Classic Vanilla Slice
Classic Vanilla Slice is one of those desserts that makes you really appreciate how simple desserts can be absolute stunners! This dessert is all about two things. A thick layer of vanilla bean speckled custard sandwiched between two buttery puff pastry layers. Dusted with powdered sugar and ready for you to dig into. Classic never tasted so good!
Nick’s favourite thing…
Where do I even start? I mean just look at the photos! Those vanilla bean specs in the custard? Divine! The best ever vanilla dessert and one of my personal favourites!
Sorry about the out-of-sharpness of this photo! Still getting used to my new camera! haha
What does Classic Vanilla Slice taste like?
Let me break it down. And there are only 2 big main elements in this dessert.
Pastry – it’s flaky, butter and crispy. And it stays crispy! I used the Pampas brand butter puff pastry. Nothing beats it. Those crispy layers of pastry on top and bottom contrast to the silky smooth custard!
Vanilla Custard – the custard is silky smooth. My absolute favourite thing about it is the egg that sets it. There’s a lot of egg yolks in this recipe. If you’re looking for ideas on ways to use the egg whites, why not try my macarons? Or this pavlova recipe!
What are the ingredients I need?
Butter puff pastry – I used the pampas brand one from Coles and Safeway and I used the butter puff pastry. I found it had a much nicer texture. It went more evenly golden and tasted nicer. But you can use regular puff pastry sheets. I wouldn’t recommend using the low fat ones.
Caster Sugar – Sometimes also known as superfine sugar.
Corn starch – This will help thicken up and set the custard in the recipe.
Egg yolks – This will also help thicken up the custard, but it will help add flavour as well.
Whole milk – I used regular whole milk for this recipe. You can use skim if you like.
Vanilla bean paste – Make sure you use really good quality vanilla in this recipe. This recipe is all about the vanilla! I used a very small amount, but because it’s good quality, a little goes a long way. In it place you can use regular vanilla extract or even real vanilla beans which will also give you that nice, speckled vanilla bean look which is what I love about this recipe visually.
Unsalted butter – Make sure you’re using chilled butter. Chilled butter will allow the butter to melt into the custard more slowly while it’s hot and prevent it from melting too quickly which can result in it splitting or just becoming a pool of melted butter that creates a mess.
Powdered sugar – also known as icing sugar.
What can I do with my leftover egg whites?
Can I suggest making a delicious meringue? Or maybe a pavlova? I have a delicious one here that you can try!
Let’s go through each step.
- Add the frozen puff pastry on two baking trays lined with baking paper.
- Allow to thaw before using a fork to prick holes on top.
- Place another sheet of baking paper on top and another baking tray on top of that. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Once baked allow to cool down completely.
- Gently place a 9-inch baking tin on top of one of the baked sheets. Use a serrated knife to gently score and cut down the pastry to the size of the bottom of the baking tray. Do the same with the other pastry sheet and the top of the baking tray. Sometimes baking trays can be a different size on the bottom and top.
- Add the sugar and corn starch to a large heat proof bowl. Use a whisk to combine.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
- Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk and whisk to combine. Then add the remaining milk and vanilla bean paste and whisk.
- Pour the mixture into a large saucepan.
- Whisk on medium high heat until it thickens. About 5-6 minutes.
- Once thickened, take off the heat and add the butter.
- Whisk until the butter is melted and well combined.
Let’s put it together!
- Line the bottom and sides of the baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the smaller pastry sheet in the bottom.
- Run the custard through a sieve on top of the pastry.
- Use a spatula to smoothen out flat.
- Place the second pastry sheet on top. Place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours or overnight.
How to cut it!
- Gently lift the vanilla slice out of the baking tin. Place on a chopping board.
- You want to use a sharp serrated knife. That’s important. Gently score the pastry by running it on top of the vanilla slice.
- Once you score through the top pastry layer cut the rest of the slice in one motion all the way to the bottom.
- Carefully wipe the knife clean before making the next cut. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve.
My Top Tips!
- When slicing the vanilla slice, make sure you do it slowly. Gently score the pastry with a serrated knife. Then make the full slice in one go.
- Dust with powdered sugar after the vanilla slices have been cut. I just feel it results in a much nicer looking and neater vanilla slice.
Other Recipes You Might Like!
- French Fruit Tart https://thescranline.com/french-fruit-tart/
- Tim Tam Tart https://thescranline.com/tim-tam-tart/
- Paris Brest Cupcakes https://thescranline.com/paris-brest-cupcakes/
Instagram @thescranline, Facebook and watch and subscribe to my videos on YouTube!
I hope you guys enjoyed this simple but delicious Classic Vanilla Slice recipe with me. Please comment in the comments section below, or feel free to share with your family and friends on social media.
I’ll see you all on the following recipe. Happy baking!
