These lamingtons very nearly didn’t happen. On my first attempt, I only just managed to scrape together enough butter, which I then spilt all over the bench while gesturing madly at something. On my second attempt, I was pouring the melted butter into the egg mixture, with the beater running, when the dish slipped from my hand into the mixer. It did one rotation before my beautiful Kitchenaid mixing bowl shattered into several pieces and cake batter splattered all over the kitchen floor. *Insert facepalm emoji here.* So I had a glass of wine and left it for the next day.
Thank goodness everything went smoothly on my next attempt. In fact, these were a lot easier than I’d anticipated. The sponge comes together quickly, and the dipping is pretty stress free too.
For any northern hemispherer’s out there who don’t know what a lamington is, imagine a little pillow of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate icing or raspberry jelly and then rolled in coconut. They’re apparently named after Lord Lamington, a former Governor of Queensland, Australia. They’re a really popular morning or afternoon treat in both Australia and New Zealand, and you should make them soon!
1 1/3c flour
1¼ teaspoon baking powder
70g butter, melted
1 teaspoon icing sugar
4c desiccated coconut
For pink lamingtons
1 packet raspberry jelly
For chocolate lamingtons
2c icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
splash of vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 190°C. Grease and line a 22cm square tin and set aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder together, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until they are light and voluminous – about 5-7 minutes.
Add the butter and beat until well incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the flour in 2 separate additions.
Pour into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when lightly touched.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely. You can leave the sponge overnight before cutting it, but mine sliced up just fine after a couple of hours.
Make the jelly according to the instructions, pour it into a shallow dish and allow it to set to the consistency of egg whites.
Set up a little work station with the desiccated coconut, the jelly and some baking paper to dry the lamingtons on. Working one square at a time and using two forks, dip the sponge into the jelly, coating it on all sides. Allow the excess to drip off, then transfer it to the coconut and using the baking paper, toss the sponge around to coat. Place on the baking paper to set. (When it comes to coating the sponge in coconut, I found the best method was as follows: take a large sheet of baking paper and nestle it into a casserole dish. Add the coconut. You can use the sides of the baking paper to create a kind of trampoline, bouncing the sponge around in the coconut. You don’t need the casserole dish, but it helped to keep the coconut contained.)
If you are making chocolate lamingtons, combine the icing sugar, cocoa, melted butter and vanilla in a small bowl, and add enough boiling water to create a thin icing.
Following the same process as above, dip and coat each piece of sponge. I needed to add more boiling water a couple of times, to keep the icing thin. Place the coated sponges on to the baking paper to set.
You’ll want to fill the lamingtons at least one hour before serving, so the cream has a chance to soften the sponge. Whip the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form. Slice each lamington in half, but not all the way through. Gently spoon some cream in the middle and gently sandwich it back together.
Filled lamingtons will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
- you can use coconut threads instead of desiccated coconut, it’s quite trendy 😉
- a tiny bit of jam in the middle of each lamington is also quite popular.
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