A sort of lamington

We had never eaten lamingtons, a lovely sponge type cake covered in jam or chocolate and desiccated coconut, until we visited Australia. To be honest, I had seen lots of recipes and never bothered making any… but having tried some, and then tried some more, and a few more, then getting free ones on Australia Day, and then having some more just to make sure we really did adore them, we decided that lamingtons, named after Lord Lamington (probably) are just the best thing!

It was my writers’ group today, and as one of our number is gluten intolerant I looked for recipes which she could eat, and to my surprise up popped a cake very like a lamington but gluten-free… it was rather an improbable recipe but all the comments praised it, and so I decided to have a go. I baked it yesterday so if it was a disaster I could make a tried and trusted gluten-free cake today… I should have trusted the recipe and the comments – delicious!!

This is not a lamington, but it eats very like one! I confess, I did adjust the recipe slightly, but here is my version:

  • 8oz mashed potato (with 1 tbsp milk added while mashing – I guess you could use any leftover mash if you have it which might have butter and more milk in – as long as it also didn’t have pepper, although thinking about it, pepper might be an interesting addition)
  • 8 oz gluten-free self-raising flour (I use Dove’s)
  • 8 oz butter or margarine (I used Stork margarine, it’s what my mum used, it’s what mary Berry uses, and also it’s softer than the butter I had in the fridge
  • 8 oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • vanilla essence to taste
  • jam (or chocolate icing – 1.5 lb icing sugar, 2 oz cocoa powder, 1 oz soft butter, 6.5 fl oz milk – I didn’t make this recipe I used just jam)
  • desiccated coconut
  1. beat the butter/margarine and sugar together until very light and pale and creamy and fluffy
  2. add the eggs one by one (since I had a nasty experience with a bad egg which against all my usual practices I hadn’t cracked into a cup first, crack into a cup first!)
  3. use a few tablespoons of the mix to slacken the potato (mine had set into a big lump, but maybe yours won’t, in which case maybe you don’t need to slacken it)
  4. beat in the flour and potato alternatively
  5. pour into a 7×11 greased and lined tin (I think mine was a little larger so mine were thinner, but maybe that’s better if you’re watching calories!)
  6. bake for 40-45 mins at 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4
  7. this is where the recipe deviates from real Australian lamingtons completely: if you are using jam, spread on the top while still warm, then sprinkle with coconut


However, to make it authentically, the cake should be covered in chocolate icing:

  1. put sifted icing sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a bowl over hot water and stir  until the icing is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. cut cake into squares and dip (using a fork) into the icing until it is coated (if the icing goes a bit stiff, put it back over the hot water and maybe add a little milk
  3. toss  in the coconut and leave on cake rack to set

I just made the jammy cakes, and they were yummy, and I guess less fattening!

PS my featured image is nothing to do with cake, it’s just pretty and the leaves are sort of jammy coloured

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