Lamington Torte


Lamington TorteThis Lamington Torte is an adaptation of Australia’s much loved snack, Lamington Squares. Traditionally, they are made of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut.  The sponge can also be split and filled with whipped cream or jam.

However, in researching this treat, I found that here in the states the cake usually runs to a butter cake. The recipes did stay true to the original powdered sugar icing.

I liked the idea, but I am not a fan of sponge cake except in a few instances where nothing else will do.  My Lamington Torte consists of four layers of yellow butter cake, raspberry jam filling and a rich chocolate ganache rather than the powdered sugar based icing.

I also use sweetened coconut that is toasted then flattened with a rolling pin so it lies flatter than regular coconut.  Toasting coconut is one of those things in baking where you need to be around, as it has to be stirred every few minutes to achieve a luscious deep golden brown.  Unless, of course,  you go to have lunch in the den with your husband and leave the timer in the kitchen.  When you do that this is what your coconut will look like. Burned Coconut

Don’t do that!

The fillings are rich so they are spread thinly.  The cake is finished in a very thin layer of ganache into which the toasted coconut is pressed.  This insures that with every bite you taste all the components whereas either the raspberry or the chocolate could dominate with thicker fillings.

This Lamington Torte is great for beginners since there is no decorating.  It isn’t necessary for the glaze to be perfect since it will be covered by the coconut. This cake freezes well so can be made ahead.

Following my usual practice, I baked the yellow cake (go to my Monday blog, in four layers rather than split two layers.  However, if you have only two pans, then split the cake layers.

Lamington Torte
Yellow Cake, 4 layers –
Dark Satin Ganache (Recipe Below)
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
8 ounces sweetened coconut

Bake the yellow cake layers in four layers and cool.  Alternately, bake in two and slice in half horizontally when cool.

Dark Satin GanacheGanache ingredients
1/4 cup 40% or heavy cream
2 tablespoons clear cornsyrup
2 1/2 tablespoons butter (35 grams or 1 1/3 ounces)
5 ounces semisweet chocolate (140 grams)

Combine the cream, cornsyrup and butter in a small saucepan.

Ganache ingredients in pan Heat until the butter melts cut do not let it boil.  It should be steamy hot but not boiling. Ganache ready for chocolate Remove from the heat and submerge the chocolate.  Chocolate added to cream

Chocolate submerged in cream

Wait for 2 minutes the gently whisk until smooth.  Ganache mixedSet aside at room temperature until thickened.  This may take several hours.

Toasted Coconut
8 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.Coconut on tray

Bake for about 8 minutes.  With a pancake turner, turn the coconut and return to the oven.  Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir again.  Repeat until the coconut is evenly browned.  Set aside to cool.Toasted coconut

When cool, place a piece of waxed paper over the coconut and crush with rolling pin.  Crushing the coconutStir the coconut, replace the  paper and roll over it again to make sure the coconut is uniformly crushed.

Place one layer of cake on a cake board.  Spread with a scant 1/3 cup of jam.1st layer with raspberry jam

Raspberry jam spread out

Place the second layer of cake on a piece of parchment or waxed paper and top with a scant 1/3 cup of ganache.  Because the layers are so thin, spreading the filling on the cake layer while it is off the cake makes for better looking layers when assembled.  Place on top of the first layer making sure to line them up evenly since you can’t scoot them around once they are down.Second Layer going on top

Place the third layer on waxed paper and spread with a scant 1/3 cup jam.  Place on top of the ganache layer.3rd layer going on

Top with the fourth layer of cake.4th layer on

Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on the sides Frosting sides with ganacheand top of the cake.  Frosting top of cake

Glazing top of tables

If you are leaving the cake on the cake board, scrape the ganache off the bottom of the board with a spatula. Scraping the cake board After that use a paper towel, and clean the board completely. Cleaning cake board. Leave the coconut in the baking pan.  Hold the cake in your left hand over the tray and pick up some of the coconut in your right hand.  Press the coconut onto the sides of the ganache letting the excess fall back into the tray.

Coconut on side of cake

Finishing side of cake with coconut

Finish the top with the remainder of the coconut.Coconut on top of the cake

Refrigerate at this point to set the ganache.

After the initial refrigeration, the cake can be stored at room temperature.  Serve at room temperature.

Cut into 10 to 12 pieces.Whole Lamington Torte

I visited these blogs in researching this blog.  You may find these interesting also.

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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4 thoughts on “Lamington Torte

  1. Bob McDermotth

    Having lived in Australia for some time and quite familiar with their Lamingtons ;Is it not a culinary blasphemy to use a yellow layer cake instead of the traditional sponge cake base ..?
    I don’t care if you hate sponge base but you are not doing justice to the favorite cake they way they are made down under as you are bastardizing it actually……

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Bob – Sorry you don’t like my version. But in my research, the Lamington is a snack cake not a torte. Since I used the cake, the chocolate and the coconut and turned it into a torte not a snack square, I really consider it a different product based on the Lamington square, which I thought I covered in the introduction. I clearly stated I did not care for their version so it is ok for them not to care for mine. Food is all about taste and all of us don’t agree on the same thing. Thanks for writing though.

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