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There are some disputes about the origin of lamingtons. Some accounts say that this dessert was created when a piece of cake served at a dinner given by Lord Lamington (Charles Wallace Bailey) was accidentally dipped in gravy. The diner who made the mistake tossed the cake behind him and it landed in a bowl of coconut.

Supposedly a fellow diner named Agnes Lovelightly was hit with a sudden Gestalt moment, and conceived of a cake dipped in chocolate and then coconut. Another less colourful explanation was that a cook of Lord Lamington created them to make use of left over and slightly stale sponge cake. Some New Zealanders, and residents of Scotland claim their country invented lamingtons first, but it can be said that Australians and New Zealanders are likely to serve them, while they’re not common in Scotland.

They are essentially individually sized squares or rectangles of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate glaze and then rolled in shredded coconut. While the glaze is still wet, the cake is rolled in coconut. There are many variations on the traditional type. Bakeries in particular can produce huge lamingtons, sometimes composed of more than one layer and filled in the centre with whipped cream. Chocolate ganache can be substituted for the simpler chocolate glaze if you want the result to be very rich.

  • Makes/Serves
  • 15 lamingtons
  • Preparation Time
  • 20 mins
  • Cook | Chill | Freeze
  • 30 mins
  • Oven Temperature
  • 160oC
  • Oven Setting
  • Fan Forced
  • Freeze
  • Yes


  • ½ cup self raising flour
  • ½  cup plain flour
  • ½  cup cornflour
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  • or
  • 1 Basic Plain Cake or Sponge Cake
  • Chocolate Icing
  • 2 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • or
  • 1qty Ganache (Glaze/Frosting)
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut


  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Spray a lamington tin or square cake tin with cooking spray and line the base and sides with baking paper.
  3. Make the cake according to the recipes then pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Turn cake onto a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to cool completely.
  5. Make the icing or ganache and set aside.
  6. Trim the edges of the cake and cut into even sized squares (size of your choice).
  7. Place the coconut on a plate or in a bowl.
  8. Dip each cake square into the icing and coat it evenly.
  9. Allow any excess icing to drip off.
  10. Use your fingers to roll the cake in the coconut to evenly coat, then place on a wire rack or plate.
  11. Repeat with the remaining cake squares.
  12. Set aside to set the icing for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.


This recipe has no variations