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.

Quandong Lamingtons take the cake: Broken Hill mother and daughter win national recipe competition

 Claire McCrae (L) and Lee Robertson with their famous
quandong lamingtons made from 
their award-winning recipe.
Not much grows in the outback town of Broken Hill, but the quandong makes a tangy exception.

The desert peach, as it's affectionately known, is a small tart fruit that thrives in Australia's arid regions.

Now the humble fruit will feature in a new cookbook, after a mother and daughter team from Broken Hill won a national recipe competition with their quandong lamingtons.

"I guess quandongs, it's not everybody's cup of tea really, but those that have tasted them they seem to have enjoyed them," Lee Robertson said.

The quandong lamingtons are a twist on an old family recipe that her mother Claire McCrae had been cooking for years.

"[My mother] used to make them with a jam, a different kind of jam and we thought logically, why wouldn't [quandongs] work?" Mrs McCrae said.

Shaped like cupcakes, the lamingtons are rolled in homemade quandong jam before they are covered in coconut. The full recipe is a secret until the new cook book is released.

"A bit of a tangy-type flavour, they really are quite lovely," Ms Robertson said of the pair's creation.

"The cream complements the quandong," added Mrs McCrae.

Earlier this year the ABC announced a national cooking competition, "Australia Cooks" to show the best recipes from across Australia using local produce. After cooks submitted their recipes, they were tested to make sure they could be replicated.

"I didn't think we had any hope at all ... but it was a fun thing to do," Mrs McCrae said

"It was something we can do together," Ms Robertson said.

"It's a boost to our cooking confidence."

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