The Great Australian Lamington

The Great Australian Lamington
Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland - creator of the world-famous Australian Lamington.

The Humble Australian Lamington - Created in Queensland in 1901

Australian Lamington

The world-famous Australian lamington is over a century old.

Despite some dubious claims from New Zealand, the lamington is as Australian as meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars, ranking alongside the other true Australian icons of the pavlova, peach melba and Vegemite.

This Australian culinary icon, which consists of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with fine desiccated coconut, was created through an accident at work by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the thoroughly-British eighth Governor of Queensland.

The maid-servant was working at Government House in Brisbane when she accidentally dropped the Governor's favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate.

Lord Lamington was not a person of wasteful habits and suggested that it be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate to avoid messy fingers.

Paul Tully celebrates
the 100th anniversary
of the world renowned
Australian lamington
on 19 December 2001
Lord Lamington devoured this new taste sensation with great delight and the maid-servant's error was proclaimed a magnificent success by all! The Governor however is on the record as calling them "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

Lord Lamington was born in London, England on 29 July 1860 as Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE holding the aristocratic title of Baron Lamington.

He was Governor of Queensland from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901.

After leaving Queensland, he went on to become the Governor of Bombay in India for 4 years. He died at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1940.

According to Hansard page 728 at the Australian Constitutional Convention in Canberra on 11 February 1998, Cr Paul Tully, an elected delegate representing "Queenslanders for a Republic" suggested that his extensive research of the Governors of the 6 Australian colonies and states had produced evidence of only "one, single, solitary, positive achievement of any Governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788" and that was Lord Lamington's contribution to the culinary delights of the Australian nation!

Lord Lamington served Queensland for 5 years but despite all of his colonial, aristocratic pomp and ceremony, the only thing which Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE will ever be remembered for in Australia is the creation of the world-famous lamington.


3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour 1/2 cup milk.

Beat the eggs well, gradually adding the sugar until dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla essence and then stir in the self raising flour and whip the butter into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a cake tin or lamington baking dish and bake in a moderate oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes and then stand for 24 hours preferably in the refrigerator, before applying the icing.

4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups desiccated coconut.

Stir the cocoa and icing sugar vigorously in a large bowl, adding the milk, butter and boiling water, warming the chocolate mixture over a very low heat until it has a smooth creamy texture. Cut the sponge cake into equal squares about 5cm x 5cm and, using a fork or thin skewer, dip each piece into the chocolate mixture ensuring that the mixture is liberally and evenly applied. Dip each piece into the desiccated coconut, allowing the lamingtons to cool on a wire tray for several hours.



Do you have an interesting historical anecdote about the Australian lamington?
Please email the Australian Lamington Official Website.

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The humble Aussie lamington, why do we love it so much?

Australian lamington.
Why do we love the spongy, chocolate, coconut goodness of the traditional Aussie lamington so?

This weekend, the cake is showcased at not only the Royal Easter Show, but also at polling booths around the state as voters select their next government.

If you're looking for the perfect lamington recipe, Glad Shute from the CWA and a former cake judge at the Royal Easter Show shares her recipe with us.

Lamington recipe

Ingredients - CAKE

  • 125 grams butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3/4 caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups of self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup of milk


  • 3 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs of cocoa
  • 1 tbs of butter
  • milk
  • desiccated coconut


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Beat butter and vanilla essence together. Gradually add the caster sugar until you get a creamy consistency. Mix in the two eggs and self raising flour. Add the milk and mix until the mixture is ready to pour into a greased slice tin.

Bake for approximate 15 minutes.

Remove the cake and let it cool briefly in the tin. Once slightly cooled, remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

Once completely cooled, cut the cake into 2 1/2 inch squares. Put the squares into a plastic bag and freezer them until they are cold and set.

To make the icing, add the icing sugar, cocoa and butter to a bowl and mix. Gradually add a small amount of milk until you get the consistency you want. When done, put the bowl of icing over a pot of hot water so the icing doesn't set.

Take out the lamingtons and individually skewer them. Use a spoon or ladle to pour the icing mixture over the lamington squares. Make sure they are all well covered.

Dip the chocolate covered lamington into a tray of coconut, give them a shake and put them on a rack to dry.

Australian Lamington - Chocolate Coconut Cake

Aussie Lamingtons.

Lamington is an Australian dessert recipe consists of sponge cake coated first in a layer of chocolate sauce and then desiccated coconut. 

It is one of the delicious cake recipe loved by all kids. It can be specially prepared for birthday parties, morning and afternoon teas. 

The sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing gives wonderful look and taste. 

Here is the simple preparation of Aussie Chocolate coconut cake. 

Serves: 24 


For Cake:

125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
250g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
120ml milk

For Icing:

450g icing sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, melted
120ml milk
2 (200g) packages desiccated cocon


1. Preheat oven to 1900 C.

2. Take 20x30cm rectangular baking tin, grease and flour it.

3. Take a large bowl and cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light fluffy.

4. Take previously greased baking tin and pour this mixture into it.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Store overnight to give the cake a chance to firm up before icing.

7. Icing preparation: In a large bowl, combine icing sugar and cocoa. In a saucepan, heat milk and 1 tablespoon butter until the butter is melted. Add the milk to the sugar mixture and mix well to create a fluid, but not too runny, icing.

