Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cherry Almond Lamingtons

For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant.

These fancy little cakes are a bit of a project, but not too bad all around.  Most Lamingtons are dainty little squares and looked too tedious for my mood on baking day, so I opted to use a biscuit cutter to make something like a Little Debbie snack cake.  These were so sweet and fancy, I couldn't help but think they tasted like Christmas!

In the words of our host:  "The classic Australian Lamington is a cube of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing then coated with desiccated coconut...It is said that the cakes were named after Lord Lamington who was the Governor of Queensland, Australia from 1896 to 1901. Stories abound as to why the cakes came about. I like the one that tells of Lord Lamington’s maid-servant accidentally dropping a freshly baked sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Apparently Lord Lamington disliked wastage so he suggested coating the chocolate coated cake in desiccated coconut to avoid messy fingers."

This recipe was adapted from Sprinklebake's Cherry Chip Sponge Cake with Almond Whip.  For the original Daring Baker's challenge recipe, you can find the challenge PDF here.

Cherry Almond Lamingtons
Makes 6 round cakes and a mess of scraps, or about 15 square cakes.

Cherry Sponge Cake

4 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pink gel food color
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
10 ounce jar stemless maraschino cherries, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a jelly-roll sheet pan about 17" by 12" (a bit smaller of a pan is fine too) with shortening and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer on high for 5 minutes until light.  Gradually add sugar until combined.

Add cream and almond extract to the whipped eggs and mix briefly.
Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt to the liquid ingredients. Mix until combined. Mix in the pink gel food color a little at a time until the desired shade is achieved, about 1/8 teaspoon. 

Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon flour over the chopped cherries and stir. Fold the flour-coated cherries into the sponge batter and pour your batter into the prepared pan (it will be a very thin layer). 

Bake for about 13-15 minutes (meanwhile, make your almond buttercream and set aside).  The cake is done when the center is set and the cake springs back when pressed in the center.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a large wire rack to cool completely.

Almond Buttercream

1/2 cup room temp unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon milk
1 small teaspoon almond extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Mix butter, salt, milk and almond extract on high for one minute.  Scrape the bowl and add the powdered sugar.  Mix on low until combined and crumbly.  Mix on medium for one minute until smooth.  Add corn syrup and mix a half minute.  Then beat on high for about one minute until soft and fluffy.


Trim the edges of the cake with a serrated knife so that the rough edges are straight. Cut the cake into 2 rectangles of equal size.

Frost one of the sections of cake with almond buttercream.  Set the other layer of cake on the frosted cake.  Press the top using the flat bottom of a sheet pan (to level it) and chill for at least an hour or overnight.

White Chocolate Glaze and Coconut Coating

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
8 ounces white chocolate pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

On a sheet pan in a layer no more than 1/4 inch thick, toast the coconut at 325F for about 10 minutes until lightly browned in some areas.  Stir halfway through the cooking time to ensure the coconut at the corners does not burn.

In a double boiler, heat white chocolate, butter and milk and whisk until they melt and are smooth.  Take it off the heat and whisk in the powder sugar.  The glaze should be the consistency of honey.  If it's too thin, chill it for about 20 minutes or so.

Cut your cakes into big squares, little squares, rectangles, circles...whatever you like.

Dip each cake into the icing.  Drain or scrape off excess.  While wet, roll the coated cake in coconut.  Set on parchment paper to cool.  Chill overnight if possible.  These cakes are better after they have sat in the fridge for a day.  They will keep for several days in the fridge.



  1. These look absolutely delicious! Well done and congrats on also completing this month's Daring Kitchen Bakers Challenge!

  2. How pretty your Lamingtons are! Wow! Are you doing the Charlotte challenge?


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