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Lamingtons

Lamingtons are popular all around the world. Even in Slovakia, where I grew up. Though we don’t call them Lamingtons. Instead, we call them Coconut Hedgehogs. Fitting, isn’t it? And today I’m going to show you how I make these famous chocolate coconut treats.

updated from 2010

HOW TO MAKE LAMINGTONS STEP BY STEP

Lamingtons are made from sponge cake or butter cake. Cake is cut into squares or rectangles. Each piece of a cake is then dipped into chocolate glaze and rolled in shredded coconut. Cakes are then left to set. Resting is what gives the cakes distinctive texture they are known for.

STEP 1 – PREPARE A BAKING PAN

To make the sponge cake for lamingtons I used 9×13 inch baking pan. Spray, line the bottom with parchment and spray the pan again with a nonstick spray. Alternatively coat the pan with butter and parchment.

STEP 2 – MAKE A SPONGE CAKE

This one bowl Sponge Cake comes together really quickly. Finished cake is delicate yet sturdy enough to dip the cakes in the chocolate glaze and roll in the coconut.

  • All purpose flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Oil
  • Honey
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk

DRY INGREDIENTS

Sift or whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS

Into a bowl break room temperature eggs. Beat whole eggs with powdered sugar for 5 minutes, until thick and pale in color, (step 1-3). Then gradually pour in oil. Beat well for couple of minutes, (step 4-5). Now you can beat in honey and Vanilla Extract, (step 6-9).

TIP : How to quickly bring refrigerated eggs to room temperature? Pour warm water into a bowl, add cold eggs. Let sit for 5 minutes.

And now all you have to do is gradually beat in flour mix alternating with room temperature milk. Before you pour cake batter into a baking pan take a spatula and scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to ensure all is well mixed together.

STEP 3 – BAKE THE CAKE

Pour sponge cake batter into a prepared baking pan. Spread the batter evenly with a spatula, (step 1-4).

Bake the sponge cake at 350F, for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, without cake crumbs clinging to it, (step 1).

Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Peel off the parchment and allow to cool completely, (step 2-4).

To transfer cooled cake onto a cutting board place cutting board on top of the cake. Holding both, the cooling rack and a cutting board flip the cake. Carefully remove cooling rack from the cake, (step 5-8).

STEP 4 – CUT CAKE INTO CUBES

Baked sponge cake is about 9×13 inch. Trim all the sides, about ¼ to ½ inch. Now, the cake should be about 8x12inch in size, (step 1-2). Use a ruler to mark cuts into the cake 2 inches apart, horizontally and vertically. Then cut the cake into 2 inch squares. Cover cakes with a kitchen towel while preparing chocolate glaze so they don’t start crusting.

TIP : When using a cake recipe that is very soft (for example a boxed yellow cake), allow cake to rest overnight before cutting and dipping.

STEP 5 – FILL THE CAKES WITH NUTELLA

Growing up we’d make Lamingtons without fillings. But you can definitely kick it up a notch and make them extra fancy. Add extra goodness to these already delicious little cakes using fillings. Most common fillings include jam and pastry cream.

If you decide to fill lamingtons there are couple of ways you can go about it.

  • Coat each cake in the chocolate glaze and desiccated coconut. Allow cakes to set for 30-60 minutes and then cut cakes horizontally and fill cakes with fillings. Use a star piping to pipe buttercream, whipped cream, pastry cream to make them extra fancy.
  • When using certain fillings such as jam, or buttercream you can also cut the cake horizontally. Fill the cake with filling. Refrigerate for several hours. This allows cake and filling to adhere to one another. Then cut cake into squares or rectangles and coat in chocolate glaze and roll in the coconut.
  • Another way to fill lamingtons is to use Bismarck Filling Tip. This method keeps the cake whole, you don’t need to cut it horizontally. However it doesn’t allow you add a lot of the filling.

I used the 3rd method to fill these tasty cakes. I fitted a heavy duty piping bag with Bismarck Filling Tip and then I filled the bag with Nutella filling.

Insert a tip of the Bismarck Filling Tip into a cake. Squeeze the piping bag to fill middle of the cake with Nutella or other filling you’re using.

STEP 5 – CHOCOLATE GLAZE

This chocolate glaze is super easy to prepare and it’s absolutely delicious.

