Lamingtons [Australia]

lamingtons 1

Named after Lord Lamington, or Charles Cochrane-Baillie, these delightful sponge cakes are coated in chocolate before being rolled in desiccated coconut. Our favorite lamington origin story is the one where his cook accidentally drops the Lord’s favorite sponge cake into some melted chocolate and instead of throwing the cake out, decides to cover the exterior in coconut to make it more presentable. It was then served to Lord Lamington and his guests, with the cake acclaimed as a success! So sometimes when you make a mistake in the kitchen, just go with it. It might become a popular dish in your name.

In place of desiccated coconut, we used unsweetened coconut flakes that we then chopped down into finer pieces. This gave our lamingtons more texture. And in the middle, we have a layer of strawberry jam, which brightens up the flavors of the cake and makes us feel less guilty eating it for breakfast… Jam can totally count as a serving of fruit, right? If you have your own favorite sponge cake recipe already, feel free to use that one in place of the below!

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For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter, plus more for buttering baking dish
  • 130 grams sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 300 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting baking dish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Strawberry jam

For the icing:

  • 450 grams powdered sugar
  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped into finer pieces


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter the insides of an 8-inch square baking dish and cover the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Lightly dust flour along the insides of the baking dish and tap out any excess.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. In small increments, whisk in the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is lighter in texture, about 3 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. When the eggs are incorporated, whisk in the vanilla.
  6. Sift the flour and baking powder through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the salt and stir this dry mixture until combined.
  7. Add half of the dry mixture to the large mixing bowl with the creamed butter and half of the milk. Whisk until the ingredients are combined. Add the rest of the dry mixture and the milk to the bowl and whisk until the batter is homogeneous.
  8. Pour the batter out evenly into the baking dish.
  9. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  10. Cool in the baking dish until you feel that you can comfortably handle the cake before transferring it onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  11. When sufficiently cooled, cut the cake in half horizontally. Carefully lift and set aside the top half of the cake.
  12. Spread the strawberry jam on the bottom half of the cake before placing the top half back on.
  13. Discard the parchment paper and carefully cover the cake in plastic wrap to refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  14. Remove the plastic wrap and cut the chilled cake into squares.
  15. Place the squares on a wire rack over a baking sheet and quickly spoon the warm icing (recipe below) over the top of the cake with enough to run down the sides. Coat each square on all sides with the icing.
  16. Let the squares cool until the icing has firmed up a bit and is no longer running.
  17. Gently roll each square in a shallow bowl with the coconut flakes to coat.
  18. Return the coated squares back to the wire rack and allow the icing to finish drying before serving.

For the icing:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, melted butter, and boiling water until the icing is smooth.

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