Lamingtons are claimed as an Australian invention, though apparently some New Zealanders would dispute that. According to Australian legend, these little chocolate coated cakes were created by a cook employed by Governor Lamington in Queensland at the end of the 19th century.
Lamingtons are a white cake (either sponge or butter cake) dipped in thin chocolate icing and then rolled in coconut. I have also seen strawberry versions where the chocolate icing is replaced by strawberry jelly (jello for the US readers).
I decided to bake on Saturday and Sunday, and made these lamingtons:
To make them, I used the recipe for Basic Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I made a 1 1/2 size batter. I reduced the vanilla by about 1/2. I poured the final batter into a lamington tray lined with baking paper. (For non-Australians, I think you would use a rectangular 12" x 18" brownie tray.) I then baked it for about 35-40 minutes.
I left the cake in the fridge, covered, overnight. Waiting overnight is important, as it stops the cake from crumbling when you cut it.
The next day, I cut it into 24 squares. With the assistance of M and my niece, I then dipped each square into thin chocolate icing and the shredded coconut. The icing was the lamington icing from an old copy of the Women's Weekly Original Cookbook. It was 500g (1lb) icing mixture (you could use icing sugar), 1/3 cup cocoa, 30g melted Nuttelex margarine (Earth Balance would work) and 1/2 cup soy milk (you could use whatever "milk" you like). These were then whisked until smooth.
Dipping was messy but fun. As the first lamintons that I have had in almost 3 years, they were pretty darn good. They were even better today, with the icing well soaked into the cake. They could easily be given to omnis as a great treat. You could also make cupcakes and just dip the top into the icing and coconut.
My niece helped because she and her brother stayed with us overnight, while her parents went to a wedding and then spent Sunday moving house. The girls asked to help while the boys were playing outside - I didn't make a sexist selection.
I gave lamingtons, scones and jam on a pretty platter to my sister's family as a housewarming present. Scone pictures will follow in the next few days.