Raspberry lamingtons – a delightful dessert from down under

Lamingtons are the go-to cake for parties and coffee mornings in Australia and New Zealand

Delicious: raspberry lamingtons

Delicious: raspberry lamingtons

 

Lamingtons may not be that well known here, but they are an institution in Australia and New Zealand. The classic Aussie version involves sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and coconut. My lamingtons are based on the New Zealand version, where the sponge has a raspberry and coconut coating, so these will appeal to anyone who is partial to a Mikado biscuit.

Perhaps originally invented as a way to use up stale cake, lamingtons are the go-to cake for birthday parties, bake sales and coffee mornings all over Australia and New Zealand. Whether coated in chocolate icing, raspberry jam, buttercream or lemon curd, they are loved by adults and children alike.

If you’re baking lamingtons for a party with small children, or where there will be lots of food to choose from, you can cut them fairly small. The coconut coating means they can be eaten without getting too sticky. If you’re baking these as a dessert, you might want to make bigger portions. Just bear in mind you’ll use more icing and coconut to coat small lamingtons than larger versions.

The lamingtons are forgiving to decorate, and don’t need to be cut into perfect cubes, so this recipe is great to bake with children. You may end up with coconut-coated children rather than cake, but they’ll have a great time doing it.

In their homeland, lamingtons are sometimes split and filled with vanilla custard and jam. When they are home-made and fresh from the oven, they’re delicious just as they are. In our house, lamingtons never get the chance to go stale – they disappear the moment I turn my back.

RASPBERRY LAMINGTONS

Makes 16
Ingredients
4 eggs
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour
100g desiccated coconut
150g raspberry jam

Method
Preheat an oven to 170 degrees, or equivalent. Lightly grease a rectangular baking tray (18cm x 28cm) and line it with parchment paper.

2 Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs in a bowl briefly, then add the sugar and vanilla and whisk for five minutes until the mixture is pale in colour and thickened so that the mixture forms ribbons when falling from the whisk.

3 Sieve the self-raising flour into a separate bowl, then gently fold the sieved flour into the egg and sugar mixture.

4 Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray.

5 Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the surface is firm and lightly golden in colour and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

7 Once cool, trim the edges of the sponge to neaten them. Then cut the sponge into 5cm squares (a handy tip at this stage is to freeze the cake squares so they turn solid, making them easier to coat with jam).

8 Place the desiccated coconut in a small bowl.

9 In a saucepan, gently warm the jam to give a runny consistency, then allow it to cool down slightly once loosened. Use a pastry brush to brush the top and sides of each sponge square with jam then toss each square in the coconut to coat the sides evenly.

10 Transfer to a wire rack to set. They can be made a day in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Variation: Turn the sponge into mini Victoria squares by cutting it in half, and sandwiching together with whipped cream and strawberry jam. Top with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a fresh strawberry.

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