The Humble Lamington Comes Of Age
This July 21, Australians around the country will stop and pause to mark the coming of age of an Australian classic, the humble lamington. For National Lamington Day, this Australian icon has gone gourmet to cater to the changing tastes of Australians. The sweet treat has been delighting Australian tastebuds for more than 100 years, and now sees flavours like jaffa, lemon, raspberry and passionfruit as some of the most popular.
"While the classic chocolate lamington will always be a firm favourite, consumers today are taking a new bite from a traditional favourite, and we've seen demand for flavours like jaffa soar," says Dia Sadikay, Sales and Marketing Manager, Susan Day Cakes.
"This iconic cake has stood the test of time for over 100 years, and now these new flavours have meant that it will remain on Australian tables for many more years to come. We've even seen savoury lamingtons served with bacon, so who knows what the next lamington craze will be," Dia says.
The lamington cake was first made in 1900, most likely for the wife of Queensland's eighth governor, Lady May Lamington. Made by either the Lamingtons' well credentialed French patisserie chef, Armand Galland, or well-known Brisbane cookery teacher Amy Schauer, regarded as 'the Nigella Lawson of her time', the sponge cake was dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with coconut.
Lord and Lady Lamington were said to be so impressed by the cake, that it was regularly requested at Lamington House.
For the first time in 117 years, lamingtons were briefly off the menu at Old Government House in Brisbane, however demand has seen it recently bought back to the menu.
In celebration of National Lamington Day, a range of lamington flavours, including classic chocolate, jaffa and raspberry, can be purchased from Coles stores nationally.
- National Lamington Day is celebrated on July 21.
- The lamington cake was first made in 1900, most likely for the wife of Queensland's eighth governor, Lady May Lamington. Made by either the Lamingtons' well-credentialed French patisserie chef, Armand Galland, or well-known Brisbane cookery teacher Amy Schauer, regarded as 'the Nigella Lawson of her time', the sponge cake was dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with coconut.
- The exact story of the invention of the lamington is disputed, as it may have been accidental, by dropping a cake in a chocolate mixture, or purposeful.
- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade lists the lamington as an Australian icon (along with the meat pie and Vegemite), and former Queensland premier Anna Bligh has declared this special cake a Queensland icon.
- Toowoomba in Qld is the home of the 2011 Guinness World Record for the Largest Lamington, weighing over 2,361 kilos.
- A lamington recipe first appeared in the Queensland Country Life publication in 1900. A recipe then appeared in a Sydney newspaper in 1901, and a New Zealand newspaper in 1902.
- The world record for the longest line of lamingtons was set in Adelaide in 2015, with 20,000 pieces of lamington snaking over 1,073 metres long. The former record was held in England with a lamington line that measured 885 metres.
- Susan Day makes so many lamingtons each year that if you laid them end to end, you'd make it from Melbourne to Sydney – that sounds like a delicious journey!
½ cup butter
½ cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk
Beat the eggs well, gradually adding the sugar until dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla essence and then stir in the self-raising flour and whip the butter into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a cake tin or lamington baking dish and bake in a moderate oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes and then stand for 24 hours preferably in the refrigerator, before applying the icing.
The Chocolate Icing
4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups desiccated coconut
Stir the cocoa and icing sugar vigorously in a large bowl, adding the milk, butter and boiling water, warming the chocolate mixture over a very low heat until it has a smooth creamy texture.
Cut the sponge cake into equal squares about 5cm x 5cm and, using a fork or thin skewer, dip each piece into the chocolate mixture ensuring that the mixture is liberally and evenly applied. Dip each piece into the desiccated coconut, allowing the lamingtons to cool on a wire tray for several hours.