Double-chocolate lamingtons by Dan Lepard

Dan Lepard

all details

Dan Lepard's double-chocolate lamingtons caused a minor contretemps when the recipe was published in The Guardian in April 2012. One indignant reader went so far as to call the inclusion of cocoa in the cake ''sacrilege''. The London-based baker loves a lamington. His cookbook Short & Sweet: The Best of Home Baking includes a recipe for the more-traditional jammy variety, but these have a subtle rich-chocolate flavour and feather-light texture that make them equally good.

Too hard to pass up; possibly the world's most chocolatey lamingtons.
Too hard to pass up; possibly the world's most chocolatey lamingtons. Photo: Colin Campbell/Guardian

Ingredients

300g castor sugar

50g cocoa

75ml milk

50g unsalted butter

50g dark chocolate

50ml sunflower oil

4 medium eggs

100ml low-fat natural yoghurt

3 tsp vanilla extract

175g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

For the coating (makes 750ml)

15g cocoa

50ml cold milk

175ml boiling water

200g dark chocolate, finely chopped

450g icing sugar

1-2 250g bags coconut (that is, much more than you would think)

Method

1. Line the base of a deep, 20cm square cake tin with non-stick paper and heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-forced). Put the sugar and cocoa in a bowl and beat in the milk. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan, and add to the sugar mix along with the oil. Beat in the eggs until smooth, stir in the yoghurt and vanilla, and mix in the flour and baking powder. Pour into the tin, cover with a slightly domed sheet of foil and bake for an hour. Lift off the foil for the last 15 minutes. Remove, cool in the tin and, while warm, cover with cling film.

2. For the coating, mix the cocoa and milk until smooth, whisk in the boiling water, then stir in the chocolate until melted. Whisk in the icing sugar until dissolved and pour into a deep, wide jug. Cut the cake into nine, dunk each piece in the coating and fish out with two forks. Roll in coconut and leave to set.

Note: Lepard advises putting foil over the cake because it helps the cake rise more evenly. You'll have about 250 millilitres of coating left over - just the stuff, he says, for lamington milkshakes with ice-cream and coconut.

Sensational or sacrilege? Jump on the comments and let us know what you think of double-chocolate lamingtons and other variations on this Aussie classic.

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  • Main Ingredients - Chocolate, Cream/Milk, Yoghurt
  • Cuisine - Modern Australian
  • Course - Dessert
  • Occasion - Australia Day, Anzac Day, Afternoon Tea, Picnic

24 comments so far

  • In a word: YUM! I know what I'm making this weekend now.

    Commenter
    MrsLennox
    Location
    Date and time
    January 22, 2013, 8:52AM
    • Hmmm ... I was tempted and succumbed. My first lamingtons! I was excited to give it a shot. But you know what? - this ain't a real lamington. Though I reduced the dark chocolate and the icing sugar in the icing, and a bit less sugar in the sponge - it's not the chocolate, it's that they're just too rich. Sorry Mr fancy English chef, but lamingtons are meant to be light and fluffy. That's the point. Jam or cream - whatever - that's just cute regional difference, and can still bear the name of lamington. But a lammo should never be a mud cake.
      If you do make them, cut them small - dare I suggest 4cm square just like CWA regulations when they first used them in competition in 1965! (and not a mm larger, or you're disqualified). Because these guys are 'too much'.
      And the good ol' CWA recipe can be found easily enough ironically on an 'ethnic' TV network's website. There'll be a chat about lammos and the joys of baking on your national radio network round 9.30 am tuesday.

      Commenter
      Gretchen
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 26, 2013, 9:56PM
    • Agree - they're not really lamingtons. I made them and they taste good but are more like a sachertorte with coconut sprinkled on top than lamingtons. They could do with some sour cherry or apricot jam in the middle too.

      Commenter
      Ally
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 28, 2013, 9:34PM
    • Point of information for Gretchen, Dan Lepard isn't "Mr fancy English chef", he's a Boronia boy, went to school there, family lived there, parents etc still live in Melbourne. He's a great Australian success, one we should be proud of. Be generous, and accurate !

      Commenter
      BoroniaPointOfView
      Location
      Vic
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 11:04PM
  • Try Madera cake lammingtons - the orange, chocolate and coconut flavour is delicious!

    Commenter
    Intel
    Location
    Date and time
    January 22, 2013, 8:59AM
    • Madera cake lammintons.....a stroke of brilliance.

      Commenter
      Robyn
      Location
      Byron Bay
      Date and time
      January 22, 2013, 10:06AM
  • One of my pet hates is people thinking "traditional" lamingtons have jam. Only if you are a damn Victorian.

    In NSW (and I am reading this via the SMH) the traditional lamington is cake, chocolate icing and coconut. Check the Royal Easter Show and the NSW CWA - no jam allowed, or cream for that matter. And actually only dessicated coconut too, not this fancy Simone Logue twisty stuff you find in the Thomas Dux lamington, tasty as they are.

    Also given the easter show schedule doesn't actually specify sponge cake you could probably get away with entering these double choc versions so they are probably even more traditional than you realise.

    Commenter
    Philly Slim
    Location
    Paddington
    Date and time
    January 22, 2013, 9:56AM
    • This is coming from NSW who calls potato cakes - scallops and cantaloupe - rockmelon. What is the world coming to?!?

      I personally hate jam in lamingtons and other types of cake/biscuits. Can't eat jam period. Yes, I'm born and bred in Vic. Don't automatically ASSUME that ALL damn Vics put jam in lamingtons. Now who is the ass... u or me...??

      Commenter
      tigergirl
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      January 22, 2013, 10:56AM
    • Nice reply tigergirl! But it's not just me, there are plenty of mentions on the intrawebs of jam in lamingtons being peculiar to Victoria.
      cooksinfo.com -> "... sometimes (particularly in the State of Victoria) there may be a layer of raspberry or plum jam ..."
      fast-ed.com.au -> "... in Queensland they are still made in the traditional way, while in Victoria and South Australia they are filled with jam ..."

      Given the trend to homogenise the country in a same same / westfield sense I am glad there is still some regional variation left. I am surprised we were ever able to agree on Federation!

      Commenter
      Philly Slim
      Location
      Paddington
      Date and time
      January 22, 2013, 12:51PM
    • A 'traditional' lamington is stale sponge, not cake. Thought the NSW CWA/RES would be onto that one!

      Commenter
      gguy
      Location
      Date and time
      January 22, 2013, 1:14PM

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