Lamingtons – an Aussie favourite

Lamingtons are a cake stall favourite in Australia. I haven’t been to a school fete or church fundraiser without seeing them for sale, but I’ve never attempted to make them myself before. They’re made of sponge covered in chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut. There’s also a lot of argument on how to serve Lamingtons depending on where you are from. Some insist on having strawberry jam in the middle, others insist on jam and cream, while others argue they should be plain. Either way they are a lovely tea time treat for a few friends or a family picnic; a national favourite and something I’ll definitely make again.

My sponge cake recipe comes from The Monday Morning Cooking Club’s – And the Feast Continues cookbook. This recipe makes a perfect fluffy and light sponge and if you are looking for a sponge recipe, I’d definitely recommend this one. The batter makes two 20 cm/8 in layers.

Sponge cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 430g caster sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tblsp baking powder
  • 250ml (1 cup) full cream milk
  • 125g unsalted butter

Chocolate icing and coconut coating

  • 3 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
  • 750g (4 2/3 cups) icing sugar, sifted
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 180ml (3/4 cup) full cream milk
  • Strawberry jam for the filling

Preheat the oven to 170C and oil and line a baking tray with high sides. My baking tray was 23cm x 33cm.

Beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until it is pale and has thickened. Gently fold in the sifted flour and baking powder. I added a small amount of flour and folded it in until it was mixed through before adding more.

On the stove, bring to the boil the milk and unsalted butter. When it begins to boil, take it off the heat and slowly add it to the cake mix. As per the flour, I folded through a small amount at a time making sure it was fully blended through before adding more. Your cake mix should now be silky and full of bubbles.


Pour the sponge batter into the prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. You need to watch it as you don’t want to bake it for too long. It should be golden brown and feel spongy when touched. Let it cool completely before removing from the tray. Slice into even square pieces. I cut out 20 sponge squares, but you can cut larger sizes if you like.

To prepare the chocolate icing, add the sifted icing sugar and cocoa to a large heat proof bowl. Add in the milk and butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan with water on a low heat and beat with a whisk until the butter has melted and the icing has thickened.

To make the Lamingtons –

  1. Cut the sponge square in half and spread on half a teaspoon of jam (any flavour you prefer, though strawberry is traditional);DSCN2866
  2. Coat the sponge in the chocolate icing. It’s easier if you use a fork to help coat the sponge. Let any excess icing drip off; andDSCN2867
  3. Coat in desiccated coconut. Press the coconut onto the sponge to make sure lots of coconut sticks.DSCN2869

These store well in the fridge for a few days without the sponge drying out, but take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating. Enjoy


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