I came across an Olympic-themed baking challenge (hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes), and it really took my fancy. Bake a treat inspired by any of the Olympic countries. My thoughts immediately turned to pavlova, but that’s not unusual. My thoughts often turn to pavlova. Then I had a stroke of divine inspiration – I saw a tower of Aussie lamingtons, gleaming with green and gold Olympic glory!
For those non-Australians reading who have no idea what I am talking about, a lamington is not a small furry rodent that jumps off cliffs (that’s a lemming). It’s square of cake (sponge cake is best, filled with jam and cream is even better) that is dunked in chocolate, rolled in dessicated coconut, and is available at just about every bakery, school cake stall and kids birthday party across our fair continent.
I’ve never actually made lamingtons before, though I have definitely eaten my share of them. I used to love delivery day of the lamington drives at school, when every kid would go home to an after-school treat of a freshly baked lamington, drenched in soft chocolate and covered with a snowy dusting of coconut. I always liked eating the corners best, as they were the most chocolate-dense location on the entire cake.
My green and gold lamingtons would not be coated in chocolate though. I needed something bright and a bit garish, that would sit well with the Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi crowd. And instead of a delicate sponge cake I needed something that would stand up to a bit of a beating, so I made a standard butter cake and coloured one half of the batter green, and the other half yellow. Then I made a patchwork of the batters in the cake pan to result in a very patriotic marble cake.
Now to the icing. How was I going to coat the lamingtons in something green and gold to hold on the coconut? Lemon and lime jelly crystals were the answer. My daughter and I made batches of green lime jelly and yellow lemon jelly to dunk the cake cubes in before we rolled them in coloured dessicated coconut.
The result? I’ve never had a citrus lamington before, and given the choice I think I’d go with the traditional chocolate every time. The lime and coconut turned out to be a decent match, but it was nothing against the Bountyesque pairing of chocolate and coconut. In hindsight I should have melted and coloured some white chocolate instead of using the jelly, but a German friend (who has never tasted a dinky-di Aussie lamington before) said that she loved the citrus flavour.
There’s a strong chance she was just being polite.
Either way, they were lots of fun to make, and the kids really loved the bright colours.
Like any lamingtons, my green and gold beauties are a very kid-friendly dish to make as there are many steps that can easily be done by little hands. A butter cake is very straightforward to prepare, so kids can play a lead role here. And it’s fun for them to make the jelly, colour the coconut themselves, dunk the cakes and roll them in the coconut. Be warned, however that you will get a trail of green and gold coconut shavings through your entire house.
But hey, anything to support our Olympic team!
Green and Gold Lamingtons
- Dessicated coconut
- Green and yellow food colouring
- 1 packet each of green and yellow jelly
- 125g Butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon, vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups self raising flour
- 1/2 cup of milk
- Green and yellow food colouring
|Ideally, make the cake the night before. It will hold the crumbs together a bit better when it comes to the jelly-rolling stage|
|Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line your cake tin. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence. Beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour and milk bit by bit, alternating. This is a great job for the kids.|
|Pour half the batter into another bowl. Colour each batch with green or yellow food colouring. When you mix in the colouring, use a light hand. You never want to overmix cake batter or it loses its lightness.|
|Spoon the two mixtures into the cake pan like a patchwork. You can draw a knife through it to spread the pattern, but don’t mix the colours together. Give it a good bang on the bench to smooth out any air bubbles and bake for about 50 minutes.|
|Make the coloured coconut by putting a few drops of food colouring into a ziplock bag with the coconut. Squish the coconut around in the colouring until you get the colour you like. Again, this is a great job for kids and is fairly mess free.|
|Make the yellow and green jelly as per the packet. Don’t leave it to set fully though – you’ll only need about an hour in the fridge. It should be lumpy, but still runny, a bit like the consistency of yoghurt.
If you leave it too long and it sets, just leave the bowl in some warm water to loosen the jelly up.
|Bringing t it all together|
|Cut the cake into big cubes. Cut off the crusty top and sides of the cake. Dunk the cakes in the soft jelly and then immediately roll in the coconut. The colours seem to look best when you use yellow jelly and yellow coconut.|