Lamingtons – An Australian Treat

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Lamingtons are something I read about a while back and have been considering making.  So I watched a few videos and checked out some recipes.  Originating in Australia and named after an erstwhile governor of Queensland, these cakes seem to come in several variations, but all have a cake centre, a chocolate coating and then coconut on the outside.  

Some also have some jam in the middle.  I have even seen some with cream on top.  I decided to make a butter cake, though others use a heavily egg based  sponge cake.  I wanted to make sure my cake was solid enough for dipping in the coating.

Then I had another idea, that was to make a flavour variation, so may be not really a Lamington at all, for some of the cakes.

So I ended up with 8 chocolate and coconut cakes and 8 of my variation which was strawberry jelly(jello) instead of the chocolate.

In the recipe below the cake will make 16 even sized squares, and I give the ingredients for enough of each of the coatings to cover 8 cakes.  If you just want to try the chocolate ones you simply need to double the chocolate icing ingredients.

They are a little bit messy to make, since your hands will get covered in the coating and the coconut, unless you use spoons to do everything.

My chocolate ones turned out just as expected.  The strawberry ones were fine too, in the end, but I did suffer from the eagerness syndrome, wanting to get them coated before the jelly was sufficiently think to coat properly.  This meant that when I first dipped the cakes into the the jelly it simply absorded into the cake.  So I coated them with coconut and then waited for the jelly to become thicker and coated them again.  That meant that the cakes were wet, but after refrigerating they firmed up nicely.  The flavour of strawberry was therefore also in the cake which made them very nice.  But for me the favourite was definitely the chocolate variety.  So the Australians clearly have it right.  

I think that when making the jelly the amount of boiling vs cold water should be varied from what I did for mine, so I have adjusted the recipe to reflect that. With mine I didn’t use enough ice cold water, so I had to wait longer for the jelly to start setting.

I believe they are very popular there, particularly on Australia Day.

These cakes are really worth the effort, so give them a try.

Lamingtons – Two variations


Lamingtons – Two variations – Video


  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams granulated white sugar
  • 2 medium eggs (large in USA)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 ml milk, at room temperature

Chocolate Icing:

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 22g unsalted butter
  • 60ml milk
  • 100g dessicated coconut to coat icing


  1. Grease a 9 inch/23cm round springform pan.  Preheat the oven to 180c/350F.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl(stand mixer is good for this) with the sugar for about 5 minutes until you have a thick mixture that has tripled in size and a ribbon stays on the top when the whisk is removed.
  3. Gently fold the melted butter into the egg batter
  4. Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake tin and level it out.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until springy to the touch and browned on top.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  8. Then remove the sponge from the tin and allow to cool completely.
  9. Wash the cake tin and line the sides with baking paper.  (I lined the bottom as well).
  10. Place the sponge back into the cake tin and set aside.
  11. As the cake cools you can make a raspberry coulis of your choice.
  12. For mine I heated 240ml of seedless raspberry jam and added 30 ml of water to thin slightly.
  13. Sprinkle the gelatin onto the lemon juice and allow the juice to be fully absorbed,
  14. With the jam almost boiling add the lemon/gelatin mixture and stir until it has dissolved.
  15. Set the jam aside to cool completely.
  16. When the jam is cooled beat the double cream in a bowl, with the 35g caster sugar until it thickens to just about a thick peak state.
  17. Gently fold in the jam mixture until fully combined.
  18. Pour the mousse mixture into the cake tin, to cover the sponge, and level it off.
  19. Place in the fridge to firm up, for at least three hours.  I left mine overnight.
  20. Melt the raspberry jelly in 240ml of boiling water(or make jello according to instructions, you only need about 3/4 pint), and stir until the cubes have fully dissolved.
  21. Add 120ml of ice cold water stir in. Set aside to cool completely.
  22. When the jelly mixture is completely cooled  pour it over the chilled mousse.  Be careful hor you pour it, I use a the back of a spoon to pour onto so the liquid gently lands on the mousse.
  23. Place in the refridgerator to cool and set.
  24. Gently removed from the springform tin, peeling the paper away from the sides and transfer to a serving plate.

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