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Lamingtons! a.k.a. Chocolate Coconut Cake Squares

Chocolate Coconut Cake Squares a.k.a. Lamingtons, homemade white cake dipped in a decadent chocolate syrup and then rolled in coconut. An Australian fave!

Lamingtons. An aunsralian favourite with chocolate and coconut surrounding homemade white cake.

Lamingtons

This Lamingtons recipe is one that I have not made in a very, very long time. It was almost a lost recipe to me and when I saw it in my sister’s Facebook timeline from a blog called Sweet Little Bluebird, the memories came flooding back.

My sister Brenda tells me that our Nan Morgan made them which makes sense since she loved anything coconut. I remember them as a very common treat even at kid birthday parties too.

I went digging through some local old church cookbooks and sure enough, there was the recipe. The original recipe calls for a cake mix but I haven’t used one of those in decades.

The vanilla scratch cake recipe included here was perfect to use with these dessert squares.

Memories of baby and wedding showers.

Baby and wedding showers seemed to be more common back in those days and inevitably in rural Newfoundland where I grew up, there was far more food than the ladies present could ever consume.

Every lady was certain to leave with the same Tupperware container she brought along but return with it filled with a selection of the treats that the other women had contributed.

Lamingtons. An aunsralian favourite with chocolate and coconut surrounding homemade white cake.

Lamingtons

Besides the ham and cheese and egg salad sandwiches that were always mainstays, as well as a great selection of sweet treats, I remember these little cake squares as being a very common contribution to the celebrations too.

As small children we must have eaten hundreds of these but somehow the popularity of this dessert faded over the years. I have no idea why; they are so moist, soft, chocolatey and scrumptiously coconut covered.

Desiccated coconut in white ceramic bowl.

Dried (desiccated) coconut is the kind used in this recipe.

My kids had never had them until I made them this past weekend and quickly went through several of them in the first two days. I’ve frozen the rest of the batch into to enjoy later but I suspect the kids will sneak a few from the basement freezer before long.

I’ll have to guard them closely.

Use the best quality cocoa powder you can find for this recipe.

UPDATE

The first day I posted this recipe I heard from literally  dozens of Australians informing me that these were an Aussie favorite called Lamingtons, reportedly named for Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland at the turn of the 20th century.

How this recipe became popular in Newfoundland in the 1960’s or possibly earlier is a mystery to me but I received so many responses from Australia, New Zealand and even as far east as Hong Kong, I’ve updated the recipe title to reflect its heritage.

Love more Lamingtons recipes?

Lemon Lamingtons image with text for Pinterest

You may also want to try Lemon Lamingtons or Strawberry Lamingtons!

Strawberry Lamingtons

Originally published Nov 2013

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Lamingtons. An aunsralian favourite with chocolate and coconut surrounding homemade white cake.

Lamingtons

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Lamingtons. An aunsralian favourite with chocolate and coconut surrounding homemade white cake.
Yield: 24 dessert squares

Chocolate Coconut Cake Squares a.k.a. Lamingtons!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Chocolate Coconut Cake Squares a.k.a. Lamingtons, homemade white cake dipped in a decadent chocolate syrup and then rolled in coconut. An Australian fave!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

For the chocolate syrup

  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar

To finish

  • Approximately 4 cups dried shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together both flours, baking soda. baking powder, salt and sugar, Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening and vanilla. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
  4. Beat the eggs in one at a time.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
  6. I always add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 divisions. It is very important to begin and end the additions with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the prepared 9×13 inch pan.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
  8. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until the cake is completely frozen.
  9. When frozen, lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper as an aid and cut it into 24 squares. Return to the freezer until ready to dip in the chocolate syrup and coconut.

TO PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE SYRUP

  1. Whisk together the sugar and cocoa. This helps to remove any small lumps from the cocoa.
  2. Add the vanilla and water.
  3. Bring to a slow rolling boil and cook for 5-6 minutes. The syrup should thicken slightly but will still be quite thin.
  4. Cool completely to room temperature.
  5. Working quickly, dip the frozen cake cubes into the syrup. You don’t want to soak too much syrup into the cake.
  6. Quickly roll the soaked cake into the coconut and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry.
  7. Store in airtight plastic containers. If you are freezing the dessert squares put them back into the freezer right away.
  8. Total time to make , freeze and finish these dessert squares is probably about 6 hours. You may want to plan to freeze the cake overnight and finish the squares the next day.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

24 dessert squares

Amount Per Serving Calories 291Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 25mgSodium 224mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 2gSugar 29gProtein 4g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Brenda

Friday 5th of February 2021

This was yummy, a little messy, but GREAT!

Robert Kirby

Friday 4th of December 2020

Greetings from Nova Scotia but born and raised in Newfoundland! I spent a 100+ days in New Zealand and another 100+ days in Australia helping with their natural disasters! And one of the wonderful experiences was finding Lamingtons at pretty much any proper supermarket and they were exactly like the ones I grew up with! Probably a Commonwealth tradition! So not surprised that you heard from Kiwis and the Aussies!

Angela Metcalfe

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Good on you Barry, certainly an Australian favourite.

glenda kennedy

Wednesday 25th of September 2019

we make them with seedless raspberry jam instead of the chocolate syrup. We have been known to substitute them for traditional birthday cake . They disappear quickly !!

Paulette Turcotte

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

I make something similar, but with peanut butter sandwiches cut into quarters.

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