The NZ Recipe Page

Most of these recipes are not exclusively Kiwi. Like many other things we share a cuisine with Australia because of our common heritage and way of life. These are a mixture of fun and yummy recipes made here that reflect our outdoor living and love of the good life. These recipes were chosen as they would be good to use with a GG / GS unit for an International Evening or Thinking Day. They are from the Kiwi European inheritance rather than our Pacific heritage as this is my background. For an authentic summer Kiwi meal a BBQ with marinated lamb chops and lamb sausages, a green salad and garlic bread, accompanied by beer (ginger or otherwise *grin*) and fruit juice, followed by a pavlova topped with kiwifruit would not be far off.


Afghan Biscuits- a very yummy biscuit
ANZAC Biscuits - another very yummy biscuit
Damper - a camp bread
Lemon-based Ginger Beer - refreshing and fun drink.
Hokey Pokey - a favourite Kiwi sweet
Pavlova - a rich meringue dessert
Scroggin - a tramper's snack
Tararua Biscuits - a tramper's snack for dunking
Measuring up - some measurement conversions

Afghan Biscuits

200g (7 oz) butter
75g (3 oz) sugar
175g (6 oz) flour
25g (1 oz) cocoa powder
50g cornflakes (or crushed weetbix)

Soften butter
Add sugar and beat to a cream.
Add flour and cocoa
Add cornflakes last so as not to break them up too much.
Put spoonfuls on a greased oven tray and bake about 15 minutes at 180 oC (350 oF)
When cold, ice with chocolate icing and put walnuts on top.

Origin of this recipe: The Edmonds cookbook - a Kiwi classic.

ANZAC Biscuits

100g (4 oz) butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons of boiling water
1 and a half tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda
1 cup of rolled oats
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup (4 oz ) plain flour
1 cup (8 oz ) of sugar

Combine all dry ingredients except soda
Add melted butter
Stir in soda mixed with boiling water
Place in spoonfuls on greased tray
Cook in moderate oven about 20 minutes
Allow to cool
Store in airtight container

Please read the page about ANZAC Day if you make these biscuits so you are able to explain the significance of the name to the people making / eating them.

Origin of this recipe: Passed on from my mother and no idea of the original source - lots of variations exist. (The definitive recipe is probably the one in The Edmonds Cookbook which may even be this one - I haven't checked :) ).

Note on ingredients:
Golden Syrup: Like many other sugars we use, golden syrup is produced from sugar cane. It is a thick rich golden coloured (No! Really?? :) ) liquid, thicker in consistency than maple syrup. It has a distinctive flavour and is lovely to eat either by itself, or on hot buttered crumpets or toast. While it is a common, cheap, and easily sourced product in New Zealand, I know of people, especially in North America, who have in desperation used treacle, maple syrup, corn syrup and molasses as substitutes. These are adequate substitutes, but will not give a true ANZAC biscuit flavour - and it is worth hunting through specialist food shops to find a tin of the real stuff. The golden syrup a US friend of mine tracked down recently was imported from Canada.


Damper is defined in 'Baker's Dictionary of Slang' as "bread baked in ashes in the bush or outback". It is basically a simple camp bread - the name apparently originated in Australia. It is a favourite camp food made in both Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand Guides tend to cook it in twists but it was originally done in loaves and is often still made this way. It cooks well in a camp oven - and loaves can also be wrapped in heavy duty foil and cooked in embers successfully.

The basic recipe is:
3 parts water (by volume) to
10 parts self raising flour with
a sprinkle or pinch of salt.

Mix together well.

To make small 'loaves' take a handful of dough the size of a clenched fist, make into a flat pattie about 2cm thick. When all the patties are ready, place on heavy duty foil on oven tray and bake in a hot oven for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. They will rise to about 5 cm and sound hollow when tapped with a stick. Slice and serve well buttered (with jam or honey or golden syrup is nice).

Twists are where we take a lump of the dough and wrap it around a stick in a snake like spiral and the girls cook it over a fire like they would a sausage. It should slide off easily when cooked and honey etc. can be dribbled down the middle. Thick 'snakes take longer to cook and the outside is more likely to burn before the inside is cooked. One other important thing for any cooking using sticks is to make sure that the sticks are safe ones - not from poisonous plants.

Notes on the damper recipe:

Self raising flour can be mixed up at the rate 2 teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour. salt is also sometimes added - but as there is a pinch of salt in the damper anyway I wouldn't add any to the flour as well. (I must admit we never use self-raising flour - but I do mix the BP in before camp to save me taking one more thing and then let the girls mix the damper from there).

I have been told that flour in North America is made from "winter" wheat, which absorbs much more water than our flour. What you are aiming for with the dough is a damp dough consistancy - not too sticky - if you need more water than the recipe says don't be afraid to use it :)

Origin of this recipe: Various sources - basic recipe is common knowledge in Guide / Scout circles.

Lemon-based Ginger Beer

2 Tbspns warm water
1/2 tspn sugar
1/4 tspn dried yeast granules
1 cup sugar
juice of 2 lemons
rind of 2 lemons
1 tspn to 1 tblspn dried ginger

Put first measure of sugar in warm water to dissolve, add yeast and stir. Place in warm place to start working.
Finely grate or slice rind from 2 lemons and place in a heatproof container with the 1 cup of sugar and the dried ginger.
Pour over 1 cup of boiling water and leave to steep for 10 minutes.
Strain into 1.5 L plastic bottle in which the ginger beer will be made.
Top up bottle with cool water to near top so that final temp is approx. body temp.
Add yeast to bottle as soon as it shows signs of working, ie. it foams.
Cap bottle tightly.
Mix thoroughly and put in a warm place.
Leave until bottle becomes undentable. Depending on the yeast this can take anything from 12 hours to 3 days, but best to check regularly, as there is a risk of explosion with this!
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and open with great care!