8. Cut the cake into 24 squares. Place coconut in a shallow container. Using a fork, dip each square into the icing, then roll it in the coconut. Place onto a cooling rack to dry. Continue for each piece. The icing will drip, so place a sheet of paper under the rack to catch the drips.

The death of the Lamington


Australian Associated Press

Lord Lamington.
LONDON, September 17. - The death occurred this morning of Lord Lamington, a former Governor of Queensland (from 1895 to 1901), and later Governor of Bombay. 

He was 80 years of age. Lord Lamington was one of three men injured when an Indian shot Sir Michael O'Dwyer dead at a meeting of the East India Association in the Caxton Hall, London, on March 13. 

Lord Lamington, whose right hand was partly shattered, was taken to a hospital, but left for home after receiving treatment.

Pace 4. - Youngest Governor.

The Courier-Mail, Wednesday 18 September 1940

Lord Lamington's Death Recalls
Stormy Days of Politics

By Firmin McKinnon

A younger Lord Lamington.
LORD LAMINGTON, whose death in his 81st year has been reported by cable message, was the eighth Governor of Queensland - the youngest Governor this State has had.  He was not quite 36 years of age when he arrived here with a young bride in April, 1896. His son, the Hon. Victor Brisbane Cochrane-Bailley, who succeeds as third Baron, and his daughter were born in old Government House, now the University. 

Many old Brisbane residents will remember having seen the small children with their mother or a nurse in the Botanic Gardens, particularly around the ponds, then the haunt of wild ducks and other aquatic birds. 

Though Lord Lamington was a young man when he was Governor he was an accomplished constitutional authority, a qualification especially necessary in those stormy days of politics, when Sir Thomas McIlwraith and Sir Samuel Griffith were the veteran political protagonists, and Hugh Nelson, James R. Dickson, Horace Tozer, Arthur Rutledge, and Robert Philp (all to be knighted subsequently), Anderson Dawson, William Kidston, and Andrew Fisher were coming men, all to be prominent later, all in State politics, and some in Federal. 

"Original Of "Buckhorst" 

Before coming to Queensland, Lord Lamington had been private secretary to Lord Salisbury when he was British Prime Minister. His father, the first Baron, had been closely associated with Disraeli; and it is generally understood that he was the original of "Buckhorst" in Disraeli's novel,"Coningsby." 

After leaving Queensland in 1901 Lord Lamington went to Bombay as Governor and subsequently settled on his estates in Lanarkshire in Scotland. About 18 months ago he intended making a trip to Queensland, but was prevented because of the uneasy state of Europe at the time.

Lord Lamington was devoted to outdoor exercise. He was a first-class cyclist when he was in Brisbane, an excellent walker, and a keen polo player. His favourite sports, however, were shooting and fishing, of which he was passionately fond. His name is commemorated in the Lamington National Park, beyond Beaudesert. 

Lady Lamington, subsequently a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary, took considerable interest in social movements in Brisbane. Until recently her name was commemorated in the old Lady Lamington Hospital,now used for military purposes.

Lord Lamington's legacy to Queensland - A cake an a mountain retreat

Lamington National Park, named
 after Lord Lamington, Governor
of Queensland.
Queensland's World Heritage Rainforest is a magical world of tumbling waterfalls, secretive caves, shady creeks and extraordinary plants and wildlife.

With soft sand between your toes, an arc of ocean as far as the eye can see and urban amenities almost on the water's edge, the Gold Coast has a front yard to be reckoned with. But when you need a break from sea, sand and hot sun, the back yard is pretty spectacular too.

Green hills ripple westwards to become the unspoiled folds of Lamington National Park, where a rainforest retreat began almost 100 years ago. In between are the neat farms of Beaudesert and ideal conditions for hot-air ballooning.

The orange balloon slowly inflates and coaxes a spectacular sunrise that's worth a 4.30am start. Jauntily described by the pilot as "a giant laundry basket with a gas cooker overhead," passengers find the balloon's liftoff is surprisingly gentle.

A hint of breeze drifts it over horse studs, old Queenslander farmhouses, rambling modern homesteads and the rolling hills of a million-year-old caldera. Birds call through the pearly morning mist; the balloon's silhouette becomes an icon on the patchwork fields below.

Our actual destination is as delightfully uncertain as the wind direction, but wherever you land, there's the anticipation of a hearty breakfast. First, thousands of cubic inches of warm fusty air must be pressed from the balloon's orange folds. The ritual of packing up invites the instant camaraderie of a shared experience.

O'Reilly's Vineyard in the Canungra Valley has become a popular venue for post-ballooning champagne, breakfasts, lunches, tastings and private functions.

The charming colonial homestead was transported to the site more than a decade ago and the adjoining vineyard established by a sixth-generation descendant of the O'Reilly brothers who settled in the area in 1911. Mesmerised by the beauty of the land they were farming, they pioneered tourism by building a remote lodge in 1926 and the family has been hosting visitors ever since.

Reaching the lodge from Brisbane once involved two days' tortuous travel by train, coach and packhorse, but like the founders of Las Vegas, the O'Reillys also believed "if you build it they will come".

When the national park was created, the family became joint custodians of the World Heritage Rainforest and remain committed to preserving the natural environment for guests to enjoy.

