lamington cupcakes

I've been looking forward to the Australia Day long weekend pretty much since I returned to work in the New Year. I planned to make a lamington roll to share with you and was so organised, I baked it a week early. It was an absolute disaster and as I was going away for the Long Weekend it looked as though I'd have nothing to share with you.

I came home a little earlier than planned and went straight to the kitchen to make Plan B, some lamington cupcakes from the Cook and Baker. I adapted the recipe a little; halved the recipe and added a buttermilk soak. The cupcakes didn't rise a great deal and as I was pretty tired, I wasn't sure if I'd used plain flour instead of self raising, so I went to bed in 2 minds whether to make something else for you or complete the process. In the end I did both!

I've had no lunch or breakfast so my caloric intake today has consisted of chocolate icing, coconut, whipped cream and cups of tea. I've literally just finished cleaning the mess made from dipping the cakes in chocolate icing. I can't tell you how many times I've swept the floor in a futile attempt to remove all the coconut from the kitchen floor. I now remember why I only make lamingtons once a year. It's a real fiddle but the end result is pretty delicious.

Here's the recipe for you, slightly adapted from original recipe from The Cook and Baker and you'll need to start this process a day ahead. If you don't feel like making jam from scratch, shop bought is fine.

For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) self-raising flour
40 g (1½ oz/1⁄3 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
pinch salt
340 g (12 oz) unsalted butter, softened
330 g (11¾ oz/1½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
200 mls milk

Buttermilk Soak

1/4 cup milk 
½ cup buttermilk
3 tsp caster sugar 
½ tsp vanilla extract

Lamington Dip

160 g (5¾ oz/1½ cups) dark cocoa powder
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/4 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar
100 g (3½ oz/2⁄3 cup) chopped dark chocolate 
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) boiling water 

To serve

320 g (11¼ oz/1 cup) Berry Jam 
350 g (12 oz/5 1⁄3 cups) thread (shredded) coconut, for coating  
Whipped Cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease and flour two 12-hole standard 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) muffin tins.

Sift together the flour, cornflour and salt, and set aside. Use an electric mixer with a beater attachment to beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla and then beat in the eggs one at a time. If the mix starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of the sifted flour. Fold in the rest of the sifted dry ingredients, then add the milk and mix until just incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sponge springs back when gently pressed on top. While the cakes are baking prepare the buttermilk soak. Combine all the ingredients in a small jug and stir until the caster sugar is dissolved. Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes in the tins before turning out. Place the cakes on a rack over a tray to catch any drips. Using a fine skewer, poke a few holes in the top of each cake before spooning a few teaspoons of the buttermilk soak over each cake. Allow the cakes to cool completely before storing overnight in the fridge in an airtight container.

For the lamington dip: Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add the chopped dark chocolate and pour over the boiling water,½ cup at a time until you reach the right dipping consistency. Whisk until combined and the chocolate has melted. Strain through a sieve to remove any lumps and allow to cool. If the mixture is too thick just add a little more boiling water.

To assemble: Cut each sponge in half and sandwich together with the raspberry jam. Carefully dip each one into the lamington dip, drain off any excess chocolate and roll in the coconut threads to coat. Place on a wire rack to dry. 
Serve with whipped cream.

Note: Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.

Berry Jam

Makes about 1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz/4 cups) • Preparation time 30 minutes plus 10 minutes standing time • Cooking time 40 minutes


1 vanilla bean
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/8 cups) raspberries and strawberries (halved) fresh or frozen
495 g (1 lb 1½ oz/2¼ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthways, then scrape the seeds from the halves using the tip of a sharp knife.

In a heavy-based saucepan, put the berries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and seeds, and 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water. Stir constantly over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 5 minutes.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20-25 minutes until the mixture will jell when tested on a cold saucer.

Discard the vanilla bean. Stand the jam for 10 minutes to settle before pouring into hot sterilised jars.

Note: Store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 1 month.

I hope you enjoyed your Australia Day Long Weekend. See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



  1. I am happy to find the comment section is working on my computer today. Not sure what the issue was.
    Thanks for your help with the Flour & Stone cakes. I look forward to your Easter posting of the chocolate hazelnut cake. That is a cake on my to-bake list.. It sounds too good not to bake.
    Just in regards to these little lamington cupcakes, is the buttermilk soak part of the original recipe, or a clever adaptation of the Flour & Stone Pannacotta lamington?Doesn't matter either way but I imagine it would make the cupcakes very moist. Is the buttermilk essential or can I use all milk for the soak?
    Thanks again,

  2. Hi Angela, there is a link to the original The Cook and Baker recipe in the text. I've slightly changed the cake recipe but the buttermilk soak was my addition a la the Flour and Stone pannacotta lamington. I can't eat tolerate much cream so originally I used a combination of milk and yoghurt but it was too thick, so I now use milk and buttermilk instead. The gelatine made the cake so slippery, the jam slid off the cake so I left out the gelatine component. The addition of a few tsp of the soak just makes the cake nice and moist. I'm sure you could use cream or milk or a combination of both but the buttermilk adds a nice tang.


  3. Thanks for highlighting the link to the recipe. Just had to scroll down and there it was. Looks like a great site to discover new books and recipes.
    I noticed that you reduced the eggs by 2 and doubled the milk. Any reason for reducing the eggs? Was the extra milk and the milk soak a substitute for the eggs? I will try this recipe but do a half quantity - will that yield 12 cakes? Also did you find the cakes really moist? I really love moist cakes.
    Off the subject a bit, but have you tried any Claire Ptak recipes? Her Violet Bakery cookbook is extremely popular. Although I do not need any more cookbooks, this one might be an interesting one to have. I can't imagine how big your cookbook collection must be. It is so hard not to buy them!

  4. Hi Angela, I was running low on eggs when I made the lamingtons. I referred to my usual lamington cake recipe from an old Maureen Simpson cookbook which only used 2 eggs but more milk. The cake shouldn't be too rich or else the chocolate icing, coconut and buttermilk soak would be way too much of a good thing.

    The buttermilk soak was just to ensure the cakes were nice and moist, which they were. I only made a half batch which yielded 10 lamington cupcakes. They were quite large though so most of my workmates cut the lamingtons in half to eat.

    I have a few baking books but I'm cautious with my purchases. I have a few Ottolenghi books, Belinda Jeffery's Mix and Bake, the Flour and Stone cookbook of course, The Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, Trine Hahnemann's Book of Scandinavian Baking, Isidora Popivics Popina's book of baking and a freebie Women's Weekly cooknook I rarely use. I also bake from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion and Gretta Anna's cook book and online sources as well.

    I don't have Claire Ptak's book but loads of her recipes are available on the internet. She wrote a food column for one of the UK papers. I've only made a batch of brownies from one of her recipes. I'm working on my own version of her lemon elderflower cake. So far all I've done is source the elderflower cordial so it's very much a work in process.

    Good luck making the lamingtons as they're a labour of love.


  5. Well I was surprised that you did not have hundreds of cookbooks based on the amount of baking you do. A number of your books were unknown to me but I do have Bourke Street Bakery. It's a great book but can't recall baking from it. Have you tried any recipes? I should revisit it but am quite taken by Flour & Stone at the moment.
    Looking forward to your next post.

  6. Hi Angela, I do have lots of cookbooks collected over the years and many gifted to me by friends. I just mentioned the ones devoted to baking. I also have years worth of Delicious magazines and Gourmet Traveller magazines as well. I have my favourite cookbooks that I use time and time again and some I never use. I dabbled with sourdough for a while hence the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook but I haven't made anything from it in an age.

    All the best,



© DELICIOUS BITES • Theme by Maira G.