26 January 2010

Australia Day Lamingtons

dairy free egg free nut free vegan

To jam or not to jam?

Wikipedia tells me that the original lamington, served up to Queensland Premier Lord Lamington around 1900, was created by chef Armand Gallad who was called upon to supply some unexpected guests with a sweet treat. He had some French vanilla sponge lying around and got creative with what he had. There was no jam in the original version - so I committed to staying true to the history of this Aussie treasure (as well as possibly being very tired and not bothering with it all).

Sadly, Lord Lamington allegedly hated his namesake cake, calling them "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits". Silly old coot!

Lamingtons also gave me the opportunity to experiment with the elusive fluffy white sponge. This sponge recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World -  their golden vanilla cupcake recipe works quite nicely here. You could also use the vanilla version of my Perfect Chocolate Cake by omitting the cocoa powder and replacing with same amount of flour. They rise beautifully as a cupcake and would do same in a cake tin, but I find the taste and texture to not be as 'buttery' due to the absence of margarine.

Anyhoo, happy Straya Day!

Vanilla Sponge
240ml rice or soy milk
1 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
120g dairy-free margarine (Nuttelex)
150g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dessicated coconut

Chocolate Icing
2 cups sifted icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup rice or soy milk
1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 180 C. Whisk milk and vinegar and set aside.

Sift flours and mix together. Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the milk and flours in alternate batches until combined well. Pour batter into greased and lined 20cm square cake pan for approx 25 mins (a lamington pan is too big for this mixture, and since it doesn't rise too much, the square will condense it nicely).

Turn out and cool on wire rack. Cut into squares (makes about 16).

To make the icing, mix icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk and then add boiling water and mix well until combined. Set aside another bowl for the coconut.

Dip cake pieces into chocolate by using two forks, then roll in coconut before setting aside on wire rack to set.


  1. I may have to try a 'with jam' version before i can make a truly informed comment.

  2. How can they be described as "nut free" when they contain 2 cups of dessicated coconut?

    1. Hi there, coconut is technically a drupe (a fruit with seed), not a nut. I know that in the USA the FDA has categorised coconut as a 'nut' very recently but in Australia and many other parts of the world, it is not (same for chestnut). Of course, it is possible to be allergic to anything, but coconut allergies are actually not that common.

  3. My son has a coconut allergy (as well as egg and nuts) but I am making this with sprinkles (hundreds and thousands) instead :). Thanks for the recipe