Lamingtons are a traditional Australian treat made of sponge cake dipped in a chocolate coating and rolled in grated coconut. These single-serve desserts are featured at birthdays, afternoon teas, and all sorts of national events. They are traditionally made from sponge cake and sometimes include a layer of jam or are coated in jam instead of the chocolate before being rolled in coconut.
I had the chance to make these for an International Tasting event hosted for my church’s annual fall missions conference. To get 60 bite-size portions I needed to make a double batch, so I tested two recipes – one that I was given by the event organizers and one that I had come across earlier in the year and was saving to try at the perfect opportunity.
The recipe I had saved won hands down! It was much lighter and airier and really soaked up the chocolate coating while keeping its shape. The other recipe worked, but I found it to be drier and sometimes crumbled while I was dipping in the chocolate.
I made them bite-size portions, but larger portions would work just as well. The process gets a bit messy, so be prepared but the end result is definitely worth it!
A lamington is an Australian cake made from a square of sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut.
PREP TIME: 30 – 45 min BAKE TIME: 30 – 35 min TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 15 min
YIELDS: 16 – 24 pieces SERVES: 16 – 24
1 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
5 eggs, separated
1 c sugar, divided
1/3 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 c icing sugar
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c milk
3 c unsweetened desiccated coconut
CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line bottom of an 8″ x 8″ baking dish or cake pan with parchment paper, or grease well.
Stir flour with baking powder in a medium bowl.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high, until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until whites are glossy and stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted, 3 to 5 min. Using same beaters, beat yolks with remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick, 1 to 2 min. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually beat in flour mixture, then 1/3 cup milk and vanilla, until smooth
Stir a third of egg whites into yolk mixture, using a rubber spatula, then carefully fold in remaining egg whites until no streaks remain. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Bake in centre of oven until springy and a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 min. Cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour.
Remove cooled cake from pan and discard parchment, if using. If making the lamingtons ahead of time, wrap the cake well and leave on a counter overnight to allow it to firm up; continue with the coating and following steps. Otherwise, cut cake into 16 (regular) to 24 (bite-size) cubes, depending on desired size. Freeze cake cubes for 15 – 20 min.
COATING:Whisk icing sugar with cocoa and 3/4 cup milk in a medium bowl until smooth.
ASSEMBLE: Divide coconut into 2 shallow dishes; set 1 dish aside. Dip a cake cube into chocolate, coating all sides. Let excess chocolate drip off. Roll in coconut, coating all sides. Place on a wire rack over wax or parchment paper to collect drips. Continue with remaining cubes, switching to second dish of coconut halfway through. Refrigerate until dry to the touch, about 25 – 30 min. Store in a sealed container up to 3 days.
Make-Ahead:Lamingtons can be made up to 3 days in advance, kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
This sponeg cake is light and airy – perfect for soaking up the chocolate sauce while staying intact. Wiping your knife as you slice the cake will help to make it easier and less messy.