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Chocolate Liqueur (optional)

Coating – unsweetened desiccated coconut

Pour unsweetened desiccated coconut into a bowl. Set aside while you prepare chocolate glaze for lamingtons.

To prepare chocolate glaze combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder and milk in a pot, (step 1-4). Heat the mixture while stirring until it’s melted. You should have a shiny chocolate glaze.

Then gradually add chunks of butter and heat the glaze on low heat until all of the butter is melted, (step 5-7). Whisk or stir the mixture until all of the melted butter is blended in and chocolate glaze is homogeneous. Lastly, stir in Vanilla Extract and if you’d like to make them extra special add 2 tbsp Chocolate Liqueur.

STEP 6 – COAT LAMINGTONS

Into a bowl pour warm chocolate glaze. Coat one sponge cake square at a time. Use 2 forks to turn to coat the cake. Allow cake to sit on the fork and tap the fork, letting the excess chocolate glaze to drip back into the bowl.

Then place chocolate coated cake into a bowl with desiccated coconut. Coat cake with coconut. And place it onto a tray lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Repeat with remaining cakes.

TIP : Chocolate glaze thickens as it cools. Reheat the glaze if it becomes too thick to work with.

CAN YOU FREEZE LAMINGTONS?

Unfilled lamingtons freeze well. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost before adding fillings if desired.

TIP : Freeze coated cakes on a baking sheet. Then layer them into a freezer safe container between parchment sheets.

HOW LONG WILL LAMINGTON KEEPS?

They keep 3-4 days at room temperature, covered. And 7-10 days in the fridge, in a container, covered.

TIP : If pastry cream or whipped cream is used as a filling be sure to refrigerate lamingtons.

HOW SHOULD I STORE COCONUT CAKES?

Store them in a plastic container, layered between parchment, covered.

IS THERE A DAIRY FREE LAMINGTON VERSION ?

You can use this recipe to make a dairy free version.

Check the notes in the recipe card.

HOW SHOULD I SERVE THEM?

Lamingtons taste best when rested. I prefer them one day old and chilled. However it’s recommended to bring them to room temperature before serving.

CAN I USE SWEETENED SHREDDED COCONUT?

Traditionally unsweetened desiccated coconut is used. However if sweetened coconut is all you have, you can use it, too.

Sweetened shredded coconut tends to be somewhat damp. So before using it to coat lamingtons I would recommend you dry it out slightly. To do that all you have to do is spread Sweetened shredded coconut onto a baking sheet. And bake it at 200F for 10-15 minutes, tossing frequently. Allow to cool before using.

MORE COCONUT TREATS :

Lamingtons recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
 

Make delicious Lamingtons with my easy recipe. Make them plain or fill them with nutella, jam or pastry cream. Makes about 24 squares.

Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American, australian, Slovak
Keyword: chocolate glaze, coconut cake, desiccated coconut, lamingtons, nutella lamingtons
Servings: 24
Hanielas.com: Hani Bacova
Ingredients
HOW TO MAKE LAMINGTONS
SPONGE CAKE
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
CHOCOLATE GLAZE
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Chocolate Liqueur (optional)
Instructions
PREPARE A BAKING PANG
  1. With butter grease 9×13 inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment, too. Alternatively use non stick spray. Set aside.

PREHEAT OVEN
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

SPONGE CAKE
  1. Into a bowl sift or whisk together all purpose flour ( 2 cup and 1/3 cup ), baking powder (1 tbsp) and salt (1/2 tsp). Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl on medium high beat room temperature eggs (4 eggs) with powdered sugar (1 cup and 1/4 cup) for 3-5 minutes, until pale in color. Then gradually beat in oil ( 6 tbsp). Beat till well combined. Then beat in honey (2 tbsp) and lastly add Vanilla Extract (1 tsp). Beat well.

  3. Now gradually on medium speed beat in flour mix alternating with room temperature milk.

    Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure all is well mixed together.

  4. Pour cake batter into a prepared 9×13 inch cake pan. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the batter into a pan.

