The British may have the Victoria sponge, but we in Australia can proudly lay claim to the lamington. Invented in Queensland, Australia in the early 1900’s by French Chef Armand Galland it was named after the Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington. There are all sorts of stories on how the lamington came about, one such story says Chef Galland had to produce a high tea at short notice and so he came up with the idea to use left over sponge dipped in chocolate then sprinkled with coconut. Another story says someone accidently dropped the sponge in chocolate by mistake so it was cut up and coconut was added. I personally like the accidental version better, but whatever the true story is by all accounts the guests loved these little cakes and were soon asking for the recipe.

The lamington is still as popular as ever and can be found in bakeries and cafes all around Australia. To make a great lamington you need to start with a good sponge recipe and understandably the sponge can be the nemesis of many a baker. I have been using a sponge recipe by Merle Parish as I have found it easy to follow and have had great consistent results from it.

Please note that the sugar art flower in the top picture is made from Sharon Wee’s “Super Sized Rose Tutorial“.


Sponge recipe has been adapted from Merle Parrish’s recipe.


  • 3 eggs
  • 220gm (7.8oz) caster sugar
  • 110gm (3.9oz) water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 185gm (6.5oz) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 350gm (12.4oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 40gm (1.3oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 85gm (2.9oz) boiling water
  • 225gm desiccated coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (356F). Spray a 30cm x 20cm rectangle cake pan with oil, line the bottom with baking paper and dust the sides with flour.
  2. Separate the eggs. Place the yolks, caster sugar, water and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a whisk attachment and whisk until the mixture is light and thick (at least 10 minutes).
  3. Sift the plain flour and cornflour together and set aside.
  4. Gently scrape the egg mixture into another bowl and set aside.
  5. Clean the mixer bowl and whisk.
  6. Place egg whites and baking powder in mixer bowl and whisk on high speed until it forms stiff peaks.
  7. Sprinkle flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently with a spatula being careful not to knock any air out of mixture.
  8. Fold in egg white mixture
  9. Carefully scrape mixture into cake pan.
  10. Bake for approx. 20minutes, or when the sponge starts coming away slightly at the sides and feels springy to touch in the centre.
  11. Turn out onto a wire rack covered with baking paper immediately. Flip the sponge onto another wire rack so that it is bottom side facing down. Cover with a tea towel until cold.
  12. To make the chocolate mixture place icing sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  13. In a small bowl melt the butter in a microwave.
  14. Dissolve the cocoa in boiling water and add to melted butter
  15. Pour into icing sugar and mix with a spatula until fully combined.
  16. To assemble place the desiccated coconut on a plate.
  17. Cut the sponge into even squares (I made mine 5cm x 5cm).
  18. Dip the sponge in the chocolate mixture, then dip in the coconut until fully covered.
  19. Place on a tray.
  20. Best eaten the same day. I served mine with strawberry jam and cream, but they can be eaten plain if you desire.

3 thoughts on “Lamingtons

  1. I’ve become lamington obsessed and the question of butter vs sponge cake is a big one. It’s interesting that Merle uses sponge cake as CWA uses a butter cake to make their lamingtons.

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