An Aussie classic … the story of the lamington
Arguably Australia’s most famous culinary icon, the lamington is as dinky-di Australian as kangaroos and vegemite. But where did this uniquely Aussie treat originate and why is it called a “lamington”?
Like all good inventions the credit for the creation of the lamington is the subject of some debate. Some say that the lamington was created when a maid of Lord Lamington, the eighth Governor of Queensland accidently dropped a sponge cake into melted chocolate. Others believe that Armand Galland, the French Chef to Lord Lamington invented the lamington when he cut up left-over sponge cake, dipped it in chocolate and covered it in coconut to serve to some unexpected guests. It is said that Galland’s wife’s French Tahitian heritage meant that he was familiar with coconut, which was an unusual ingredient at the time.
The earliest written reference to lamingtons was in 1900 when a recipe appeared in Queensland Country Life newspaper where it was called “Lady Lamington’s Chocolate-Coconut Cake”. Soon after and as it gained popularity, it was known by its diminutive, the “lamington”.
Today there’s many variations of lamingtons. In Queensland they are still made the traditional way, but in some states they have a jam filling. In Western Australia they are often cut in half and filled with cream. Over the years new flavours and colours of lamingtons have appeared with varieties such as strawberry lamingtons, raspberry lamingtons, mango lamingtons and even marshmallow lamingtons.