This perfectly zesty and delicious Lemon Slice Recipe had been hiding in the Cooking with Nana Ling collection for too many years.
Here it is… at last! And it’s been an instant hit. Deee-licious.
While there are a few variations on the Lemon Slice Recipe, this old-fashioned recipe which packs in the juice of two lemons and zest from one, is my pick by a long shot.
Indeed, I searched all the way back to the 1960s to find my favourite version of this popular slice.
The original recipe comes from a 1960 recipe competition, and the person who sent in the recipe sums up the slice well: “This slice is really delicious and also keeps well.” Tick. Tick.
Three lovely lemon-y layers
This Lemon Slice is made up three layers which, combined, make this an absolutely more-ish treat.
To get started on the recipe, you’ll need a standard slice tin of about 28 x 18 cm.
Grease the tin and then line with baking paper, leaving the paper overhanging on each side to assist with removing the slice from the tin once it’s ready to slice up.
The recipe instructions are all included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. However, I’m also going to outline the process, and highlight a few things, here.
1. The biscuit layer
The bottom biscuit layer is made by creaming butter and sugar and then adding an egg, SR flour and the zest from one lemon.
Once combined, the mixture is pressed into the tin using your fingers. It might be a little sticky and difficult to work with, but that can be solved by dusting your hands and the top of the slice with a little extra flour.
To get a nicely even and flat layer, you can also use the back of a metal spoon or a small glass cup when pressing the mixture into the tin.
Next, you’ll need to bake off the biscuit layer and let it cool.
2. The lemon filling
You can start making this layer as soon as you pop the biscuit base into the oven as it will also need to cool before you can spread it over the cooled first layer.
The lemon filling is made by combining sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan over heat and then thickening with cornflour.
It’s easy peasy to make up, you just need to make sure it’s cooled to a lukewarm temperature before spreading it over the completely cooled biscuit base.
Once you’ve added this layer, pop the slice into the fridge while you make up the topping.
3. The cream topping
The cream layer really is the icing on the cake here. It’s subtle sweetness and velvety texture is perfect against the zesty biscuit and filling layers.
You make this cream by heating milk and then thickening with cornflour. You then whisk in butter and icing sugar.
Once cooled, whisk the mixture again and spread it over the slice.
If you’re a coconut-lover, sprinkle with a little shredded coconut.
Now, it’s back into the fridge for at least a few hours to set. Then, slice it up and enjoy!
Enjoying your Old-fashioned Lemon Slice
This slice is best stored in the fridge and should keep for up to five days.
I don’t recommend freezing this slice.
Just make it up fresh, share it around, then sit down and wash it down with your favourite hot drink.
And if you’ve still got lemons to use up, you might like to add these recipes to your “must try” list too:
The original Lemon Slice Recipes
I found this recipe in a newspaper clipping dated 1960 (The Australian Woman’s Mirror, from Nana Ling’s clipping collection) and again (almost identical) in The Red Cross Tried & True Cookery Book dated 1983.
I have tweaked it just a little, and added further instructions, so please continue scrolling to find the updated recipe card below.
- Slice tin (approx 28 x 18cm)
- 120 grams butter
- 1/2 cup caster sugar (110 grams)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups SR flour
- zest from one lemon
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (approx juice from 2 lemons)
- 3 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons water (for blending with cornflour)
- 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 tablespoon milk (for blending with cornflour)
- 20 grams butter (cut into cubes)
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)
- Grease the slice tin (approx 28 x 18cm) and line with baking paper, leaving paper overhanging at sides to assist with removal of slice later.
- Pre-heat oven to moderate (170-180 degrees celsius, fan-forced).
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add egg and beat again for a minute or two until completely combined.
- Add sifted flour and zest and mix until combined.
- Press mixture into tin. Flour your hands if mixture is too sticky to work with.
- Use the back of a metal spoon and a small glass jar to assist in evening out the mixture to form an even, flat surface.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Allow to cool in tin.
- Heat sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Combine cornflour with the 2 tablespoons water and blend to a paste. Add to saucepan and continue to boil rapidly, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens.
- Allow to cool to a lukewarm temperature and then spread over cooled biscuit base.
- Place in fridge while you make up the top cream layer.
- Heat milk in a saucepan until bubbles begin to form around edges of saucepan.
- Combine cornflour with the tablespoon of milk and blend to a paste. Add to saucepan and whisk over heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add butter and icing sugar. Stir until combined.
- Allow mixture to cool completely.
- Whisk mixture and then spread over lemon filling layer.
- Sprinkle shredded coconut over top of slice if desired.
- Place in fridge for at least a few hours to set.
- Remove slice from tin using overhanging paper and slice into squares.
- Store slice in the fridge.