhile lemons are more plentiful in winter, they're generally available year round. Which...

Honey Joys

Honey Joys

They're the sweet, crunchy, golden treats many of us first discovered at a kids party a long time ago. Honey Joys are proof again that simple is often best. Recently, there was some debate about what Aussies call the cornflake treats in patty cases that are made with...

Ginger Sponge Cake

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...

Butterfly Cakes

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...

Pumpkin Cake

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...

Victoria Sponge

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...

Jubilee Cake

Jubilee Cake

Jubilee Cake, or Jubilee Loaf as it's sometimes called, is a simple cake that's big on nostalgia (and sultanas). It tastes like something your Nana would make on those long, carefree afternoons that only really exist in childhood.This version is something my great...

Pavlova

Pavlova

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 forThis dessert not only sees family members fighting for the last slice, it's also...

Biscuits

Choc Caramilk Cookies

Choc Caramilk Cookies

Australians and New Zealanders are going CRAZY over the return of Cadbury Caramilk chocolate. If you've finally managed to get your hands on a block of this golden chocolate goodness, add these Choc Caramilk Cookies to your recipe folder. It's back! It's back and what...

Easter Biscuits

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....

Fruit and Nut Clusters

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 magic. This...

Monte Carlo Biscuits

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...

Butter Ball Cookies

Butter Ball Cookies

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Iced VoVo

Iced VoVo

The Iced VoVo has been a favourite in my family since I can remember. Nana Ling marked this Iced VoVo recipe with a couple of crosses, her rating system for special recipes, suggesting it was popular in the family long before I was born! It's not just my family who...

Choc Orange Jelly Crystal Cookies

Choc Orange Jelly Crystal Cookies

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Honey Biscuits

Honey Biscuits

    This recipe for Honey Biscuits is dated January 1942 and Nana Ling has identified "Marcella" as the source of this recipe. While this suggests it could possibly be an Italian recipe, traditional honey biscuits are common across much of Europe and...

Iced Currant Fingers

Iced Currant Fingers

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Desserts

Carrot Pudding

Carrot Pudding

This old-fashioned carrot pudding recipe was recorded by Nana Ling on 17 October 1939. Nearly 80 years later, I can say that this recipe definitely stands the test of time.  Carrots and pudding: a winning combo?I found this recipe after picking up this wonderful...

Mint Rocky Road

Mint Rocky Road

Rocky Road is an all-time favourite and this minty version might just make your new favourites list.The peanut or biscuit crunch in traditional rocky road is replaced with chopped peppermint crisp bars, while spearmint leaves add the chewy, gooey factor.   A...

Lemon Meringue Tart

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...

Pavlova

Pavlova

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 forThis dessert not only sees family members fighting for the last slice, it's also...

Christmas Pudding

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

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

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...

Flummery

Flummery

This flummery recipe might bring back fond memories of a dessert your Nana made all those years ago. It's the simple, sweet dessert that we've almost forgotten about.A dessert worth remembering With just two ingredients and a lovely mousse-like texture, this dessert...

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

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PIES AND TARTS

Dutch Apple Pie

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...

Lemon Meringue Tart

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...

Crushed Pineapple Tart

Crushed Pineapple Tart

Tinned pineapple isn't the most glamorous of ingredients, but in this Pineapple Tart Recipe it is completely transformed. The pineapple filling is out of this world – a little bit custardy, a little bit tropical, a little bit old-fashioned and completely addictive....

Savoury and snackS

Corn Relish Dip

Corn Relish Dip

This corn relish dip recipe is so easy, it may just be the most basic recipe in my jam-packed family recipe collection. The dip, on the other hand, reaches dizzy heights of tastiness. It's so good that I've never tired of it in 30+ years. It's one of those things in...

Faye’s Parsley Fritters

Faye’s Parsley Fritters

 My mother-in-law, Faye, was a fabulous cook, and would often land on our doorstep with a plate of something. Often, that plate was filled with these delicious little parsley fritters – still warm. Faye lived all her life in Australia and had a broad Australian...

Keen’s Chicken Curry

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...

Spanish Rice

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...

Cheese Biscuits (with savoury filling)

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...

Scotch Pancakes

Scotch Pancakes

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Mock Chicken

Mock Chicken

This old fashioned Mock Chicken recipe is a firm family favourite. All of my aunts and cousins will think of just one person when this recipe is mentioned: our Nan MacDonald, Nana Ling's daughter. Nan Mac, as we all called her, would turn up at our family gatherings...