Well-marked trails and the wonderful treetop walkway allow visitors to discover tumbling waterfalls, secretive caves, shady creeks and the extraordinary plants and wildlife. You can also get around on almost silent, eco-friendly Segways and be introduced to Australia's falcons, owls, peregrines and eagles in a Bird of Prey demonstration.

 Lord Lamington - creator
of the world-famous
Australian lamington.
Modern transport means O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat can be a day trip from the Gold Coast, but the unsurpassable views and wonderful bush clad surroundings have never changed. The original guesthouse envelops you with old-fashioned hospitality, fine meals are served in the cosy dining room and a genteel library contains an extraordinary archive of the family's history. Outside, flocks of vivid rosella parrots still greet you and a sculpture of the O'Reilly brothers reminds that adventure tourism is not a new phenomenon.

Modern developments at the retreat include new accommodation, conference facilities, swimming pool, hot tubs and the aptly named Lost World Day Spa, where nature-inspired treatments are designed to refresh, revitalise and relax.

On arrival the air is filled with gentle fragrant aromas while a nectar-like drink is served for your inner cleansing. The tranquil sounds of water mingle with the whisper of mood-setting music, blue-hazed views are framed in the picture windows and the turquoise pool appears suspended above the hills and hollows.

Smoothed by anti-ageing Vinotherapy or soothed by a mind-melting massage, limbs become fluid and eyes beg not to open. Whether you choose a spa to energise, harmonise or de-pressurise, it will be close to an out-of-body experience and should be undertaken without guilt.

There's an understandable reluctance to return to civilisation, but you'll soon be sampling food and wine delights on Tamborine Mountain. On the mountaintop, Eagle Heights Village has become a mouth-watering gourmet mile interspersed with galleries, gift shops, colour and crafts.

You can be whisked along on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, or explore as randomly as the gastronomic mood takes you. Between Eagle Heights Brewery at one end of the village and Witches Chase Cheese at the other, there's a smorgasbord of local fudge, preserves, sauces, nuts, chocolate, baking and organic produce to tempt.

Mt Tambourine has its own coffee plantation, so you can't get a fresher or better cup than that. Kees Van Rijsen bought the small rundown property, nurtured it to produce three times more beans than any other Queensland producer and now "roasts and posts" to customers all over the world. The aroma and fine flavour is best appreciated on the plantation's sunny porch.

Select a deli-made hamper or shop for a picnic of local sourdough bread, fat glossy avocados that are now a major crop and tempting cheeses with quirky names like "Tamembert". With their own herd of Jersey cows grazing nearby, Witches Chase produces more than 20 varieties of cheese as well as dreamy ice-cream and yoghurt that is simply irresistible.

Songbirds Rainforest Retreat is in a class of its own. Consistent innovation and gastronomic perfection has been recognised and rewarded with a raft of "best restaurant" awards every year since 2005. Cocooned in a private rainforest, you'll discover unforgettable food, home grown produce and biodynamic wines. It's sustenance for body and soul and there's luxury villa accommodation if you choose to stay.

With several vineyards on the mountain slopes, there's plenty of scope for tastings and cellar door sales. Among them you'll find award winning red and white wines at Witches Falls Winery whose decade of success helped establish Queensland as a serious wine producer.

Cedar Creek Winery was named for the cedar forests that covered the mountain before being cleared for farming. Be sure to sample the winery's popular verdelho and rose, swirl a mellow tawny port or treat yourself to an elegant lunch overlooking exquisite formal gardens.

The Queensland Wine Centre is also located at Cedar Creek. Offering the most extensive range of the region's specialist wines under one roof, it's your most convenient chance to savour the best sips, nips and tips from Queensland vintners.

If whisky is more to your taste, Tamborine Mountain boasts its own distillery. For a not-so-wee dram of Michael and Alla Ward's range of flavoured whiskies, you'll think yourself inside a Scottish castle. With boundless enthusiasm for the product he exports all over the world, Michael will convince that whisky is a drink for all reasons.

At Eagle Height Brewery, line up a sampler tray of craft beers with bizarre names to test your nerve and distinctive flavours to test your palate: Nine Bullets Ale, Frank's Braggot or Wonglepong Wit. Bitter, light, sweet or white, whatever you choose, don't forget to raise your glass to the hilltop view.

From here you can see all the way to Surfers and in 40 minutes you'll be back where you began, swimming between the flags with soft sifty sand between your toes.

Top ten

1. Tamborine RainForest Skywalk: Your adventure begins in the Rainforest Eco Gallery which has a comprehensive array of rainforest fauna and flora information and displays. These include interpretive panels with descriptions and photos of sub-tropical rainforest wildlife, static displays and an aquarium with a variety of Australian freshwater fish.

2. Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk: Stroll a short section or join guided longer walks, and discover beauty, mystery and history along the 54 kilometre Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk linking the species-rich, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area of Lamington and Springbrook plateaus via the scenic Numinbah Valley.

3. Tamborine Mountain Distillery: Hidden away in the Gold Coast hinterland lies Australia's most awarded distillery and liquor brand in the new millennium, Tamborine Mountain Distillery. With the combination of rich red volcanic soil and fresh spring water, the abundant fruit of the mountain is fermented and distilled. This family owned and operated boutique distillery manufactures fine liqueurs, schnapps, vodka, eaux de vie and liqueur chocolates.

