Let's dive into Day 2 of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. Today, I'm bringing you Lamingtons. If you've never had them, give them a try this Christmas period and share some with friends. A wonderful spongy vanilla cake covered in chocolate and rolled in coconut. Deliciously festive!
Before anyone asks, yes these have previously been on the blog. But I felt they needed brought back to life as they could have easily been overlooked. They first appeared in the fall of 2015 and they had one photo Not a shocking photo, but you couldn't see the inside. And now, that I'm showing a bit of the step-by-step, you can see much better how these come together. A bit of work, but worth it!
Don't know what they are? Well, spongy vanilla cake squares dipped in a thin chocolate frosting and coated in coconut! See, worth it.
Before we get into the baking today, I'm so happy it's December. Not because it's nearing the end of year but because I love December. Mind you, I won't be sad to say adios to 2019. But, I've always enjoyed December but it seems even more so since having kids. Okay, well they're not small any more, but still enjoy festive stuff as much as I do. And I'm not taking about over the top presents, spending huge amounts of money (that I don't have!) or doing extravagant things. I'm talking about simple stuff. Just things like watching our favourite Christmas movies, enjoying dinners at home, taking walks, going for coffee and just enjoying the spirit of what Christmas is really about.
If someone told me a few years ago that my teens would enjoy things like family time, I would have laughed so hard. Like hysterical. But somehow, they grow out of those moods and start to enjoy things that they once found joy in as kids.
Yesterday we enjoyed a start to the month with a crack of dawn beach walk, family breakfast, advent calender fun and an evening outing for a budget dinner. Yes, budget because I'm all about frugal living!
December is off to a good start. We're only one day in, so I'm not counting my chickens just yet...hahaha.
Now, let's make some lamingtons!
Okay, so I've got a question for everyone out there. Who gets all their stuff ready before cooking or baking? Inquiring minds want to know. I always (well mostly always), get every single thing I need out on the counter in front of me. I've talked about this a bunch of times and am still reminding everyone that's it's the way to go. Saves time and more importantly frustration. Because let's face it, frustration and the kitchen quite often go hand in hand. Right?
But don't fret, you're going to get organized and keep the baking stress to a low...hahaha!
Let's talk Lamingtons.
Lamingtons take a bit of time and work to make as there are several steps to get through. But I just need to say, they are worth it! When I made them a little while back for this cookie round up, the kids asked if I could make them again, like straight away. So, I told them that in December we'd make them again.
For these cake squares, the first thing you need to do is get the cake part baked. In the recipe below you will see how to get this done. An 8 x 8 inch pan is perfect for these squares. Remember if you use a larger pan, you will have to reduce the baking time as well the squares will be flatter.
You'll bake the cake in a preheated oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few crumbs. Not dry. It's a wonderful spongy cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then take it out, remove the parchment paper and leave it to cool on a wire rack while to get on with the rest of the recipe.
The next step of this recipe is making the chocolate coating for the lamingtons. This is done in a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, just put one saucepan over another. Fill the bottom saucepan with water and place the other one on top. Add icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk and butter to the pan. Place it over a medium heat and start to stir until it all starts to come together.
After about 3 - 4 minutes you'll have a smooth and thick consistency like you can see here. Remove it from the heat at this stage and set it aside.
Remember that cake? Well, get back to it and cut it into 16 equal squares.
The cake squares will look a bit like this. They should be spongy with a loose crumb.
Now here's where things get real messy. If you're a neat freak, you might find your stress level. Don't panic, you can clean it all up when you're enjoying a cake square or two.
I like to set up a bit of a station for these. I get out a few large sheets of parchment paper and cover the counter tops. Also, I lay a large sheet of parchment paper underneath the wire rack for catching the extra chocolate that drips off the cake squares.
So, what is the best way to coat these? You can just dunk them straight in the chocolate with your fingers, like I do. Or you can use a large spoon to place them in, coat them and take them out. Whatever method you choose, it will be messy. There's no way around it. Also, crumbs will fall off into the chocolate. This is to be expected.
After you've dipped them in the chocolate, lay them on the wire rack for a few minutes to start to set a bit. This will make them easier to roll in the coconut.
For rolling in the coconut, I just lay a cake square on a large plate with the coconut and coat all sides. Then put it back on the wire rack. Repeat this for all cake squares.
You'll be left with a huge mess! That's what Christmas baking is all about right...haha!
Maybe now is time to turn up the Christmas tunes, make a cup of tea and grab a fresh lamington. The kitchen will be cleaned in no time at all.
These treats are absolutely delicious and what makes them festive is just about everything. They look so pretty dusted in coconut and would be a nice addition to a Christmas dessert tray. They are almost like a dessert as they are so filling. You could even serve them with a small amount of whipped cream or ice cream to make them more dessert like.
Hope you enjoyed today's edition and find some inspiration to add to you baking list this year. Remember, there's already a whole lot of Christmas inspiration on the blog. Last December I posted a Christmas Cookies collection with twenty great cookies to bake in December or any time for that matter! So head on over to that post and check it out.
So that my friends ends off Day 2 of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. I'll leave you with a favourite tune from days gone by. If you're not a fan of Charlie Brown, why not? This song will always remind me of cold December days. Longing for Christmas, spending hours looking through the Wish Book of things I'd never get and waiting for the Charlie Brown Christmas Special to come on after supper. Special times.
Enjoy December and check back tomorrow for some more Christmas baking inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!
Makes 16 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Bake time: 25 minutes
For the cake:
1 1/2 Cups/195 grams flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Cup/110 grams butter
1 Cup/200 grams sugar
2 Large eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup/120 ml Milk
For the frosting:
4 Cups/450 grams powdered sugar
1/3 Cup/35 grams cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup/120 ml milk
For the coating:
2 1/2 Cups/175 grams shredded coconut
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment paper an 8 inch baking tin. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Just a minute or so. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. This usually takes 3 minutes or so. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Next add the flour and milk in three additions. Starting and ending with flour. Pour the batter into your prepared oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Leave to cool completely and then cut into 16 squares.
Next, make your chocolate frosting. Place your powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a stainless steel saucepan set over another pan of simmering water. Stir until you have a smooth consistency. About 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour the coconut on a large plate have have ready a wire baking rack with parchment paper placed underneath it. Pick up a cake square and dip it in the chocolate to coat it completely and then roll it in the coconut. Place it on the wire rack. Repeat for all the cake squares.
These will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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