January 26: Australia Day

Happy Australia Day to our awesome Aussie blog readers! And Happy Anniversary to our friends, Gary and Girlie B., whom we met when we lived in New Jersey (they still live in the Garden State and we visit each other when we can). They suggested some recipes from Down Under, which we could try, such as Lamingtons, for our blog on this special day.

Our friends came from Sydney, but Lamingtons originated in Queensland and were named after Lord Lamington who served as its first governor from 1896-1901. These snack-sized chocolate-covered, square-shaped sponge cakes are rolled in desiccated coconut to give it its distinct texture and taste.

Lamingtons are the quintessential Australian snack and they are terrific during tea time and for celebrating Australia Day.


(Adapted from Chefs Jamie Oliver and David Lebovitz)

For the sponge cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly


In a large bow, mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Gradually add this to the egg mixture.

Stir in the melted butter and mix into a smooth batter. Pour into a lightly greased 8×8 inch square baking pan (we lined ours with wax paper). Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, testing cake for doneness.

Remove from the oven and cool completely. Square off the edges of the cake by trimming the sides (optional). Cut evenly into 2×2 inch squares (16 pieces).

For the chocolate-coconut coating

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3+ cups desiccated coconut


In a large microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate, butter and milk. Stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cocoa powder.

Gradually add the sugar-cocoa mixture into the chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth. Carefully dip a cooled square cake into the chocolate mixture and coat evenly around the cake. Roll into a pie plate of desiccated coconut. Let set on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.