Lamingtons are the stuff of an Aussie childhood. Making regular appearances at birthday parties, morning and afternoon teas and community fundraisers across the country, these simply delicious cakes are perfect for whipping up to celebrate Australia Day.

Traditionally the lamington is made of a sponge cake, although some use white or butter cakes too. My cake recipe is adapted from one of my Nana’s cakes that works well here – it’s a little sturdier which means it’s easier to dip in the chocolate icing.  This recipe makes bite-sized lamingtons, which are perfect for parties.


Makes 30

homemade lamingtons

For the cake
4 eggs
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g (1 ⅓ cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
110g butter, melted and cooled

For the icing
75g unsalted butter
250ml (1 cup) milk
65g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
435g (3 cups) icing sugar

To assemble
Around 6 cups desiccated coconut

Method for the sponge
Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C/gas 4. Grease and flour a 20cm x 30cm pan, lining the base of the pan with parchment paper. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an hand mixer (medium-high speed) until pale and thick (around 3 minutes). Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg and sugar mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently combine the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, about ⅓at a time, gently mixing with a rubber spatula until completely combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly touched in the centre. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut cake into even, bit-sized pieces about 4-5cm.  You will probably end up discarding the edge pieces, as they won’t be completely square. At this stage you can refrigerate the cake for a few hours or leave the cake overnight in an airtight container, because a slightly less fresh cake will be easier to dip in the chocolate icing.

When you are ready to dip the cakes, set up an area large enough to accommodate bowls for the cake pieces, the chocolate icing, the coconut and also a large tray topped with parchment paper and a cooling rack. You will need to work quickly to dip the cakes so having everything organised in advance will help.

Method for the icing
Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder into two different bowls. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then mix in the milk. Next, using a whisk to stir, start to add the cocoa powder. Once the cocoa powder is completely dissolved, add the icing sugar about a cup at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. When all the icing sugar is combined, pour the chocolate mix into two separate bowls – that way when one mix gets full of crumbs you can switch to the next one.

Working quickly, using a fork, dip the cake cubes into the chocolate mix and roll them around with the tines of the fork to completely coat. Drain any excess mixture off the cakes then drop them in the coconut and roll them around lightly to coat evenly with coconut. Set the cake cubes on the cooling rack placed over parchment paper to drain. You can refrigerate the cakes to help set the icing, then bring them to room temperature before serving.


australian food, lamingtons

More news

  • петя спасова

    yum.lamingtons,so easy and delicious…

    • Mardi Michels

      Indeed they are!

      • петя спасова

        perfect for a cup of tea.

  • Jan Scott

    I love food history – what a fun and informative post! I’ve never had a lamington before and now I can’t wait to try one.

    • Mardi Michels

      Thanks Jan – I think lamingtons would be a fun thing to make with your boys over the summer!

  • Food Ren

    So pretty and so perfect. I’ve never made Lamingtons, I might go as far as to say I’ve never actually even eaten one – or not a decent one, anyway. I’ll definitely give these a go and I agree with Jan, great to know their history!

    • Mardi Michels

      Oh Ren you should definitely make then (when you have a little more time on your hands!) – they are so easy and SO very good! Fun to make with kids too!

    • петя спасова

      hi ren how is going on the site ,any new recipes.

  • Evangeline Phillips

    I have never tasted a Lamington but my mum used to make a similar cake coating the cake in Strawberry or Raspberry jam and then coating them in dessicated coconut. Lovely and messy to eat ( something lovely in childhood when we are all told not to make a mess of our fingers).

    • Mardi Michels

      Oooh I love the sound of that Evangeline :)

  • MaryCatherine Anderson

    I have had these so many times as a guest at tea! I am excited to try them for myself! They look great!

    • Mardi Michels

      Oh Mary Catherine you won’t be disappointed – and that won’t be the last time you make them!

  • Garima Singh

    This is a great post and I enjoyed reading about the history of the lamington cake.

    I followed my own sponge cake recipe, but modified your recipe for the icing. It turned out great :) Thanks so much.

  • Mrs Awesome

    They were delicious! I had far too much icing, but we used it as a sandwich spread yum!

  • Brook123

    The Lamingtons of my childhood had a layer of jam under the chocolate icing. Does anyone remember these, or was it just particular to my country town?

    • Eddie

      We always had jam under the chocolate I am from Cairns QLD