When I thought about baking for St. Patrick’s Day my thoughts immediately went to cupcakes, quickly followed by cake pops (not so surprising, who’s mind doesn’t immediately go to cupcakes when they think holiday baking). However, after giving it a bit more thought I decided on lamingtons. First of all, Tim and I love them, and second of all I’ve never seen a actually seen a green version of the lamington done before.
The lamington itself is a Kiwi icon. It’s a sponge cake, traditionally covered in either chocolate or a raspberry jelly based icing and rolled in desiccated coconut (I used coconut threads). Kiwi versions typically contain jam and cream, while Aussie versions do not (a fact Tim and I could not get over on our recent visit to Melbourne). Trust me, you need the cream to keep them moist and extra moreish.
I used a sponge cake dry cake mix to make the sponge itself, adding green food colouring to bring the St. Patrick’s Day theme to life. After cooling, I cut the sponge into 9 “even” squares, cutting 2 of those further into 8 miniature pieces. I then had to dip each piece in lime jelly icing, and coat with coconut. This was a very sticky, messy process during which the coconut threads went everywhere (!). However, despite the mess I was very pleased with how they ended up looking – and they’re super yummy too!
- 500g sponge cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 300mL water
- 1 tablespoon green food colouring
- 15g unsalted butter
- 2 tbs lime jelly crystals
- 150g (1 cup) icing sugar, sifted
- Coconut threads (or desiccated coconut if preferred)
- Whipped cream
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Prepare your sponge cake mixture – I used Bakels packaged sponge mix which required the addition of eggs and water before beating for 8 minutes. Though, if you’re up to the challenge you can make this from scratch. When you’re in the last few minutes of mixing, add the green food colouring and mix through throughly. Fill square tin with mixture and pop in the oven for the required length of time.
- Once sponge is out of the oven, leave to cool. This is very important!
- While sponge is cooling, prepare your icing. Pace butter and jelly crystals in a bowl, pour over 125ml boiling water and stir to dissolve butter. Sift in icing sugar, whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Cut sponge into 9-12 squares, taking care to also cut off the edges. If you want to make miniatures, simply cut into smaller squares.
- Start dipping the sponge squares into the icing (I left the bottom dry), and then either coat or roll in coconut.
- Place in the fridge for an hour or so to set.
- Once set, slice the square diagonally through the middle. Do not cut all the way though – leave about 1cm joined toward the bottom. Fill with cream (freshly whipped is best), then top with rainbow sprinkles.