A board of chocolate lamingtons

Lamingtons recipe: Australia's favourite cake

Linda Stacy

Contributing writer

A Lamington is a much-loved Australian cake that is as traditional and popular as the pavlova, the Aussie meat pie, and vegemite. Made with small squares of vanilla sponge coated with chocolate and coconut, Lamingtons are a perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack. Australians love a lamington with a cup of tea and you’ll find them in cake shops, school canteens, and tea rooms around the country.

But the home of the lamington is Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city. These delicious small cakes are named after Lord Lamington, a former Governor of Queensland from 1896 – 1901. The first lamingtons were made when unexpected guests arrived at Government House in Queensland and Lord Lamington’s chef was asked to provide refreshments at short notice.

A French vanilla sponge cake baked the day before was repurposed and cut into squares, dipped in chocolate icing, and rolled in coconut to make the cakes less sticky. The improvised recipe was a huge success.

You’ll sometimes find lamingtons with a layer of cream or strawberry jam between two halves of the sponge cake. Lamingtons are easy and fun to make and delicious to eat.


Sponge cake  

  • 6 eggs
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 50g cornflour
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Chocolate icing

  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 15g melted butter
  • 1 cup milk


  1. 1
    Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Grease and line 20 x 30 cm baking tin.
  2. 2
    Beat eggs for about 10 minutes until thick & creamy.
  3. 3
    Add sugar and beat until dissolved.
  4. 4
    Spoon and spread the mixture onto a baking tin. Bake for 35 minutes. When ready, turn out onto a rack to cool.
  5. 5
    While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Set a saucepan of water on the stove and bring to a simmer.
  6. 6
    Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then stir in the melted butter and milk.
  7. 7
    Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the icing is of a good consistency to coat the lamingtons - not too thin.
  8. 8
    Cut the cooled sponge cake into squares. Dip the sponge squares in chocolate icing, then toss in desiccated coconut. Place the lamingtons on a rack to set, then enjoy!

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Linda Stacy

Author - Linda Stacy

Linda is a travel blogger and music teacher from Sydney in Australia. She loves to travel solo and over the years she’s visited around 50 countries on 5 different continents. Linda is happiest when she’s exploring new places, visiting temples, climbing mountains, and writing about her adventures. Her recent trips include volunteer teaching in an orphanage in Uganda, a road trip through beautiful Tasmania in Australia, and swimming with sea turtles on the stunning islands of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Last Updated 13 February 2024

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