4. Burleigh Brewing Company: Burleigh Brewing Company is Queensland's premium brewer and the Gold Coast's only craft brewery. You can buy takeaway beers from the Brewhouse Bar, Monday to Friday. The Brewouse Bar is open every Friday night.

5. Escarpment Day Spa: This award-winning rainforest Day Spa offers a range of rejuvenating treatments including aromatherapy, hot stone, salt glow, deep tissue massage, indulgent and relaxing facial, massage package and couples massages. Relieve stress and feel renewed with their skilful combination of Relaxation, Remedial and Deep Tissue techniques tailored just for you.

6. Songbirds Rainforest Retreat: Nestled among 52 acres of privately owned rainforest, Songbirds Rainforest Retreat is truly a hidden secret. Dine in the Award Winning restaurant where meals are fresh, innovative and served in a beautiful environment, the perfect setting for a lazy lunch or intimate dinner.

7. Tamborine Cooking School: Located in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland in South East Queensland - 30 minutes from the Gold Coast offering cooking lessons using the best and freshest produce in the region. A multi course themed lunch menu is prepared (French, Italian, Moroccan, Asian, Spanish, Greek), guests can be hands on as they want to be or sit and watch the demonstration.

8. Gallery Walk: With its unusual and vibrantly coloured shops, art galleries, wineries, restaurants and cafes, Gallery Walk shopping precinct is definitely one of Tamborine Mountain's most well-known and popular visitor attractions. There is so much to see and do on Gallery Walk, with exciting shops full to the brim with original artworks, paintings and sculptures, glass works, pottery, ceramics, antiques, jewelry and clothing, to name but a few.

9. Gold Coast Airport Marathon: The 36th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held in July . . Regarded as one of Australia's premier sporting events, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is set to attract more than 28,000 participants of all ages and abilities. Come for the run and then head to the Hinterland to rest and relax ! 

10. O'Reilly's Forest Weekend - October: Join visiting experts for an insight into the complex world of the Rainforest. Learn about Lamington's part in the 'Gondwana Rainforests of Australia' World Heritage site and the fascinating features that warrant its inclusion.


Getting there: There are direct flights from Auckland to the Gold Coast or it's a one-hour drive from Brisbane. Mt Tamborine is a 1 hour drive from the Gold Coast.

Flaming Lamington drives into Great Australian Beer Spectapular

Stouts aren’t new to Nail brewer John Stallwood.

He already has two versions that are already popular on the Australian market.

So he has been keen to take up the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular challenge and devise a dark beer to entertain drinkers at the annual Melbourne festival next month.

Under the GABS rules the beers put up for the three-day even have to be unique, not produced by the brewer before.

So Stallwood has devised a Chocolate Stour with coffee, coconut and chilli. And its name, which is so important at an event such as GABS, is, Flaming Lamington.

“It will be like tasting the cake with a little bit of chili heat thrown in,” Stallwood said.

While the GABS beers can’t have been produced before the event the brews can be continued after the five sessions of tastings at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building.

And Stallwood plans to release the Flaming Lamington later in the year.

The event will also move to Sydney for a one-day session the following week.

They’ve given drinkers Australia. Now a band of beer aficionados want to give craft lovers the taste of the world.

BeerBud has created a strong niche in the brewing market with their ability to ship a variety of local concoctions across the country.

The team now wants to expand and take a few customers along for the ride.

BeerBud has launched a crowd-funding campaign designed to raise that would allow the company to import more beers from overseas.

“We’ve already identified thousands of beers from hundreds of breweries which we can get our hands on,” explains Andy Williamson, co-founder of

“But we need some help to purchase those beers up-front. So we’ve launched a crowd funding campaign where you can lend your support, vote for your favourite beers, and in return get 15% off an unlimited amount of beer for up to 5 years which is essentially wholesale prices.”

Supporters can choose between rewards offering beer at wholesale prices for one, three or five years, VIP access to pre-sales and special offers, or a mixed case pre-sale containing 16 of the best international beers they find.

Last year California based Stone Brewing Company raised US$2.5m on Indiegogo, setting a new record for most contributors to any campaign. Closer to home, New Zealand’s burgeoning craft brewing industry has led the boom in equity crowd funding, with Renaissance Brewing raising over NZ$700,000 in a week and a half and Yeastie Boys raising NZ$500,000 in under 30 minutes.

For more details go to

Lamington Choc Tops - An absolute Australian delight

Lamington Choc Tops! The Recipe That Combines Your Childhood Faves!

Raspberry, Coconut, Biscuit and Ice Cream Together... Yummm...

Lamington Choc Top.
If you're anything like us you're gripping onto summer like your life depends on it. The next few weeks are probably your last chance to indulge in summer desserts so you might as well make the most of them!

Our wonderful friend Phoodie has created this incredible Lamington Choc-top recipe and it's so, so, easy! Including chocolate, coconut, raspeberry and ice cream this is a choc-top far better than any you'll pick up at the cinema! 


Makes approx. 8 cones (depending on cone size, scoop size and how much you eat while you are making them!)

1.8 litres Raspberry ripple ice cream

6 x 45g Bounty Bars – roughly chopped.

200g Chocolate

80g copha

1 – 2 cups shredded coconut (depending on how much you like to sprinkle on!)

