Oh sweet and addicting lamingtons! These little cakes are to die for and are very very addicting. I first heard about these from my South African boyfriend, which got me in the Christmas mood to attempt to make it for him. What exactly are lamingtons? They’re a vanilla sponge cake, covered in chocolate and coconut flakes. Let me tell you, they are delicious! The sponge cake is so light yet sort of dense and the chocolate and coconut just adds that little something to it to make it extra special :). They’re pretty easy to make and you can definitely make the cake the day before! The only thing is that you need to make sure you use some good quality cocoa powder so you can taste the intensity of chocolate! I would suggest dutch processed if you can find it. Around here, I found mine at The Fresh Market but you can find it at Whole Foods or any speciality stores.
Vanilla Sponge Cake
- 2 cups All Purpose flour, unbleached
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar *see note below
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (Do NOT use imitation vanilla but then again, who would?!)
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 2% but you can use whole milk)
*Note: You can find superfine sugar at any grocery store. I found mine at Publix-it was the Publix brand in a can that read “superfine.” If you cannot find it, no worries; take about a cup of granulated sugar and pulse it a few times in a food processor. Make sure to measure out the 3/4 Cup. That’s it!
- 2 cups of powdered (icing) sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, preferably dutch processed
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- Unsweetened coconut flakes, to coat the cakes with
For the cake:
- Lightly butter and flour an 8inch square cake tin and put aside
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until it’s pale yellow in color and fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat well after each egg is added
- Add the vanilla extract to the mixture and combine well
- Using a spatula, alternatively add the flour and milk in 3 additions. 1st addition-add a bit of flour and milk, mix. 2nd addition-add milk and flour, mix. 3rd addition, add milk and flour, and mix. The dough will be pretty dense but you need it to be that way.
- Spread the cake batter into the buttered cake tin, making sure it’s evenly spread.
- Bake in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes. You can check to see if it’s done by inserting a toothpick the center of the cake-if the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done!
- Cool the cake in the tin for about 5 minutes and then remove it and allow it to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Once the cake has been cooled, cut them into squares and place them in an airtight container. Place the cake in the fridge for a couple hours or even overnight
Cake Icing and Coconut
- Place the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a heat proof bowl over a sauce pan filled with simmering water. Yes, you’re going to be using a double boiler for this 🙂
- Stir the mixture until it is smooth and still kind of thick. If you allow the icing to get too thin, the cake won’t absorb the chocolate properly and we definitely want that 🙂
- Place newspapers, parchment paper, aluminum foil, etc under the cooling rack. This is to prevent a big mess on your counter after the cake has been covered with the chocolate mixture. Easy clean up! At this time, you want to place the coconut flakes into a bowl
- Working quickly (before the icing completely cools, at least), dip the sponge cake into the chocolate, making sure it’s completely covered with the chocolate sauce. Next, roll the cake in the coconut flakes and place them on the cooling rack. Repeat the process.
- Allow the cake to set for a couple hours. You can eat it right away but I promise you, the cake tastes much better the longer it sits!
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days..if there are some up until then, that is 😉