The Bridgewater Bakehouse is the current two-time champion of the Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph. Baker Pat O’Toole says the secret is simple: ditch the vanilla essence and use high-quality, real vanilla beans. You also want creamy custard and crisp, ne-er doughy pastry. Crucially, slices must also be cut perfectly square.
While the vanilla slice, or “snot block”, is the undisputed star, this bakery excels in the savoury department, too. The roast lamb and gravy pie is filled with succulent slow-roasted lamb shoulder, while the chicken and cheese pie is jammed with its namesake ingredients, luxuriating in honey and mustard sauce.
Beyond the vanilla slice, other popular sweet treats include the lemon slice, chocolate éclair, jam donut, and the custard and cream Bavarian. It’s slim pickings for vegetarians and, needless to say, vegans need not apply.
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