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.

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

How to make sugar free Lamingtons the easy way

Sugar free lamingtons are delicious.
125 g butter, softened.
1/2 cup rice malt syrup.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder.
3 eggs.
1 3/4 cup self-raising flour.
1/2 cup milk.
2 cups shredded coconut.

2 tablespoons rice malt syrup.
1/4 cup raw cacao powder.
1 tablespoon butter.
1/2 cup boiling water.

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4. Grease a 3cm deep, 20cm x 30cm lamington pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides.

2. Using an electric mixer beat butter, rice malt syrup and vanilla powder until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (if mixture curdles keep going it will still work fine).

4. Sift half of the flour over the butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth surface. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.

5. Meanwhile to make icing combine syrup, cacao, butter and boiling water in a bowl. Stir until smooth.

6. Cut cooled cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Dip one piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining pieces of cake, icing and coconut. Stand for at least 1 hour or until set.

More information, tips and recipes:

Classic Australian Lamingtons

A classic Aussie lamington 
with a cup of tea or coffee.
Classic Australian Lamingtons.

Serves 10 or more

Cooking time: More than 1 hour

Favourite flavours: Cakes/baking

Cooking method: Bake

Special options: Kid friendly

4 eggs
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour
25g soft butter, chopped
1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
3 cups (270g) desiccated coconut 

4 2/3 cups (750g) icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder
20g soft butter
3/4 cup (180ml) milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and flour a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan, line base with baking paper.

2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light in colour. Gradually add the sugar; beat for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Mixture should form thick ribbons when the beaters are lifted. 

3. Meanwhile, sift the flour and cornflour together three times. Combine butter and boiling water in a small heatproof bowl.

4. Transfer the egg mixture to a large bowl. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture; using a balloon whisk or a large metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the egg mixture, then fold in the butter mixture. 

5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes or until sponge springs back when touched lightly in the centre and comes away from side of pan. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool.

6. Cut cake into 20 even pieces. 

Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a large heatproof bowl; add the butter and milk; stir over a medium saucepan of simmering water until icing is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Divide icing mixture into 2 small bowls.

Place coconut in a shallow bowl.

Using a large fork, dip each piece of cake briefly into icing until cake is coated in icing. Hold over bowl to drain off any excess. Dip half the cake pieces in one bowl of icing and the other half in the second bowl of icing. (We have separated the icing into two bowls, as cake crumbs will thicken the icing and make it difficult to use.) If the icing becomes too thick, stand it over hot water while dipping, or reheat gently with a little more milk. If necessary, strain the icing into a clean bowl.

Toss cake gently in coconut. Transfer cake to a wire rack; stand until set. 

Suitable to freeze. Chocolate icing suitable to microwave.

Note: The cake is easier to handle if it is made a day ahead or refrigerated for several hours. A sponge or a butter cake can be used for lamingtons. Lamingtons can also be split and filled with jam and cream, but this will make it a little more difficult to coat with the icing. 


  • Sponges have a reputation for being difficult to make, but are actually quite simple if you have a good electric mixer and a light hand.
  • Have the eggs at room temperature before you begin beating.
  • Beating the eggs in a deep bowl, rather than a wide, shallow one, will give maximum volume. 
  • Gentle folding in of the flour and water is important; heavy handling equals a heavy cake. 
  • Use the kitchen tool you feel most comfortable with. Some people prefer a large metal spoon, some a rubber spatula. We prefer a large balloon whisk to fold through without deflating the mixture.
  • If all else fails, a packaged sponge mix, baked in a lamington pan, can also be used.

What is a Lamington?

The lamington is a truly
 Australian creation.
A lamington is a dessert of Australian origin. 

It consists of squares of sponge cake coated first in a layer of traditionally chocolate sauce, then in desiccated coconut

Lamingtons are sometimes served as two halves with a layer of cream or strawberry jam between, and are commonly found in South African and Australian outlets such as cafes, lunch bars, bakeries, home industries and supermarkets. 

A raspberry variety is also common in New Zealand, while a lemon variety also exists in Australia.

The Australian Lamington: 
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - 
 Oi, Oi,Oi.
The chocolate coating is a thin mixture, into which cubes of sponge cake (one cookbook states 4 cm per side) are dipped, and the chocolate is absorbed into the outermost layers of the sponge where it sets. 

Similarly, the strawberry jam or chocolate icing is absorbed into the sponge.

The cubes are then covered with coconut and left to set.

Classic Australian Lamingtons

Australian lamingtons - one of the
world's greatest delights.
Any type of plain cake can be used for these lamingtons - sponge cake, pound cake or Madeira cake. 

Ideally, make the cake the day before for best results, but the important thing is that the cake is completely cooled before icing.


Serves: 24 

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 500g desiccated coconut for rolling

Preparation:45min › Cook:40min › Ready in:1hour25min 
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.

Cake: Grease and flour a 20x30cm rectangular cake tin or lamington tray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and beat well.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin or lamington tray and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Let stand 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Store overnight to give the cake a chance to firm up before icing.

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

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

Lamingtons made easy

There's a reason this recipe is an Aussie classic -
  serve these lamingtons and you'll see why!



125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 cups desiccated coconut

3 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water
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Step 1
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) lamington pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may curdle).

Step 2
Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight.

Step 3
Make icing: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water. Stir until smooth.

