Traditional Australian (Aussie) Lamingtons

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on June 17, 2010

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons, www.goodfoodgourmet.comThere are so many things I miss about living in Australia. We were considered city folk living in a suburb of Melbourne called Moonee Ponds, but we were still surrounded by so much natural beauty. I miss many of the foods and sweets I grew up with, and I work hard trying to replicate tastes, smells and textures that I remember. One of my all time favorite desserts is called a Lamington. It is probably the most popular bake sale item in Australia and similar in popularity to cupcakes here in the USA –  but this is quintessentially Australian.

Traditional versions will have a super moist, square-shaped piece of vanilla cake that is dipped in a chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut. I had also had it cut in half and filled with jam or a vanilla butter cream. Those found pre-packaged in the grocery store were generally plain, but our school cafeteria (called a Tuck Shop in Aussie lingo) made the filled versions, and those were my absolute favorites.

My Aunt Daisy sends us packages filled with all of our favorite things, and of course she always includes my lamingtons. I decided to create this recipe so that I could make them at home and share with friends who have never tried them. The cake is very easy to make as is the chocolate sauce. The cake has a very delicate pound cake texture that you can use not only for the lamingtons, but also for a quick bundt cake or bar cake that you can slice and serve with fresh fruit, ice cream or whipped cream.

The cake freezes beautifully — what I usually do is bake it one day, fill it the next then wrap the filled cake in plastic wrap and freeze it. Once frozen, I trim the cake edges all around and then cut it into the sizes that I want. They are much easier to handle when they are frozen, so keep that in mind. I make my sauce the day that I need it, and unlike other recipes, I use oil instead of melted butter. The sauce made with oil will last longer than those made with butter. Make a batch for the family at home and if it’s anything like at my house, they won’t last long…

**An original recipe by

Lamingtons (makes one 10″ x 10″ cake, 16-20 portions)

Cake Batter
8 oz ( 2 sticks) soft butter
10.5 oz (about 1½ cups) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup (8 oz) evaporated milk ( make sure to use this, gives cake a nicer flavor)
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt (add this only if you are using unsalted butter)
2 ½ cups coconut (for rolling on the outside)

Chocolate Dipping Sauce
2/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
1 Tablespoon nonfat milk powder
2 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup of oil (or melted butter if they will be eaten right away)
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup boiling water
½ cup seedless raspberry jam (optional)

First make the cake by creaming butter with the sugar and then add the eggs. Add the extracts to the milk, and once the eggs and butter are light and creamy, spoon in the flour alternately with the milk. In this type of application, you begin and end with flour, so you will have 3 additions of flour and 2 additions of milk.  Sift the dry ingredients together, and begin alternating both wet and dry ingredients. You will start with this…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

And end with this…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

If you are going to bake this in a 10″ x 10″ square pan, then you can bake it at 350°F, and the cake will bake in about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. If you are going to bake this cake for another application in a 10″ bundt pan, turn the heat down to 325°F for about 35-40 minutes until it tests clean.

Bake in a 10″ square pan for lamingtons…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Or a 10″ bundt to serve with fresh fruit and ice cream…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

If you are making the cake for the lamingtons, let the cake cool completely and then wrap and let the crumb settle overnight. The next day, you can slice and fill your cake with jam or butter cream if you like. If the large size is too hard to handle, cut it into four equal sections and then slice each one in half and fill with your choice of jam or frosting. Once each piece has been filled, wrap in plastic and then freeze overnight. The next day you will lightly trim the edges all around the cake and then cut into equal portions depending on what you need. Once they have been sliced, place them back in the freezer and make the chocolate sauce.

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Leave plain…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Or fill with jam…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

To make the chocolate sauce, boil the water and pour over the sifted cocoa and powdered sugar, and whisk until it has all been incorporated. Add in all of the remaining ingredients and whisk again, including the jam. If you are filling the cake with one flavor of jam, make sure to use the same jam for the chocolate sauce, or just do not use it at all. I always use the jam, it gives so much extra flavor…

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Remove the cakes from the freezer, and using a fork, dip the cakes into the chocolate sauce and drain off as much sauce as you can before placing the cake into the coconut. Use a spoon to completely coat the cake piece and then place the completed piece onto a paper lined tray. Finish the remaining cake pieces in the same way. Store them in a lidded container at room temperature.

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

Traditional Aussie Lamingtons,

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Nik June 17, 2010 at 10:56 p

Thank-you so much for posting this recipe! My family and I (all Dinky-di Aussies) are living in Maryland and miss Lamingtons so much. I was trying to exlain to my work colleagues what they are, now I can make some for them – Thanks!

avatar Caterina June 18, 2010 at 11:33 p

Great to hear from a fellow Aussie…I will be posting more Aussie favorites, so stay tuned for some sausage rolls, meat pies, perfecting the potato cakes, pavlova, sticky toffee pudding, eaton mess, dim sims just to name a few ;)

avatar Cake Conventions January 11, 2011 at 5:49 p

Not too long ago I came across this blog and have enjoyed the content. I look forward to long term content and can certainly link to this and inform the people. Thank you.

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