When it comes to sweet treats, our great nation punches well and truly above its weight. We’ve got Fairy Bread, Pavlova, Tim Tams, Minties, Anzac biscuits… You name a delicious dessert, and we’ve invented it.
But the humble lamington surely reigns supreme over all: an iconic hybrid of cake and slice (is it a sponge? Is it a sponge/slice?), a narrative of coconut, chocolate and jam, all building to the ultimate crescendo question: cream or no cream? (Answer: no cream. Duh).
To celebrate the national day of the lamington on Thursday, we’ve collected five of the best lamingtons around the country. Go forth, and eat:
Flour and Stone, 53 Riley St, Wolloomooloo Sydney
Okay, so we know we did say we were firmly anti cream, but we can’t go past baker Nadine Ingram’s pannacotta-filled lamington at her inner-Sydney patisserie Flour and Stone. Lathered in chocolate, covered in crisp chunks of coconut and piped with homemade jam, there’s something so decadent and delicious about this that makes our mouths instantly water just thinking about it. Too good to keep secret.
Beatrix, 688 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
This cute little café just north of Melbourne’s CBD is famous for its cakes: mud cakes, coconut cakes, crème brulees, melting moments, crumbles, cheesecakes, pies… But their toasted coconut covered lamingtons are something else: cream-free, the lightest, fluffiest sponge you ever did taste, and topped with a crunch of slightly roasted coconut flakes. Y.U.M
Bennelong, Sydney Opera House
You’ve never had a lamington quite like this before. Bennelong's head chef Peter Gilmore has taken everything you thought you knew about lamingtons and turned it on its head. Already a cult favourite after its debut on MasterChef this year, this dish has a cherry jam lamington covered in glossy chocolate ganache with a liquid nitrogen coconut milk parfait. So fancy! (Bonus: you can get this dessert for the bargain price of $14, not its usual $28 pricetag, on National Lamington Day and National Lamington Day alone).
Zumbo Patisserie, The Star, Pyrmont Sydney
No story on baked goods would be complete without a mention of the sugar maestro himself, Adriano Zumbo. His lamingtons are wacky, wild and classically ‘Zumbo’, think lamington flavours like apple pie and double chocolate. He also makes a Lamington Zumbaron, a lamington/macaron hybrid that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Reid Street Kitchen, Southport famers market, the Gold Coast
As Zumbo is to the macaron, Reid Street Kitchen is to the lamington. Not content to perfect the classic chocolate and jam variety, this Queensland farmers market has branched out into every flavour imaginable, from peanut butter to passionfruit, salted caramel and jaffa.