Rose Lamingtons

This has been the 3rd time this week I have made and in my parents’ opinion, force fed them lamingtons. My father is complaining that every time he sneezes or coughs there is no spit, it is just coconut coming up or out.

I came across this recipe on Instagram and at first I didn’t even want to try it out. It contained both rose water and eggs. Eggs is a big no no and then there is the rose water issue. Rose water and I are not the best of friends. This stems from the fact that we go through bottles of rose water in Temple, first to clean, then to pray with. For the past few temple services, it landed on my shoulders to administer rose water to those devotes that required it. Let me just tell you something, it is the most stressful job out there.

A few years back, I happened to be the only young lady in temple and when it came time to put ash of the congregations forward I was forced against my will to go around to every single persons forward and try my best not to 1. Jab their eye with a matchstick and 2. Make a dot design properly without giving the game away that this was my first go. I thought that was the most stressful job there was for a young lady to perform at temple, after that day I made sure I was always late for every temple service and when I was early I just hid at the back behind all the tall people. Then my mother gave me the rose water job and geez Louise this is a million times more stressful, so many things can go wrong. I could pour too much, causing them to choke and cough and then all eyes will be on me. I could drop the bottle and spill everything, all the possibilities all the extra stress.

So you can just imagine my fear of adding rose water to a cake, I could pour to fast and more than the required amount could fall into the cake batter and how would I remove the excess rose water? Too much rose water in a cake leaves a bitter after taste in your mouth. Also I have watched a few bake offs to know and understand that those people who add rose water or rose essence to their bakes always get eliminated.

But against my better judgment, I decided to go ahead and make this lamington version.

The original recipe contained eggs, so I just used my own eggless batter and swopped out the lemon essence for rose essence. First hurdle done and dusted.

Then came the syrup. It required rose jam, I have never seen rose jam in any of the stores that I shop at, but thank goodness the original recipe stated that you could substitute the rose jam with strawberry jam. Thank goodness for Checkers 60 minute app, because my family are so against using strawberry jam on their peanut butter jam sandwiches, we only ever have smooth apricot jam.

Once the scooter arrived with my jam, it was all down to getting the syrup correctly made. The recipe was VERY vague, it said to boil the strawberry jam with a little rose water. FYI, what is a little rose water, ½ tsp, 1tsp or a cup??? My little to my father’s little is different. I took a huge leap of faith and put in a ¼ cup and as soon as the jam starting bubbling I knew I had put too much in.

My mother loved the lamington, she even loved the syrup, when asked if I had a heavy hand with the rose water, she said no, she loved it just the way it was. Then came me negativity himself, my father and one bite he asked me what had I added too much of as he could taste the bitterness. Talk about party pooper, you don’t see me showing him the burnt onion bits when he makes food, I still cover for him by telling everyone that it is not burnt onion he forget about in the pot, its nigella seeds it’s supposed to look burnt. Let him dish up pumpkin with burnt onion again and see me defend him, I will sit still in that chair with my mouth shut like a good little girl.

All in all, I liked this lamington, I would really like to get my hands on rose jam and see how this would taste with rose jam. Lockdown needs to end so I can buy all these jams without feeling guilty.

But on a serious note, if I had to make this lamington again, I probably would only add a tablespoon of rose water to the syrup, but that is just my taste buds.

Ingredients for the batter:

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


  • In a bowl, whisk together the cake flour and bicarbonate of soda.
  • In a just whisk together the remaining ingredients, until 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 square cake tin.
  • Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the cake tin before turning out onto a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, cut into squares.
  • Dip the cut squares into the syrup, shake off the excess, then roll in the desiccated coconut and shake off excess.
  • To make the syrup, boil 1 x tsp rose water with a 420g tin of smooth strawberry jam. Allow the jam mixture to come to a steady boil, before removing from the stove. Let it cool for a few minutes before dipping the cake squares in.

Tell me what you think of this recipe