I’m not actually sure where or who this lamington recipe originally came from. With these traditional recipes, perhaps a little ‘lost in the mists of time’ is best. Getting messy with a creative lamington session is pretty fun, though – a whole lot more fun than buying a plastic packet from the supermarket. So if you can excuse the lack of provenance, hopefully these will inspire anyone enchanted by the thought of chocolate-y baths and coconut flakiness (I always think of Possum Magic when I come across lamingtons, do you?). However you feel about Australia Day (y’know a lamington wouldn’t make such a bad national flag), use these as you see fit.
Preheat a fan forced oven to 180°C.
Grease a 20 x 30 x 3cm deep baking pan and line with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and orange and/or vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, as adding more could make your mixture curdle. Beat well after each new egg added.
Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. If you don’t have self raising flour, simply add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to the flour for every 1 cup of plain flour required for the recipe.
Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Spoon mixture into baking pan, smooth top with the back of a spoon and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and leave aside to cool and set, ideally overnight.
Make icing by sifting icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water, and then stir until smooth using a fork. Cut cake into (15) squares. Place desiccated coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip one piece in icing at a time: turning squares quickly so they don’t soften and dissolve into the icing mixture.
Toss squares into the desiccated coconut, placing them on a wire rack over a baking tray, one-by-one, as they get coated in icing. Repeat with remaining pieces, stand for 2 hours or until set, and serve.
Hints & Tips
Turn plain flour into self-raising flour by adding 2 tsp of baking powder for each cup plain flour.
To make this dairy free, substitute butter with cocoa butter, and milk with coconut milk.
125g organic butter, softened
1 cup organic caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 free range eggs
1 ¾ cups self raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup organic or coconut milk
2 cups desiccated coconut
3 ½ cups icing sugar
1/3 cup organic cocoa or cacao powder
1 Tbsp organic butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water