Frog Cakes - Gastro Obscura
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Sweets

Frog Cakes

The adorable amphibian treats are South Australian icons.

Australia is home to more than 200 magnificent species of frogs, including one comprised almost entirely of sugar. The frog cake, a sweet treat in the shape of a crouched amphibian, is so beloved in its native Adelaide that it was recently deemed a South Australian Heritage Icon.

At its core, the frog cake consists of two pieces of sponge cake joined by a thin layer of jam and topped with a scoop of buttercream. To transform this pastry into a frog, bakers coat everything with green fondant icing, add a slit in the creamy “head” to create a mouth, and top it off with two tiny fondant eyes.

The frog cake was first created by the Adelaide-based Balfours Bakery in 1922. Legend has it that Gordon Balfour was inspired by the fanciful confectionery he came across during a trip to Europe. At first, Balfours made exclusively green frog cakes, but they later ventured into pink and brown varieties, as well as customized colors for local soccer teams.

Sugary, hand-crafted, and adorable, these iconic cakes are reason enough for most sweet-toothed humans to make contact with a frog’s lips. Unfortunately, due to the fragility of the cakes, Balfours’ frogs are largely endemic to Australia.

Need to Know

Frog cakes typically don't hold up well in the heat, or over particularly long journeys. If you track one down, try to enjoy it relatively quickly, or keep it refrigerated.

Where to Try It
Contributed by
Abbey Perreault Abbey Perreault
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