How to make the perfect lamington

These coconutty Australian cakes are the ideal summer bake – here's four ways to make them from Radio Lamington

Image: Radio Lamington

Pillow-like clouds of soft vanilla sponge. A slash of strawberry jam. Glistening coconut-topped chocolate icing. Lamingtons certainly have our vote for The Bake of Summer – and they are surprisingly easy to make.

The bite-sized cakes are a bit like the jam and coconut traybakes we used to wolf down at school – except smothered in chocolate and given the instant ‘cool for summer’ stamp by being invented in sunny Australia. Aussies all over the world can’t get enough of them – including hush founder Mandy.

Sounds good, right? Well, here at hush, we don’t want to make just a ‘good’ cake. Oh, no. We want to make the best lamingtons – with the fluffiest sponge, the most moreish icing, and the crispiest coconut on top. And that’s where Radio Lamington comes in.

The brand is the brainchild of the team behind London restaurant group Daisy Green, who are known for their brilliant Aussie-inspired fare. When the restaurants closed during lockdown, they decided to do their bit for the community through what they do best: lamingtons. They whipped up 30,000 cakes as a part of the #FeedTheNHS campaign before opening Radio Lamington to the public. Now, you can buy beautiful boxes of lamingtons in a flurry of summery flavours (we love the Golden Gaytime, which is inspired by a nostalgic Aussie ice cream) – and the best bit? For every box of lamingtons sold, a second box is donated to NHS workers. Cake with a conscience: we love it.

Radio Lamington have been kind enough to share their recipe for a classic lamington with us, as well as some tips and flavour inspiration to take your bakes from basic to brilliant. So, fire up those mixers and grab your spatulas: here’s how to make the perfect lamington.

P.S. If don’t want to make them yourself and live in London, you can always order a box from the Radio Lamington website, and follow them on Instagram for more cake-based inspiration.

Image: Shutterstock
The classic lamington

INGREDIENTS
Makes 30 

For the base:
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (450g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
3½ cups (438g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
3 cups (300g) freshly grated coconut

For the icing:
7 cups (770g) icing sugar
½ cup (65g) high quality cocoa powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
300g of good quality raspberry or strawberry jam

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease two 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm brownie pans and line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light, pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing fully after each addition but do not over beat.
  3. Sift half the flour over the butter mixture. Fold with a wooden spoon to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
  4. Spoon half the batter evenly into each of the prepared pans. Smooth the top without pressing too hard – this will help to maintain fluffiness. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight or for a minimum of four hours.
  6. Next, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add the butter and boiling water and stir until smooth.
  7. To assemble, cut each of the two cakes into 15 pieces measuring approximately 6cm x 6cm (you should have 30 small cakes in total). Spread the jam over the top of half the cakes and place one of the other pieces on top to create a double layer with a jam centre.
  8. Place the coconut in a large flat dish or tray. Using a fork, dunk each cake in the icing. Gently shake off the excess and roll in the coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Stand for 2 hours or until set.

Lemon & orange lamington

Create a tangy lemon sponge by adding the zest of two lemons to the above cake batter recipe. Combine with an orange butter cream filling and outside ganache rolled in coconut and you’ve got a citrusy combination that’ll whisk you away to long nights on the Amalfi Coast.

To make the orange butter cream
½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (330g) icing sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
4 tbsp orange juice

Whip with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.

Image: Radio Lamington
Summer strawberries, mint & cream

There may have been no Wimbledon this year, but strawberries and cream are a British summer staple regardless. Replace the jam in the original recipe with 300g of clotted cream and swap the chocolate ganache for the below strawberry glaze.

Fresh strawberry & mint icing
½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (330g) icing sugar
½ cup (114g) strawberry & mint puree (blend 200g of fresh strawberries and 5 mint leaves with 2 tbsp sugar and 50ml water until smooth)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Finish as per the original recipe by rolling in coconut.

Image from Taste
Birthday cake lamington

Replace the jam in the original recipe with 300g of vanilla cream (below) and roll in hundreds and thousands instead of coconut for a treat fit for any fiesta.

Vanilla cream
½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (330g) of icing sugar,
1 ½ tsp good quality vanilla essence or paste

Whip with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Finish as per the original recipe by rolling in coconut.

Image: Radio Lamington