Saturday, July 18, 2020

Weekend Cooking: National Lamington Day

If you look around the internet long enough, you can find a day for just about anything. The other day at work we were talking about the fact that it was World Chocolate Day (7 July). I then went down the rabbit's hole and found that National Cheese Day exists (June 4). There are even days for particular types of cheese (National Cheddar Day - February 13), but not every type. For example, I couldn't find a National Parmesan Day.

In fact, there are so many "days" it is almost impossible to keep up. I found this website where they attempt to, but even then I don't think it is complete because frankly, there are just so many days.

This week, according to the website, these are just a few of the days:

July 12 - Pecan Pie Day and Etch-a-Sketch Day
July 13 - French Fries Day and Town Crier Day
July 14 - Mac and Cheese Day and Shark Awareness Day
July 15 - Orange Chicken Day and Pet Fire Safety Day
July 16 - Fresh Spinach Day and Guinea Pig Appreciation Day
July 17 - Peach Ice Cream Day and World Emoji Day
July 18 - Insurance Nerd Day and Caviar Day

The day I really want to talk about this week though, is National Lamington Day, which is July 21.

I shared a recipe for a traditional lamington  a few years ago now and posted it again yesterday as my first Vintage post, so today I am going to share a pimped up version of lamington.

Firstly, what is a lamington? It is traditionally a sponge cake that is dipped in a chocolate sauce and then rolled in coconut. For variations, you can add jam and or fresh cream. I wouldn't often choose to buy a lamington from a bakery because sometimes they can be a bit average, but when they are good, man, they are really good.

This recipe comes from the book Bake Australia Great by Katherine Sabbath which I bought earlier this year. Katherine Sabbath is famous for her amazing cake designs and has regularly appeared on shows like Masterchef, setting the contestants mind blowing challenges.

I have to say, despite the fact that the finished product looks very impressive, it is actually a pretty simple recipe, but when I served it up as dessert at a dinner with friends a few weeks ago, they were suitably impressed.

I would mention that there was a lot of ganache and coconut left over so I intended making a trifle with the cake tops which I cut off to try and make it even, some ganache, some coconut, some leftover raspberries and some cream. I still think it is a good idea, even though I didn't quite get around to doing it! Next time! I do think there will be a next time!

Glamington (Katherine Sabbath)

Vanilla cake

½ cup(130 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup(220 g) caster sugar
1 tspvanilla bean paste
3large eggs, at room temperature
2⅓ cups(375 g) self-raising flour
1 cup(250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 pinchsalt

White chocolate ganache

1 cup(250 ml) single (pure) cream
500 g(1 lb 2 oz) white chocolate melts
pink gel food colouring


3 cups(255 g) fine desiccated coconut
300 ml(10½ fl oz) single (pure) cream
125 g(4½ oz) fresh raspberries

1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) fan forced. Grease three 15 cm (6 inch) shallow round cake tins.

2. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until thoroughly combined.

3. Gently incorporate the flour in three batches, alternating with the milk in two batches. Add the salt and mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.

4. Divide the batter among the cake tins. Bake for about 20–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack, upside down, to cool completely. Cover and set aside.

5. To make the ganache, pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil (there should be bubbles all over the surface, not just around the edge). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until there are no lumps.

6. Stir in the pink colouring until the desired shade is reached.

7. Set the ganache aside until it cools and thickens slightly. If needed, briefly chill it in the fridge (for about 5–10 minutes), then stir again until smooth. Once the ganache has reached the right consistency, transfer it to a wide, shallow dish.

8. For the decoration, put the coconut in a wide, shallow dish. Gently dip one of the cake layers into the pink ganache, ensuring even coverage, then dip into the coconut. Place the cake on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.

9. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

10. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Dollop a generous amount of whipped cream on top and spread it over the cake. Stud the cream with the raspberries. Spread a little more whipped cream on top to help secure the next cake layer.

11. Add the second cake layer and top with more cream and raspberries. Gently place the third cake layer on top.

Decorating tips:

To prepare the ganache using the microwave, put the white chocolate melts in a microwave-safe bowl. Pour the cream into another microwave-safe container and heat for 30–40 seconds or just until it starts to boil.

Pour the cream over the white chocolate, making sure that most of the white chocolate is covered. Set aside for 5 minutes, then stir in a gentle, circular motion until the white chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. If needed, microwave for another 10 seconds at a time, stirring gently until smooth.

