Last week, as you may recall, I had an epic disaster with my first attempt at Lamingtons. I had intended to increase the recipe by 50%, but had forgotten to increase the quantities of pretty much everything… accept the eggs. I used 12 eggs, and it was basically like I’d made 3 large, square soufflés.
Back on that horse.
Lamingtons are wonderful cubes of plain sponge cake, dunked in chocolate and rolled in coconut. The eggs and sugar are whipped aggressively for 5-10minutes, making the sponge as light as air.
This time I followed a recipe by David Leibovitz, who, if you aren’t familiar with, is an epically talented American-expat-in-Paris pastry chef / author / food blogger. Although Lamingtons are decidedly Australian, this recipe is decidedly Leibovitz’s own, using fewer eggs (6 rather than 8) and incorporating crazy things… like cake flour, salt and vanilla extract. His classic ingredients result in a sponge cake that is truly delicious rather than simply the tallest, lightest sponge possible.
The was a really enjoyable recipe to make, and quite easy to do once I used the correct ingredients. Doing the chocolate and coconut steps are fantastic fun to do with kids — if you don’t mind a little mess!
The Lamingtons have no filling. However, cream or chocolate fillings are apparently popular Down Under, and I’d love to play with some other variations, like cocoa dip on half with coconut on the other, or stem ginger or even perhaps sprinkles. I’m obviously straying from the nature of a Lamington, but this cake is so light and airy and yummy, and the idea of using these wonderful cubes of fun all over the place is just too much to pass up!
Make these. Like cupcakes, they take a little bit of time, but they are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cup (175 g) cake flour*
- 2½ ounces (70 g) melted unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups (450g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
- ¾ cup (90g) cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk
- 75g butter, melted, extra
- desiccated coconut, to coat
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
- Butter one 9" (22cm) square cake tin, and line with parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer, whisk sugar and eggs together on high for 5-10min. or until the batter drips off like a thick ribbon when pulled out. Meanwhile, melt butter and let adjust to room temperature.
- Add vanilla.
- Sift the flour and baking soda together 3 times.
- Carefully and slowly whisk in the flour.
- Gently mix in the butter — until it is fully incorporated, but only just.
- Pour into cake tin and bake for 30min. When done, let cool completely.
- Mix icing sugar, cocoa powder, boiling water, milk and butter together to make the chocolate dip.
- Pour half of the coconut in a separate bowl — a bowl that has plenty of excess space in it.
- Once sponge is cool, cut into 16 equal pieces.
- Using one hand, place one piece in the chocolate, ensuring that all sides are fully covered.
- Let excess chocolate drip off, then place in the coconut. Bounce the cake around in the bowl to ensure the cake is fully covered in chocolate. Using your other (clean) hand, put up the now fully covered cake, and place on a drying rack or parchment paper.
- Enjoy once set! They're best consumed same day.