8 large waffle cones

METHOD (Make sure to read this in full before starting!)

1) Scoop the ice cream into a bowl and fold the chopped up bounty bars through it. Quickly place back into freezer in a baking dish so that it sets again faster.

RED ALERT – in the pictures you will see that I let my ice cream get too soft before folding the bounty pieces through, DO NOT DO THIS as it will take 10000000 years to set again. Although it will require much more muscle action, it is better to mix the bounty pieces through firmer ice cream.

2) Just prior to removing ice cream from freezer to make your scoops, you will need to make your chocolate ‘dip.’ Combine the chocolate and copha in a bowl and place in the microwave until melted. Do this in 10-15 second bursts, stirring in between each one. It should only take a minute or 2 in total. Set aside and allow to cool.

3) Scoop a large, neat ball of ice cream into a waffle cone. Push down gently so that it doesn’t come out! Dip into chocolate/copha topping and then QUICKLY sprinkle with as much or as little coconut as you like as the chocolate sets fast! Place in ice cream holder to set. RED ALERT AGAIN – I didn’t have an ice cream holder and one very clever Facebook follower suggested that I use plastic champagne flutes – worked a treat!

4) Serve straight away or keep in freezer for up to a week (they actually last longer but definitely taste better in the first few days!)

Ohhh yum! Make them quick before winter arrives! Check out Phoodie for more incredible recipes!

Lamington recipe: Make Australia's best Lamingtons today

Chocolate and raspberry lamingtons.

Main ingredients
Coconut, eggs

Sourced from

In my family there are those who cannot go past a chocolate-dipped lamington but there are others, such as myself, who have a soft spot for the jelly-dipped pink ones. 

It’s best to cook the sponge the day prior to assembling the lamingtons.


  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 60 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 150 g plain flour
  • ¾ cup castor sugar

Chocolate lamington dipping

  • Dutch cocoa
  • icing sugar
  • butter, melted
  • dessicated coconut

Pink lamington dipping

  • a packet of strawberry jelly crystals, or raspberry


Select a 20 cm x 28 cm lamington tin and brush with some of the melted butter. Dust with plain flour and tap to dislodge excess. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Beat eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until very thick and mousse-like – this will take abut 10 minutes. Sift flour over egg mixture and fold in thoroughly but lightly using a large metal spoon. Trickle cooled melted butter down sides of bowl and fold in thoroughly. Pour into tin and bake for 15–18 minutes until top of cake feels springy to the touch (but do not open oven door before 15 minutes has elapsed). Allow cake to cool for a few minutes in tin, then turn out onto a clean tea towel and leave until completely cold.

Cut day-old sponge into 5 cm cubes and refrigerate.

For chocolate lamingtons, mix 1 part cocoa with 8 parts icing sugar, 1 part boiling water and 1 part melted butter to make icing, and prepare a tray of desiccated coconut. Impale a square of sponge on a fork and dip in icing, then in coconut. Allow to dry on a wire rack before storing in airtight tins. Some cooks dip the cake squares in melted jam before the chocolate icing.

For pink lamingtons, make up a packet of strawberry or raspberry jelly crystals, using the quantity of boiling and cold water as suggested on the packet. (85g crystals dissolved in 1 cup boiling water, stir and then add three-quarters cup cold water.) Swirl the liquid in a bowl over a larger bowl of iced water and as soon as the jelly shows signs of thickening, dip the lamington squares into the jelly and then in coconut. Allow to set. 

Will make enough for 12-15 lamingtons, depending on size.

Lamington deserves a slice of Australian history

The lamington - a
neglected culinary icon.
AUSTRALIANS love lamingtons. Packed in lunchboxes and piled high at morning teas, they disappear at the rate of more than eight million a week. Decades of lamington drives have arguably built more scout huts and church halls than any federal government building scheme.

Yet despite the fact that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade lists the lamington as an Australian icon (along with the meat pie and Vegemite), and former Queensland premier Anna Bligh has declared this special cake a Queensland icon, we haven't really bothered to learn much about lamingtons.

Who knows where the lamington was first made, when and by whom? How was it named? Has the lamington ever been immortalised in art and song? When did you last buy a lamington souvenir? Dame Edna, an early lamington fancier, must be disappointed.

Thankfully, Toowoomba, on Queensland's Darling Downs, is so enthusiastic about all things lamington it almost compensates for the national languor.

Let's count the ways: it's the home of the 2011 Guinness World Record for the Largest Lamington (weighing 2.36 tonnes). It's the home of Quality Desserts, Australia's largest baker of lamingtons (3.5 million a week). It was the only Queensland city to celebrate National Lamington Day during the state's Q150 celebrations in 2009, with attendance by Lord Lamington's descendants. Finally, it's home to Maurice French, who last month published The Lamington Enigma: A Survey of the Evidence.

Toowoomba's links to the lamington are ingrained in its folklore. According to French, older residents grew up believing the city was where the lamington was invented. "It was just accepted as part of our oral history," he says.

"In the past two decades, the Toowoomba tradition has been challenged by 'Johnny-come-lately' claims by Ipswich and Brisbane, provoking a more overt and robust assertion by Toowoomba."

