Soft and Succulent Lamingtons

Lamingtons are one of Australia’s most famous dishes and are served at bakeries and cafes across the country. They as often baked for school and church fetes and enjoyed at all sorts of outings.

This recipe uses a traditional Victorian sponge cake as the base.

The largest problem in making Lamingtons is how to coat the cake without it crumbling. One option is to let the cake sit for about a day to harden up. But my preferred method is to freeze the cake. Once frozen, the sponge can be coated in the icing and coconut with ease.

This recipe calls for self-raising flour, which is common in Australia and Britain. You can also adapt plain flour by adding 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder to each cup. This will give the flour the same raising effect.

Caster sugar can be hard to find in the U.S. You can make your own caster sugar by thinning granulated sugar in a food processor or blender. In this case be careful to stop before it turns into powder.



  • 250 grams, or 8.8 ounces, butter at room temperature
  • 250 grams, or 8.8 ounces, self raising flour
  • 250 grams, or 8.8 ounces, caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


  • 3 cups of icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut



1. Preheat the oven to 190C, or 375 F. Butter a 9 inch by 9 inch pan, or cover it with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat it together until it is a light yellow colour and has a fluffy texture.

3. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one by one and then add the vanilla essence. Ensure that they are all mixed through.

4. Fold in the flour and mix thoroughly.

5. Pour the mixture into the tin, place it into the oven and cook for about 40 minutes until firm. 

6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Then cut the cake into pieces and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until the cake is hardened.


7. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, add the milk and mix thoroughly. If the mixture is too runny add more icing sugar, or if too hard add more milk. Place the desiccated coconut into a separate bowl next to the icing.

8. Taking one piece of cake at a time, roll the cake in the chocolate icing until it is completely covered. Remove the cake with a fork or spoon and place it into the bowl with the desiccated coconut. Roll the cake around until it is covered with the coconut, then remove and place on a wire rack to set. Repeat this process with each piece of cake. 

9. Wait until the cake is thawed and then enjoy! The cakes may be eaten alone, or with jam and cream.


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