April 25th is ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day in Australia and New Zealand. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, and is a day of national remembrance of the military campaign and those who have fallen in war. I was introduced to the lamington after an ANZAC Day ceremony several years ago, and wanted to have them on the column in observation of ANZAC Day this year (though our column falls on a Friday so I’m a day late!!!). Who best to share a lamington recipe with us than Italo-Australian illustrator Felicita Sala. I’ve seen lamingtons in all different shapes and sizes, some as large as a Rubik’s cube!
There is some debate as to whether lamingtons use butter cake as a base or sponge. I prefer butter cake, though sponge is the traditional base. I will leave it to our Australian readers to provide us with tips on the dip and coat process, and whether they prefer sponge or butter cake! -Kristina
About Felicita: Felicita Sala was born in Rome but grew up in Perth, Australia, where she graduated in European languages and philosophy. After a time spent between France and Spain she settled back down in Rome in 2007. She decided to discover the world of art and illustration outside of formal institutions, taking inspiration from from contemporary art and illustration, philosophy, music, she likes to draw, cook and eat food. She is currently working on a children’s picture book. Her work has been seen in Design Work Life, Uppercase magazine, Oh Comely magazine , Blanket Magazine, delirio magazine, Relative magazine, designerblog, australian edge, design-milk, pikaland, 40fakes, rooms magazine. Prints of her work are available here.
For the Cake
- 1 cup of superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup of milk
For the Icing
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups desiccated coconut
- Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix well.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the butter and eggs mixture.
- Mix vanilla with the milk, and pour into the flour mixture a little bit at a time.
- Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes at 350F/180C degrees.
- Place cake on a wire rack to cook completely before icing.
- Cut the cake into cubes.
- To make the icing, mix all ingredients in a pot and gently heat, stirring until the mixture is creamy.
- Place the slightly warm icing in a bowl with some depth, and put the coconut in a separate bowl.
- Roll each cube in chocolate, and then into the coconut and set on a wire rack. The coating will firm up as it sits, so that it is no longer soft to the touch.
Why Felicita loves this recipe
I love lamingtons because they are the softest cake in the world, but mainly because they remind me of Australia. Biting into a lamington takes me back to cake raffles at school, old grandmas pouring cups of tea and the sound of magpies.
Photo by Mike Baker