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.

Queensland's top 10 cocktails - but the best may be the Lamington Cocktail

Fairy Floss Windmills. 

BT's Best is our mission to find the best of everything in Queensland. This week, it's been thirsty work to find the best signature cocktails, and importantly for at-home chefs, we reveal what's in them.

North Queensland seems to have some of the best mixologists in the state, but we've managed to come up with a list which not only celebrates our wonderful state, but stretches far and wide.

Remember, please drink responsibly.

The socialite. 

The cocktail: Fairy Floss Windmills

What's in it: Vanilla vodka, elderflower liqueur, cranberry and apple juice, twist of lemon and topped with strawberry fairy floss

Number 1

The Twig And Berry cocktail. 

Where you can get it: Shaw and Co, Townsville

Sounds sweet, right? But the lemon gives it a zesty kick, and the cranberry and apple juice a tropical flavour which sits beautifully with its north Queensland home. For originality and flavour, it was hard to go past as the top signature cocktail in the state. Is it worth the trip to Townsville? That's your call.

Number 2

The Chocolate Martini cocktail by Cuvee Lounge at Sofitel Brisbane Central. 

The cocktail: Klimax

What's in it: Muddled strawberries, strawberry liquor, Chambord, Praiso, lemonade and finished with a garnish of, yes you guessed it, strawberries

Where you can get it: Cube Hotel, Toowoomba

This shows that cocktails don't have to be overly complex, and that they can take advantage of an abundance of fresh local produce – in this case, strawberries.

Number 3

The cocktail: Coast's cold-smoked miracle cure

What's in it: House cold-smoked Maker's Mark bourbon shaken with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, English marmalade and cherry bitters.

Where you can get it: Coast Restaurant and Bar, Hervey Bay

Okay, so there's not much in this one which says "Queensland", but it does the trick. Word has it that there's a medicinal element, "prescribed straight up for immediate consumption".

Number 4

The cocktail: The Cane Toad

What's in it: Banana, lime juice, Disaronno Amaretto, dark rum, pineapple juice, lychee juice, banana wheel as garnish

Where you can get it: Sling Lounge, West End, Brisbane

It's regarded as a pest, but it's become celebrated as the mascot of our state rugby league team, and now in a glass. Welcome to "The Cane Toad".

Number 5

The cocktail: The socialite

What's in it: Spiced rum, pear liqueur, ginger liqueur with fresh pear and crystalised ginger

Where you can get it: New Inchcolm and Suites, Wickham Tce, Brisbane

It's one of the oldest hotels in the city, but a refurbishment late last year makes it one of the newest menus. The cocktail is a simple recipe with a powerful punch (forgive the pun).

Number 6

The cocktail: Aussie Gun Powder

What's in it: Bullet rye whiskey, Oloroso sherry, beetroot chunks, Peycheaud's bitters and egg whites

Where you can get it: Mr and Mrs G, Eagle Street Pier

It's certainly one of the more unusual mixtures in the list. Give it a try. The flavours might just blend better than you'd think.

Number 7

The cocktail: Mile High

What's in it: Alize gold and mandarin vodka shaken with passionfruit pulp, finished with grapefruit juice.

Where you can get it: Seventy7 Café and Bar, Sky Point, Surfers Paradise

Sometimes it's as much about the venue as it is about the cocktail, but in this case it's the best of both worlds – some of the best views in Queensland with one of the fruitiest beverages.

Number 8

The cocktail: Whitsunday Mojito

What's in it: Havana Club, local cane sugar, limes, mint, crushed ice and soda water

Where you can get it: Fish D'vine, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

On the surface it's like any other mojito, but what makes it a signature cocktail are the local ingredients – locally-sourced lime and cane sugar, with Proserpine mint. Mark's Rum Bar has been quoted Australia's largest of its type with 450 types of rum.

