Australia’s beloved bite-size cakes are filled with raspberry jam and coated in a chocolate glaze and shredded coconut.

Lamington Cake

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless

Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins
1 (1 1/2-inch) square

Go anywhere in Australia, from a corner shop to a school bake sale or a restaurant, and you’ll find Lamingtons, cakes used to celebrate special occasions and as everyday afternoon snacks. Named for Lord Lamington, the governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, Lamingtons are small squares of sponge cake that are layered with raspberry jam before they are coated in a chocolate glaze and then rolled in shredded coconut.

These Lamingtons start by making a buttery, rich vanilla sponge cake. Be sure to whisk the eggs and sugar until they're foamy and ribbony before folding in the flour and the butter and flour mixture; this step helps incorporate the liquids into the batter, which in turn prevents the eggs from deflating.

Chilling (or freezing) the cake overnight before cutting and coating it keeps the cake pieces from falling apart and makes the process of coating them easier. Use just a bit of jam in the layers, and then create an assembly line to dip each cake in the chocolate glaze and shredded coconut. These charming little cakes are well worth the effort.



  • 2 cups (about 7 1/2 ounces) bleached cake flour (such as Swans Down), plus more for coating pan

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup superfine sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) finely chopped (70% cacao) bittersweet chocolate (such as Lindt)

  • 2/3 cup whole milk

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) powdered sugar

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons boiling water, as needed

Additional ingredients

  • 3 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unsweetened finely shredded coconut

  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam


Prepare the sponge

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13- x 9-inch metal baking pan with butter; line bottom with parchment paper, and lightly coat with flour, tapping out excess.

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup flour mixture in a separate medium bowl; gradually whisk melted butter and milk into flour mixture, whisking until mixture is thickened and combined. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until mixture is tripled in volume, thickened, and pale yellow, about 7 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour mixture, beating until just combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add butter mixture; beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Immediately pour batter evenly into prepared pan, 3 cups of batter per pan. Bake in preheated oven until a skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack, remove parchment; transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 1 hour. (Sponge may be prepared ahead of time. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours or freeze up to 2 weeks.)

Prepare the glaze

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium. Place a large heatproof bowl over saucepan, and add chocolate, milk, and butter. Cook, stirring often, until melted and combined, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in sugar. Whisk in boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until Glaze reaches a pourable consistency. Set aside, and let cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour coconut into a shallow dish or bowl; set aside.

  2. Using a serrated bread knife, trim and discard edges of cooled cake. Cut cake into 40 squares (about 1 1/2 inches each). Slice each square in half crosswise to create 2 sandwich halves. Spread about about 1/2 teaspoon jam over one-half of each square, and top with other half. Using 2 forks, dip 1 cake square into Glaze, and gently turn to coat all sides. Allow excess chocolate to drip off; transfer to coconut, and gently turn to lightly coat on all sides. Transfer to a wire rack-lined baking sheet, and let stand until Glaze is set, about 15 minutes. Repeat process with remaining cake squares.

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