Lolly cake recipe: Simple sweet perfection

Lolly cake is a real New Zealand delicacy. Loved by kids and adults alike, and a firm staple in bakeries right across the country, it is so easy to make.

As a no-bake recipe, it’s a great way to get younger family members involved in the kitchen.

Even if you’re not a baker, we guarantee you’ll be able to whip up an amazing lolly cake in no time!

2023 update: The weight of a bag of explorer lollies was recently decreased. This recipe accounts for the new 150gm bag size.

Two slices of lolly cakes showing their colourful fruit puff balls (similar to firm marshmallows) inside.
Mmmm lolly cake!

Ingredients for lolly cake

Buying lolly cake ingredients to take overseas

The ingredients for lolly cake are simple. They’ll also keep for a long time in your pantry – perfect if you’ve visited New Zealand and want to enjoy a taste of our country at home.

Simply swing by the super market while you’re here and pick up a packet of malt biscuits and explorer lollies for each batch you plan on making at home in the future.

You’ll be able to find sweetened condensed milk and butter at home, but if not, one can of condensed milk will make two batches of lolly cake. If in doubt, through a can or two into your suitcase too.

Different ingredients for making lolly cakes such as condensed milk, Explorers lollies, butter, and dessicated coconut.

Lolly cake recipe tips

Explorer lollies

Begin by cutting the explorer lollies into pieces approximately 1cm wide. Your cutting does not need to be exact.

Did you know? Explorer lollies used to be called ‘eskimos’. All that has changed is the name and the weight of the packet – the recipe is exactly the same. Fruit puffs can also be used in this recipe.

If you’re looking for an international substitute to this recipe, explorer lollies are like a firm fruity candy – similar to a very firm marshmallow.

Different colours of Explorer lollies in pink, white, yellow, and green cut into smaller pieces of 1cm width.

Crush the malt biscuits

We recommend putting the malt biscuits into a ziplock bag. Then wrap it in a tea towel and beat it/roll it with a rolling pin.

After crushing the biscuits for a minute or so, remove the tea towel from the top, and crush and roll the big chunks that remain.

You’re looking for a consistency that includes fine crumbs and slightly bigger biscuit pieces.

Melt butter and condensed milk

Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl that is big enough for the ingredients you’ll add later. There’s no point doing more washing up than you need to.

Mix well before adding the biscuit crumbs.

This mixture doesn’t need to get to a certain temperature – just ensure the butter is melted and combined.

We use whatever butter we have at home, whether it’s salted or unsalted. It really doesn’t make a difference to the taste of the finished product.

Melted butter with condensed milk.

Mix it all together

It is easiest to mix the biscuit crumbs into the liquids first.

Once the wet ingredients are combined with the biscuit crumbs, add the lolly pieces and mix well.

Shape the lolly cake

I like to shape lolly cake into a log as it’s quick and easy.

To do so, roll out a long piece of plastic wrap and shape the log with clean hands.

When you are happy with the shape of the log, sprinkle coconut right around the outside of it, using the plastic wrap to help you access each side.

If you prefer, you can roll the lolly cake mixture into balls (like you would with truffles), or smoosh it into a baking tray. Just roll or sprinkle it in coconut when you’re done.

Shaping the lolly cake mixture into a log and placing it in a cling wrap.

Wrap and store

Wrap the lolly log tightly in plastic wrap and place it on a flat shelf in the refrigerator.

It will take approximately 30 minutes to cool and set.

Tightly wrapping the lolly cake mixture with a plastic wrap.

When you’re ready to cut your lolly cake, use a serrated knife and cut it into slices approximately 1.5cm wide.

Two slices of lolly cakes showing their colourful fruit puff balls (similar to firm marshmallows) inside.

How should I store lolly cake?


Lolly cake stores well in an airtight container.

If you’re planning to eat it relatively quickly (and we wouldn’t blame you!) you can slice it all in one go.

It can be kept in the fridge or pantry for about a week – but it never lasts that long in our house!

Storing the sliced lolly cake in a plastic container to be put inside the fridge.


Lolly cake freezes well. This is particularly handy if you’d like to make two batches at once (using a whole can of condensed milk).

If you plan on freezing a batch, follow the recipe right through to refrigeration.

However, instead of slicing it into portions before freezing it, freeze the roll whole.

When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw it out and slice the individual portions.

Lolly cake recipe and instructions

Two slices of lolly cakes showing their colourful fruit puff balls (similar to firm marshmallows) inside.

Lolly cake

Yield: 38
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  1. Cut the explorer lollies into pieces, approximately 1cm wide.
  2. Place malt biscuits in a ziplock bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
  3. Microwave butter and condensed milk until the butter melts. Mix to combine.
  4. Add the crushed biscuits to the butter/condensed milk mixture and mix.
  5. Add the explorer lolly pieces and mix.
  6. Transfer onto plastic wrap and shape into a log.
  7. Coat all sides of the lolly log with coconut.
  8. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  9. Use a serrated knife to cut the log into slices once firm.


We like to make a lolly cake log, but this same mix can be rolled into balls (and rolled in coconut), or put into a baking tray (and sprinkled with coconut) before being cut.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 0g

Whether you’re making a lolly log for the kids’ lunch boxes or as a treat for yourself, you can’t go wrong with this classic recipe.

This recipe was adapted from the Griffins lolly cake recipe.

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