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.

The Battle of the Lamingtons: Ipswich vs Toowoomba

It started as a world record battle when Ipswich claimed the title of the World's Largest Lamington in 2009 only to be pipped 2 years later by Toowoomba with one twice the size.

Over a week ago Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio scoffed at the announcement that the New York-based American think tank, the Intelligent Community Forum, had ranked Ipswich in the top 7 intelligent communities of the world.

Now with an exchange of ties and lamingtons in Ipswich with Mayor Paul Pisasale, the Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio made an obligatory "mea culpa" and disappeared back to Toowoomba quicker than Paul Pisasale could say: "Have a lamington on us".

Toowoomba and Ipswich mayors Paul Antonio
 and Paul Pisasale trade lamingtons and Ipswich
 City neck ties at a meeting at St Edmund’s
 College in Ipswich on Friday.

We don't hate here anymore.

IF YOU are a regular reader of our sister paper up on the range, you could be forgiven for thinking there was some kind of stoush going on between Mayors Paul Pisasale and Paul Antonio.

The Chronicle didn't take too enthusiastically to the news that Ipswich was recently named among the world's seven intelligent cities - well at least according to American think tank The Intelligence Community Forum, anyway.

What followed was what could only be described as an envy-fuelled attack from our western siblings - a needless put-down on Ipswich in order to prop themselves up - which appeared to backfire.

Unfortunately for the Chronicle, two out of three of its readers who voted in an online poll disagreed that Toowoomba was a smarter city than Ipswich.

Banter aside, the story has at least prompted a pledge from both mayors to work together for the benefit of residents at both ends.

After all, Ipswich and Toowoomba are probably more alike than our country cousins would like to admit.

For all his boasting that Toowoomba is the epicentre of the ever-expanding USQ empire, Cr Antonio also has to concede that his two grandsons, twins Hamish and Campbell Owbridge, are proud students of Ipswich's St Edmund's College.

Both boys were inducted as school captains on Friday, February 13, along with Henry Creamer and Harry Peucher.

"Let's set the scene here," Cr Antonio said.

"We're good mates and we stick by each other. I admire Paul and what he has done and, don't tell anyone, but I've tried to model some of my actions as mayor on what he has done - the way he has lifted the pride."

The Toowoomba mayor remained defiant on which he believed was the smarter of the two cities.

"I thought it was April Fool's Day when the results came through naming Ipswich as the smarter city. We know we are."

Cr Antonio said he was immensely proud of his grandsons and that their intelligence was "genetic and not environmental".

Cr Pisasale said his opposite number was so intelligent that he picked the best school for his grandchildren.

"I went to St Edmund's and I know he wants his grandkids to grow up like me," Cr Pisasale said.

"No matter whether you live in Ipswich or Toowoomba, we would never say that our city seriously is better than any other city.

"What we want to do is to be part of a great state, and we work to make sure our community is the best it can be. The Australian way to do that is through a bit of humour and a bit of fun."

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