This recipe came from the Christchurch Press a couple of years back and makes excellent ginger beer. You can add more sugar afterwards if you like it sweeter.

Origin of this recipe: This recipe replaces the older recipe which was fiddly - requiring a 'bug' to start it.

Hokey Pokey

5 Tbspns sugar
2 Tbspns golden syrup
1 tspn baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

Use a large heavy based saucepan (cooking pot) as it foams up - and watch carefully while cooking as it burns easily.
Bring sugar and golden syrup to the boil slowly stirring all the time.
Simmer gently over a very low heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add baking soda.
Stir in quickly until it froths and pour at once into a greased tin or onto a piece of tinfoil.
Break up when cold and store in air-tight jars.
For a real Kiwi treat: When you have finished breaking it into chunks that you can eat, sweep up all the little chips and stir them into your icecream! Hokey Pokey Ice-cream is a traditional Kiwi favourite.

Origin of this recipe: Aunty Bri's Cook Book and Guide to Flatting Life (Massey University Student Association). This book is an absolute classic which was co-written by Jon Bridges - well known to Kiwi comedy fans and watchers of Ice TV. There are some additional notes that were added after trial and error and discussions in, (thanks Noeline M.).


There is a [mostly] gentle feud between New Zealand and Australia about who developed the "pav". Let me set your mind at rest - it was definitely NZ :) :) Seriously - for a look at the research on this incredibly important topic click here... Origins of Pavlova. Harry Orsman's wonderful Dictionary of New Zealand English (Oxford) is more up to date and has even earlier references to published versions of this recipe in New Zealand - some under the name pavlova and earlier than any Australian version that has been found.

This is the most basic pavlova recipe I have found. It is simple, yet tastes as good as many of the more complicated ones I've tried.

4 egg whites
1 tspn vanilla essence (5 ml)
2 tspns vinegar
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 150 oC (300 oF)
Grease oven tray
Beat the egg whites until very stiff
Fold in vinegar and vanilla
Add sugar, and beat until smooth
Pile the mix onto oven tray about the size of a medium cake.
Place pavlova in oven, and immediately reduce temperature to 100 oC
Cook for 90 minutes

If cooked correctly (as all ovens vary), the pav should be crunchy on the outside, and like marshmallow on the inside. Do not open the oven at all while cooking!!!!

To serve:
Arrange sliced kiwifruit or any other fresh fruit you like, on top of whipped cream (250ml of full cream per pavlova), with icing sugar being added to the cream during whipping to one's own taste (I put about 1/2 cup in).

Origin of this recipe: This recipe was posted on - and after testing (many times just to make sure it really worked and for no better reason!! *yum yum*) I decided it really was the easiest one I had.


orange peel (candied)
ginger (crystallised)
glucose (barley sugars or the like)
nuts (any kind, roasted is ok but not salted

Mix together chocolate, raisins and nuts in about equal amounts, add whatever extras you like (in lesser amounts) and nibble at it when you need an energy boost on walks.

Note: The name comes from the first initials of the traditional ingredients - but don't let that stop you leaving out things you don't like (ugghh - crystallised ginger!) and using the "I" for imagination to add in things you do like (yum - pine nuts and pebbles!). Some of the other extras I sometimes add are: dried apricots, dried apples, banana chips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. Make sure you keep a balance of chocolate, nuts and raisins in there though - otherwise you can't really call it scroggin.

Origin of this recipe: It's a Kiwi tramping tradition.

Tararua Biscuits

250g butter
1 1/2 cup (250g) brown sugar
1/2 tin (200g) condensed milk
2 cups (250g) flour
2 cups (190g) rolled oats
2 tspns baking powder
1/2 cup (45g) dessicated coconut

Melt butter, sugar and condensed milk together in large pot.
Add flour, rolled oats and baking powder.
Divide mixture in half.
Spread each half onto a greased tray - spread with a knife until it forms a 30cm x30cm square, keeping edges neat and straight.
Repeat with other half of mixture.
Cook at 150 oC for 10-15 minutes till light to golden brown.
Cut each tray into 25 biscuits - 5 x 5.
To harden biscuits a little more return to oven which has been turned off - leave for another 5 - 10 minutes.
When completely cold, pack biscuits in plastic bags. Seal and label.

Note: These biscuits are wholesome, simple to make and they pack and keep well. To keep them fresh for tramping trips it pays to pack them in day lots and label accordingly.
Be warned:- Tararua biscuits can be jaw breakers as they are designed to have little moisture left by the end of cooking!

Origin of this recipe: Associated with the Tararua Tramping Club by name, there are many many recipes for these biscuits. This one comes from "The New Zealand Outdoor Cookbook" by Marcelle Pilkinton - a little gem of a book for outdoor types.

Measuring up

Here in New Zealand we use the metric system. Here are some conversions from cups into mls that may help you convert some of the recipes more easily into the imperial measuring system should you need to. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list .

1 cup - 250 ml
3/4 cup - 188 ml
2/3 cup - 167 ml
1/2 cup - 125 ml
1/3 cup - 84 ml
1/4 cup - 63 ml
Tblspn - 15 ml
dspn - 10 ml
tspn - 5 ml
1/4 tsp - 1.25 ml

For a more complete set of measure conversions visit Tallyrand's Wonderful World of Catering

Back to New Zealand guiding activities index
Back to Anne's Guiding Pages - Home Page

Last updated on
This page is not in any way an official Guides NZ page.