You can also cook the cake batter in one 15 cm (6 inch) deep cake tin. Increase the baking time to 50–60 minutes. Once the cake is completely cooled, use a long, thin knife to divide it into three even layers.

Recipe and image from Bake Australia Great by Katherine Sabbath (Murdoch Book, $39.99)

What's the most unusual day you have heard of? And did you celebrate Insurance Nerd Day?

    Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


  1. I first heard of Lamingtons when reading Lucinda Riley's The Pearl Sister, and made some in concert with the book. Maybe I should repost it as "vintage" on the 21st!
    Yours look very impressive indeed, and delicious.

    1. Your lamingtons look great Claudia! I've never made the traditional ones because, yes, messy!

  2. Lamingtons haven't made it into American tradition as yet. I don't see why -- they look very tasty! I've never had this dish.

    be well... mae at

    1. When they are done well they are delicious Mae!

  3. I make it a point to eat a lamington when I visit my children in Melbourne. I like them without the coconut and then I was told it is not a lamington!

    1. To be fair Mystica I suspect that they are right, although chocolate dipped sponge still sounds good!

  4. I have not heard of Insurance Nerd day! There are so many foodie holidays and there was a lady named Louise who kept a blog celebrating most of them. It was a cool blog, hut she passed away and her blog disappeared. I always try and remember Nutella and Garlic days...but usually forget.

    Lamington! I made those once and wish I had blogged about it. My countertop wa covered with bowls of shredded coconut and little wedges of yellow cake. They were delicous. Love your fancy cake - yes, please!

    1. I hadn't heard of Insurance Nerd Day either, and I am not sure why there needs to be a day for that either!

      That is a fun idea for a blog!

      Lamingtons do have a reputation for being very messy Tina!

  5. I haven't heard of a Lamington either. It does sound good.

    1. It's a very Aussie/New Zealand thing so not surprised you haven't heard of them Jackie!

  6. Yummy, I do prefer pink to chocolate lamingtons.

    1. I definitely enjoyed this pink version Shelleyrae!

  7. I definitely learned something today. It's the first time I ever heard of lamination. I have to say that it sounds delicious and something I would love to try!

  8. I love the glamington! It sure looks delicious! There is something to celebrate everyday, Lamington Day is a pretty good idea...

    1. It's as good a reason as any right Melynda?

  9. A local bakery here had Lamingtons a couple of times as their Saturday special and I tried them. Yum! I don't know how authentic they were but I liked the combination of the chocolate, jam and coconut. Love the looks of your Glamington--so pretty!

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed them Deb!

  10. It's a long time since I baked or indeed ate a Lamington but that Glamington looks totally delicious.

  11. she does make some amazing sweets that Katherine! gotta love a lamington:)

    1. She does make amazing desserts. Now I just need to pick the next recipe to make!

  12. Oops I have now added my post several times by mistake as it looked like it hadn't come on at all. please just delete the extras:-)

    1. Done! I think you need to refresh the page to see that it has been added.

  13. That is an amazing cake! Very impressive and doesn't seem simple to make at all! I think that's your baking expertise talking. ;)
    Also, I can't believe I missed Peach Ice Cream Day! That's one of my favorite ice cream flavors and I don't see it very often.

    1. Mark Peach Ice Cream Day in your diary for next year Laurie! lol

  14. My first time here. That cake looks so yummy; I had never heard of it.

    Thanks for the link on the special days. Today July 19th is Ice Cream Day! Perfect for a very warm day here in Nashville – 94 F (34 C.) But I won’t be able to find my favorite flavor. Growing up in Paris (France) when my parents took me to the cinema we always ate an ice cream on a stick (not sure what to call it in English.) The serveur would come during the intermission of the film and say “Bonbons, caramels, esquimaux, chocolats glac├ęs...” and I would get one in the blackcurrant flavor, such a treat. Here in the US I have been unable to find blackcurrant ice cream. Whenever I go back home to visit my family in Paris I always get some blackcurrant ice cream (summer of winter.) Unfortunately I had to cancel my September visit to Paris because EU banned visitors from the US.

    1. Thanks for visiting Vagabonde. I was in Nashville last year and loved it!

      We call those ice creams on a stick ice cream too.

      We were supposed to be in Paris in April this year but had to cancel because of COVID. Maybe we will get back there in a couple of years!

  15. One of my favourite things is Chocolate Syrup, I can't wait to try yours. Thanks.

    Celebrate National Chocolate Day