Australia Day Lamington Cake

Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, featured, General, Recipes | 5 comments

Australia Day Lamington Cake

Happy Australia Day!  January 26th marks the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip, the commander of the First Fleet from Great Britain and first Governor of New South Wales, at Sydney Cove in 1788.  The day was declared as a public holiday 13 years later and is now celebrated throughout the country with barbeques, concerts, and awards ceremonies recognising our outstanding citizens and for new citizens pledging their commitment to this great nation.  It is also a day to show respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and continue reconciliation efforts.


Place a piece of baking paper over the base of the spingform tin then secure the side on. Leave the excess paper on for easy transfer of the cake after baking.


Australians love to celebrate with food, not that we need a special day to do that.  Some of our favourites include barbeques, scones, meat pies with tomato sauce, pavlova, and of course, lamingtons.


Lamingtons consist of plain cake dipped in chocolate icing then coated in coconut.  There are many theories about how they were named, but most commonly are thought to have been named after the 8th Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington.  There is much debate over whether the cake should be a sponge or a denser butter cake, and whether there should be a layer of jam through the middle or not.  My preference is for the sponge cake with the jam.



If you have been visiting Low for a while now, you may have noticed that I like to play with recipes, give them a twist and try something different.  I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen today so instead of individual lamingtons I decided to make 2 layers of sponge cake to sandwich together with jam and a few crushed frozen raspberries.  I made the usual chocolate icing to spread on the side and top of the cake before rolling in and sprinkling over some coconut.  For something a little extra on the side I crushed some frozen raspberries with a little icing sugar to make a quick coulis.  We all enjoyed a generous slice with a cup of tea this Australia Day afternoon, but you needn’t wait for 26th January to roll back around before you give it a go.



Lamington Cake

This cake is best served the day it is made.  The raspberry coulis is optional but it offers a delicious contrast to the chocolate icing.


Sponge cake
4 eggs, room temperature
½ cup (110g) caster sugar (have you tried raw/golden caster sugar yet??)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (90g) brown rice flour
¼ cup (35g) corn flour
1 ½ tablespoons tapioca starch
½ teaspoon baking powder
40g butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons raspberry jam

1 ½ cups (240g) gluten free icing sugar mixture
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons milk, lactose free if required
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup coconut

Raspberry coulis
1 cup (120g) frozen raspberries, thawed
3 teaspoon gluten free icing sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of two 20cm round springform tins with baking paper and grease the sides.

Using electric beaters, whisk the eggs and sugar together for 10 minutes until thick and creamy and the sugar has dissolved (check by rubbing some mixture between 2 fingers).  Beat in the vanilla extract.

Sift the rice flour, corn flour, tapioca starch and baking powder together, and then gently fold into the egg mixture.  Just before the flour is fully incorporated add the butter and fold through.  Divide evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes until golden.  Cool in the tins.

When the cakes are cool remove from the tins and spread 1 cake with the jam.  Crumble a few of the frozen raspberries over the jam, and then top with the second cake.

To make the icing place the icing sugar, cocoa, milk and butter into a heatproof bowl.  Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Stir until the butter is melted and the icing is well combined and quite runny.  Remove from the heat.

Tip the coconut onto a dinner plate.  Spread the icing generously on the side of the cake then roll the side in the coconut.  Place the cake onto a rack and spread the top with icing and sprinkle evenly with the remaining coconut.  Gently brush any excess coconut off the top and transfer the cake to a serving plate.  Chill for 30 minutes.

To make the coulis crush the thawed raspberries with a fork and mix in the icing sugar.

Serve the cake with a spoon of coulis on the side.



  1. this looks delicious… thanks for this gluten free recipe, it’s hard to find one that rivals with what I still call the real thing… and thanks for the explanation on Australia Day, that is very informative (for me a “new” Australian)

    Does it last (well if you can stop yourself from eating it in one setting)… I find gluten free cakes or products dry out very quickly…

    • Hi Claire,
      This cake is really best eaten the day it is made, but not because it is gluten free, more because it is a sponge cake that doesn’t have a huge amount of butter added. We had a little bit left over yesterday that I put into an airtight container in the fridge. I have just tried some; it is a little more crumbly than yesterday but still quite edible. If you wanted to make it in advance I would suggest freezing the uniced cakes tightly wrapped in plastic wrap then placed into a freezer bag.
      Cheers, Nat

  2. Mmm that looks delicious. I love lamington!

  3. Hi Nat, love your food over here in Kiwi land, can you tell me do you have a fodmap friendly humus, soy sauce and pesto recipe. Is the jam in your laming ton allowed on fodmaps? Many thanks

    • Hi Janine,
      Hummus is a hard one because it is made with chickpeas (a legume) which contain fructans/GOS. Without chickpeas it the dip wouldn’t really be hummus. Soy sauce is fine and a gluten free variety is not required for a low FODMAP diet (unless you require GF in addition to low FODMAP).
      I have recipes for rocket pesto and red pesto in my cookbook. As a general suggestion, substitute some of the olive oil in a pesto recipe with garlic infused oil for flavour. Pine nuts should be restricted to 1 tablespoon per serve and parmesan cheese is low FODMAP.
      Jam with suitable fruits is fine in small amounts, so yes, the raspberry jam in the lamington cake is fine.
      Cheers, Nat

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