Lamington cake

I have seen numerous lamington cakes floating about on the internet. I have never seen one up close and personal and I do not have the nerves to attempt to make one either.

Just from looking at the cake, it looks so daunting, how to soak the cake in the syrup without dropping it, coating it with coconut without have patches where your fingers were. All these “what could go wrong,” always plays like a reel through my mind, when I see lamington cakes.

Then while deciding what to make for tea time, I came across a lamington cake in Fatima Sydow’s cookbook and at first I just turned the page, but then I went back and analyzed the picture attached to the recipe. This picture gave me the opportunity to really really have a good look at the cake up close and personal and to tell you the truth, it looked so easy. I am no 100% sure why I was so fearful in the first place???

The original recipe, contained eggs, so instead of using Fatima’s recipe, I decided to use my own version of the eggless lamingtons and all I changed was instead of making it in a square tin, I made it in a round cake tin and once the cake was cooled I halved the cake, one cake became two layers, there was no need to make two cakes.

At first, when my mother saw what I was making, she didn’t want to have a slice, she didn’t even want to look at the cake, but you know me, I force fed her a slice and she had no option but to eat and hey presto, she enjoyed it. I have no idea why my parents are always fighting with me when it comes to food, I know what they like even before they know they like it. I should threaten to put them in the old age home, down the road from us, if they refuse to eat what I give them again.

Again I am not sure where this stubborn behavior of theirs is coming from? When I was growing up, I ate everything they gave me, hence my baby name of “Thunder thighs.”  Oh before I forget, you must be wondering what my dearest daddy’s opinion and thoughts were on this cake. As usual, just the mere look of the caramel on the cake was making it too sweet for his teeth and when the nest day’s tea time arrived and he asked what was there nice to go with his tea and I said cake, he was super excited but when he saw the previous day lamington cake he didn’t want to eat left overs he wanted fresh cake. Not sure what decade his living in, where firstly I am going to throw away day old, nothing wrong with it cake and secondly where I am going to bake cake every day for tea time. Lord please help me not to kill him in his sleep with day old lamington cake.

I quiet enjoyed the cake, the coconut essence that was added instead of the lemon essence complimented the sweet caramel really well and didn’t add more sweetness on top of all the caramel and sweetened whipped cream.

The cake itself was easy to make, the assembly wasn’t that bad, it did stress me out in a few areas, like when I dipped the layers in the cocoa sauce, I was stressing so much that the middle would break or that the cake would get too soggy and I wouldn’t be able to lift it up from the sauce. Then the coconut I had no idea how to cover the entire cake including my finger imprints that I would be leaving when I placed the layers ontop of each other, but then I learn a trick that once I had covered the layers in coconut, I could place then on a cooling rack and shake the cooling rack up and down and left to right and the coconut would cover the entire cake and there would be no empty spots and the left over coconut would just fall off the cake and most of all the cake itself did not fall off the cooling rack while I was doing all this flipping and shaking, thank my lucky stars.

The two layers were sandwiched together by alternating rings of sweetened whip cream and tinned caramel.

Keep watching this space, I recently came across a few more unusual lamington recipes, which I cannot wait to try out.

Extra ingredients for the assembly and finishing touches:

  • 1 x cup sweetened whipped cream.
  • 1 x tin caramel.
  • 1 x cup fine desiccated coconut.

Ingredients for the batter:

  • 2 x cups cake flour.
  • 1 x cup castor sugar.
  • ½ x cup vegetable oil.
  • 1 x tsp coconut essence.
  • 1 x tbsp. white wine vinegar.
  • 1 x cup water.
  • 1 x tsp bicarbonate of soda.


  • In a bowl, whisk together the cake flour and bicarbonate of soda.
  • In a jug, whisk together the castor sugar, oil, essence, vinegar and water till all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk till well combined and there are no visible flour lumps.
  • Pour into a greased 20cm cake tin and pop into a preheated oven.
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the cake tin, before turning out onto a cooling rack and cooling completely.
  • Once cooled, using a serrated knife cut the cake horizontally to create two even layers.
  • Set aside for now.

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 x cup water.
  • 1 x cup sugar.
  • 9 x tbsp. cocoa powder.


  • Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan.
  • Over a medium heat, allow the mixture to come to a steady boil and remove from the heat.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature and pour into a deep bowl.

To assemble:

  • Dip each layer in the cooled sauce, shake off any excess and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to allow any excess sauce to drip off.
  • Cover both layers with desiccated coconut and shake off any excess.
  • Sandwich the two layers of cake together with alternating layers of cream and caramel.
  • To finish, create rosettes of cream and caramel on the top of the sandwiched cake.
  • Pop into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before serving.

Tell me what you think of this recipe