Can you think of anything more iconic Australian than lamingtons? I mean other than say, thongs, XXXX Gold, Paul Hogan and snags on a BBQ. Nope, I couldn’t either. It’s just one of those things isn’t it. A classic Australian dish that just lends itself to a good cup of Bushells tea (OK, I think I’m over doing the aussie-ness now huh!). Incredibly I couldn’t tell you the last time I got to eat a lamington but that’s all changed now, because finally I have created a delicious and easy Gluten Free Lamingtons recipe that you’re just going to love.
I have been craving gluten free lamingtons for I don’t know how long now. So I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally be making these. In fact, this is my first foray into the world of lamingtons, gluten or not. I may of been a little bit intimated.
Enter the good old CWA Cook Book!
My copy of the CWA Cook Book happens to be the 31st edition, printed in 1976, however the copyright goes back to 1936. For those of you that don’t know the CWA is the Country Women’s Association and is practically an institution out here. And I mean really, does the CWA not go hand in hand with lamingtons? I swear every bake sale I’ve ever been to has had them there!
This gorgeous old tattered version of the cookbook is so cool. I often find myself just flicking through it when I’m looking for inspiration on what to try next. Because who doesn’t need to know how to cook a wedding breakfast for 100 people! Or how to whip up rissoles made from tinned meat! (really???!!!)
But the principals of the CWA are what truly get me. They have these passages in the front pages and all of them just warm my heart. I wanted to share my favourite passage with you before getting into the recipe.
So long as there are homes to which men turn at close of day,
So long as there are homes where children are, and women stay,
If love and loyalty and faith be found across those sills,
A stricken nation can recover from its greatest ills.
So long as there are homes where fires burns, and there is bread,
So long as there are homes where lamps are lit, and prayers are said,
Although a people falter through the dark, and nations grope,
With God Himself back of these little homes we have sure hope.
It’s with these words swirling in my head that I decided to tamper with one of Australia’s greatest dishes. I know, right? What was I thinking. But hey, we Coeliac’s and Glutards can’t always miss out! So without further a do here are my Gluten Free Lamingtons.
Gluten Free Lamingtons
- 250 grams Butter softened
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 Eggs
- 3 cups Gluten Free Plain Flour sifted
- 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1 tsp Bicarb Soda
- 1 cup Milk full fat
- 4 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
- 4 cups Desiccated Coconut
- 2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
- 20 grams Butter
- 200 ml Milk
- 300 ml Thickened Cream whipped
- Strawberry Jam
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and line a large 25x25cm square cake tin with a long piece of baking paper. Be sure to leave edges hanging out on two sides so you can remove the cake later.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar. Beat until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture has turned a light yellow. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and continue to beat for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and place a sieve over the top. Into this, place the flour, cream of tartar and bicarb soda. Sift into your butter mixture.
- Add in the milk, place back onto the stand mixer and slowly work the ingredients together. Once the flour is mixed in, turn the speed up to high and beat for 3 more minutes. Your mixture should now be pale in colour and very light and fluffy.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth out the top. Place straight into your oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check that it's cooked through by inserting a skewer into the center. (It should come out clean if it's ready). Place back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes if not quite cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes to cool, before placing onto a wire rack to cool fully. (Remember to use those overhanging pieces of baking paper to get it out!)
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Meanwhile in a large bowl, place the icing sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk. Pop the bowl over the hot water and allow it to melt together for a moment before whisking to create a smooth chocolatey mix. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl place the desiccated coconut ready for dipping. Prepare a tray with baking paper and create a production line of cake, chocolate icing, coconut and resting tray.
- Using a bread knife cut thin slices off the edge of the cake to remove the crusts and create a smooth edge. If need be, cut the dome off the top of the cake to again create a flat area. Cut the cake into approximately 24 rectangles, however you can make your lamingtons as big or small as you like.
- Take a piece of cake and dip each side into the chocolate icing, remove and allow the excess to drip off. Don't stress too much about keeping it even, it just won't happen. Next roll your pieces in coconut being sure to coat each side thoroughly. Place onto your prepared tray and allow to set.
- Continue with all the pieces until you are finished. Allow the lamingtons to set for 15 minutes or so before serving. You can serve as is or slice each piece in half and coat with a thin layer of strawberry jam and whipped cream. Now enjoy!
- Forget how you would normally make a sponge with this one and be sure to whip that cake batter well and truly. We need to get lots of air into this baby!
- Ideally the cake should cool overnight before being iced and covered in coconut. This is to let the sponge settle and make it less likely to break apart as you ice each piece. If it's not possible to leave overnight then ensure it's fully cooled (approx 1 hour) prior to icing.
- Lamingtons tend to end up a messy affair no matter how hard you try, so don't stress!
- Wrapped in cling wrap, gluten free lamingtons freeze particularly well. They also happen to defrost quickly and easily too. They happen to make the perfect treat to keep on hand when you have unexpected visitors drop by!
When was the last time you had some Gluten Free Lamingtons? Why not give them a try this weekend and let me know in the comments below!!