A celebration usually includes a cake. So this Australia Day celebrate with the classic Lamington which is believed to have been created in Brisbane.


 Image credit -  Cake and Bake

Image credit – Cake and Bake


Popular belief is, that this iconic Australian food was named after Lord Lamington, the Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901 who with his wife, Lady Lamington, resided at what is now known as Old Government House within the grounds of QUT Brisbane city campus, see below.


 Old Government House, Lord and Lady Lamington's residence.

Old Government House, Lord and Lady Lamington’s residence.


As Governor of Queensland, Lord and Lady Lamington, were often required to entertain guests and on one particular occasion their French born chef, Armand Galland, see below, was asked at very short notice to create something to serve to guests with tea.  Using day old French vanilla sponge cake, Galland, cut the cake into slices, dipped them in chocolate and then into coconut. Galland’s use of coconut is thought to be influenced by his Tahitian wife. So impressed were the Governor’s guests of this new creation that they asked for the recipe, word and recipe spread and that is how the Lamington was created.


 Lord and Lady Lamington. Image credit Australia Post

Lord and Lady Lamington. Image credit Australia Post

 Armand Galland, creator of the Lamington

Armand Galland, creator of the Lamington


Try your hand at making Lamingtons for yourself this Australia Day. Recipe courtesy of Taste.com


  • 126g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster suger
  • 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, softeneed
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Note this recipe is best started the day before.

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. Serve.