Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Cake by Any Other Name - Lamingtons

Lamington Final One

One of the signature desserts of Australia, the Lamington is a simple sweet with origins as fuzzy as it looks. If you can believe any account (and there are many), the quaint little cubes of cake dipped in chocolate then rolled in coconut were named for Lord Lamington, the governor of Queensland in the late 1800s. If you can further believe a particular account, Lord Lamington was said to have despised and dismissed his namesakes as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits." I say to heck with the old coot, and calls 'em as I sees 'em: Bedlingtons.

Coconut Curves Final

Flaked Coconut

Double Coconut Lamingtons - Cake slightly adapted from this recipe (You can also use your favorite basic white cake recipe. Pound cake works especially well.)


2 large egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flavorless vegetable oil (such as safflower)
2 teaspoons coconut extract

(Frosting) - My own recipe

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 - 1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on your preference for light or dark flavor)
1/3 cup milk (or enough to make a smooth and pourable coating)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2 cups dessicated, unsweetened coconut, scattered in a large plate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch square cake pans.

In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. In another, smaller bowl, beat the egg whites with the 1/3 cup sugar until thick, but not stiff. Add milk, egg yolks, oil and extract to the dry ingredients, beating for 3 minutes. Gently fold or stir in the egg whites. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in center of the cakes is clean when removed. Cool cakes 10 minutes in pans before removing to rack to fully cool. To minimize crumbing and breakage, it is important that the cakes are firm and set before cutting into 2-inch cubes. Chilling the cake before cutting also helps. Allow cubes to sit out several hours to become just a little stale before you dip them in the chocolate. This will correct once the frosting sets.

Method (Frosting)

With a whisk, beat all ingredients in a large bowl until very smooth and loose.


Gently lower cake cubes one at a time into frosting, fully covering all sides using a rubber spatula. Do not let the spatula actually touch the cubes. Carefully lift out each cube with a fork supporting its bottom (do not spear the cube), allowing excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Place each cube in the plate of dessicated coconut, tossing and pressing the coconut into all sides of the cube. The coating will be very delicate. Remove each cube with a fresh fork to a plate. Allow the finished cakes to set for at least an hour; the frosting will partially absorb into the cake, creating a firmer coating texture that is easier to handle and eat. Makes approximately 16 2-inch cakes. --

Lamington Final 2

This post is for Suganya of Tasty Palettes, hosting Coconut, the June theme for A Fruit a Month (AFAM), created by Maheswari of Beyond the Usual.

Been There, Done That ~

Coconut Burfi
Maple Walnut Cake
Green Tea Cream Puffs

Other People's Eats ~

Coconut Raspberry Layer Cake


glamah16 said...

I have never tasted these, but my friends from Oz go on and on about them.Yours look perfect.

Wendy said...

"those bloody poofy woolly biscuits" - Almost wet myself laughing at that.
They look gorgeous.

Lucy said...

Ah, the classic Australian treat. Fund-raising events in these parts are know as 'Lamington Drives'.

You know, some would say that Queensland politicians are still that, um, straight-talking. Some things never change!

Wonderful. I spat my tea out laughing. What a glorious recipe.

Kevin said...

Those coconut lamingtons look good!

Jeena said...

These look amazing I adore coconut. Great entry. :-)

Laurie Constantino said...

2" cubes of lovely white cake covered with coconut (did you really grate your own?) - yes, I'll take one, please. Right now would be the perfect time!

Suganya said...

Tasty dice :). I would pop one every time I roll one.

Asha said...

I used to buy these in UK, I haven't these in US, may be not that popular here! Looks perfect Susan, good one for coconut!:))

noobcook said...

This looks absolutely stunning & exquisite! Yummy, can I have a slice please? Then again, it's so pretty to eat!! ;)

btw, this reminds me a little of the asian "onde onde" :)~

Sunshinemom said...

I have the recipe but never tried it! They look tasty! I liked the first phtograph of the coconut too:)

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

They are a personal favourite but I have not been able to make it lately..Loved your recipe and frosting and now can hold no longer..Gotta make it very soon...

farida said...

I have never tried these, but boy, do they look delicious! Looks so pretty too.

sra said...

Ok, I learnt something very new today - I've never heard of Bedlingtons before and now have spent the last ten minutes looking them up on the Net.
In my mind, there's some strong memory about Lamingtons, trying to dredge it up - think I remember it from the time my mom got one of those quick-cook gadgets and the recipe book accompanying it had a recipe for these!

Mandira said...

The wooley biscuits look amazing. Delicious and definitely droolworthy :)

Ricki said...

These sound great! Love the concept. And my sweetie will thank you, coconut lover that he is :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I have to admit that I've never heard of Lamingtons, but they do look delicious.

Aparna said...

Looking at thses delightful little cakes (chocolate and coconut is yummy), I'd say Lord Lamington didn't have a clue as to what he was going on about!

Ann said...

Love, love, LOVE Lamingtons!

Astra Libris said...

Oooooh! Such a gorgeous, splendid idea! I love your double coconut touch...

