• Mum's jelly cakes (Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul)Source: Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul

They’re like a pretty-in-pink version of the all-Australian lamington – and I still have no idea where my mother got the recipe from . . .






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (96 votes)

When I was little, Mum used to make these incredible jelly cakes. It’s really quite funny, because of course we’re Chinese and yet we’re making these very Australian cakes. They’re basically little patty-pan cakes rolled first in red jelly that’s still wobbly and then in desiccated coconut. I guess they’re like a pretty-in-pink version of the all-Australian lamington – and I still have no idea where my mother got the recipe from . . .


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 x 85 g (3 oz) packet strawberry or raspberry jelly crystals
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 125 g (4 oz) butter
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups desiccated coconut

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 2 hours

  1. Pour boiling water into a large heatproof jug. Sprinkle jelly crystals into jug, stir until crystals are dissolved, then stir in cold water. Pour jelly mixture into a large, shallow dish, about 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 in), cover and refrigerate for 2–2½  hours, or until jelly is just starting to set. (It is important that the jelly is used at the right consistency; if it is too firm it will not stick to the cakes.)
  2. Meanwhile, lightly grease 3 x 12-hole shallow patty-pan tins (1½ tbsp capacity) and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until just combined. Add flour, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  3. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture into prepared tins. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. They’re ready when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove cakes from tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Remove jelly from refrigerator and quickly roll a cake in the jelly, coating it evenly. Toss the jelly-covered cake in coconut until it’s coated all over. Repeat with remaining cakes and arrange on a platter to serve.


Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul premieres on Wednesday 21 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Wednesdays at 8.30pm on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand