No-Bake Lemon Slice

Regular readers would know that very soon Arabella will be celebrating her 21st birthday.  As we did for Archie, we have a party planned, with a theme, and for that theme Arabella has chosen an outfit.

No-Bake Lemon Slice

No-Bake Lemon Slice

She found what she wanted in a shop but it was very expensive and out of the range of my budget.  Undeterred, she found the same outfit on ebay and sat by her computer watching the bids fly and then a second before the auction finished, she put in her bid.  And a nano-second after that so did someone else and Arabella missed out.  Ebay can be very cruel.

You will need a 30 x 20cm slice tin

You will need a 30 x 20cm slice tin

We dried those tears and then can you believe, the same outfit reappeared on Ebay only this one wasn’t her size.  Arabella is very thin but not scrawny and being tall, she needs a Size 10.  This outfit was a Size 8.  But Arabella was desperate.  And she put in a bid and bought the outfit that’s too small.

Place in the fridge for 60 minutes

Place in the fridge for 60 minutes

It was delivered to the doorstep with great excitement and Arabella slipped (squeezed) into it and asked me for help doing up the zip.  As I struggled, getting red in the face from all the exertion, I said, ‘Arabella, these two sides are never going to meet’.

Can be made in around 15 minutes

Can be made in around 15 minutes

‘Hold on mum, I’ll breath in’.  And so we continued to wrestle with the zip with Arabella turning blue from holding her breath for about 10 minutes.  Like a miracle, we managed to raise the zip but it was so tight she could barely take a breath.  And so wearing the outfit at your party for about seven hours would probably be a little uncomfortable.

Lemon Slice

Lemon Slice

‘It’s okay mum, I’ll go on a diet’.

‘But you’re so thin already, Arabella, you lost so much weight when you were a cripple‘.

‘I’ll go to the gym every day and I’ll just eat healthy food.  I’ve got six weeks’.

Sprinkle with lemon zest

Sprinkle with lemon zest

The weeks have ticked by and she hasn’t lost a gram.  She works at the gym where I see Tiago and on Monday she was there doing her 5.15am shift and Tiago hovered at the desk.  They started talking and she was telling him how she needs to lose weight to fit into a Size 8 outfit and he said, ‘Sell it on Ebay;  you are thin already and I wouldn’t want to see you lose any more weight’.

Makes 24

Makes 24

Now that’s sage advice however, it does leave Arabella without an outfit for her 21st which is looming.  This morning I asked her what she is now planning on wearing.

Wait for it…

A great way to use up leftover condensed milk

A great way to use up leftover condensed milk

‘I know what I want but I can’t find it so can you find me a dressmaker to create it.  And could you do it today, mum, because we don’t have much time’.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have so much optimism that nothing is too challenging or impossible.  Perhaps she thinks I have a network of dressmakers waiting on my call.  I don’t know whether to hope and pray no one buys the outfit on Ebay so she just has to squeeze into it or be grateful she’s no longer counting calories, weighing herself and going on about her diet.

Makes 24

Makes 24

Whatever the outcome, Arabella won’t be eating this slice this side of her 21st birthday; it’s not sugar-free.  This is a recipe my mother used to make when I was growing up.  Over the years (decades) the recipe has been memorised and so while it would have originally come from a cookbook, we can’t remember which one. wanted to make this because last week when I made Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies, a recipe that uses part of a can of condensed milk, I received quite a few comments from people wanting to know what to do with leftover condensed milk.  Well…this lemon slice uses half a can of condensed milk so here’s one way to use up what’s leftover.

5.0 from 9 reviews
No-Bake Lemon Slice
Recipe type: Slice
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
A no-bake lemon slice that can be made in minutes using just five ingredients.
  • 250g plain sweet biscuits (I used Nice)
  • 125g melted butter
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ½ can condensed milk
  • rind of one lemon
  • Icing:
  • 1 tbs softened butter
  • 3 cups sifted icing sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • rind of 1 lemon
  1. Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs using a food processor.
  2. Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add the biscuit crumbs and mix well with a wooden spoon to combine.
  3. Pour into a greased 30cm x 20cm slice tin and press down with the back of a spoon.
  4. For the Icing:
  5. Combine the butter and icing sugar and gradually add lemon juice until icing reaches desired consistency. Pour over slice and smooth out with a palette knife. Sprinkle rind over the top of the slice.
  6. Place in fridge for 1 hour then cut into squares.


  1. an excellent way to use up half a tin of condensed milk – I love lemon slice despite not being a big fan of sweet food – that is the power of condensed milk 🙂

    And I would love to fit into Arabella’s dress but I think I would far prefer to eat this slice – hope she gets her dream dress (if it is any consolation I had the princess dress for my debut and then never bothered with a white dress for my wedding – so I hope she gets it out of her system)

  2. An oldie but a goodie… very nice indeed! xx

  3. says:

    Hi..this recipe looks very much like one in The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits…it is an old book (I see it cost 4.95).
    Every year at the tennis day cancer fundraiser I do the morni g tea and always request lovely Louise to make this as it is so popular! And easy!
    Another great recipe to use up half a tin of condensed milk is making Lorraine’s travelling biscuits. Easy and utterly delicious.

  4. Arabella’s party is going to be quite an affair, I bet. 🙂

    A half a can … In Canada, our cans are 300 mls (10 oz/ 1 1/4 cup) while in the US, they’re 400 mls (14 oz/ 1 2/3 cup). It’s so hard being international.

  5. This is pure comfort food to me, thank you Charlie! Good luck with Arabella’s dress dilemma!

  6. I’m glad Arabella has given up trying to get into her dress but I fear for your sanity in the coming weeks! I hope you have a few bottles of something nice to open around 6pm – 5pm even? I do love your stories they make my day.

  7. Oh dear, we’ve all been there and done that. I think Tiago’s advice is great though. Can you get the dress taken out even a little? Usually designer stuff has a bit more fabric to it in those areas. Or Spanx? BTW we need to see the dress!

  8. I am so glad Steph is a tomboy, and not into clothes to much lol.

  9. This Lemon Slice looks delicious. I could eat those for breakfast. Hope you find a dressmaker or Arabella finds another dress she really likes in time for her party.

  10. I’m do glad the diet is over! She does not need to lose an ounce. I do hope it all works out with a new dress. I have no doubts you’ll pull something amazing off.
    I love lemon desserts and it just so happens I need a dessert for dinner this weekend! Sorted. Thank you. 🙂

  11. I’m sure whatever Arabella finally chooses to wear, she will look stunningly beautiful. In the meantime, this story made me laugh.

  12. Oh goodness. The drama never ends! I’m glad Arabella could get some sensible advice about giving up on the diet but hope the appropriately fitting dress isn’t too hard to come by. I remember the drama of her end of year formal and it sounds like history could be repeating itself!

    This slice looks like just the thing to get you through the stress even if Arabella doesn’t partake. I remember lemon slices like this growing up – they’re delicious.

  13. Leftover condensed milk freezes pretty well — that’s what we usually do with leftovers. Except that’s now past tense. In the future, we’ll use them to make this! Love lemon, and this looks superb. I probably should be dieting to fit into something, but I’m not and I won’t. 😀

  14. Haha – Oh Charlie – I am sorry to hear you are now the designated dress maker – Arabella sure does have a lot of faith in you and your skills and I am sure that’s not without reason! I cannot wait to hear what she wore … Oh and happy 21st bday to her!
    In the meantime – these slices sound amazing – condensed milk and biscuits in the crust – oh mercy me! That’s a combo hard to resist!

  15. I have long been fascinated with the world of the Australian Slice, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint. Looks easy, pretty, and refreshing. The story of Arabella’s dress made me laugh. But I do remember that you had a stunning dress made for her for one occasion and it was gorgeous! I am certain you will pull through with flying colors yet again, Charlie. Looking forward to seeing the photos!

  16. Oh dear, what a shame about the dress. Perhaps you can have it altered? What about the shoes, has she chosen the shoes yet? I’d love to see pictures. 21 isn’t as big a deal in Canada as it used to be. I remember I had a small shin-dig at my mother’s home with a few friends but it wasn’t a rental, catered affair that you guys do. I can only imagine the drama when Arabella gets married…
    These lemon slices look and sound delicious, we do love a lemony slice over here. I love the lemon zest on the icing, so pretty.

  17. Arabella could wear a burlap sack and she’d look gorgeous—but I know how she wants something perfect for her party. Fingers crossed the perfect ensemble will be found.
    P.S. Bill loves lemon—and your bars look wonderful! xx

  18. I am sure in the end you and Arabella will find a solution and have the perfect dress. I could have those lemon bars anytime of the day.

  19. Awww I have fond memories of this no bake lemon slice. Was always something I had my eye on at the cake stall!

  20. Half cans of condensed milk are not known in this household, they are swiftly sorted out with a teaspoon and a knowledge that a size 8 is quite unlikely 🙂
    21 is an exciting age to be (nearly!)

  21. Oh my goodness, can’t believe Arabella was willing to lose more weight to fit into the dress. Must say I have been spoilt as my mom made my dress for my 21st and my wedding gown, oh and all the suits I used to where when I worked.
    The lemon slices look heavenly – would go well with a nice cup of tea.
    Have a super day Charile and have run planning the rest of Arabella’s 21st.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  22. Lol! What a dilemma!! Thank God Anais is only 8!
    This is a slice I remember from my childhood so I can’t wait to make it. My children don’t like any of the sweets I make so there is also a good chance I will eat it all myself 😛
    Thanks for sharing

  23. I agree with Lorraine. We need to see the dress! I wouldn’t know where to start with finding a dressmaker so I’m impressed you’re even contemplating it. So glad she’s taken Tiago’s advice – slim is lovely but too thin,even in a fabulous dress can be a mistake. Love the squares, perfect for Mr Glam who was brought up on condensed milk. I think I’ll make these for the local fete which is coming up next week. GG xx

  24. Looks like the perfect recipe for my homegrown lemons! Oh Arabella. I am having flashbacks to another dress that was made at the last minute. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what the theme is.

  25. Well you’ll have to show us a picture of whatever she eventually decides to wear! And if it’s alright with you, I’ll eat Arabella’s portion of this lemon slice!

  26. Hi Charlie, you have to appreciate her optimism that’s for sure, it’s quite a compliment to have a daughter think you can do most anything. Good luck on her dress! BTW the lemon bake looks delicious!

  27. childhood memories flashback, thanks Charlie!! Not the diet, the slice 🙂 I use to love dipping my finger into the condensed milk and could never stop at one slice, so, unfortunately, seeing as I am currently on a ‘new eating plan’ I will not be making this as I could inhale it….best of luck with the outfit hunt!!! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story x

  28. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Can’t wait to see what the theme of the party will be. I remember Archie’s was quite the event! Good luck to Arabella and you on the dress.

  29. i love the Simplicity of this recipe! And, you make me thankful that I have three boys. Good luck with the outfit.

  30. That girl needs to learn to sew – Charlie – I made my own 21st dress:-) then she could alter the one from EBay!

  31. Oh I vaguely remember turning 21 (lol) – the dress situation was VERY important so I do hope her search is successful – maybe she could off load her dress at one of those designer consignment stores….This Lemon Slice is the thing that my childhood memories are made of -I cannot tell you how much I ADORE it, we also made it with Orange on occasion. Problem is I can never stop at just one slice….

  32. I am so glad I have boys… no issues with what they want to wear… if it is clean..that is all that matters and then even then.. that is not a requirement. LOL These are delicious little lemon bars and there are just more for mom..well at least until the b-day party…

  33. I think it is a good thing that Arabella finally conceded she isn’t going to fit into the outfit. Me, I would happily tuck into this slice – who doesn’t love a fabulous traditional lemon slice.

  34. This looks delicious! This must be some dress to be worth so much trouble, but I admire Arabella’s determination to make it work! I have a feeling that you’ll have a lot of stories for us leading up to this special birthday! She must be so excited, and you will need to keep up with your rest! 🙂

  35. Love the looks of this slice. I wonder what a comparable cookie/biscuit would be in the U.S.?

  36. I made these lovely no-bake Lemon bars & loved every bite!
    Superb! X

  37. Yum.
    delectable, gorgeous photos.
    Anything lemon thrills me!
    What are the biscuits in America equivalent to?
    happy 21st. Birthday, Arabella !

  38. I love uncooked goodies – there’s something refreshing about them. You could just double the recipe to use the whole can.
    I hope Arabella gets the outfit of her dreams. The young can be so optimistic that everything will go their way. I have forgotten what that feels like.

  39. What an easy, simple and elegant recipe, Charlie! These lemon bars are just lovely 🙂 And Arabella will look beautiful in any outfit she chooses to wear!


  1. […] the lead-up to the party I have had discussions with you about the outfit Miss Arabella was going to wear.  Remember she bought an outfit on E-bay and was […]

  2. […] Now while my birthdays are mellower than they used to be, they are still one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a time I let myself indulge in whatever food and dessert my heart desires – calories be damned! This year my attention was solely focused on dessert and it all began when I read about these beautiful no bake lemon slices on Hotly Spiced. […]

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