Lamingtons: A Special Australian Sponge Cake & A Trip

Australian Lamington cake recipe- sponge cake filled with jam, dipped in chocolate and dried coconut from White on Rice CoupleWhen we first laid eyes on a lamington, it was like whoa. Double whoa. A sight for sore eyes. How is it that you can ignore a wonderfully tender sponge cake (sometimes butter or pound cake), dipped in chocolate and covered with shredded coconut? You can’t and you shouldn’t. If a lamington was filled with creme or jam, would it convince you that this is certainly one of the most beautifully executed desserts in the world? It didn’t take long to convince us and rush to pre-heat the oven.

Lamingtons, originated in Australia, are considered the “national cake of Australia” and a combination of everything that we love to eat in a dessert. And best of all, we must familiarize ourselves with Australian specialties because we’re headed to the land of awesome herself. That’s right, we’re headed to Australia, the land of the lamingtons!

Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice CoupleHeading to Australia has always been on our life list of places to visit. Nestled on the list somewhere between New Zealand, Mongolia and The Galapagos Islands, Australia is one of those destinations that instills in us a sense of adventure and exploration.  We’ve been dreaming of going to Australia eventually, when ever we were able to make the time to check off our list. Each year we make time for an international trip to explore culture and search for understanding of how people live, work and play outside of our own boundaries. Traveling to far off destinations isn’t just about explorations, but rather, an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and to be open minded to everything that is different from how we life.

As far as we’ve traveled around the world, we always find that there are many more similarities that connect us all than there are that separate us. If we make the time to understand each other and search out our commonalities, we discover that we really are part of a world family.


Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice Couple

Our international trips to Cuba, Viet-Nam, Japan, Mexico and Puerto Rico in the last five years proved that we have so many things in common with the local people, even if we didn’t all speak the same language. And now we get to do it all again in Australia, but this time, we’ll all be able to understand each other! The incredible founders of have set up a site for folks to list their life dreams and goals. It’s a gathering space for folks all around the world to make your dream list of goals and to do something about it. It’s not a place to just jot down ideas or to tuck it away in a box somewhere.

Go Mighty is a community space filled with people around the world who want to support you make those items on your list to become a reality. This is the world wide family that helps you put aside your fears and excuses. And sometimes they can even help get you funded to pursue that life long list. So it was a cool surprise to be contacted by Go Mighty and Tourism Australia to help us pursue our goal of heading to Australia! We’re invited to participate in #goaustralia, a opportunity for us  and a few other bloggers to journey down under on our own time and make our travel goals become reality.

So if you’ve been to Adelaide and/or Melbourne Australia and have any rec’s, we need to hear about it, please. And for those of you who have Australia as a destination-goal, the kind folks at Tourism Australia, Go Mighty and Air New Zealand are giving some lucky folks two opportunities to venture there as well. For all the details just visit Go Mighty #goaustralia, Fill-a-Plane and “Win a Wildcard Ticket to Australia”  links for all the information. Make your travel dreams come true!

Enjoy the lamingtons! Hugs.

-diane and todd

Yes, we made our Lamingtons bigger than most Aussie versions. But in America, we like our things bigger. Right?

Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice Couplecarefully dip the cake in chocolate, but if you made them smaller, then dipping should be a piece of cake. Ha. ha. hee.

Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice CoupleTraditionally, dessicated coconut is used. But we like our coconut flakes bigger too (actually, we just couldn’t find dessicated coconut in our close-by stores). So we used sweetened coconut flakes.

Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice CoupleTa da! The mongo White On Rice Couple version of the traditional Australian Lamingtons

Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice CoupleNow we’ll have to compare our version to the real-deal back in the land of Lamingtons. #goaustralia !

Australian Lamingtons Cake- sponge cake filled with jam, coated in chocolate & coconut from White On Rice Couple


5 from 1 vote
Lamington Recipe
Total Time
2 hrs

Try to find cake flour for the recipe, the texture will be lighter if you can. If you have to use all-purpose flour, reduce the flour amount by about 1/3 of a cup. Recipe adapted from

Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 24 two-inch Pieces
cake ingredients
  • 3 cups (340g) cake flour, (not self-rising), plus additional for dusting pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus additional for greasing pans
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
chocolate icing ingredients
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) (60g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 cups (960g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (90g) cocoa powder, sifted
additional ingredients
  • 1 cup (240ml) jam (we use our homemade strawberry peach jam, but use whichever flavor you'd like)
  • 1 pound (455g) dessicated coconut (or shredded sweetened coconut if you can't get dessicated coconut)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter two 9"x13" baking pans, line the pans bottoms with parchment paper, then butter the parchment. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess flour.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer fit with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes (don't shortcut the time - the beating of air into the butter is important to the cake texture).
  4. Beat in the vanilla and then the eggs, one egg at a time until incorporated. Fold the part of the flour mixture into the batter, then the milk, and then fold in the remaining flour into the batter until just incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter between the two baking pans, spreading even, and then bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean in the middle of the cakes. Cool slightly in the pans, then lift out of the pans and finish cooling completely on wire racks.
  6. After the cakes have cooled completely, spread the jam over the top of one of the cakes. Place the other cake on top, and then using a serrated knife, trim the edges of the cake and then cut into 24 two-inch squares (or whatever size you prefer).
  7. Make the icing; in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and milk, heating until butter is melted. Remove from heat then stir in the vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir until combined. Pour the icing into a metal bowl and then place over the top of a saucepan filled with at least 2-inches of gently simmering water.
  8. Put the coconut in a bowl and set aside. Dip a cake square into the bowl of chocolate icing, using forks to turn the square, coating all sides. Allow excess icing to drip off, then place the square in the bowl of coconut. Using clean forks, turn the square to coat all sides with coconut (we find it easiest to place it in the bowl of coconut, sprinkle a bunch of coconut on the top, then start turning in coconut to get all sides coated). Place the square on a wire rack and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes to set. Repeat with all of the remaining squares.
{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Rachel

    I’m Australian, and despite being a baker of all kinds of things, had never made lamingtons (in fact I hated them as a child due to the dessicated coconut, and the cheap ones from the supermarket are often dry and unpleasant or full of preservatives, national dessert or otherwise). But I’m currently living in America and this week was instructed to make lamingtons in order to introduce a bunch of Americans to the Australian delicacy. I looked at a lot of recipes by Australians, but ultimately was seduced by the moist-looking crumb in your beautiful images (plus I thought it might be easier working with an American recipe given the availability of American ingredients), so went with yours. And they are by far the best lamingtons I’ve ever eaten! I might even have to make them again 🙂 thank you from a happy Australian!

    1. Todd & Diane

      Rachel- thanks for letting us know and glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  2. gabriella

    looks tasty but 940 gr of conf. sugar looks a bit excessive. is this correct? that’s almost 2 lbs…

    1. White on Rice Couple

      It is correct. It makes a larger amount of icing because the lamingtons are dipped so you’ll need a pool of icing. It’s like dipping chocolates, you have to melt a lot more than what actually coats the candies.

  3. Hope Johnson

    Just saw this post after finding out about you guys from Tea&Cookies blog. ‘Lentil as Anything’ and ‘CERES Environment Park’ in Melbourne are places to check out for an interesting insight into alternative business models in Australia. Adelaide has so much good stuff, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Melbourne and Adelaide are probably the two best picks in my opinion, but Tasmania is also a place to visit, and while I love Brisbane, it sort of helps to know locals because it is an expansive city- not in numbers but in our spread out geographically it is.

    I hope you two have a great trip! Feel free to email me if you want tips etc!

  4. Bobby

    Adelaide is fantastic! Soo much to do. Make sure to make time for Cleland Park – it’s a bit out of town but worth it. Also, be sure to toast the Barossa! My wife and I loved the wine tours we went on. Pennfold’s was fantastic. The market in Adelaide was fun and well priced. When we visited a few years ago, the light rail was free in the downtown area.

  5. Mel

    Oh, have I totally missed your tour of Australia? The Design Files has a lot of wonderful information about places to visit
    and so does the food listings are especially helpful in navigating your way around.

  6. dixya| food, pleasure, and health

    I have never been there but some of my relatives live there and they really like it. These lamingtons are calling my name.

  7. Jennifer @ Delicieux

    Oh you’ll love Australia! I’m from Brisbane, but have lived in Melbourne and miss it dearly for it’s fantastic food scene. The Melbourne markets should definitely be on your to do list. As for Adelaide, I love that city too, and could easily live there. My tips for Adelaide are a trip to the central markets to check out all of the wonderful produce available, especially the wonderful cheese. A trip to the Barossa is a must too, especially Maggie Beer’s wonderful farm (all of her produce is amazing), Barossa Valley Cheese, a trip to many of the wonderful wineries in the region especially Yalumba which is on beautiful grounds and have some wonderful converted underground wine tanks that they now use as function rooms. You should also visit Hahndorf, if you have time, a beautiful town just outside Adelaide with a rich German heritage. Finally, you should also visit the Woodside Cheese Wright to try their amazing cheeses

    Have a wonderful time, and I can’t wait to read all about your adventures!

