More Bunya recipes to try

  1. Bunya coconut cake


2 cups bunya meal (cooked and finely chopped bunya kernels)

1 cup almond meal

1 tin coconut cream (400ml)

1 cup coconut sugar

Cinnamon 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon baking soda


Place all ingredients in food processor and whizz for a few minutes or until the entire mixture starts to adhere and become a sticky mass. Place in a cake tin and bake in a SLOW oven for 1 hour.

Serving suggestion: Serve warm with sour cream and blueberries. A drizzle of maple syrup also goes well. This cake is quite moist and keeps for a week or more in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information: Bunya meal is high in complex carbohydrates but has a low Glycaemic index( GI) which means it is released slowly into the bloodstream. This recipe is suitable for vegans.


  1. Bunya Pesto

Experienced cooks will readily see that this recipe basically substitutes the bunya nuts for expensive imported pine nuts.


large bunch of fresh basil leaves (parsley can also be added)

2 cloves of garlic

300 ml macadamia oil

Juice of a lemon or lime (use 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar if fresh citrus is not available)

300g peeled bunya nuts (pre-cooked for 20 minutes after peeling)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Put the basil, garlic and macadamia oil in the blender or food processor.  Add cooked (and cooled) bunya nuts, parmesan, salt and pepper, and blend in short bursts. After a few bursts the mixture will form itself into a ball. Serve warm or cold as a dip with rice or quinoa crackers. The mixture can also be used as a rissole mix, rolled onto balls and coated with cornmeal or LSA and gently fried on a well-oiled pan.


#3. Bunya Hummous

In this recipe the bunya nuts replace chick peas, so if you have a favourite hummous recipe you can just swap the Bunya kernels for the chick peas. If not, mine is shown below.



2 cups cooked bunya kernels

2 tablespoons tahini

Juice of one lemon or lime

1 clove of garlic

200 ml virgin olive oil

small bunch of parsley

Salt to taste

Sprinkle of sumac



Once bunya kernels have cooled, place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, carefully add a half cup of warm water. If your family find the flavour too different from the usual hommous, it is quite easy to use half chick peas and half bunyas. Either version is suitable for vegans.


#4. Bunya Patties

In this recipe, the bunya kernels are not pre-cooked. Bunya kernels are safe to eat raw and contain no harmful alkaloids or indigestible components.



2 brown onions

3 cloves garlic

1 chopped capsicum

2 medium carrots

1 cup sweet potato cooked and mashed

2 cups raw shelled bunya kernels

Spices to taste – I suggest cumin, turmeric and oregano

A few drops of truffle oil goes really well with these flavours, if you have it



Chop and steam the sweet potato and carrots set aside.

Fry the onions, capsicum, garlic and spices in a pan with macadamia oil and a dash of tamari. When the onions look clear and the mixture has thoroughly combined, remove from heat.

Once cooled, place the sweet potato and carrot in the food processor with the bunya kernels. Whiz until roughly chopped, then add the onion mixture from the pan and the ruffle oil, then whiz again. The uncooked bunyas behave quite differently from the cooked ones, and this mix will not readily form a sticky mass. If it seems a little runny, you can add some LSA or cornmeal.

Next, heat some macadamia or avocado oil in a pan. When warm, drop in blobs of the bunya mix about the size of a tablespoon and gently flatten with a spatula. Turn when the first side seems lightly browned. Serve warm with some bunya pesto or bunya hummous.

Serving suggestion: In this photo the bunya patties are topped with bunya pesto and small squares of cheese. They were delicious both warm and the next day cold.

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Susan Zela Bissett (Zela) is an educator, writer and artist with a lifetime involvement in environmental education and advocacy. Zela was born on Butchulla Country in Maryborough and has worked as an artist, educator, permaculture gardener, studio potter and consultant. She is passionate about sustainable lifestyles, maintaining habitat for wildlife and about unleashing the creativity in all of us.

3 comments on “More Bunya recipes to try

Hi Zela,
Have you ever made bunya kernel flour & if so have you used it in any recipes.

Yes, in cakes.

Thanks Zela – the Cooran food collective is putting on a Bunya Bites event on Sunday March 6 2-5pm 2022

I have shared your recipes with the collective and have a Bunya Coconut Cake in the oven right now. Have put a bit of cardamom in too, thought that might be nice.

If your free on March 6th you should come on down to Cooran – opportunity to share your talents and Bunya expertise

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