An Australian classic! Lamingtons are deliciously buttery cakes that are coated in a silky chocolate glaze and rolled in crispy, dried coconut. They're the ultimate snack cake to take on the go!
If you've never tried lamington cakes before, let this be your sign to get. to. it!!
I've known about lamingtons for a few years now, and I've been pushing off trying them for reasons I do not know?! I finally decided to give them a go, and boooooyy were they delicious!!
And not only do these bad boys taste amazing, but lie to me a tell me they don't look INSANELY fancy.
I mean, come on!
What are lamingtons?
Okay, so you heard my speech about how much I love this newly discovered dessert .... but then, what ARE lamingtons??
They're basically vanilla butter cake + homemade chocolate glaze + coconut flakes. You bake one large sheet cake, cut it into mini cubes, dip in chocolate, then toss in coconut.
There's nothing really special about the ingredients involved in making them, but the taste and texture is seriously unlike any other dessert I've tried. And I've tried a lot.
• flour: cake and pastry flour is best because it yields a softer and more tender cake! You can use all-purpose flour in a pinch, or you can make your own cake and pastry flour at home using all-purpose and cornstarch!
• baking powder: this cake uses slightly more baking powder than any of my other cake recipes. It helps give a more characteristically light and tender texture to the lamington cake
• salt: to balance out all the sweetness
• butter: it makes everything better!
• sugar: you'll need granulated sugar for the cake and powdered sugar for the chocolate glaze. The cake features slightly less sugar than usual because the chocolate glaze will kick up the sweetness later on!
• cocoa powder & chocolate: I like to use a combination of cocoa powder and baking chocolate for the chocolate glaze. The cocoa powder adds a concentrated kick of flavor while the chocolate will help set the glaze as it cools. You can leave out the chocolate if you'd like, but your glaze will set slightly looser (a little messier, but still delicious!)
• water: to thin out the glaze
• coconut: desiccated coconut, to be exact! If you're wondering what desiccated coconut is, it basically just refers to dry, shredded coconut
How to make Lamingtons:
Make the vanilla sheet cake:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Whisk eggs in, one at a time.
4. Mix in milk and vanilla.
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix together until juuuussst combined.
6. Pour batter into baking sheet, and bake.
7. Cool. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely to room temperature.
8. Cut cake into cubes. You should get about 32 squares, but feel free to make them whichever size you like. Just keep in mind that larger squares will use up less chocolate glaze and coconut (so you may have some leftover) and smaller squares will use up more (so it may not be enough!)
9. Set cubed cakes aside in the fridge or freezer. Chilling the cakes for about 2 to 3 hours in the fridge or 1 hour in the freezer makes them a million and one times easier to dip!
Make the chocolate glaze:
1. Combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Mix to roughly combine.
2. Whisk in boiling water. Start with the minimum amount, and whisk until combined. If needed, gradually add more water until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup. * The chocolate should be fully melted at this point! If it's not, place your bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and warm until melted.
1. Set up coating station. I like to pour the chocolate glaze into a small bowl to make dipping easier. Coconut is easiest to work with when it's in a shallow bowl or plate with high sides (I used a pie plate!)
2. Dip cake cube in chocolate glaze. Give it a quick toss to coat all sides in the glaze (this is easiest done with 2 forks - trust me, it's a nightmare to use your hands any step of the way!) Let any excess chocolate drip off before moving onto the coconut.
3. Roll in coconut. Again, using two forks, toss the chocolate glazed cake in coconut. Set the coated cakes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining cakes.
Lamingtons are best served about 1 hour after coating because it gives the glaze a chance to harden and set slightly. You can enjoy them right away, it's just a bit messy!
Lamingtons are most traditionally served plain, or filled with some jam (usually strawberry) and/or whipped cream! To fill your lamingtons, simply slice the coated cake in half widthwise and spread your preferred filling. Sandwich and enjoy!
How to store lamington cakes:
Keep lamingtons in an airtight container, and they should last for up to 5 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge. These cakes do tend to dry out the longer they sit, so I'd recommend aiming to finish them within about 3 days for the best lamington experience!
Check out these other recipes!
For the vanilla sheet cake:
- 1 & ½ cups cake & pastry flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the cake toppings:
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) Baker's or Couverture chocolate, finely chopped (optional) * see notes
- ½ to ¾ cup boiling water
- 3 cups desiccated coconut
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the vanilla sheet cake: In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to incorporate, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment or a wooden spoon, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes with an electric mixer set to medium speed, or 5 minutes by hand).
- Add your eggs to the butter/sugar mixture one at a time, whisking well after each addition to combine. Pour in your milk and vanilla, and mix to combine. The mixture may be grainy, but that's perfectly fine!
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Fold together until just combined. Take care not to over mix!
- Pour the cake batter into your prepared 9x13 inch baking pan, and spread into an even layer. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack, peel off the parchment paper, and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
- Place your cooled cake onto a large cutting board and cut into 32 squares. Pop the cake cubes into your fridge or freezer and chill until firm (about 2 hours in the fridge or 1 hour in the freezer).
- Make the chocolate glaze: In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Mix to combine.
- Pour ½ a cup of boiling water into the powdered sugar mixture, and whisk until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth glaze that's about the consistency of maple syrup. If your glaze is too thick, gradually mix in more boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency.
- Coating: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Pour your coconut into a shallow bowl or plate with high sides. I also like to pour the chocolate glaze into a small bowl to make dipping easier.
- Using 2 forks, dip a chilled cake cube in the chocolate glaze. Toss to coat all sides, and allow any excess to drip off. Transfer the chocolate dipped cake to the coconut plate, and toss to coat all sides in coconut.
- Place the coated cake onto the parchment lined baking sheet, and repeat the coating process with the remaining cakes. You can serve the lamingtons right away, but they're easier and less messy to eat once they've sat for about an hour for the glaze to set!