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.

National Doughnut Week: the very best doughnuts in London - with a hint of the Aussie Lamington

Whether you like your doughnuts covered in sugar or stuffed with cream, there's a deep-fried delight that's perfect for you

Go nuts: The Lamnut is a hybrid of a traditional Australian Lamington cake and a ring doughnut.

As doughnuts continue to upstage cupcakes in the capital, available in all sorts of weird, wonderful shapes and sizes, National Doughnut Week gives them a place to truly shine.

Still wondering where to start? Here are the glorious balls of deep-fried dough you need to add to this week’s doughnut-eating bucket list.

Glazed and sugared

Matcha doughnut

Crosstown Doughnuts, who have just opened a new Soho store on Broadwick Street, offer a delicious matcha doughnut: a glazed ring doughnut flavoured with the tea that famously boasts antioxidant properties (the health benefits are probably outweighed by all the sugar, but we’ll forget about that). If that doesn't float your boat, try the orange blossom glazed doughnut with its discrete layer of date jam and orange blossom glaze, or the cinnamon sugar ring doughnut.

Matcha made in heaven: Crosstown Doughnuts' tea-flavoured treat

Rhubarb crumble doughnut

The wonderfully-named Glazed & Confused, whose doughnuts are scattered around independent coffee stores in London and available online, do a particularly special rhubarb crumble doughnut. It's a ring doughnut with a rhubarb sugar glaze and crunchy homemade oat crumble crumbs. What's not to like?

Ready to crumble: Glazed & Confused's rhubarb doughnut

Filled: more is more

The crème brûlée doughnut

With its array of mouth-watering flavours, toppings and colours, Dum Dum Donutterie in Box Park, Shoreditch is one of London’s best shouts for decadent doughnuts. The crème brûlée doughnut is a popular option, covered in a glistening, crunchy caramel glaze and piped full of rich vanilla cream. The peanut butter and jelly doughnut, inspired by America’s love for PB & J, is also a customer favourite.

Life is sweet: the crème brûlée doughnut

Salted caramel doughnut

In Borough Market, bakery Bread Ahead has garnered a cult following who loyally turn up every Saturday to get their hands on one of baker Justin Gellatly's fit-to-bursting salted caramel doughnuts. Golden, soft balls of dough are filled with salted caramel cream, then plugged with a shard of crisp, homemade honeycomb, before the whole thing is sprinkled with sugar. Eating will get messy but it must be done and enjoyed.

Divine dough: Bread Ahead's salted caramel creations

Savoury: doughnuts for dinner

The katsu curry donut

All hail the katsu curry donut, created with love in Clapton by small-scale doughnut company, The Hole Donut. A spicy, punchy spoonful of katsu curry is encased in a soft, doughy ball and generously sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. They work far better than you’d ever think, and simply must be tried.

A change from the usual: the katsu curry doughnuts

Ox cheek doughnut

This doughnut, served with apricot jam and paprika sugar, is one of the must-try dishes on the menu at Duck & Waffle. Well worth venturing 40 floors up to sample.

What a cheek: the ox doughnut at Duck & Waffle

Crab doughnut

They say you go Chiltern for the celebrities, not the food, but we disagree. Chef Nuno Mendes’ dainty balls of dough stuffed with fresh crab are spectacular.

Bitesize: the ones you pop and can’t stop

Doughnut bites

Street foodies You Doughnut steal the crown of this category with their impossibly moreish doughnut bites. The dessert traders rotate around London’s markets, often found at KERB and this summer Street Feast Dalston Yard, pleasing punters with their mini sweet treats served by the pot and loaded with sauces and toppings. A mouthful of heaven.

Oh, just one more then: You Doughnut's mini treats

Mexican doughnuts

Asia de Cuba in St Martins Lane has recently relaunched with a new menu and chef, but thankfully kept their Mexican doughnuts on the menu. These bite-size brioche balls, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a spicy Thai chilli chocolate, are worth leaving room for — they're light enough to eat plenty of, rest assured.

Mexican madness: the doughnuts at Asia de Cuba

Oreo doughnuts

On the glutinous end of the spectrum, The Blues Kitchen (which has sites in Camden and Shoreditch) do small but deadly with their Oreo doughnuts: Oreo cookies are coated in dough and deep-fried so everything smooshes and melts into a gooey, chocolatey, delicious mess.

Genius or insanity? The Oreo doughnuts

Doughnut butties and burgers: why use bread when you can use doughnuts?

Delicious doughnut burger

Not content with adding savoury fillings to doughnuts, innovators have done one better and added doughnuts to savoury meals. A "Delicious Doughnut Burger" has just been added to the Ed's Diner chain menu as the Burger of the Month. It comprises sweet doughnut stacked with a beef patty, bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce. Somehow it works.

Fancy a doughnut for dinner? The Ed's Diner offering

Deadly donut burger

Later this year, Leeds' favourite Red’s True Barbecue will be landing in London, bringing with it its deadly donut burger. That's “two house-made 100 per cent steak burgers flame grilled over hickory, melted double cheese, smoked peppered bacon, dirty sauce and deep fried crispy onions, all between two sweet glazed donuts". Are you brave enough?

Culinary challenge: the deadly donut burger

Doughnut buttie

Elsewhere, get the day off to a good start with a Doughnut Buttie at BIRD, Shoreditch — an upgraded bacon sarnie with doughnuts and maple syrup drizzle.

Bacon and doughnuts... a magic combination?

Fusion: the doughnuts which can’t decide if they really want to be doughnuts


Cronuts had their moment a couple of years ago but though the hype has died the product remains. Dum Dum Donutterie has a selection of creative versions, including the almond creme and pistachio cronut, but the best is the Croconut, infused butter crème, a dark chocolate glaze and coconut sprinkles.

I should coco: the Croconut


Continuing in this vein, tea room Bea's of Bloomsbury (who were among the originators of the London Cronut scene) offer the Duffin, a jam-filled muffin-shaped doughnut. It'll mess with your mind.

Fluffy goodness: the Duffin

Lamnut doughnut

Crosstown Doughnut do a noteworthy fusion with their Lamnut Doughnut — a hybrid of a traditional Australian Lamington cake and a ring doughnut.

Doughnuts, meet Lamingtons: the Lamnut

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