Lamingtons are lovely little bites of goodness from Australia. A dear friend of mine copied me the recipe, from a children’s baking book she’d bought when visiting Australia with her children when they were young. As if I’d need more convincing, she then baked some so I could taste them, and I was converted.
They don’t sound like they’re going to be all that exciting – it’s just vanilla sponge, in a cocoa water icing, with coconut. But trust me, you’ll be baking these for everyone you know once they’ve had a taste. The sponge keeps really well, a week or so at least. It’s best to make the sponge the day before decorating, as the dipping can be tricky, and it’s easier if the crumb has settled slightly. But if you’re pressed for time, chill before dipping.
200g butter, softened
200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
. Pre-heat oven to 180c. Grease and line a 20cm square (approx) tin.
. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Gently fold in the eggs and flour, and the few drops of milk.
. Spread the mixture into prepared tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
. Leave to cool on a rack and either wrap until next day or, once cooled, chill in the fridge for an hour or so before dipping.
For the icing, you need to have a method. One bowl full of icing, one full of dessicated coconut, and a wire rack with a tray underneath to catch drips. My preferred method is using two pairs of spoons with each bowl: one to roll the lamington in icing, and a different set to roll it in the coconut. Whatever works for you, but I find that easiest.
For the icing:
250g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved to be lump free
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g dessicated coconut
300ml warm water
. Cut the cake into your desired slices. I find square slices dip easier, so would recommend 9 slices.
. Sift together your icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add the warm water and vanilla, and mix until lump free and smooth.
. Place the squares of lamington into the icing and use the spoons to roll it around, making sure it’s covered all over. Gently pick them up again and roll them in the dessicated coconut. Then put them onto the waiting rack/drip tray, until they set. Once you’ve done them all you could pop them in the fridge so they set a little quicker.