These light fluffy sponge cakes dipped in chocolate icing and coated in desiccated coconut are a national institution in Australia where they are served for afternoon tea. In New Zealand they are coated in raspberry jam rather than chocolate icing, both are so delicious. The Lamington is said to have been named after Lord Lamington, who was governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. His chef was asked to make cakes for unexpected guests and cut up some sponge cakes, dipped it in chocolate icing and rolled it in coconut. Lady Lamington was so impressed, she asked for the recipe. We know you will love it too!
- 225g plain flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 115g butter
- 150g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125ml milk
- To decorate:
- 25g butter
- 120ml milk
- 25g cocoa powder
- 450g icing sugar
- 200g desiccated coconut
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8in) square, shallow cake tin.
Place the flour, baking powder and butter in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until it forms fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar, eggs and milk and beat until smooth. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 25 mins or until golden and firm to the touch.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, Trim the top of the cake to make it level then cut the cake into 12 squares.
To make the chocolate icing: heat the butter and milk in a small pan until the butter has melted. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into the milk and beat to give a thick but runny icing.
Place the cakes on a wire cooling rack, then pour over the chocolate icing, spreading it down over the sides, or dip the cakes into the icing. Roll the cakes in coconut before the icing sets, then leave until firm.
These cakes will keep for 2-3 days in a cake tin. If liked, make the cake a day in advance so it is easier to handle, or make and freeze the cake a month in advance before icing.