Chocolate Lamingtons

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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Chocolate Lamingtons

Can there be anything more inviting than a lamington? Created in Australia, but beloved by both Australia and New Zealand in equal measure, it’s a retro treat dear to our hearts.

It used to be that you could find lamingtons in every cafe around up until a couple of decades ago but, as we got used to more sophisticated cafe fare, the modest little lamington got pushed off the menu. Which is such a shame…

While it may be labelled by some as ‘old-fashioned’, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t beat it for sheer deliciousness. With its ‘light as a feather’ sponge cake, doused in either raspberry jelly and coconut (New Zealand’s favourite), or chocolate icing and coconut (Australia’s favourite), it truly is deserving of a come-back.

I couple of years ago, I made Raspberry Lamingtons and they were such a huge hit with the family (as well as the blogging world!), I thought it was high time I made the chocolate version. While many lamington recipes call for standard flour to be used (which creates a more cake-like sponge), I prefer the combination of cornflour and beaten eggs – it ensures a light and fluffy, not to mention, gluten-free, sponge that literally melts in your mouth.

I borrowed the chocolate icing recipe from Chelsea Sugar – it includes real chocolate, as well as cocoa, so it’s a rich double chocolate hit! You can, if you prefer, make a standard cocoa icing (I’ve included a recipe down in the notes below) – it’s a little less fussy and not quite so rich.

Oh, and by the way, you can totally make these ahead. In fact, it’s often recommended that you make the sponge a day ahead to make it easier to cut the next day (especially these delicate cornflour/egg based sponges which almost fall apart if you try to cut them on the day they’re made). The good news is that lamingtons, once iced, age really well and taste even better a day (or a few) later. Not that they ever last that long in our family! Enjoy!

Chocolate Lamingtons 2
Chocolate Lamingtons


Experience the delightful flavors of Australia with these Chocolate Lamingtons! Light and airy sponge squares, dipped in rich chocolate, rolled in coconut, and filled with a touch of cream and jam for an extra touch of sweetness.
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 459 kcal


For the sponge:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

For the icing:

  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups icing sugar (confectioner's sugar, sifted)
  • 1 cup cocoa, sifted
  • 1/2 cup milk (I found this made the mixture very wet; just use as much as needed to make it pourable)

To assemble:

  • 2 cups coconut threads
  • 10.1 fl oz whipped cream
  • 3 tbsp approx. strawberry jam


For the sponge: (This can be made the day before serving)

  • Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F.
  • Prepare a standard lamington or sponge roll tin by greasing and lining with non-stick paper.
  • Sift the baking soda, cornflour, custard powder and cream of tartar three times and set aside.
  • Beat egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat until the mixture is stiff and no longer gritty. Then add the yolks one at a time and beat for a further two minutes.
  • With a large metal spoon, add the sifted dry ingredients and fold in very gently in two batches.
  • Transfer the batter into a greased and lined sponge roll tin with deep sides and bake 15-20 mins or until it is lightly golden and springs back when you press the surface lightly (the cake will rise quite high, then deflate somewhat before you need to take it out). If you have the nerve, some bakers recommend dropping the sponge on the bench just after cooking, which apparently prevents the sponge from deflating and keeps it light (I did on this occasion).
  • Turn the sponge out immediately onto a wire rack and let it cool completely (these can then be stored in a air-tight container for a day before cutting, if you prefer). Once cool, you can trim the crusts if you think they’re a bit tough and then cut the sponge into approx. 5 cm squares (if you find the cake hard to slice, try putting it briefly into the freezer to firm it up).
  • Make the chocolate icing and assemble (see icing recipe below).

For the icing:

  • Combine chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth (it won’t be completely smooth, but that doesn’t matter). Remove from heat.
  • Sift icing sugar and cocoa over chocolate mixture, stir until smooth. Add milk (as much as makes the mixture pourable) and mix until well combined.

To assemble:

  • Using a large fork, dip sponge cake pieces into chocolate mixture, set on a wire rack to drain slightly then roll in a shallow tray of coconut (try not to get too much chocolate on the coconut threads while you’re doing this, as it turns them brown). Leave lamingtons to set on a tray (you can store them in the fridge to help them set quicker if you like).
  • Slice lamingtons in half (you can also slice through vertically or diagonally if you prefer), and pipe some whipped cream into the middle. Put the jam into a small piping bag (I just used a plastic sandwich bag with the end snipped off) and daub a little jam onto the front. Alternatively, you can spread the jam over the cut sponge (under the cream) if you prefer more of it.


1. Lamington pans (or sponge roll pans) come in various sizes – so don’t worry if yours differs a little in terms of measurements. If you don’t have a lamington pan, you can use a square cake pan, but be aware the baking time may change – I used a 20cm (8 inch) deep sided square cake tin which gave me lovely tall lamingtons but took about double the amount of time to bake.
2. You can keep the cake for a day before actually making the lamingtons, making the cake not so soft and easier to handle, otherwise freeze it briefly after making to ensure easier cutting.
3. You can store lamingtons (without the cream) in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several days – they actually taste better as the flavours have time to deepen. Lamingtons would last in the freezer for 2 months at least.
Alternative icing recipe:
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp boiling water
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 2¼ cups icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla essence
Dissolve the cocoa in the boiling water and mix in the butter. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and then pour in the cocoa mixture. Add vanilla and stir until well combined.


Calories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 8gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 159mgPotassium: 389mgFiber: 5gSugar: 61gVitamin A: 343IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Cake, Chocolate Lamingtons
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.


  1. Never heard of Lamingtons before, but now I’m eager to have a go. Not keen on jelly, and the chocolate coating in this recipe sounds a bit…meh…so I’m wondering, for the chocolate version, can we just coat with ganache? And for a raspberry version, can we dip into raspberry cream? Barely whipped if that’s the consistency required.


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