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Tuesday 14 February 2012

Baking for Beginners: Lamingtons

Lamingtons are a recent delicious little discovery for me - sponge cakes coated in chocolate and coconut, originating from Australia. We might have missed Australia Day, but these mini cakes go down a treat any time of year. The coconut topping even looks like snow, making them a perfect match for the weather now that winter has finally unleashed its full force on us. Use dessicated coconut rather than sweetened coconut - not only is is much cheaper, it has a better flavour and drier texture, making it perfect for coating these cakelettes.

I've used an all-in-one method for the sponge cake and it turned out beautifully. This only makes a few cakes, ready for an afternoon tea for two (or one), so double the quantities if you're catering for more.


You will need:

For the cakes:
  • 90g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 90g butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping:
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g dessicated coconut
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / gas mark 3. Line a medium size square tin with baking parchment.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Crack the eggs in, then add the caster sugar, butter and vanilla extract. 
  3. Whisk with an electric whisk for about a minute, or a wooden spoon for 5 minutes, until beautifully combined. If it doesn't drop easily off a spoon, add a little water to the mixture to thin it.
  4. Pour into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cake springs back when you press it and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares - you'll get about 8-10 from your cake.
  5. Make the topping by mixing the icing sugar and cocoa powder with hot water until thin enough to pour easily. Tip the dessicated coconut over a plate.
  6. Now for the messy bit. Roll the cake gently in the icing to completely coat it, then roll in the coconut. Stand them on a wire rack until cooled.
They'll keep in an airtight container for five days, although you should really polish them off in one session with an enormous cup of tea.


  1. Oh I am so excited that you posted this recipe!! I used to eat these growing up in South Africa, but we call them 'Ystervarkies' which literally means porcupines! I can't wait to make these! Thanks! x


    1. Let us know how you get on, Paula! I love them - the sponge cake is so unexpected because they look like little chocolates.

  2. They always used to have Lamingtons in Neighbours when I was younger and I always used to wish I could try one. I might have to give this recipe a go.

    1. Ah, maybe that's where I remember them from. They're very easy. Just be prepared to get messy - you'll be covered in chocolate and coconut at the end.

  3. Thanks so much for this recipe. I made them at the weekend and they're delicious. They're all gone now - must make some more :)

  4. I made them recently finally from the Dan Leppard but if yours work with straight all in one sponge I might have to try that

    The chocolate covering in this recipe is fab though so I might stick with that


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