With Australia Day coming up, I decided it was time to add another Aussie classic to the collection –classic Lamingtons. Aussies far and wide love these little treats and I’ll show you why.
We start with a simple fluffy and buttery, no-fuss sponge cake. It gets cut up into squares and each one is then coated in a one-bowl chocolate glaze then finally rolled in desiccated coconut. Simple delicious flavours that were meant to be together.
I first introduced lamingtons to this blog in the form of these lamington cupcakes, then later added this Rose and Strawberry version but now it’s time for the real deal and this little chocolate cake is it. Traditional to it’s core.
Ingredients for lamingtons
Just a few pantry staples – flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, vanilla – and a few fresh ingredients – butter, milk and eggs – and you have all you need to get baking.
How to make lamingtons
Lamingtons start with a butter sponge cake. It’s easy to make, its fluffy and light and totally addictive just on it’s own.
- First, combine the dry ingredients (image 1), then melt together some butter and milk (image 2).
- Now, beat eggs until they get thick and fluffy. When you lift the whisk it will leave a trail (image 3) Then gradually add sugar as you whisk (image 4).
- Using a balloon whisk and a gentle folding action, add the dry ingredients (image 5) followed by the milk and butter (image 6).
- Pour it into a lamington tin (image 7) – a large 9×13 baking tin with high sides will do the trick too.
- Bake it then let it cool before cutting it into squares (image 8).
Now that the sponge is cut into squares we can get onto the coating process.
- In a deep bowl, mix together icing (powdered) sugar, icing sugar and boiling water. Whisk it until it’s smooth.
- Drop squares of cake into the glaze (image 9) and use two forks to turn them and coat all over (image 10). Let them drain a little before moving on.
- Take the chocolate coated squares and roll them in the desiccated coconut (image 11), then set them on a wire rack to set.
Tips For An Easy Coating Process
Lamingtons can get messy – it’s all part of the fun but I have a few tips to make the coating process run more smoothly and (a little) less messily.
- Start by setting up two wire racks over baking paper lined baking trays – for catching drips and easy clean up.
- Use a deep bowl for your glaze and any regular bowl or tin for the coconut.
- Only use 1/3 of your coconut at a time, this stops it from getting filled and discoloured with chunks of chocolate.
- Have two forks at the ready in each bowl.
- Coat one of the squares in chocolate glaze, using the forks to move it around. Let it drain a little, then place it on one of the wire racks.
- Repeat two more times, so that you are working in batches of 3. This gives the cake squares time for a little more glaze to drip off rather than letting it drip off and form clumps in your coconut.
- Now, starting with the first one, coat it in coconut using the two forks there then transfer it to the other wire rack to set. Repeat.
- If you see clumps of chocolate in the coconut remove them.
The Classic Lamington Tin
This recipe is made in a traditional lamington tin – aka a rectangular cake tin with high sides, that’s about 23cmx34cm. This is equivalent to a high-sided 9×13 inch tin. This size tin makes a batch of 20-22 lamingtons or if you like larger lamingtons (like me) and are pedantic about cutting them perfectly square (also like me), you’ll get about 18.
I’ve also created this recipe in such a way that it’s easy to halve and make in an 8×8 inch square baking tin or a full batch in two square tins.
A good Aussie lamington needs nothing more, however there are some that like them cut in half, then sandwiched with jam and cream.
Not me – nosireee but each to their own. I like my lamingtons au naturel and the way Lord Lamington (real guy who we have to thank for them) suggests.
Whichever way you like your lamingtons, I know you’ll love this easy and delicious recipe. What could be better than cute little sponge cakes rolled in chocolate and coconut. That’s how us Aussies roll 😊
More classic Australian recipes
- Traditional Neenish Tarts
- Lemon Vanilla Custard Slice
- Passionfruit Slice
- Easy Anzac Biscuits
- Homemade Kingston Biscuits
- Homemade Sausage Rolls
- Slow Cooked Lamb and Rosemary Pies
- Chiko Roll Pull Apart Bread
- More Aussie desserts
Classic Australian Lamingtons
FOR THE LAMINGTON SPONGE
- 57 g unsalted butter (¼ cup / ½ stick / 2oz
- ¾ cup milk (180ml)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 whole large eggs
- 2 egg whites from large eggs
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour (225g / 8oz)
- ¼ cup cornflour (35g / 1.2oz)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 200 g caster sugar (1 cup / 7oz)
FOR THE GLAZE AND COATING
- 3 cups icing powdered sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (notes)
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 cups fine desiccated coconut
- lamington tin or 2 square baking tins.
FOR THE LAMINGTON SPONGE
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced and line a lamington tin (approx 22cm x 33cm) with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and milk and melt in 30 second increments, stirring well between each. Add the vanilla and set aside.
- In a new bowl, whisk together flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
- Beat the eggs and egg whites together in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, until very thick pale ribbony.
- While beating on low slowly pour in sugar into eggs, and beat a further 2 minutes,
- Use a balloon whisk and a folding action to fold in half flour at a time until combined.
- Pour in the milk mixture and use folding action again with balloon whisk until lump free. Don’t over mix and don’t whisk - just fold.
- Pour into the prepared tin then tap lightly on the bench top 3-4 times until any large bubbles have disappeared.
- Bake 20-23 minutes just until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t check until at least 18 mins. Be careful not to overbake.
- Let it cool completely before cutting into 20 even squares.
FOR THE GLAZE
- Combine the icing sugar, cocoa and boiling water in a deep bowl and mix well to a syrup consistency.
- Place ⅓ of the coconut into a separate bowl. Set two wire racks over baking paper lined trays.
- Using two forks, dip a square of sponge into the chocolate glaze turning to coat well. Let it drain a little then transfer to one of the wire racks. Repeat with 2 more squares.
- Take the first square and use clean forks to roll it in coconut then transfer to the second tray to set. Repeat 2 more times.
- Now repeat the process with the whole batch, replenishing the coconut as required.
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- This recipe can be halved and made in an 8x8 inch square baking tin or, if you don't have a lamington tin make the full recipe in two square tins.
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