Lamington Layer Cake
Lamingtons, I am sure, are a part of every Australians childhood.
Making appearances at events and occasions all across the country. These beautifully simple cakes always come out in force around Australia Day, and with the National Day fast approaching, I have done my best to put a fresh spin on the humble lamington.
Why are they called Lamington?
As quoted in The Larousse Gastronomique (2001) “The cakes were named after Lord Lamington, the governor of Queensland from 1896-1901”.
Most accounts of the history of the lamington mention Lord Lamington, but there seem to be many different versions of how lamingtons came to be.
- Sponge Cake
- 180 g self-raising flour, sifter twice
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 180 g soft margarine
- 180 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons Milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Mock Cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 125 g butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- icing sugar
- 150 g good quality strawberry jam
- Cocoa Buttercream
- 4 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 340 g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons full cream milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 340 g pure icing sugar, sifted
- 100 g shredded coconut, to decorate
- For the Sponge Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease, line with baking paper, re-grease and flour 3 20 cm cake tins.
- Sift the flour and baking powder from a height into a large mixing bowl, to incorporate as much air as possible into the mixture.
- Add all other ingredients to the bowl, and use an electric whisk on medium speed to thoroughly combine.
- Spoon one third of the mixture into each of the prepared cake tins and smooth the surfaces.
- Cover and set aside the remaining batter.
- Bake the cakes on the same centre shelf for about 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean and the surfaces are lightly golden brown.
- Remove the cakes from the oven, leave to cool.
- Loosen the sides of the cakes with a butter knife and tip the cakes out onto wire racks immediately, gently peeling off the baking paper. Leave to cool completely.
- For the Mock Cream
- Gently dissolve ½ cup of sugar in ⅓ cup of water until you have a syrup consistency, then boil for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Beat 125g of butter with ½ teaspoon of vanilla until it is white. Gently pour in the cooled syrup in a thin stream until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Cocoa Buttercream
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter on medium speed for 5-10 minutes, until it looks pale, creamy and well whipped. Stop every minute or so to scrape the butter down the sides of the bowl, and ensure all the butter is whipped up.
- Turn the beater to low speed, and gradually add all the ingredients, beating until combined.
- To Assemble the cake
- Smear half of the mock cream and jam on the first layer of cake, and spread evenly.
- Place the middle layer on top, being careful to ensure the cake is lined up evenly.
- Repeat with the remaining cream and jam and place the top cake layer on.
- Spoon half the buttercream onto the top surface of the cake, then use a spatula to spread it across the top and over the sides.
- Immediately after frosting, use your hands to gently press the coconut all over the surface of the cake, as generously or sparsely as you wish.
- The cake does not need to be refrigerated.