Former dean of arts at the University of Southern Queensland, French has spent two years scouring historic cookbooks, oral histories and gubernatorial documents to officially record the rise of the lamington.

"I was intrigued by the rival and boisterous claims of the three cities (and, of course, the claim it was a Kiwi invention), so decided to subject the claims to an assessment of the historical evidence," he says. "It was rather like a detective trying to solve a crime."

French says we can be certain the lamington is named after either Baron Lamington, governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, or his wife, Lady Lamington.

However, when it comes to who created the cake, there are several contenders. "One is the French chef de cuisine Armand Galland, who was appointed to Brisbane's Old Government House to serve Lord and Lady Lamington. Another is Fanny Young from Ipswich, who was the governor's temporary cook at the Lamingtons' summer residence in Toowoomba, Harlaxton House. Another is Amy Schauer, the cookery instructor at Brisbane's Technical College."

Lord Lamington -
Queensland Governor
1896 -1901.
The most common account of events is that a Government House cook, lacking the ingredients to make the governor's favourite treat - a rather exotic snowball - concocted the lamington as an emergency substitute. An equally popular claim is that it was to cater for an unexpected number of guests at the governor's afternoon tea party.

The lamington was not an overnight success. "There was a brief interest around 1901-02, but it was rather slow to enter cook or recipe books (about a decade later). Although it was a common feature of rural agricultural shows in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, it really became popular as a feature of afternoon tea parties in the 1920s and 1930s when, I suspect, a shortage of ingredients caused a shift from the original butter cake mixture to the lighter and cheaper sponge cake mixture.

"The acme of popularity was in the 1950s to early 1980s when the famous 'lamington drives' dominated fundraising activities by schools, Scouts, Girl Guides and other community groups."

French believes the lamington is still evolving. "There are interesting variations to be found by creative bakers such as Quality Desserts' lemon lamingtons, Toowoomba chef Lee Faulkner's jaffa lamington and even a chilli chocolate lamington."

No spoiler alerts here. In his book, French provides the facts and the reader is left to conclude "whodunit". However, he does concur that Toowoomba's case for ownership scores more points for passion and dedication than its rival cities. And the latest manifestation of that passion is the city's bid to build a Big Lamington.

There are also hints at new lamington number plates for Toowoomba, cemetery tours of the city's favourite lamington bakers and even a CWA bake-off to crown a Queen of the Lamington.

Perhaps Dame Edna would be pleased, after all?

The original lamington recipe

Published in The Sydney Mail October 12, 1901

(It is not known who sent the recipe to the paper)

Original spellings and measures


I cup butter

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

5 eggs - (leaving out the whites of two for icing)

1 small cup milk

1 small teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda

2 small teaspoonsful of cream of tartar, dissolved in the milk


Rub the butter and sugar together; add the eggs and the milk with the flour in which the soda has been mixed.

Bake for 20 minutes in long flat tins and when cold cut into small blocks and ice all over with the icing made as follows ... cover the blocks all over and immediately roll them in 'desiccated cocoanut'.


lb (453g) butter, 1lb (453g) icing sugar, beaten well together. Add the whipped whites of the 2 eggs, with 3 large teaspoonfuls grated chocolate (or cocoa of a dark colour) and essence of vanilla to taste.

From The Lamington Enigma: A Survey of the Evidence, by Maurice French

Lamington cupcakes - an original Australian delicacy

I have weirdly been having major cravings for lamingtons the past few weeks. Don’t ask me why but every time I walk into bakery or I’m walking around a farmer’s market I’m on high alert for a coconut covered chocolate cube.

For all you non-aussie folk out there, a lamington is basically a small cubed sponge cake coated in a thin layer of chocolate icing that almost seeps into the outer layer of sponge and then rolled in desiccated coconut (drooling yet?). Often the sponge has a layer of cream and/or jam in the middle which of course is my preference.

While I was writing this post, I got curious. Where did lamingtons come from? There seems to be several different stories floating around the interweb but I have picked my favourite. They were named after Lord Lamington (yes, that’s right there was a Lord Lamington), who was the governor of Queensland from 1896-1901. One day, his french born chef dropped a block of sponge cake into a dish of chocolate who then thought it would be nice to cover it in coconut. Ironically however, Lord Lamington was not fond of his namesake cake referring to them as “those bloody poofy wooly biscuits”…umm ok…if you say so.

So back to my lamingtons. It’s weird because I’ve never been that overly into lamingtons only because I’ve just recently learnt to love coconut. I mean I would never say no if someone was offering them up, but they would never be first on my list….until I made these lamington cupcakes, oh my lordy, these things are aaaahh-mazing. I probably have to say the best things about them is the icing (frosting) and that’s a lot coming from me as I’m actually really not that into icing and will often scrape most of it off the cupcake because it’s just too sweet and too buttery. But this icing….this icing that I adapted from Joy the Baker is deeeeee-licious. Light and airy, not too sweet and highly addictive.

Lamington cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes – you can easily multiply the recipe for more

What you need:

For the cupcakes – based on Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 85 g self-rasing flour
  • 70 g all purpose/plain flour
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • strawberry jam

For the icing/frosting – slightly adapted from Joy the Baker chocolate buttercream frosting

  • 85 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, the better the quality the more intense the choc flavour
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 cup icing sugar/powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup thickened/heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup hot chocolate mix
  • 1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut

What to do:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C/350F.

Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium-sized bowl mix together sifted self-raising flour and all-purpose flour.

In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs and mix thoroughly between each egg.

Add the flour alternating with a bit of the milk mixed with the vanilla extract and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated. However be careful not to over beat as this will make for a tough cake. Make sure you also scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then so all ingredients get mixed in.

Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the batter in the cupcake liners and then place about 1/2 tsp of strawberry jam on the batter then top with more cupcake batter until it is 2/3rds full.

Bake for 20-25 mins until the cupcakes pass the skewer test!

Let the cupcakes cook in the muffin tin for about 15 minutes and then take them out and cool on a cake rack until completely cool before icing.

To make the icing cream together the softened butter, salt and cocoa until incorporated. At this point the mixture will be quite thick. Scrape the bowl and then add the icing sugar with the mixer on low and add the milk and vanilla extract. Once the mixture is starting to incorporate with each other, turn up the mixer and beat until smooth. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the cream and hot chocolate mix and then drizzle into the icing mixture with the mixer on medium until your desired consistency is reached. You may not end up needing the full amount of cream/hot choc mixture.

Spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and then top with the coconut.

Eat this Lord Lamington and I’m sure you’ll take back your crazy words.

Lamington Drive Puzzle

Clemens Habicht's 1000 COLOURS is a CMYK colour gamut jigsaw puzzle of 1000 pieces. Each tile is an individual colour and the task is to place each colour exactly in relation to every other colour. 

"The idea came from enjoying the subtle differences in the blue of a sky in a particularly brutal jigsaw puzzle, I found that without the presence of image detail to help locate a piece I was relying only on an intuitive sense of colour, and this was much more satisfying to do than the areas with image details.

What is strange is that unlike ordinary puzzles where you are in effect redrawing a specific picture from a reference you have a sense of where every piece belongs compared to every other piece. There is a real logic in the doing that is weirdly soothing, therapeutic, it must be the German coming out in me. As each piece clicks perfectly into place, just so, it's a little win, like a little pat on the back." 

Co-produced with Lamington Drive Editions, 1000 COLOURS follows on from solo exhibitions at Lamington Drive; 100 KITES and 100 FACES.

Assembled Dimensions : 50 x 70cm

from 40.00

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Australian Politics: Operation Lamington comes to Parliament House in Canberra

Australian lamingtons.
Let them eat cake: Treasury lays on 702 lamingtons for Joe Hockey's first address to staff.

It was the beginning of the end of the age of entitlement.

The Coalition had swept to power days before and the freshly-minted Treasurer, Joe Hockey, wanted to address his new troops down at Treasury.

Great bargaining, well done! 

A trail of documents released under Freedom of Information laws shows how close Treasury managers came to spending $3500 on Mr Hockey's initial "all staff address" but were instead forced into hosting a no-frills event in the department's courtyard because Canberra's five-star hotels and Old Parliament House were fully booked.

Lamingtons proved a popular snack for Treasury officials during their first official meeting with Treasurer Joe Hockey.

An alternative plan was hatched that may as well have been known as Operation Lamington.

It involved the purchase of 117 trays of lamingtons – or 702 lamingtons in total - some instant coffee and a temporary stage and lectern for Mr Hockey to speak.

Departmental emails, published on the Treasury website, detail how a Treasury staff member located a supermarket supplier in Canberra and then drove a deal on behalf of the taxpayer.

"Lamingtons are available from Supabarn in the City at a discounted price of $4.99 per pack of 6. The total cost quoted is $583.83. I am happy to drive into the city now," an unnamed staff member emailed their superior on Thursday, September 26, 2013.

Joe Hockey bought 702 lamingtons
at taxpayers' expense.
Once the lamington run was complete, the same staff member followed up an hour and half later with the good news that the Commonwealth had extracted a four per cent discount on its bulk buy.

"Supabarn gave us a further discount and the total expense is $560.43," the Treasury official wrote.

Another email contains the message "great bargaining, well done!" but that appears to relate to the original plan to rent a meeting room at the Hyatt Hotel or Old Parliament House.

The Hyatt had quoted a "discounted room fee" for $3500 which would include "tea/coffee/biscuits". No mention of lamingtons was made in the Hyatt quote.

An email that appears to have been sent to Mr Hockey's office from the General Manager, Ministerial Communications division of the Treasury, outlined the plan for the September 24 address.

"We'll need to do it down at Treasury in the fountain courtyard as other venues nearby are all booked out. We'll have a sound system and can organise a mini-stage so everyone can see him and we can organise some basic tea/coffee catering so he can mingle afterwards."

But Mr Hockey may not have been forced to endure the basic coffee. A petty cash claim, released with the FOI documents, shows a Treasury staffer spent $15.90 at Treasury's in-house Coffers Café on "coffee purchased for ministers - x4". 

Mr Hockey became Treasurer in September 2013.

Lamington: First published recipe in Australia of how to make this Australian culinary icon - 17 December 1900

This is believed to be the first published recipe of the world-famous Australian lamington, named after the Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, Lord Lamington.

It pinpoints the creation of the lamington between 1896 and 1900.

The chocolate icing and dessicated coconut were still to come.

Queensland Country Life 

Monday 17 December 1900

Page 29

Queensland Country Life
Monday, 17 December 1900

Lamington Cakes.---1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 4 tablespoons milk. 