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never had lamingtons but have seen them on a Donna Hay book. These are delectable, Susan!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I have never made lamingtons. OK, I have never even heard of lamingtons. But there isn't a doubt in my mind (or belly) that I would gobble them up. I simply cannot resist coconut, and your lamingtons are truly irresistible.

Simona said...

Beautiful, Susan. I love all the photos and your lamingtons look amazing.

Dragon said...

Well done. They look amazing.

Cynthia said...

Double coconut! What sweet love!

Mishmash ! said...

hmm...thanks for introducing me to this one..:) looks tasty and pics are visually appealing as well....i saw a coconut cake two days back, then watched a tv prog y'day and this morning i am seeing your i getting some signal..? how can someone like me who comes from the land of coconuts can neglect such signals????

Johanna said...

lamingtons bring to mind such nostalgic images - used to help my mum make them and it was always such fun - did you know we often call swiss roll tin, lamington tins which I guess is what a lot of people used to bake the cake for the lamington! Yours look lovely and I laughed at them being described as fuzzy

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Dear Susan

Do have a look at the Crabpples I finally managed to make....Loved making them..Thanks a ton to you..


Gloria said...

This look so yummy and delicious!!!xGloria

Jacque said...

Mmmm, beautiful post and most informative too. I love that coconut photo!

Lori Lynn said...

Haha Susan - I did not get the Bedlington joke until I read the whole post then clicked on the link! Cute.

And Lord L. is pretty funny too, with his "wooly biscuits!"

DK said...

OMG!!!!!!!!! I dint know abt these..they r v new and they luk so yummy! anything with coconut - i am in and this is BOOKMARKED

Susan said...

Dear All,
I am terribly backed up with my Pancakes on Parade event, as well as trying to make deadlines to several other events hitting in the next day or two before I take a short blogging break later this month. Please be assured that I have read and savored (THANK YOU!) each of your comments and will respond individually to them within the next few days (as well as visit your blogs). Until then, very best wishes!

A&N said...

I've never heard of this before but it surely looks delicious!
Thanks for the recipe :)

Gloria said...

Susan!!! Hi Im Gloria from and I made my pancakes recipe today July 6th at 19:00 PM here in Chile, I didn't before but I think Im in tiume still.
When you can visit my Blog and see the recipes and I mentioned of course your site . Thanks. xxGloria

Susan said...

Thanks, Courtney. They are to Oz, what brownies are to the U.S.
Wendy – Thanks. I can just hear the harrumphing! LOL!
Lucy – TA. These actually got better w/ age. I love that fine crust that develops.
Thanks, Kevin!
Jeena – Coconut is one of my faves, too. Thanks!
Laurie – Would love to share. No, I didn’t grate my own. That will be a project for another time, just out of curiosity. Those slabs of coconut were fresh, though, and tough to extricate. : P
Suganya – No gambling allowed! Dangerous to one’s waistline. (Thx!)
Thanks, Asha. These are definitely English-influenced sweets. Occasionally I will see cakes covered with white icing and coconut, filled with raspberry jam, but not nearly as often as I’d like. ; )
Wiffy – Thank you, dear. A slice? Nay, you can have a least an entire little cube for yourself. : ) Now I’m going to have to research “onde onde.” What fun!
Hi, Sunshine Mom. Thank you. One day your curiosity will get the best of you.
Thank you, Swati. I know how you are fond of frostings. : )
Farida – Thanks. They are easy despite their good looks - low maintenance.
Sra – Cute little pooches, aren’t they?

I’m curious about that “quick-cook gadget” your mom got. Nine times out of ten, they are never labor savers. ; }
How are you Mandira? Thanks. Good to see you.
Thanks, Ricki. I wish my sweetie liked coconut. He could have helped me finish these off.
Lydia – Thanks. They are definitely an across-the-seas treat.
Thanks, Aparna. Lord Lamington took himself a little too seriously, methinks. : D
Ann – Me, too. Mustn't make them too often.
Thank you, Astra!
Hi, Patricia. Thanks. Good to see you. If anyone would have a Lamington recipe, it would be Hay.
Thank you, Susan. To know them is to love them. (It’s probably a good thing there are no treats that pair licorice with coconut (that I’m aware of); we would both be in deep trouble. ; ) )
Thank you very much, Simona.
Thanks, Dragon!
Cynthia – Knew the Caribbean girl in you would go for these. Thanks.
Shn – LOL! There’s a message in there somewhere! Glad you like them, but I swear, I am not part of the conspiracy. : D
Johanna – Thank you. I’m glad the post brought you happy memories. We call that tin a “Jelly Roll” pan. It’s perfectly sized for the job.
Yes, Swati! I saw! Lovely, as usual. You are very welcome.
Thanks, Gloria!
Welcome, Jacque! Thank you for your kind words.
Thanks, Lori Lynn, for getting my jokes. : D
Thank you, DK! If you love coconut, you will adore these little cakes.
Welcome, A&N! Thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed the post.
Hi, Gloria! No worries. Thank you for your recipe for Pancakes on Parade. I hope to have the round-up done by Friday, Saturday latest.

thestudiouscook said...

Looks yummy! I've never heard of this dessert so I will try it soon :)