Iconic Aussie Food: Lamingtons & How to Make Them


This post is part of an ongoing series on iconic Aussie food. Be sure to check back for more food adventures, or subscribe to my RSS feed to receive updates automatically to your reader.

lamingtonA lamington might just seem like a typical cake dessert, but I was surprised to find out the following facts after researching the history a bit:

  1. They get their name from Lord Lamington, a man who served as Governor of Queensland, and who supposedly didn’t even like them.
  2. They have actually been named as one of Queensland’s favorite icons.

So, it’s safe to say that lamingtons are just about as Aussie as it comes, which makes for a great excuse to indulge in this treat while down under!

What Makes a Lamington

A lamington is basically a sponge cake square that has been dipped in chocolate and coated with dried coconut. It is common for the cake to be halved and sandwiched with a layer of cream, but it has also been known to come with jam. They are great for a snack with tea or coffee, and you’ll find them at cafes across the country.

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How to Make Lamingtons

If you happen to have leftover sponge cake, it’s simple to prepare a lamington as it only takes a bit of chocolate and coconut to finish the process. However, if you’re wishing to make them fresh from scratch, I’ve searched out a classic recipe from LifeStyle Food that should suit.

What You Need:

Cake ingredients
125g butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self raising flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup of milk

Chocolate icing ingredients
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 cups icing sugar
½ teaspoon butter
5 tablespoons boiling water
Desiccated coconut

What to Do:

They recommend making the cake in advance so that it has time to sit and cool properly. Otherwise, the dipping and coating will not go as smoothly.

  1. Grease a 27cm x 18cm tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and slowly add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the slightly beaten eggs, adding them one at a time, and beating until well-incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  5. Sift the flour and salt together.
  6. Gently fold the flour and salt into the creamed butter mixture, alternating the flour with the milk. Be careful not to overwork the mixture.
  7. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared tins and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Cut the butter cake into desired sized cubes.
  10. Dip into the chocolate icing and then immediately roll in the coconut. Leave on rack to set.

Photo credit. Recipe credit.