There are so many reasons to visit Australia. From the warm weather to the beautiful beaches to the vibrant capital cities, Australia is unlike any other place in the world. Due to solid agricultural practices and regulations, Australian food is some of the best in the world. While the meat and seafood are fantastic, don’t forget to try the desserts in Australia.
Australia is flush with unique and tasty desserts that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and who knows – you could discover a new favorite.
What’s So Good About Australian Desserts?
With nods to their colonial past and current uptake of popular food items, dessert in Australia combines classic British sweets and modern-day twists.
Australian desserts are typically easy to make, and many don’t involve any cooking at all. The warmer climate and ideal growing conditions mean that desserts from Australia focus on fresh tropical fruit like mangos, passionfruit, and coconut. In addition, the rich indigenous history means that local flora, like finger limes and lemon myrtle, are incorporated into unique and delicious desserts.
Meals in Australia are straightforward and usually only have one or two courses. Many classic Australian desserts surface around Christmas and Easter as celebratory treats, and are only available seasonally in bakeries and cafes.
18 Desserts in Australia that You Should Try
Let’s break up Australian sweet treats into three categories: snacks, candy, and desserts. Desserts from Australia are often homemade or available in cafes and restaurants, but snacks and candy are found year-round in grocery and convenience stores.
Here is a list of some of the best desserts in Australia that you should try!
In Australia, dessert is usually for a special occasion. This makes these classic Australian desserts all the more unique and worth experiencing on your trip Down Under.
This Australian dessert is the cause of controversy between Australians and their nearest neighbor, New Zealand, over who created the iconic dish. But, while the debate rages on, this Australian dessert is seriously delicious! Topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, these pillowy meringues are a glorious mess that is creamy, satisfying, and perfect for hot weather. While Australians traditionally use kiwi fruit and mango, you can use any fresh fruit you like.
Pavlovas are typically for Christmas and Easter, but you can buy a store-bought meringue and try to do it yourself!
A typical children’s treat, fairy bread, has sparked debate and outrage in Aussies worldwide who have seen other countries try to make the delicacy. While overseas options may include peanut butter, Nutella, or even jam, Australians make the easy snack using white sandwich bread spread with butter and dipped in sprinkles (also known as Hundreds and Thousands).
Fairy bread is usually served at children’s birthday parties and celebrations and is incredibly easy to make. You might not be able to find any of these Australian snacks in supermarkets or bakeries, but they’re so simple to make you can do it yourself!
Created in Grong Grong in 1913, the neenish tart is a classic Australian dessert that is as distinctive as delicious. This Australian pastry creation is filled with mock cream and raspberry jam and covered in a sweet pink and brown icing layer. The result is a crispy, sickly sweet cookie that oozes jam and cream as you chew. Whether you love them or hate them, neenish tarts aren’t something you’ll quickly forget.
Find Neenish tarts in grocery stores, bakeries, and cafes around Australia
Created in Sydney in 1965, the jelly slice is as fun as it looks! Consisting of three layers, Australians serve this Australian dessert around Christmas and Easter because of the bright colors and distinctive taste.
The crunchy biscuit and coconut base layers with a creamy condensed milk center and strawberry Jell-O topping, creating an exciting and unique taste experience.
You can’t miss these colorful desserts in stores and bakeries, but the best ones are homemade. So visit a market around Christmas time and see if you can find some of these delicious Australian snacks!
Often called ‘Australian melting moments,’ yo-yo biscuits got their name from their resemblance to the children’s toy. Crumbly custard cookies with a creamy vanilla center are melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
Originally made by the Country Women’s Association in the 1940s, this Australian snack remains a popular treat. Some modern variations include passionfruit or raspberry, which are just as tasty as the original recipe!
You can find yo-yo biscuits in most cafes around Australia or grocery stores in the bakery section.
Almost as iconic as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the lamington is one dessert in Australia that you don’t want to miss. This classic sweet treat originated from Brisbane in 1902 and has been an Australian dessert staple ever since.
Referred to as the ‘National Cake of Australia,’ lamingtons are surprisingly easy to make. Take a classic sponge cake, cover it in chocolate sauce and roll it in coconut. Some variations have jam or even custard layers, but the classic version is just as good.
You can find lamingtons in grocery stores across Australia, but for the best experience, visit a bakery or dessert stall.
A bakery classic, the custard slice is a staple Australian dessert. Also known as ‘mille-feuille,’ this layered Australian dessert is a thin, crispy puff pastry filled with thick vanilla custard cream. Enjoy this Australian classic as an afternoon snack or as a luxurious dessert – the choice is up to you!
Find your custard slice in bakeries and cafes all around Australia, or visit a charity bake sale where this traditional Australian dessert will no doubt be front and center.
Mango and Passionfruit Mess
A nod to England’s Eton Mess, a mango and passionfruit mess, is Australia’s typical warm-weather dessert. Created by layering cream, fresh mango, and passionfruit pulp and meringues, a Mango and Passionfruit mess mixes a trifle and a pavlova. This Australian dessert is usually served individually in a glass during summer.
Enjoy yours with a glass of sweet white wine on a hot summer’s eve.
A slice of White Christmas is as close as you’ll come to a white Christmas in Australia! This classic dessert from Australia is a favorite for families, as it’s easy for young children to make.