Step 4
Cut cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip 1 piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Stand for 2 hours or until set. 




Small squares of plain cake, dipped in melted chocolate and sugar and coated in desiccated coconut. Said to have been named after Baron Lamington (see below), a popular governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901.


3 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cornflour
15g (1/2oz) butter
3 tablespoons hot water

  • Beat eggs until thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar. Continue beating until sugar completely dissolved.
  • Fold in sifted SR flour and cornflour, then combined water and butter.
  • Pour mixture into prepared lamington tins 18cm x 28cm (7in x 11in).

Bake in moderate oven approximately 30 mins.
Let cake stand in pan for 5 min before turning out onto wire rack.


3 cups desiccated coconut
500g (1lb) icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
(extra cocoa can be added, according to taste)
15g (1/2oz) butter
1/2 cup milk

  • Sift icing sugar and cocoa into heatproof bowl.
  • Stir in butter and milk.
  • Stir over a pan of hot water until icing is smooth and glossy.

Trim brown top and sides from cake.
Cut into 16 even pieces.
Holding each piece on a fork, dip each cake into icing.
Hold over bowl a few minutes to drain off excess chocolate.
Toss in coconut or sprinkle to coat.
Place on oven tray to set.

Cake is easier to handle if made the day before.
Sponge cake or butter cake may be used.
May be filled with jam and cream.


Rt Hon Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane Baillie, Baron Lamington, GCMG, Governor of Queensland from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901.

Whilst the origin of the name for the lamington cake cannot be accurately established, there are several theories. One of these theories is that it was originally the slang term for the homburg hat, worn by Baron Lamington, and these cakes were named for him.

Another theory is that they were named after Lady Lamington, the wife of the Governor.

Delight of baking your own Lamingtons

Lamington delights.
Nothing polarises bakers (and eaters) like a lamington. Cocoa icing or chocolate ganache coating? Shredded or desiccated coconut? Cream? Jam? Then come the flavours. Get baking for National Lamington Day on 21 July, and find out what kind of lamington lover you are. I think we're the caramel tres leches lamington kind.

As days go, one of my favourites is National Lamington Day on 21 July, and that’s because it involves three very delicious Cs in my food dictionary: Chocolate, Cake and Coconut. I wonder whose great idea it was to declare a day dedicated to this most satisfying of treats. Genius. I’m sure I’m not alone in having a complete soft spot for this simple but clever combination – squares of sponge cake filled (or not) with jam or cream (or maybe both), bathed in chocolate icing and coated generously with coconut.

As Aussie as a cake can be (even though New Zealand tries to claim its fame), the much-loved lamington is believed to have been created more than 100 years ago for Lord Lamington, the Governor of Queensland, and his houseguests. The recipe was requested (as all good recipes are) and first published in the Queensland Country Life newspaper under the heading ‘Useful Recipes’ in December 1900. And so a star was born.

A popular traditional pick at school cake stalls, country bakeries and special afternoon tea gatherings all around Australia for as long as anyone can remember, the lamington is now often reimagined and updated by adventurous pastry chefs – think jaffa and lemonade to tiramisu and chocolate and basil. You can understand why lamington purists might get upset about these assaults on the original concept, but a sneaky nibble of my chocolate and raspberry lamingtons or caramel tres leches lamingtons would be enough to convert anyone.

Even if you're a staunch traditionalist, the lamington may still be open to some healthy baking experimentation. I use a butter cake base for my lamington fingers and gluten-free lamingtons, because I find butter cake easier to work with than the more traditional sponge cake – it's more robust, making it easier to dip. The butter cake version can also undergo the lamington transition in the same cooking session, whereas sponge cake tends to need a day or so standing or a couple of hours in the freezer before being coated.

Okay, fillings aren’t compulsory but they do provide a deliciously moist surprise as well as extra character. My favourites after extensive testing are dark berry (using mixed berries, raspberries or blackberries) or sour cherry and whipped fresh cream or mascarpone.

As for the coconut coating, desiccated is delicious, but shredded or flaked, toasted or raw are all excellent alternatives to try. So, get baking for 21 July, and establish your favourite lamington style and flavour.

Lamington recipes

1. Lamington fingers

20,000 Lamingtons at Adelaide Convention Centre set new Guinness World Record

Alli Evans and Tao Finlay sample the lamingtons. 
COMBINE 400kg of flour, 8kg of baking powder, 360kg of chocolate, 220kg of sugar, 550kg of desiccated coconut, 4500 eggs and 5L of vanilla essence and what do you get?

The world’s longest lamington, of course.

On Thursday, the Adelaide Convention Centre revealed to Guinness World Records a whopping 1073m and 869cm-long line of the coconut-dusted delight, made with more than 20,000 pieces.
Tao Finlay and Alli Evans at the 980m mark.

It unofficially set a new world record for the longest line of cakes, beating the previous record of 885m, held by the English.

ACC chief executive Alec Gilbert said it would take Guinness World Records about six weeks to ratify the achievement.

With the centre’s head pastry chef Georg Delago their leader, it took 150 people 600 hours to make the cakes.

Event trainee Tao Finlay said the atmosphere at the centre was incredible. “I’m pretty proud to have been a part of it,” Ms Finlay, 18, said.

The cake was the centrepiece for The Longest Lamington Lunch, which raised funds for seven local charities.