Ever since my daughter recently reminded me that I often bought lamingtons for the house when they were younger, I have been craving lamingtons.
Apparently lamingtons originated in Australia and were named after Lord Lamington who was the Governor of Queensland during the last part of the 18th century. It was apparently created by mistake, when his chef accidentally dropped a piece of sponge cake into chocolate sauce. She then covered it in coconut to make it less messy to eat and lamingtons were born!
I regard lamingtons as true South African fare since my mother made it often and it was also available at every church bazaar and school fete, when I was a child. It was called “Ystervarkies” (Hedgehogs) in the Afrikaans community in which I grew up.
This was my first attempt at baking lamingtons. I always thought it was time consuming to make these, but it is in fact very easy and quick to make. My family enjoyed them a lot and I will definitely make it more often as a teatime treat or as dessert. I used my mother’s recipe.
- 320g castor sugar
- 4 extra large eggs
- 250g butter, melted
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 400g cake flour
- 10ml baking powder
- 5ml cream of tartar
- a pinch of salt
- 250ml milk
- 60g icing sugar
- 400g sugar
- 30g cocoa powder
- 45ml butter
- 250ml water
- 250g desiccated coconut
- Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰C and butter a baking pan of approximately 30 x 20cm.
- Beat the eggs and the castor sugar together.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla essence and mix well.
- Sift the cake flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt together and add alternately with the milk to the egg mixture and mix.
- Pour into the buttered baking pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sponge cake is baked through.
- Cool completely and cut into 40 even sized squares.
- Combine the icing sugar, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and water in a saucepan and heat on the stovetop. Bring to the boil whilst stirring all the time.
- Remove from the heat and dip the cake squares into the chocolate mixture making sure the cake is covered with the mixture on all sides. Roll into coconut.
- Store in an airtight container.