Lamingtons are a beloved New Zealand and Australian treat that kids will love making and eating. These delightful sponge cake squares are coated in chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut. Here's a step-by-step recipe that's perfect for cooking with children, using metric measurements.
For the Sponge Cake:
250g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened.
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
120ml (1/2 cup) milk
For the Chocolate Icing:
250g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
15g (1 tbsp) unsalted butter
200g (1 1/2 cups) desiccated coconut
Prepare the Sponge Cake:
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20x20cm (8x8-inch) square baking pan with baking paper. This will prevent the cake from sticking.
Mix the Dry Ingredients:
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Sifting helps to remove any lumps and aerate the dry ingredients, resulting in a lighter cake. Set this bowl aside for now.
Cream the Butter and Sugar:
In a large mixing bowl, let your kids take turns with a wooden spoon to cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. This might take a few minutes, but it's a fun task for the little ones.
Add Eggs and Vanilla:
One by one, add the eggs into the butter-sugar mixture, letting the kids crack and mix them. After all the eggs are in, add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Alternate Flour and Milk:
Start by adding a third of the sifted flour mixture and let the kids stir it in. Then, pour in half of the milk, and mix. Repeat until all the flour and milk are incorporated. This step can be exciting for kids as they see the batter transform.
Bake the Cake:
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking tray. Encourage your children to help level it out. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. The kids can peek through the oven door but be careful not to touch the hot oven.
Cool and Cut:
Once the cake is baked and has cooled down a bit, carefully remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, let the kids have a say in cutting it into equal-sized squares, usually about 5cm x 5cm (2x2 inches).
Make the Chocolate Icing:
While the cake cools, it's time to prepare the chocolate icing. In a saucepan, have your kids measure and combine the icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and butter. Stirring over low heat, let them watch as the mixture transforms into a smooth, chocolatey sauce.
Coat the Lamingtons:
Place the desiccated coconut in a shallow bowl. Now comes the fun part for kids - assembling the lamingtons! Using their little fingers or forks, have them dip each cake square into the chocolate icing, making sure it's completely coated. Allow any excess icing to drip off, then let them roll the square in the desiccated coconut until it's well covered.
Set and Serve:
Place the freshly coated lamingtons on a wire rack to set. This usually takes a few hours, or you can leave them overnight. Once set, it's time to enjoy these delicious homemade lamingtons with your children. They'll be proud of their culinary creation!
Creating lamingtons with kids is a fantastic way to bond, have fun in the kitchen, and indulge in a tasty treat together. Enjoy your time baking!