The New Zealanders might have officially claimed the Pavlova as their own, but Aussies firmly hold onto the humble Lamington as our national dessert. And we plan to keep it that way. This Lamington recipe consists of squares of sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. These little cakes have appeared at BBQs, fundraisers and cake stalls for generations.


Makes:  12-16 squares         Difficulty: Intermediate


·      Rectangle baking pan (30 x 19 x 3cm; 12 x 7 x 1 in)

·      Stand mixer  / electric mixer

·      Sieve

·      2 medium saucepans

·      Wire rack

·      Kitchen timer

·      Oven thermometer

·      Kitchen scales


Sponge Cake

·      3 large Eggs, lightly beaten

·      60g (2 oz) Caster Sugar

·      100g (3.4 oz) Self Raising Flour

·      30g (1 oz) Cornflour

·      15g (0.5 oz) Butter

·      3 tablespoons hot water

Chocolate Icing

·      500g (1.1 lb) Icing sugar mixture

·      45g (1.6 oz) Cocoa powder

·      15g (0.5 oz) Butter

·      175ml (5.9 fl oz) Milk

·      375g (13.2 oz) Desiccated coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F). Line the bottom of the pan with baking paper. Grease the sides.
  • Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until the mixture becomes thick, creamy and pale. Put aside.
  • Lay out a sheet of baking paper. Sift the flour and corn flour over the paper at least three times to aerate the flours. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl melt the butter in 3 tablespoons of hot water. Set aside.
  • Ensure your oven has reached the correct temperature and your kitchen timer is set for 20 minutes.
  • Sift the flours over the whipped egg mixture. Use a spatula to fold it in lightly until incorporated then quickly fold in the melted butter and water. Pour immediately into the pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. The sponge cake is ready when the cake has shrunk slightly away from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly touched.
  • Leave the sponge cake to cool in the pan, then carefully place it onto a wire rack. Let the cake rest overnight in an airtight container if possible.
  • Prepare the chocolate icing. Get some water boiling in a saucepan. In a medium saucepan add the sifted icing sugar mixture, cocoa powder, milk and butter. Hold the medium saucepan over the steam of the boiling water below. Stir continuously until the butter has melted.


  • Pour a small amount of coconut into a bowl. Cut the sponge cake into 12-16 squares. Prepare a wire rack with a sheet of baking paper underneath.
  • Dip every side of the sponge cake square in the chocolate icing. Allow any excess to drip back down.
  • Roll the sponge in the coconut. Place on the wire rack to dry.
  • Repeat for the remaining sponge squares. You’ll need to refresh the coconut in the bowl after a few squares. The chocolate icing might start to harden before you’ve finished. Just reheat it in the saucepan again, or stir some hot milk through it to achieve the right consistency again.

Recipe adapted from the Country Women’s Association 



  • Don’t disturb the sponge cake while it’s baking. Wait until it’s almost ready at 20 minutes before you open the oven door.
  • You might need to make another batch of chocolate icing depending on how thick you like to coat each sponge square.
  • These will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days.
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