Pikelets

Pikelets

Who doesn't love pikelets? They're a great all-rounder, perfect as an after-school snack, lunch box treat, quick and easy morning tea or sneaky midnight snack. They're also versatile. Eat them plain, with a generous swipe of butter and jam or drizzled with honey....

Nibble Nuts

Nibble Nuts

I imagined a bowl of flavoured peanuts when I started on this recipe, but what came out of the oven was something quite different. My nibble nuts were more like peanut cookies. Yes, cooking is about learning and perseverance at...

Condiments and conserves

Passionfruit Curd

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...

Raspberry and Rosella Jam

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...

Blood Orange Marmalade

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...

Simple Strawberry Jam

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...

Easy Lemon Curd

Easy Lemon Curd

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Mandarin Jam

Mandarin Jam

Make breakfast extra special with homemade jam. Whether you prefer toast, croissants or crumpets, this Mandarin Jam is the perfect accompaniment. (I can certainly vouch for the croissant and Mandarin Jam option!) The original Mandarin Jam recipe is dated July 1941 and...

Nan Mac’s Mock Cream

Nan Mac’s Mock Cream

My Nan Mac was the Queen of Sponge Cakes. This is her old-fashioned boiled mock cream recipe.

Slices

Passionfruit Pecan Slice

Passionfruit Pecan Slice

This Passionfruit Pecan Slice combines a golden biscuit base with a creamy, zesty passionfruit topping.Passionfruit and pecansThese star ingredients are available in supermarkets nearly year round. I found them in season and fresh, the passionfruit from my own...

Caramilk Christmas Slice

Caramilk Christmas Slice

In Australia, we enjoy golden sunshine and beach sand at Christmas rather than snow. So, let's update the traditional White Christmas slice with something more appropriate – a golden Caramilk Christmas Slice.It's beginning to look a lot like a Caramilk ChristmasIf...

Cherry Ripe Slice

Cherry Ripe Slice

This no-bake Cherry Ripe Slice recipe uses just six ingredients. It's one of my mum's old recipes and was yet another of my childhood favourites.A firm favourite This slice is based on the popular Cherry Ripe Bar, which has been consistently voted as Australia's...

Kit Kat Slice

Kit Kat Slice

Have a break. Have a Kit Kat. Or why not get to work in the kitchen instead and make this Kit Kat slice!A brief history of the Kit KatKit Kats went through a transformation in Nana Ling's time. Before World War II, Rowntree's of York produced a bar called the...

Mint Rocky Road

Mint Rocky Road

Rocky Road is an all-time favourite and this minty version might just make your new favourites list.The peanut or biscuit crunch in traditional rocky road is replaced with chopped peppermint crisp bars, while spearmint leaves add the chewy, gooey factor.   A...

Mars Bar Slice

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...

Date and Walnut Slice

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...

Salads

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

With the addition of a few magic ingredients, broccoli and cauliflower can be transformed into a flavour-packed salad. Don't believe me? Keep reading. This broccoli and cauliflower salad is based on my mum's recipe, which was one of those that used to get written down...

Drinks

Blood Orange Cordial

Blood Orange Cordial

Blood oranges are one of the prettiest fruits around and this Blood Orange Cordial takes advantage of both the colour and flavour of this wonderful winter fruit.Last week we made Passionfruit Cordial. It was a hit in our house and we used up 12 of the passionfruit...

Passionfruit Cordial

Passionfruit Cordial

Bottling the magic of passionfruit pulp with your own passionfruit cordial means you can enjoy that magic tang with a little added fizz! Mixed with soda water, my little family is  going big-time crazy about Nana Ling's passionfruit cordial.Why make it when you can...

Lemon and Mint Cordial

Lemon and Mint Cordial

This Lemon and Mint Cordial recipe is an adaptation of Nana Ling's Passionfruit Cordial recipe. It's inspired by the sweet lemon and mint drinks that are popular throughout Egypt, but the best thing about this cordial is that you can mix it to the sweetness of your...

Ceylon Punch

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...

Welcome! I’m Libby

Here you’ll find classic Australian recipes, all cooked up with a pinch of nostalgia.
Libby from cooking with nana ling

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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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