Bake Sponge Cake
  1. Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Then take the cake out of the oven and allow it cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Then invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Cut Cake into Squares or Rectangles
  1. Transfer cake onto cutting board. Easiest way to do this is to place cutting board onto top of the cake. With your hand hold both cooling rack on which cake is place and a cutting board. And flip the cake. Carefully remove cooling rack.

    Trim the sides of the cake, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch off each side.

    Then cut the cake into 2 inch squares. Cover with a towel while you prefer chocolate glaze so cake doesn't start to crust around edges.

FILL LAMINGTONS
  1. If you decide to fill your lamingtons with filling.

    – Fill square cake before you dip and coat them with coconut. You can use a Bismarck Filling Tip.

    – Or dip them and coat them first and then cut each square horizontally and fill the cake and sandwich 2 pieces together.

    -You can cut the whole cake horizontally, spread the filling, place the top cake layer on the bottom. Allow to rest, in the fridge and covered for couple of hours. Cut into cube and dip and coat.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE
  1. In a sauce pan combine powdered sugar ( 2 cup and 1/2 cup ), cocoa powder (1/2 cup) and milk ( 6 tbsp ). Heat on low heat until completely melted and smooth. Then gradually add cut up butter and heat until all of the butter is melted. Whisk or stir well to incorporate melted butter into the glaze. Then remove from the heat and stir in Vanilla Extract (1/2 tsp);and if using Chocolate Liqueur (optional) (2 tbsp).

  2. Keep chocolate glaze warm for dipping. Glaze thickens as it cools, simply warm it up as needed.

LAMINGTONS ASSEMBLY
  1. Pour glaze into a bowl, dip one square cake at a time. Use 2 forks to turn to coat the cake.

    Then allow cake to sit on a fork and tap the fork or your wrist to remove excess glaze and allow it drip back into a bowl.

  2. And then you can place chocolate coated cake into a bowl with desiccated coconut and coat it with dry shredded coconut. For this step I find using my hands works the best. I pour coconut onto he cake. and carefully roll it to expose another uncoated side and repeat.

LAMINGTONS STORAGE
  1. Place coated cakes in one layer onto a tray, loosely cover and allow to set for 30 minutes in the fridge. Then transfer into a container and layer between parchment paper and store in the fridge for up to a week and at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Recipe Notes

CAN LAMINGTONS BE FROZEN?

Unfilled lamingtons freeze well. Freeze for up to 3 months. If adding a filling allow cakes to come to room Temperature. Then fill as desired.
TIP : Freeze coated cakes on a baking sheet. Then layer them into a freezer safe container between parchment sheets.

HOW LONG DO LAMINGTONS KEEPS?

Freshly made Lamingtons keep at room temperature, covered for up to 3-4 days. Refrigerated for up to 7 -10 days.

HOW TO MAKE DAIRY FREE LAMINGTONS?

To make dairy free Lamingtons substitute dairy milk for non-dairy milk, coconut, almond works nicely. And for the butter in chocolate glaze use vegan butter.

WHAT FILLING ARE GOOD WITH LAMINGTONS?

  • Most popular are cream and jam.
  • Raspberry, Cherry or Strawberry Jam pairs really nicely with chocolate and coconut.
  • You can use Pastry Cream, German buttercream or Whipped Cream is really nice too. However with any of the dairy filling be sure to store filled cakes in the fridge.
  • If using whipped cream be sure to stabilize it with Dr. Oetker Whipping Cream Stabilizer or use other stabilizers, such as gelatin and consume cake within 3-4 days. Learn how to make Stabilized Whipped Cream.
  • You can also use Nutella or other Chocolate, Nut Fillings
  • If you don’t have jam you can make a quick Raspberry Cake Filling.

 

TO MAKE LAMINGTONS YOU NEED

  • TOOLS
  • Find all the tools in my AMAZON SHOP
  • 9×13 USA Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Hand Held Mixer
  • Cooling Rack
  • Desiccated Coconut
  • Vanilla Extract

This post was originally published on June 25th 2010. On May 2nd, 2020 I updated this post with new step by step photos, written text and a video.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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5 Comments

  1. This looks delicious!! I have yet to try lamingtons but maybe i should try it after looking at how delicious yours look!

  2. Haniela, I love you see your pictures, read your recipes and story tales about the recipes and other things….
    I will have to try this recipe sometimes and I hope to make a wonderful picture as yours!!!

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