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By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

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Although I lived in Australia for many years, I never ate a lamington on Australian soil. It wasn’t until I was back in the UK that I was offered one for the first time. These Oz treats are tasty squares of sponge covered in chocolate icing and coated in coconut. Recently, evidence has come to light that lamingtons originated in New Zealand, but in many foodie circles the jury is still out on that one! They are fun to make and even more fun to eat.


  • 165 g butter, softened
  • 150 g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 160 g self-raising flour
  • 300 g desiccated coconut

For the chocolate icing

  • 135 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 20 g butter
  • 90 ml whole milk
  • 110 g icing sugar (sifted if lumpy)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy)
  • 1 tbsp boiling water


  • 20cm square cake tin
  • stand mixer or handheld electric whisk (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and line the baking tin with baking parchment. I make sure there is extra baking parchment hanging over the edges – this makes it easier to pull out the lamingtons once they are baked.

Cream together the butter and the soft light brown sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. The easiest way to do this is in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk, but a wooden spoon will also work.

When the mixture is light and fluffy, add one of the eggs and half of the flour and beat well to combine, then add the remaining eggs and flour and beat well again until the mixture is just uniform. Transfer the mixture into the lined tin and level off with the back of a spoon. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake edges have shrunk away from the inside of the tin. Remove the cake from the oven and then leave to cool completely in the tin.

Once the cake has cooled, pop it into the fridge. Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the chocolate, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until smooth, then whisk in the icing sugar and cocoa powder, then the boiling water.

Tip the coconut into a shallow bowl. Take the cake out of the fridge and using the overhanging baking parchment, remove it from the tin. Peel off the baking parchment and then cut the cake into sixteen equal-sized squares.

Using your hands, dip a sponge square into the chocolate icing, gently rolling it all the way round to make sure each side is nicely coated. Wipe off any excess on the side of the bowl and then dip it into the coconut and toss gently to coat each side. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with the other cakes, then set aside for 15 minutes, or until the icing firms up a bit. Serve.