Lamingtons are a tasty little snack cake treat that is very popular in Australia. I first started making these in June when my school program did our annual "Around the World" theme week. This year we decided the last day would be focused on food, but since there's no Australian restaurants (that I know of) in the Boston area, I knew I would have to provide my own. Lamingtons are a tiny bit time-consuming, but also amazingly worth it.
Lamingtons are basically just a sponge cake (or butter cake) that is cut into squares, covered in chocolate and then rolled in shredded/diced coconut and refrigerated. They are simple, they don't require expensive materials, and they taste amazing.
The hardest part of making Lamingtons is covering them in chocolate and then rolling them in coconut. I've read a few places that Australians will use cake that is a day or two old. So you can make the cake in advance and then add the chocolate a few days later.
Lamingtons are so popular in Australia, that they have "Lamington Drives". These treats are so versatile they can be made with any flavor you like (it doesn't have to be chocolate) and can also make an elegant dessert for special occasions.
Step 1: Ingredients
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups 2 tsb Cake Flour & 1 cup AP Flour
1/2 cup milk
The Chocolate & Coconut:
1-1 1/2 bags of chocolate chips, diced.
1/2-3/4 cup of cream (heavy or light)
1-2 bags of shredded coconut
Step 2: The Cake
Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well creamed. Next, add eggs and continue to beat until the mixture becomes a lighter, creamy yellow color. Mix in vanilla extract.
In a smaller bowl, mix together the salt, baking powder, and flours.
A lot of recipes will say to alternate mixing flour and milk into your egg/butter/sugar mix, again, I've never seen a real reason for this so you can either dump all your ingredients in and hope to not make a mess, or you can do it slowly and take turns.
Either way, you want to make sure the dry ingredients and milk are well mixed in your larger bowl before continuing.
Once everything is mixed together, pour into a greased and floured 8x8 pan. I used butter and flour, this helps keep the cake from sticking to the glass dish.
Bake your cake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 3: After Baking
After your cake has baked, pull it from the oven and allow to cool in pan. When it's sufficiently cooled, flip it over onto a wire rack for further cooling (you can also put it in the fridge).
After the cake is completely and thoroughly cooled, you can cut it into squares. An 8x8 cake usually makes 16 good sized squares.
Step 4: Chocolate & Coconut
While your cake cools, or the next day, you can start preparing your coconut. Usually the pre-shredded bags of coconut are still too big to make rolling your Lamingtons easy, so I like to further dice up the coconut or run it through a food processor real fast. It just makes the coating process so much easier.
For the chocolate, chopping up the chips helps it melt faster. In a small-medium sized pot, add the chopped chocolate chips and cream. How much cream you use is really a matter of preference. I usually do between 1/2-3/4 cup. Stir the chips and cream together and heat until melted and well combined. Remove chocolate from heat and transfer to a shallow dish.
Step 5: Rolling
One piece at a time, coat your Lamingtons with chocolate and then transfer to another dish that has your coconut. Roll in coconut and then set back on plate. Continue doing this until all your pieces are coated and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. If you want to be really fancy, you can slice your cake and give them a layer of chocolate (or whatever flavor chips you used) and then continue rolling as usual.
Refrigerating Lamingtons before serving makes them less messy to eat and I think it also adds to the texture and flavor.
Step 6: Ta Da!
Remove from refrigerator and enjoy!