Number 9

The cocktail: The Cane Cutter

What's in it: Havana Club Anejo 3 Anos, lime, crème de gingembre, vanilla, mint, sparkling

Where you can get it: Laruche Bar, Fortitude Valley

Have three and then try to say the names of what's in it. This one's for all the lovers of sparkling wine, with a fresh twist.

Number 10

The cocktail: Kaffir and coconut caprioska

What's in it: Malibu, Smirnoff vodka, kaffir leaves, brown sugar, lime wedges, soda and kaffir pearls

Where you can get it: Pullman Reef Casino Hotel, Cairns

The freshness of soda and kaffir with sweetness of Malibu and brown sugar make it a year-round taste sensation, and a nice way to round out the top 10 from Far North Queensland.


The Donna Bionda: Vanilla vodka, lemoncello, lemongrass, mint and fresh pineapple. Found at Donna Bionda, City Lane, Townsville.

The Twig and Berry: Hayman's gin, Campari, black pepper, topped with orange, raspberries and house red wine vinegar shrub. Found at the Twig and berry, Newstead.

The Bitter Sweet Symphony: Belvedere vodka, aperol, paval liqueur, lime, fresh strawberries and orange bitters shaken and strained over ice. Garnished with mint and strawberries. Found at Soleil Pool Bar, Southbank.

The Chivalrous Gentleman: Malt whisky, warming cinnamon, rosemary syrup and a hint of orange. Found at Vintaged Bar and Grill, Hilton Hotel, Brisbane.

Public Nuisance 19: Fresh strawberries combined with fragrant cucumber and elderflower, fortified with Beefeater gin and charged with sparkling wine. Found at Public, Brisbane city.

Mango Cooler: Vodka, Cointreau, mango orange, lemon and Demerara sugar. Found at The Rooftop, Limes Hotel, Fortitude Valley.

Marriott Sunset: Smirnoff vodka, peach schnapps, Cointreau, cranberry juice and orange juice. Found at Motion bar and grill, Marriott Hotel, Brisbane.

Up on Constance: Tanqueray gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and raspberries. Found at The Clover on Constance, TRYP Hotel, Fortitude Valley.

Choc Orange Martini: Mozart dark chocolate Cointreau and vodka. Found at Cuvee Bar, Sofitel Brisbane Central.

The Gresham Whiz-Bang Boilermaker: Whisky, peated whisky, lemon, ginger, honey, bitters and Pale Ale. Found at The Gresham Bar, Brisbane City.

The End Spring Punch: Fresh watermelon, mint, Stolichnaya raspberry vodka, cloudy apple juice topped off with organic elderflower cordial. The End, Woolloongabba.

Chilli Rum Smash 17: Havana Club, Massanez Gingembre, lime, sugar and lemonade. Found at Stokehouse, Southbank.

Signature Espresso Martini: Double shot of freshly ground espresso, Ketel One vodka and Black Coffee Lyrics house liquor made from blend coffee and distilled at Mt Tamborine. Found at Black Coffee Lyrics, Gold Coast.

Lychee Heaven: Vodka, Rubis, Mohala, apple and lychees. Found at 1two3, Broadbeach.

Surfers Sling: Citrus vodka, blue curacao, fresh citrus and homemade lemonade finished with colourful garnishes. Found at Fix Bar, Hilton Surfers Paradise.

Novelty cocktails:

The Lamington: Malibu, Disaronno, salted caramel, chocolate sauce and grated chocolate. Found at Communal Bar and Eat House, Brisbane Square.

The Lemon Meringue: Stolichnaya Vanilla, Lemoncello, salted caramel, a touch of egg white and finished with a caramel swirl: Found at Fifth Element Bar, Southbank.

Pavlova martini: Gin, passionfruit, lemon juice, vanilla sugar and egg whites. Found at Riverbar and Kitchen, Eagle Street.

The Australian Mary: Mount Tamborine pepper vodka, a dash of beetroot juice, Murray River pink sea salt and muddled bush cherry tomatoes. Found at The Emporium Hotel, Fortitude Valley.

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