Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day: Jelly cakes

While we were in Warrnambool last winter, we came across a stall at the local market that offered classic CWA-style cakes, biscuits and slices. Elmo tried jelly cakes for the first time and wondered how he ever lived life without them (or something less dramatic perhaps =) ).Essentially, jelly cakes are an alternative version of a lamington - a small vanilla (or sponge) cake rolled in unset jelly (rather than chocolate) and then coconut. These take a bit of time to make, but are well worth the effort. The pink layer of jelly keeps the cake moist and the shredded coconut adds a lovely texture. The recipe below calls for icing sugar to dust, but I think these are sweet enough as is.

Senior Australian of the Year, Maggie Beer also has a jelly cake recipe here.

Note: My additions to the recipe below are in square brackets. Don't be tempted to dip the cakes in too early - the jelly should be half set and starting to show a slight wobble.


Rose water Jelly Cakes
by Karen Martini, Sunday Life Magazine, January 2010
Makes 36

250g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
5 tbsp milk
1 pkt raspberry jelly
2 tbsp rose water
1 1/2 cups fine dessicated coconut [I used shredded coconut for a bit more bite]
rose petals, to garnish
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 180degC conventional (160degC fan forced).
2. In a food processor, combine butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the milk until combined and the mixture is smooth.
3. Place [1] tablespoonfuls into well-greased small muffin trays and bake for 8-10 minutes.
4. Make jelly according to packet instructions. Add rose water and stir every now and then till you have a slurry of unset jelly.
5. Roll the baked cakes in the jelly and then roll in coconut to coat a little. To serve, place a rose petal on each cake and dust with icing sugar.


  1. Despite being a born-and-bred Australian, not only have I never had a jelly cake, I've never even had the opportunity! I really feel I ought to make these pretty little things to rectify matters :P

  2. Happy Australia Day jfox! I don't think I've tried a jelly cake either. I like how you covered yours in shredded coconut rather than desiccated. It looks very pretty!

  3. hi hannah> we used to see these at school fetes and country markets. elmo would be happy to hear that he is not alone =) let us know how you go if you do give it a go.

    thank you agnes!> i confess, i like their taste almost as much i like how pretty they are!

  4. Jelly cakes? Yum! And all this time I thought they were strawberry flavoured lamingtons- silly me! They look a treat Jfox! Hope to be lucky enough to try them some day! :)

  5. hello m's>! actually, i saw 'jam lamingtons' at the queen vic market this morning, so you're not far off!

    i'll have to express the next batch over to you =)

  6. Glad you posted this recipe - I'm sure I cut out the recipe from the magazine, but I can't find it anywhere! Your cakes look delicious and beautiful, too.

  7. thank you very mucn belle! enjoy the recipe =)


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