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Bec’s Easy Lamingtons

Lamingtons on a glass stand

I know we all think of lamingtons on Australia Day, or is that just me? Did you know that since 2006 we hold the 21st of July as National Lamington Day? Lamingtons are truly delicious and very Australian. Once you know my pastry chef tips, you’ll find that they are also super easy to make.

First of all, take a few minutes and read the whole recipe. Yes the whole recipe 🙂 I prefer to make them over 2 days because they will take less of your time and result in a lot less stress. The recipe time looks long, but it includes resting the cake base for a minimum of 3 hours. This makes it much easier to cut.

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Where did Lamingtons come from?

This is one of those good old stories. Not sure it’s true but something fun we learn in Culinary school. Apparently, Lord Lamington’s (Governor of Queensland 1896 – 1901) French born chef wanted to use up some leftover French vanilla sponge he’d made the day before. He cut up the pieces, dipped them in chocolate, then set them in coconut so the guests wouldn’t dirty their fingers. The French Chef got his inspiration from his Tahitian wife where coconut was a common ingredient. Apparently, this was a huge hit and was often made for the governor’s entourage.

How do you serve them?

That’s totally up to you, but you can do them plainly with just chocolate and coconut or with jam in the centre, and serve them with coffee or tea. You can also add cream to the filling, making them a little more of a dessert, or why not make them as a cake and use them for a celebration?

Some of the ingredients used

  • Butter: cold cubes. I always use unsalted for baking and cooking. Please use really chilled butter for this Thermo method. It will come together much nicer for you.
  • Caster sugar:. The texture of caster sugar will work best for a light sponge. The granules are between table sugar and icing, so they will dissolve nicely while being whipped.
  • Large eggs: I love using free range, but of course it’s personal choice.
  • Plain flour: (plain, all-purpose) with cornflour (cornstarch) will make your lamingtons lighter.
  • Baking powder: not baking soda, it is different and yes it seems a lot but trust me it’s perfect for this recipe
  • Vanilla extract: good quality here, after all it’s a vanilla sponge
  • Milk: use full cream, don’t muck about with low fat.
  • Cocoa powder: purchase a good quality unsweetened type, as we’re going to add icing sugar to it.
  • Coconut: If you can get flaked or shredded coconut you can use those, I think they make the lamingtons look a little more classy, but if you’re going for tradition, grab the desiccated.

FAQ

Can I freeze my Lamingtons?

Sure, providing your filling is not too thick, freeze for up to a month. If you want to freeze them longer, freeze them unfilled in an airtight container or wrapped in tin foil for up to 3 months.

Why are my Lamingtons so heavy?

Make sure you’ve followed the steps in the recipe. Get everything prepared before you start and don’t overbeat the batter.

Can I make this recipe into a Lamington cake?

Yes, of course. If you have two tins the same size I would use them, although making one square or rectangle cake and slicing it through the middle will also work. The two tin method is much neater if you’re not used to cutting cakes evenly through the middle.

Other Aussie Recipes

Lamingtons on a glass stand

Bec’s easy Lamingtons

4.93 from 13 votes

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becs-table.com.au
Lamingtons are very Australian. Think of a soft cube of buttery vanilla cake, smothered in chocolate icing, delicately dipped in coconut and filled with a layer of jam.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Afternoon Tea
Cuisine Australian
Servings 12 or more
Method Thermomix

Equipment

  • Thermomix

Ingredients
  

For the cake batter:

  • 250 g butter, unsalted cold cubes
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 320 g flour (plain, all-purpose)
  • 30 g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 20 g baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 190 g milk

For the chocolate glaze

  • 20 g unsalted butter chopped into small pieces around 5 – 6 bits so it melts easy
  • 120 g boiling water from the jug
  • 30 g cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 450 g icing sugar confectionary sugar, sifted with the cocoa powder

For the assembly

  • 1/2 jar raspberry jam filling Or any jam you like
  • 1 qty Chocolate glaze
  • 200 g coconut desiccated Tip: start with 150g and add more if needed

Instructions
 

For the Cake:

