Marema’s Date & Biscuit Fridge Slice & a bit about Magnetic Island


We are having our annual extended family holiday at the moment in the tropical, rustic beauty of Magnetic Island or “Maggie” as the locals call her, off the coast of Townsville, North Queensland.  It’s pretty basic which is part of the charm and it’s hot but it’s gloriously relaxing. Also, it’s really the only time of the year that all the cousins get to spend time together and the little ones adore the bigger ones, (and for the most part it’s vice versa!).  It’s good old fashioned fun, free range kids paddling about at the beach, rock climbing, making sandcastles, eating ice creams, fish and chips and BBQ’s every night.

I think the locals probably want it kept a secret and as I was eavesdropping (everyone was squished into the only shady part of the beach so hard not to) on a conversation about those “Southerner helicopter parenting styles” (I backed slowly into the water at that point) it’s not for everyone but just in case you think it might be on your bucket list, here are some photo’s to tempt you and then I’ll get to the recipe for the most delicious, old fashioned, holiday slice, perfect for the Island.


 Our favourite beach, Alma Bay, unspoilt beauty


Sparkling waters of Geoffrey Bay


 Dining with the locals (so cute the rock wallabies)


 The evening entertainment…cane toad racing!  This is one race you want to lose as the winner has to kiss the toad (not so cute), it’s hilarious and revolting at the same time!

Now about that slice. “Marema” (my MIL, Mary) makes this slice for all of us on the island every year and it’s a winner, it’s one of those ones that probably originally came out of the CWA but has been adapted over time to become a family favourite.  It’s perfect for holidays as it doesn’t require any baking just some chopping, stirring in a saucepan, mixing and whacking in the fridge.  (Just don’t tell the people over at IQS who came out last week saying that dates were also on the “no no” list).  So, if you want an easy, good ol’ fashioned slice as a treat this is just the ticket.  Keeps in the fridge for at least a week (if it’s not eaten beforehand)

Marema’s Date & Biscuit Fridge Slice


  • 500 g dates, chopped
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 250 g butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 packet Marie or Milk arrowroot biscuits
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C desiccated coconut


  1. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan
  2. Add the dates, vanilla and the egg and cook until the dates are soft
  3. Break the biscuits into 6 - 8 pieces and add to the date mixture, combine well
  4. Sprinkle coconut over the bottom of a lamington tray (you might want to lightly grease the bottom first)
  5. Put the mixture into the tray and press it down firmly and smooth it out
  6. Sprinkle coconut over the top and then put into the fridge to set hard
  7. Cut into bite sized pieces when set
  8. Store in the fridge

What’s your view on dates?  Ever been to Magnetic Island? Have I tempted you? How about that cane toad racing? Do you have a favourite slice that reminds you of family holidays?


16 comments on “Marema’s Date & Biscuit Fridge Slice & a bit about Magnetic Island

  1. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    April 9, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Cane Toad racing is the best! I popped my cane toad racing cherry in Port Douglas on my first visit down under way back in 2002 and my friend’s toad won, so she had to kiss him, I thought I was going to die laughing! I’ve never been to Magnetic Island, but gee, these photos look so tempting, as does that slice! I have a repetoire of no bake slices with varying ingredients but the one thing they have in common, is that they’re all delicious! I love your MIL’s version – adding dates would be great! Happy holidays!

    • Vicki
      April 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks Sammie. Cane Toad racing is certainly unique! Only in the North!!! Will check out your no bake slices too.

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    April 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve never had this but I sure wish I had! I want to lose the cane toad race too.

    • Vicki
      April 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      The toads are quite revolting but the slice is delicious – it’s old school fun with an old school recipe!

  3. Ellen @ Potential Psychology Blog
    April 9, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    We’ve had a family holiday on ‘Maggie’ too Vicki. A couple of years ago now and it was lovely. My six year old has asked to go back a few times. The kids loved Horseshoe Bay. It was a great trip and I have a very similar photo of the toad race 🙂

    I’ll try your slice recipe too. We all love dates at our house and I love a no-bake slice 🙂

    Great post, thank you! x

    • Vicki
      April 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks Ellen. It’s a special place isn’t it, very basic but beautiful. The slice is a winner! x

  4. Chris Cooper
    April 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve never been to Magnetic Island but have enjoyed many holidays with the girls on the islands at the Whitsundays. Those photos make me want to jump on a plane right now – gorgeous. Nothing like the warmth of Northern Queensland. We are totally into dates and have them everyday. I’ll definitely be making this slice – always love a no-baking one. Thanks for your post. Love Chris xx

    • Vicki
      April 9, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      It’s a balmy 25 degrees at 10.00pm, so lovely! Dates are great aren’t they and this slice is a great way to have them. Thanks so much for stopping by. x

  5. Nancy | Plus Ate Six
    April 9, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I went to Magnetic Island when I backpacked up the Eat Coast (many moons ago) and I thought it was paradise – so untouched and magical. Never made it back in all these years which is a shame.
    I kissed a lot of toads in my past 🙂

    • Vicki
      April 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      I’m sure it hasn’t changed since you were last here. I’ve been coming for the last 10 years and it’s just the same!!!!! Luckily the toads are all in the past now hey! x

  6. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    April 10, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    I definitely need to make this! This sounds very much like a hedgehog I make… only better!!! Ooh and Magnetic Island is definitely up there on my bucket list!

    • Vicki
      April 13, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      It’s a yummy one and Magnetic Island is like a step back in time too!

  7. Dannielle@Zamamabakes
    April 10, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Victoria this slice looks absolutely delicious as does your holiday! Love that you were able to sneak some dates onto the island and for an amazing cause. Yum!
    My easy chocolate slice reminds me of our family holidays to Noosa, I love how food does that!
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing some baking love with us over at Fabulous Foodie Fridays.

    • Vicki
      April 13, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Isn’t it nice how food can evoke great memories! x

  8. stephanie@stephsjoy
    April 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I like the sound of your MIL’s slice. There are so many great places to see in Australia, will now have to add Maggie to the list! x

    • Vicki
      April 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Maggie is worth a visit, it’s quite unique!

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