Double-chocolate lamingtons by Dan Lepard

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

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.


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)


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.