Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coffee Layered Lamington Cake

Australians have a lot to be proud of when it comes to desserts. The famous Pavlova, the Peach Melba, Lamingtons, Golden Syrup Dumplings, Vanilla Slice. We'll pop the good old Anzac biscuits in there too, and the list goes on with all sorts of amazing iconic delights.
I love tradition, but I love tradition with a twist even more. It spices life up, and we all need that on occasion. How does coffee layered Lamington cake sound? This was a huge hit when I made it to celebrate my mother-in-law's retirement, and despite the sound of it and the list of ingredients, its quite simple to make.
Scared of trying to make a sponge cake? This was the first sponge I ever attempted, and truth me told I was besides myself with worry it would be a flat, hard lump of detestable grossness. Everyone says sponge cakes are the hardest cakes to get right but this one is super easy...I'd say its just about fool proof (although Ive only made it twice!)
I will add though, that if you're one of those delightfully optimistic "chuck any amount in and it will do" type of bakers, a sponge cake probably isnt your friend. Sponges, needless to say, require some precision. If the recipe asks for a cupof flour, it means a full cup of flour, not one that come shy of the top a few centremetres. You know what I mean. Just follow the yellow brick road and you will have something to brag about in a good hour or two.
There was a woman my family was in connection with who made the most fantastic sponge cakes. No one dared compete with her, and to every event she was requested to make that delicious airy sponge cake. She never parted with the recipe and no one ever challenged her. So you can see my apprehension in daring to make a sponge cake was high. Nothing could compare to that cloud of fluff she made. But this cake, if I may blow my horn a little, is very much in danger of becoming a requested party cake also. In fact, who needs a party as an excuse to indulge a little? Go on, you know you want to!

(adapted from

200g butter, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 tbsp. milk
1 cup extra coconut


1 heaped tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 heaped tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
2 cups icing sugar, sifted


1 cup thin cream
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

To make the ganache, combine the cream and chocolate in a saucepan over a medium low heat. Stir with a metal spoon until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is combined and smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Place in the fridge for a few hours until the mixture has thickened and is a spreadable consistency.

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line two 20cm (base measurement) pans with non stick paper. Use a beater to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition until well combined. Add vanilla and beat through the mixture.
Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture. Use a metal spoon and fold until combined. fold in the 1/2 cup of coconut and milk. Divide among the two pans and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the surfaces are dry to touch and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes before turning onto racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the cake filling, combine boiling water with the coffee granules and stir until smooth and well dissolved. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl and then add the coffee mixture. This should make a thin icing to go between the layers of cake.
Use a large serrated knife to cut each cake horizontally in half. Spread the thin icing on each layer except the top, and stack each cake one upon the other.Spread the top and sides evenly with ganache. Sprinkle over the ganache the extra coconut, pressing it gently to the sides until well covered. Serve with cream, if desired.

Serves 10

Coconut hides so many faults!!


  1. Oh good heavens, one for this Sunday i am thinking. Am a little frightened of the whole sponge thing too, but Julie Goodwin has a easy one which has boosted my confidence somewhat. Will let you know how i fare

  2. excellent Wendy, Im keen to know how you go!! good luck!


Give me some sugar, Sugar...