Classic Vanilla Slice
- 2 sheets butter puff pastry, frozen
- 1/2 cup (110 g) caster sugar
- 1/3 cup (40 g) corn starch
- 8 egg yolks
- 3 cups (750 ml) milk, hot
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (50 g) powdered sugar
Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]
- Preheat an oven to 150°C / 300°F. Add the frozen puff pastry on two baking trays lined with baking paper. Allow to thaw before using a fork to prick holes on top. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and another baking tray on top of that. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Once baked allow to cool down completely. Gently place a square 9-inch baking tin on top of one of the baked sheets. Use a serrated knife to gently score and cut down the pastry to the size of the bottom of the baking tray. Do the same with the other pastry sheet and the top of the baking tray. Sometimes baking trays can be a different size on the bottom and top.
- Add the sugar and corn starch to a large heat proof bowl. Use a whisk to combine. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk and whisk to combine. Then add the remaining milk and vanilla bean paste and whisk.
- Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and whisk on medium high heat until it thickens. About 5-6 minutes. Once thickened, take off the heat and add the butter. Whisk until the butter is melted and well combined.
Let's Put It Together!
- Line the bottom and sides of the baking tray with baking paper and place the smaller pastry sheet in the bottom. Run the custard through a sieve on top of the pastry. Use a spatula to smoothen out flat. Place the second pastry sheet on top. Place in the fridge to chill overnight. They need this time to firm up. DOn't email me saying the recipe didn't work because they weren't chilled long enough lol.
How To Cut It!
- Gently lift the vanilla slice out of the baking tin. Place on a chopping board.
- You want to use a sharp serrated knife. That’s important.Gently score the pastry by running it on top of the vanilla slice. Once you score through the top pastry layer cut the rest of the slice in one motion all the way to the bottom. Carefully wipe the knife clean before making the next cut. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve.
Hi Nick, attempting this today. Do we follow your instructions for the baking of puff pastry or the box instructions? I’m using Pepperidge farm product. Thanks
Hi Cara, my instructions will work for most puff pastry’s. I’ve never used that brand but I don’t see why it would be different. Hope that helps! N x
Hey Nick! Thanks for the lovely simple recipe. It was really delicious. I have your Sugar Rebels book and my 4 year old son just loves flipping through it. He has requested for me to make all of it and I am just hoping he forgets about it or forgives his mother for not making it look awesome like your work. Your chocolate cake recipe is now my go-to chocolate cake/cupcake recipe. Thanks so much and keep up the fantastic work.
Aww, thanks so much Cherry! THat’s such a lovely thing! N x
Can you tell me more about the sieve step? What should I be trying to achieve?
Hi Kate! Sure! It’s to get rid of any potential lumps. N x
Can I use duck eggs instead of chicken?
Hi Rachel! I’m not sure that would be a good idea as I think Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs so it may throw off the end result. Hope that helps! N x
Thank you for all your amazing recipes!!!!!
Hi Sheila! Thanks so much for your lovely comment! N x
Hey great recipe. Super scrummy.. just so you know Puff Pastry is super easy to make. And so satisfying. Best trick to remember is that if/ when😜 a hole arises put some flour on it and carry on.
Thanks Jalena! I’ll give it a go! N x
Hey Nick, I’m giving this a go but using hot cross buns obviously cut in half, instead of pastry.Hopefully turns out ok
Oh my goodness that sounds amazing Trevor! I’d love to hear how it went! N x
Hi! Is this like the Hungarian pastry, they called Sisi Cake?
Hmm, not sure about that one Joey, I’ve never heard of that cake! N x
This was a HUGE hit! And so much simpler to make than it looks when finished. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Thanks Amanda! N x
Hi Nick…my husband is Australian and loves vanilla slice. We tried a recipe last week, and it was horrible. I made your recipe today…all by myself ( I don’t bake ever!)
So easy! It’s in the fridge cooling now!
Can’t wait to dive in and taste this baby!
Thanks so much Silvana! How’d it go? N x
It was AMAZING Nick!!!
Thank you for the recipe…following you on Instagram…looking forward to more.
Thanks so much Silvana! N x
I made this for guests that we had over for dinner. I made it exactly as the recipe. Turned out perfectly and was a big hit, I will be using this recipe from now on. Thanks Nick. Easy to make also.
Thanks so much Kaye! N x
Do you cool custard completely before you pour it on the pastry sheets?
Hi Branka! Great question, it goes on warm and sets with the pastry sheets underneath and on top. Hope that helps! N x
This one is my family favorite! Make it twice in a couple weeks! Nice and light perfect for summer dessert!
Aww thanks so much! Glad to see you loving my recipes! N x
Hey Nick, made this recently for a cafe and after 2 days in display fridge the custard started to shrink and crack slightly.. any thoughts on why that would happen?
Hi Mitzi! It started to shrink and crack? I’m sorry to hear that! I’ve never experienced that so I’m unable to help! Sorry! N x
Made yesterday taste is great just my custard didn’t set 100%
Glad you enjoyed them Lucas! N x
I made this yesterday and even though it is delicious the custard didn’t congeal like in your pictures even though it did thicken considerably on the stove. Do you have an idea of why it didn’t come together? Will attempt again though.
That’s so strange. Let me come back to you, revisiting this recipe this weekend! N x