Beat butter and sugar; add eggs well beaten with the milk, sift in flour and baking powder; flavour with vanilla or lemon to taste. 

Bake in sandwich tins. 

Cut in squares next day.

Lamington recipe made easy

Cook the butter cake the day before you plan to eat the lamingtons so that the cake does not fall apart when it is iced and coconuted.

12 Ingredients


125g butter, softened

¾ cup caster sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups self raising flour

Pinch of salt

½ cup of milk

Chocolate icing 

3 tablespoons cocoa

3 cups icing sugar

½ teaspoon butter

5 tablespoons boiling water

Desiccated coconut

Line the base of a greased 27cm x 18cm lamington tin with baking paper.

Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in the slightly beaten eggs, adding them one at a time, and beating until well-incorporated before adding the next.


Preheat your oven to 180C.

Sift the flour and salt together (you can do this a few times, which will help to make the cake lighter).

Gently fold the flour and salt into the creamed butter mixture, alternating the flour with the milk, be careful not to overwork the mixture.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through (a skewer will come out clean).

Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut the butter cake into desired sized cubes or oblongs.

Dip into the chocolate icing and then immediately roll in the coconut. Leave on rack to set.

Lamington ice cream bars: Easy to make - easier to devour!

Lamington ice
cream bars
Lamington ice-cream bars.

2 litres coconut ice-cream (see tip)
400g dark (70% cocoa) chocolate, chopped
⅓ cup (80ml) vegetable oil
4 cups (300g) store-bought shredded coconut

Line a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm slice tin with non-stick baking paper and place in the freezer until ready to use. 

Scoop the ice-cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until softened. 

Spoon into the prepared tin and spread evenly with a palette knife. Freeze for 4–5 hours or until frozen. 

Remove from the tin and slice into 12 bars. 

Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper and freeze for a further 1 hour. 

Place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted. 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. 

Spread the coconut in a thin layer on a baking tray. 

Removing the ice-cream in batches from the freezer, using 2 forks, dip each bar into the chocolate and press gently in the coconut to coat. 

Return to the freezer immediately for 1–2 hours or until set, and serve. 

Makes 12.

Tip: Buy coconut ice-cream from specialty food stores and delicatessens.

Lord Lamington's legacy: Lamington National Park

Lord Lamington, culinary
inventor, whose name
 is immortalised in
 Lamington National
Four years after the arrival of the O'Reilly Family, Lamington National Park was declared, thus effectively isolating the O'Reilly's from the outside world. While Lamington wasn't Queensland's first national park, it is the most significant, and was regularly referred to as 'Queensland's National Park.'

World Heritage status was bestowed on Lamington in 1994 in recognition of its high biodiversity, and the fact it contains a living museum of the evolutionary steps taken in the development of Australia's modern day flora. 

It now includes 20,200 hectares of varying forest types, from temperate Antarctic Beech forest high on the border ranges through the sub-tropical rainforests, to the dry eucalypt forest of the northern escarpment.

Lamington National Park provides food and shelter for a huge array of sub-tropical birdlife (over 160 species), reptiles, frogs, mammals and invertebrates.

For over 100 years the O'Reilly family has accumulated a deep knowledge of Lamington National Park and its many attractions. They would love to share the park and that knowledge with you.

Lamington National Park 100 year Anniversary

In 2015 Lamington National Park celebrates 100 years of conservation. Lamington represents Queensland’s first large national park to be gazetted purely for its natural and cultural values. Its beauty, charm and rugged wilderness are always attracting people’s imaginations. Lamington is a place that people connect with and many visitors return throughout their lives—it becomes part of their story. These stories can now become part of Lamington’s story.


To find out further information about any track closures in Lamington National Park please visit the Department of National Parks website.


Lamington is a jewel in the crown of bushwalking destinations in south-east Queensland.


There is a number of picturesque Waterfalls near O’Reilly’s including Moran’s Falls which was the site of the first home of the O'Reilly brothers when they arrived on the mountain.

Birds of Lamington

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat has been a sanctuary for bird lovers since the early part of last century, and enjoys international recognition as one of the premier birdwatching locations in Australia.

Read More


The top of the McPherson Range is often draped in mist and cloud, and experiences an average annual rainfall of approximately two and a half metres.


Lamington National Park and the surrounding lowlands support an abundance of mammals, totaling around 70 species in 18 families.

Best of Lamington

Want to experience the best this World Heritage has to offer? Following is a summary to the most popular experiences, wildlife, walks, views and waterfalls of Lamington National Park.

Read More

The Stinson Memorial

In February 1937 Australia was shocked to hear that a Stinson airliner was reported missing on its daily flight from Brisbane to Sydney.


Even as the O'Reilly boys were carving out a living as dairy farmers in the dense scrub, moves were well underway to turn the rainforests of the McPherson Range that surrounded them into what we now know as Lamington National Park.

Aboriginal History

Prior to European settlement, the Lamington region had been inhabited by Aboriginal people of the Yugambeh language for thousands of years.

Read More


The Green Mountains Campgrounds is run by Queensland National Parks. For bookings or enquiries, contact National Parks on 13 74 68.

Find out further information about any track closures in Lamington National Park visit the QLD government national parks website