Throw melted white chocolate, dried fruit, and crunchy Rice Crispies (called Rice Bubbles in Australia) into a bowl and mix them with Copha, then let them set in the fridge for two hours until hard. The result is a crunchy, chewy sweet dessert that’s perfect for Australia’s warm holiday season.
You can find White Christmas in grocery stores and bakeries around Christmas time, or try making it yourself!
The name might be weird, but Hedgehog Slices are anything but! This dessert from Australia is a regular fixture in school canteens and bakeries. Crunchy chocolate and crumbly cookies are layered with – you guessed it – coconut. Of course, depending on where you are in Australia, your hedgehog slice could have sprinkles or dried fruit thrown in as well.
Desserts in Australia aren’t just cakes and puddings. These iconic Australian candies are worth a try as well and are great for taking with you on your adventures.
Caramello Cadbury chocolate is available in the US, but not as adorably as this! Introduced in Australia in 1966 as Caramello Bear, Caramello Koalas are a feel-good treat popular across the country. Classically served at children’s birthday parties, Caramello Koalas have a nostalgic feel for any Australian adult.
This iconic Australian snack is sweet, gooey, and overwhelming satisfying when you need a sugar hit.
Strawberries and Cream
If you’re a massive sweet tooth, you can’t go past Allens Lollies. Created in 1891 in Melbourne, this Australian candy brand makes some of the most popular candy in Australia.
If you can’t decide what to pick, you should try Strawberries and Cream. This Australian candy is soft, juicy, and with just a hint of tanginess.
Look out for the distinctive red packaging of Allen’s Strawberries and Cream in the candy aisle in any Australian grocery store.
Australia’s oldest chocolate bar, a Cherry Ripe, is a must-try if you love coconut, cherries, and dark chocolate. Unfortunately, this Cadbury candy bar is only found in Australia and New Zealand. It is a classic for a reason. If you don’t feel like the candy version, you’ll find Cherry Ripe-inspired cheesecakes, cocktails, and milkshakes in many Australian restaurants and bars.
The distinctive taste and texture mean that this Australian candy bar isn’t for everyone. However, look for the dark red packaging in candy aisles in grocery stores and gas stations if you’re feeling brave.
Want something sweet, but don’t have time to commit to sitting down? These classic Australian snacks will fill the gap and are perfect for on-the-move.
If you need to try one item on this list, Anzac Biscuits are the perfect Australian snack food. Created during the First World War by the families of men deployed in Gallipoli, the Anzac biscuit has become synonymous with their veterans’ Australian spirit and celebration.
These golden-brown biscuits are created using golden syrup, flour, sugar, and butter and are deliciously soft and chewy. While you can buy them in Australian grocery stores all year round, they are significantly more special when homemade and eaten around Anzac Day on April 25 every year. If you’re in Australia around that time, try to go to a dawn service; there’s usually a stand selling Anzac biscuits not far away!
Tim Tams are one of Australia’s proudest exports, and for a good reason. This classic Australian snack is everything it should be: crunchy, creamy, and irresistibly tasty.
The classic variety is pretty simple: two crunchy biscuity layers are filled with chocolate cream and coated in a thick layer of milk chocolate. The result is a wickedly addictive biscuit that satisfies and keeps you coming back for more.
If you’re after a uniquely Australian way to enjoy your biscuit, try a Tim Tam Slam. Nibble diagonal corners off your Tim Tam on opposite ends, then use it as a straw for your tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.
Tim Tams come in around 15 different varieties, including white chocolate, salted caramel, and dark chocolate-orange. Find these classic snacks in grocery stores and convenience stores around Australia.
It might be a funny name, but Golden Gaytimes are seriously tasty. There isn’t anything much better than munching on a Golden Gaytime after spending the day at one of Australia’s beautiful beaches.
This famous Australian ice cream is a gooey mess of delicious vanilla and toffee ice cream with layers of chocolate and honeycomb crumbs on the outside.
Originally introduced to the Australian market in the 1960s as a single-serve ice-cream bar, Golden Gaytimes are available at grocery stores around the country. If one isn’t enough, you can buy Golden Gaytime ice cream in a two-pound tub from the freezer aisle.
By now, you’ve probably guessed that Australians love their coconut, and the Iced VoVo is no exception. Created in 1904, this Australian snack is a biscuit covered in a thick layer of icing with a strip of jam down the center. Simple and delicious, Iced VoVos often inspire cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes in modern Australian banking.
Iced VoVos are made by Arnotts, which is like the Australian version of Nabisco. This brand dominates the cookie aisle in Australian grocery stores and has plenty of offerings if pink fondant and jam aren’t your things!
A classic Australian snack for kids, Milo is a staple in households across the country. Like other Nestle products, Milo is produced worldwide and tastes different depending on the country of manufacturing. Don’t be fooled, though: Milo was actually invented in Australia in 1934.
Add this chocolate malt powder to warm or cold milk and stir for a creamy, sweet beverage that will hit the spot.
While you would generally buy the powder in a tin, Milo is available in ready-drink, snack tub, and even ice-cream form from Australian grocery stores.
Desserts in Australia
Australian desserts are a breed of their own. Whether it’s the world-famous Tim Tam or the controversial Neenish Tart, desserts from Australia have a distinctive flavor that you’ll be talking about for years to come. So try to sample as many of these desserts as you can on your visit; you won’t regret it.