A lamington is an Australian cake, made from squares of butter cake or sponge cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin mixture is absorbed into the outside of the sponge cake and left to set, giving the cake a distinctive texture.
- Butter cake:
- 240 g/ 8.4 oz/ 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 120 g/ 4.2 oz/ ½ cup butter, soft
- 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs (medium in Germany, large in the US)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125 ml/ 4.2 fl.oz/ ½ cup milk
For the chocolate icing:
- 325 g/ 11.5 oz/ 3 ¼ cup icing sugar
- 65 g/ 2.3 oz/ 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 75 g/ 2.6 oz/ 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 250 ml/ 8.4 fl.oz/ 1 cup milk
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ 2 cups desiccated coconut
- Bake the butter cake one day in advance as it needs to spend the night in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a square 20 cm/ 8 inch baking dish.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl beat the soft butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add one egg, beat well to incorporate, then add the second egg and the vanilla extract and incorporate as well.
5. Set the mixer at the lowest speed. Alternatively add the flour and the milk, starting and finishing with the flour. Beat the mixture only shortly until smooth, do not over beat.
6. Give the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the baking dish for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
7. When completely cool, wrap it well in cling film/ plastic foil and refrigerate over night. This will help the cake become more stable and crumble less when you dip it in the chocolate icing.
8. The next day cut the butter cake into regular squares of about 5 cm/ 2 inch. Place a wire rack on top of a large baking tray that will catch the possible chocolate or coconut drippings.
9. Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder. Set aside.
10. Melt the butter in a saucepan large enough to hold the whole icing sugar and cocoa powder mixture.
11. When the butter has melted add the milk, mix and start adding the icing sugar and cocoa powder mixture while whisking all the time. Add only about 1 cup at a time, whisk well and continue adding the sugar until everything is well incorporated and lump free.
12. Give half of the chocolate mixture to a bowl and leave the rest in the saucepan. Dividing the mixture in two will help in case the cake crumbles too much. This way you can dip the first half of the cake squares in the bowl and if that gets too crumbly, you can continue with the remaining cake pieces using the fresh chocolate icing left in the saucepan.
13. Do the same with the desiccated coconut and for the same reason. Give only 1/3 of the coconut onto a plate and when the coconut gets too “dirty” and you have too many chocolate clumps in it, discard those and add some fresh coconut to the plate.
14. Dip the lamingtons into the chocolate mixture and coat them in coconut one by one.
15. Work carefully (the cake squares are delicate), but rather quickly. Turn the lamingtons into the chocolate with the help of two forks, then take the square on one fork and let the excess chocolate drain a little before you drop the cake piece into the coconut. Roll the lamington into the coconut with the forks as well, transfer it to the wire rack and continue with the next lamington.
16. When finished you can refrigerate the lamingtons until set (it will not take long), but let them come to room temperature before serving.