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.


© Paul Tully 2009

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

Ipswich claims World Lamington Record

Seven years' old James Tully from St Augustine's
College at Augustine Heights in Ipswich about to
the delights of the world's largest lamington.
It's official.

Ipswich has won the title for the largest lamington in the world.

The monster lamington weighed in this morning at the Ipswich Turf Club at a whopping 1.32 tonnes, eclipsing the previous one tonne record set in Melbourne in 2005.

The super-sized lamington is equivalent to 20,894 standard lamingtons.

The giant lamington, named after Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, was made from 230 litres of water, 200 litres of eggs, 535 kg of sponge mix, plus 68kg of desiccated coconut, 75kg of jam, and 150 kg of chocolate lamington mix.

The unveiling of the lamington was witnessed by Lord Lamington's great grandchildren Alex Scrimgeour and Belinda Leigh who had travelled from the UK for the event.

Celebrity chef Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully said the gigantic lamington was a work of art which had taken three days to prepare.

"This record will be difficult to break given the culinary dexterity needed to put this giant lamington together," Cr Tully said.

The creator of the Australian icon Lord Lamington once described them as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

21 July 2009

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World Record Lamington attempt in Ipswich - More than a tonne!

Cr Paul Tully with a super sized lamington!
‪‪The Ipswich Turf Club will host Tuesday's record attempt to create the world's largest lamington.‬‪ ‬‪

The event is the brainchild of Ipswich Councillor and local historian Paul Tully and Mayor Paul Pisasale both of whom have secured their own claim to fame in the Guinness Book of Records.‬‪ ‬‪

As a 17 year old University of Queensland student in 1969, Paul Tully became the world potato crisp eating champion downing 30 packets of crisps in 24 minutes 33.6 seconds without a drink.‬‪ ‬‪

Eating records were removed from official Guinness records in 1990 with Cr Tully retiring undefeated as the world champion.‬‪

‬‪Two years ago, Mayor Paul Pisasale became the proud owner of the largest tea set collection in the world, a feat formally recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.  ‬‪

On Tuesday - Australia's National Lamington Day - the political duo's culinary skills will combine with a team of professional chefs to create a monster lamington in excess of one tonne, half the size of a family sedan and the equivalent of more than 20,000 standard size lamingtons.‬‪ ‬‪

Cr Tully has been researching the history of the Australian lamington for more than a decade.‬‪
"The most-plausible theory is they were named after Lord Lamington, Queensland Governor from 1896 to 1901, when a maid-servant accidentally dropped some sponge cake in melted chocolate and then tossed the concoction into some desiccated coconut to hide her embarrassment.‬‪" ‬‪

He said they were an instant hit at Government House in Brisbane with Lord Lamington once describing them as "those poofy woolly biscuits".‬‪ ‬‪

At the 1998 Constitutional Convention in Canberra, lamingtons featured in the debate on the merits of an Australian republic with Cr Tully - an elected Queensland delegate - calling Lord Lamington's gastronomic creation as the "one, solitary positive achievement of any governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788".‬‪ ‬‪

Now, the humble Aussie lamington - which has raised millions of dollars over the past 100 years for scouts, schools and sporting groups - is known throughout the states and territories of Australia, New Zealand, the United States and even South Africa but is a relative rarity in Mother England!

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Ipswich plans to break Lamington world record

Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully shows what the
 world record lamington will look like.
If big is beautiful a gang of Ipswich bakers are going to bake a seriously gorgeous cake on Tuesday as they attempt to build the world's biggest lamington.

Weighing a whopping one tonne, the giant lamington will contain 230 litres of water, 200 litres of eggs, 535 kilos of sponge mix, 75 kilos of lamington mix and 68 kilos of shaved coconut.

It will take a team of three bakers from Billy Mac's more than two days to bake the individual cakes before cementing them together with 75 kilos of jam.

This record feat is in honour of National Lamington Day and who better to make sure it goes to plan than the descendants of the Queensland Governor himself.

Lord Lamington's great-grandchildren, Belinda Leigh and Alex Scrimgeour, have flown over from England to be part of the state's 150th and were stunned to hear of the monster creation.

“That really is something,” Mrs Leigh said.

“I knew the cake existed but I had no idea it was so celebrated in Australia.”

Mrs Leigh said it was a thrill to piece together the jigsaw of her family's ancestry.

“It really conjures up pictures,” she said.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he hoped Ipswichians would come along and tuck in.

“In Ipswich we can have our cake and eat it too,” he said.

Local historian and lamington buff Councillor Paul Tully said there was much mystery surrounding the creation of Australia's best-loved cake. And while he felt Government House in Brisbane had the most plausible lamington story, Ipswich would soon have one of its own.

“After Tuesday, Ipswich will have a permanent connection to the lamington,” he said.

The giant cake will be at the Ipswich Turf Club from 6-8pm.

Did Lord Lamington have the longest name in the world?

San Antonio Winery to Feature
"Wines from Down Under" Class
 and Tasting

By Elise Thompson

Sunday from noon until 3pm, the San Antonio Winery will present the next class in its series, "Wines from Down Under", featuring wines from Australia and New Zealand.

The price per person is $68.00 per person - including lunch.

Australian wines have become very popular over the last decade, particularly the Shiraz.

Some of the wines to be sampled are D'Arenberg "Hermit Crab" Viognier Marsanne 2008, D'Arenberg "Laughing Magpie" Shiraz Voignier 2007, and the Ferngrove "Dragon" Shiraz 2005.

A few of the more intriguing menu items are Barrumundi, a sweet and buttery freshwater Australian fish, served with basamati rice and stewed egg plant with crispy onions as well as a New Zealand lamp chop with roasted sweet potatoes and tomato fondue.

You will also have the rare opportunity to sample Lamington Cake, which is a sponge cake dipped in chocolate and then coconut.

It was named after Rt Hon Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane Baillie, Baron Lamington, GCMG, Governor of Queensland, and person with the longest name in the world.

There is disagreement about whether the cake was named after his hat or his wife, so if lunch conversation slows down, there is your random tidbit for the day.

Last month the San Antonio Winery presented its Summer Tequila Tasting.

If the wine isn't enough to get you to make a reservation, the cuisine alone is definitely worth the price of admission.

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Lord and Lady Lamington "Jnr" to visit Australia

Lord Lamington

The great grandson Alex Scrimgeour and great granddaughter Belinda Leigh of Lord Lamington - the creator of the world-famous lamington - are coming to Australia next week on a whirlwind visit to southeast Queensland.

They will be part of the National Lamington Day celebrations in Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba.

National Lamington Day is Tuesday 21 July 2009 and the festivities involving Lord Lamington's great grandchildren will include an official dinner in Ipswich, where Lord Lamington's world-famous lamington reputedly had its first public appearance over 100 years ago.

This will be an opportunity to re-live the past and recall this unique part of Queensland's history which resulted in this world-famous culinary icon being named after the last Governor of the Colony of Queensland and the first Governor of the State of Queensland Lord Lamington - Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington.

Australian National Lamington Day - July 21

Australia's National Lamington Day is on 21 July 2009.

This will be a very special event this year. 

The lamington - which was created at Government House in Brisbane under the watchful eye of the Queensland Governor Lord Lamington - is Australia's national delicacy.

Despite claims from New Zealand, the lamington is a true-blue Aussie creation.

The Kiwis would claim Ned Kelly as their own if they thought there was a quid in it!

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