  8. Angie | Big Bears Wife

    Never been to Australia, but I bet it is amazing down there! I can’t wait to hear about the trip! Ps. the cake looks wonderful too!

  9. sara

    Much as I love your blog I cannot let this travesty pass – lamingtons DID NOT originate in Australia – they are in fact a New Zealand invention!

  10. cucinera

    super favorite !!!! can’t wait to try making them 🙂

  11. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste

    I spotted these on Pinterest and sprinted my way over here. Holy yum! All my favorite things in one dessert!

  12. jayloo

    Yo. Yo. Yo. I’m super excited to find this recipe. I kept meaning to look for one but would forget. Listen. Here in London there is a bakery doing lamingtons with jam AND thick custard. Like what would be in an eclair (if it were made in America, not England, where they put whipped cream in them).

    OH MAN. You will love them even more after that!!

  13. Robin

    To whet your appetite..

    Barossa. Be Consumed:

  14. Dina

    they look really yummy!

  15. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    I’ve been meaning to try making Lamingtons for so long and this is moving it to the top of my list! I’ve never been to Australia but it’s definitely somewhere I would love to go!

  16. Emma Galloway

    Oh that’s awesome news! You’ll love it here in Australia, I live in Perth (way over the other side of the island!) but you’ll absolutely love Melbourne and Adelaide. Safe travels!

  17. Janna Xerri

    You MUST go to the Queen Victoria Markets when in Melbourne! I am dfrom Sydney, and the QVM was the highlight of my Melbourne trip!!! Especially the deli and bakery part!

    I have never been to Adelaide,bu a visit to Maggie Beer is a must.

    There are lots of Melbourne food blogs so maybe have a look to find other places to eat. Melbourne is known for its cafes and wine bars, whereas Adelide is known for it’s churches!!

  18. Karla

    Visit for cafe and restaurant tips in Melbourne

  19. Ash M

    Wonderful to see that our national treat is appreciated all around the world!!

    I live in Sydney, was born in Adelaide and a frequent visitor to Melbourne so I know all 3 very well, but Sydney and Melbourne are my favourites. Melbourne has an amazing street culture and wonderful vibe. I love the CBD but I also love the Mornington Peninsula (particularly the Portsea and Red Hill area).

    Of course, you can’t come to Australia and not see Sydney 😉 it is a truly magical place. The views, the atmosphere, the harbour, the beaches, the city, the culture – it’s just so amazing!! i love living here and highly recommend you add it to your bucket list 🙂

  20. ChristinaBakes

    The Lamingtons look amazing. We loved our honeymoon down under! In Melbourne, we enjoyed MoVida and Camy dumpling. Will you have time for the Great Ocean Road? Have a great trip.

  21. gwyneth@tasmanianscalloppiecompany

    Your lamingtons look gorgeous.
    You will love exploring food in both Melbourne and Adelaide both also have great wine regions, as does Tasmania if you can possibly make it over the ‘ditch’. Tasmania has great produce/producers and a fabulous laid back lifestyle.

  22. Ash-foodfashionparty

    I just love lamingtons. coconut, chocolate and cake, oh wow yum!

  23. Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    YAY!! An aussie dessert post, and I am Aussie blogger and Love to read your website. There is more of an agruement between New zealand and Australia for who owns the Lamington; the real issues of food. The very very original ones are exactly made from day old sponge, so it helps the icing mix go slightly into the edges of the cake
    I love the images and I can not wait till you get down under!

  24. Natashia

    First of all let me say – lamingtons are my absolute favourite!! I buy them whenever I can, but for some reason have never made them.

    Secondly, you will love Melbourne!! Living in Perth, it’s only a quick trip over there, and I just love it – it’s probably my second favourite place on earth (after Florence). There are so many things to do there, but I recommend doing the street art tour (don’t need a guide, just look up the street details), the Yarra Valley has some amazing wineries (and is only one of 4 Chandon producers in the world), go to Carlton for a full on Australian-Italian experience, go to Collingwood and St Kilda for great food and wine, there are heaps of markets on and things to do, the list could be endless.. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just live there!

  25. enna

    I love this recipe. In my country these are known as coconut cubes, and are sometimes made without the jam filling.

  26. Lisa the Gourmet Wog

    As an Aussie, I can say you’ve done us proud with your ‘bigger and better’ version of a lamington!! Brilliant 🙂 Enjoy Australia, Melbourne and Adelaide are certainly the foodies heaven. You must make a little side trip to Sydney while you’re at it

  27. Lien

    I’m from Sydney but I love Adelaide. Are you just going to Adelaide or can you fit a side trip to Kangaroo Island? Do you know about Maggie Beer (our South Australian doyenne of cooking)?

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