Dessert people of the world: unite! While cooking for your family can prove a bit stressful, baking is widely regarded as a comforting process—since you’re makin’ something sweet and don’t have a time crunch. There’s a good chance you have some lovely, soothing memory associated with mixing batter, licking the spoon, and waiting around for your creation in the oven from childhood. My Northern California-based family was *very* into cookies—a classic—I doubt, at the time, my mom could have even conceived of a Lamington recipe.
One of their many cultural contributions to the world’s zeitgeist: Australia has gifted the globe with this light, fluffy dessert. It’s heavily suggested that the Lamington was created entirely on accident, by a maid that worked for Lord Lamington—the governor of Brisbane, Australia—in 1901. Rumor has it; the maid was working in the kitchen and accidentally bumped the Lord’s favorite sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Not one to be wasteful of sweet treats, Lord Lamington took the news with clever delight, and asked that the morsel be dipped into coconut to prevent dripping, sticky fingers before eating the cake. The nouveau taste thrilled Lord Lamington, and somehow, word spread around the country. Lamingtons celebrated their 100th year in 2001. Below is an adapted, not-so-professional (but just as tasty) version of the recipe for these delicious little cakes!
*This Lamington recipe creates 12 cakes and takes about an hour and a half to complete*
What You’ll Need
- Mixer OR large bowl and a strong arm
- 2-quart, deep baking pan
- Parchment/baking paper
- Double boiler OR large skillet and pot
- Cutting board
- Small bowl
- Large plate/serving tray
- Sift (optional)
- Baking spray
- 6 large eggs
- ¾ a cup of baker’s sugar (sifted, if possible)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ a teaspoon of salt
- 1 ½ cups of flour (sifted, if possible)
- ½ a teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- ¾ of a cup of whole milk
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (sifted, if possible)
- 1 cup of water (if making on stovetop)
- 3 cups of shredded coconut (if you want to coat all your Lamingtons)
What You’ll Do
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Sponge Cake: In your mixer or large bowl, whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt together until smooth—this could take around 5-10 minutes.
Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture—make sure you have a good grip on the bowl (always great to have a helper, here!). Don’t overfold the flour: mix *just* until the white of the flour disappears.
Set your baking pan nearby. Cut your baking/parchment paper to fit the baking pan (some extra is okay) and spray with baking spray. Pour your mixture into the pan and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.
When the cake cools, remove it from the pan and put it onto a cutting board. Take the parchment paper off.
Cut the cake into two rectangular pieces, then cut each of those in half horizontally, creating four “sandwich” pieces of cake.
Icing: heat a cup of water in your skillet until boiling, and place your pot on top. Combine the chocolate, butter, and milk—mix until smooth, then remove from heat.
Whisk the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the melted chocolate mixture.
Remove the “top layers” of the cake. Take ½ a cup of the chocolate mixture and spread it on the bottom layers. Put the top layers back on top, creating the “sandwich” with the chocolate mixture in the middle. Cut the entire cake into 12 pieces.
Put the shredded coconut into the small bowl and place it nearby. Have a plate or a serving tray nearby as well.
Take each “sandwich” and roll them around in the remaining chocolate mixture in the pot. Once coated, transfer to the bowl of shredded coconut and coat entirely.
Finally, transfer to the plate/serving tray. Once all of the pieces are coated (or as many are coated as you like… we left some “un-coconutted,” as we have some picky people in our house!) put the plate in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up the coating.
Serve to friends and family! Lamingtons can also be refrigerated for later consumption—and they’re *just* as good.