Ever heard of a lamington cocktail? Sounds good to me.

Lamington Cocktail
A truly Aussie Cocktail!
The Lamington Cocktail

If there is one culinary icon in Australia that ‘out-icons’ the pavlova it is  surely  the lamington.    We all know that the wretched Kiwis claim the pavlova (which is a lot of rubbish),  but in 2014 Aussies  were horrified to read in the Guardian Australia  that they  had also claimed OUR lamington. How could this be?    Apparently the Kiwis were insisting  that   the proof  lay in a watercolour  painting titled   Summer Pantry  by  New Zealand  landscape artist J.R. Smythe,  dated 1888. It purported to show a half eaten sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut. Hmmm, see the circled cake on the sideboard…..what do you think? Look closely.

Is this the original lamington?
Pity were wasn’t a calendar on the wall! Might have  said April 1.

The New Zealanders,  according to  the newspaper,  claimed that Lord Lamington, future Governor of Queensland, visited their country  in 1895  and was mightily impressed when he was served a ‘Wellington’ .  It was described as;  ‘a double sponge dessert, dressed in shavings of coconut  intended to imitate the snow capped mountains of New Zealand.’

The article created enormous angst, although it’s worth remembering that it was published on  April 1st.  Try looking up  that artist J.R. Smythe.   Oh the relief!

The truth is that Governor Lamington’s  chef, Armand Galland,  created the cake. There are several versions of how this actually  occurred. If you want more information, click HERE

Stamp featuring the Lamington
The stamp of authenticity…… depicting three Lamingtons.

Since Queensland was the birthplace of the lamington there must have been great sadness when they were once banned from Toowoomba’s Methodist Church Industrial Exhibition.  In 1953, conveners had to cancel the lamington competition and substitute rainbow cakes. The problem was that coconut from New Guinea was suspected to have been infected with typhoid.

Housewives all over the country  were instructed to destroy  their supplies of dessicated coconut.


I swear that the best lamingtons in the whole world are made by a delightful  man called Hak , at the Cremorne Bakery in Sydney.  The shop is located in the shopping centre below the Park Regis Hotel  on Military Road.  Priced at a very reasonable  $2.60, one is definitely  big enough for two people. He also makes them in miniature, to serve  free with take-away coffee. Hak is from Cambodia, which proves that a background in the Country Women’s Association is not a requirement for making superb lamingtons.

That looks magnificent,
Hak’s King of the Lamingtons

In my Blue Mountains village of Blackheath we have a Vietnamese bakery and they make chocolate sponge Lamingtons!

Chocolate sponge lamington. Editor Des gave it the thumbs up.
Perfect with chocolate milk!
Editor Des eating a lamington
A lamington makes everything seem better. Editor Des,  a little bit sick.

Editor Des has already ordered this for his next birthday.

Lamington birthday calke
The Lamington Express

Can the  lamington be improved in any way? Well, yes. You can split them and put whipped cream inside, but that is just so indulgent I really cannot recommend it.

The inimical Barry Humphries said that the lamington  should be placed on a doily and served on a Tupperware plate. Oh Barry! Dame Edna would consider that very common.

An iconic morning tea.
A lamington is perfect with a cup of tea.

Here are my sweet great-nieces Ellie and Ash making lamingtons at their Granny’s house in Tasmania. I do note that she has the girls sitting outside!

 Little Aussies making lamingtons.
Needs concentration.

There is a stall at the local Farmers’  Market here in Blackheath that sells Lamington cupcakes.  Is this an abomination or an adaptation  to gladden the heart?  I’ll have to try them next time I go  and see what I think.

Lamington cupcakes
Well, they look pretty good!

Lamington, lamington we love you. You can’t just eat one….you must have two.   By the way, did you know there was a Lamington Anthem?

Look what has been produced in time for Australia Day 2020. If I didn’t have a calender I’d suspect it was April 1.

Lamington chips!

But wait, there’s more!


Crikey! …..that icecream would help though.

A strange version of the Lamington.

Oh, and speaking of April Fools Day.


  1. Lamingtons are among my favourite desserts that I’ve missed so much living in USA. When I was teaching in Australia many schools held ‘Lamington Drives’ where any person could order lamingtons by the dozen or half dozen and the money raised went to the various funds for the school. Of course, they made a considerable profit. Once the lamingtons arrived by the truck load or the tuckshop workers had made hundreds, (you could smell chocolate a long way off), they had to be boxed and the ordered number sorted out with the appropriate names. If the weather was hot it could turn out to be quite messy when handling each lamington.

    • Pauline

      Oh yes, I forgot about the Lamington Drives, Heather. What American foods are your favourite?

  2. Those Wretched Kiwis – next they’ll be claiming Russell Crowe too!
    Bring back Underarm Bowling, that’s what I say !

    • Pauline

      Haha, just make NZ the seventh Australian state and all such problems will be solved, Kiwi Terry.

  3. Give me a Tunnock’s Snowball any day!

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.