  • Read the whole recipe first. This is an easy recipe, if made over two days, allowing the cake to freeze overnight before coating. Set your oven to 150°C fan or 160°C no fan. I used a non stick USA pan. They're 33 x 23cm. I will cut the whole thing evenly horizontally, but you could use 2 square tins. *See my tips. Prepare your pan, or for the USA pan I used, you only need to add one sheet of baking paper no need to grease for this pan.
  • Add the flour, cornflour and baking powder to the TM bowl, with the MC in place set for 4 seconds/speed 5. Then remove from the bowl and set aside.
  • Add a small jug to the top of your TM bowl and weigh the milk into it and set aside.
  • Crack the eggs into another bowl, so you have them ready and set them aside.
  • Weigh in the cubes of cold butter to your TM and mix for 30 seconds/speed 6.
  • Weigh in the sugar and set for 10 seconds/speed 6.
  • Using a spoon scoop one egg into the TM bowl and mix for 4 seconds/speed 4 remove the lid, lift the mix from the base and scrape down the sides.
  • Add the butterfly into the TM bowl, and get all your ingredients lined up (eggs, flour mix and milk).
  • Take a heaped tablespoon of the flour mix you set aside and add it to the TM bowl then set the TM speed 3. Add the remainder of the eggs one at a time through the hole in the lid, then add ½ the flour mix through the hole in the lid, then the milk, then the remainder of the flour mix. This is over around 10 – 20 seconds. Very easy.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading out as evenly as possible. Bake until golden brown and the cake springs back when gently pressed. In my oven, this takes around 25 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Cut the sponge horizontally and evenly. *See tips. Separate and spread the jam of your choice. Place the top back on and cut into equal sized cubes. Wrap in cling film and freeze. I left mine overnight but around 3 hours will help if you want to make them the same day.

For the chocolate icing mix:

  • Pop the jug on to boil, place the small cubes of butter into a bowl.
  • Weigh the boiling water into the bowl with the (5-6) small cubes of butter and allow to sit for 5 mins allowing the butter to start melting.
  • Sift the cocoa and icing in your usual way, sifter, sieve or use a clean, dry Thermomix (MC in 3 seconds/speed 5).
  • Stir with a whisk or fork to combine well and set aside.
  • Place your coconut into a shallow clean, dry baking tray and set aside.
  • I set up an organised work station for coating the lamingtons. You want one bowl with the chocolate icing, one flat tray with the coconut and your cooling rack to add your finished lamington while it sets up. See how I set up my forks, I use them like this to suspend my dipped lamington allowing it some time to drip while I'm doing another job.
    How to suspend forks in a bowl for dipping chocolate
  • Remove the cake portions from the freezer and dip one in the chocolate, allow the chocolate to drip off as much as possible.
    lamington suspended above chocolate
  • Then dredge it in the coconut tray coating it in coconut. Set on a cooling rack to set up. I leave them for around an hour before moving them.
    a chocolate coated lamington sitting in coconut ready to dredge
  • Once set they can be placed into a sealed container and stored either in the fridge or serve.

Notes

Bec’s Tips:
  • If you’re not used to cutting a large cake in half horizontally, you could use two smaller square pans for baking off your cake.  Instead of cutting the cake, you can simply pop one on top of the other.
  • In a pastry kitchen, we will freeze cake portions we want to coat in this manner. We do this after spreading with jam and cutting into cubes; it makes it much easier to cover once frozen. Freezing keeps the cake together and prevents crumbs from falling off into your coating mix oh and did I say it stops the cake from falling apart…
 
How I work in a production line:
Using the two fork method for suspending your chocolate coated lamington will allow you to get on with the next portion or the previous one for that matter.  
  • suspend a portion and allow it to drip for a few seconds. 
  • Once the chocolate has dripped a bit, place the chocolate-coated cake portion in the coconut tray, then go straight back to dipping the next cake portion, suspend and allow to drip.
  • Go back to the first cake you left in the coconut and cover, sprinkling and rolling until fully coated. Sit that portion of cake on a cooling rack. 
  • Go back to the cake that is being suspended and place that on the coconut tray. 
  • Dip another cake and so on.
Following this pattern allows the right amount of time between each process so you can work cleanly and efficiently.

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these Lamingtons on Australia Day last year. Not as pretty as Bec’s but boy they were delicious

  2. Thanks Rebecca, If we freeze the cake to coat in the chocolate, can they be frozen again when assembled?

    1. Hey Jen,
      The actual freezing process of cake isn’t a problem. You can freeze twice, but it’s essential to make sure you have no risk of contamination. When you freeze your cake, you must make sure it has had no chance to be contaminated by bacteria and wrap it really well. I like to cling film and foil. Mind you; I don’t tend to freeze, defrost, decorate and freeze again. I only really freeze cake so I can decorate and deliver or serve. If you were going to assemble and freeze I would wrap each piece in baking paper so they don’t sweat and stick together when defrosting.

      1. Great ideas! I have so many people that dislike or are allergic to coconut so I was wondering if you could just use powdered sugar

        1. Unfortunately, powdered sugar will just disolve with the wet chocolate glaze. You’ll need to use something a little more chunky. If you have a cake decorating store near you, there are so many options for nonpareils (sprinkles) these days. But don’t take your credit card if you’re like me ???

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