Homesickness always seems to creep up unannounced. I’ve come up with some nifty ways to quell the longing: I Google images of beaches I grew up on, sit and watch Australian football games with my husband that I’d normally have zero interest in, or bake cakes that remind me of home.
For those of you unfamiliar with the iconic Australian lamington, or lammo as it’s often called, it’s a sponge cake cut into individual square portions, dipped in a runny chocolate icing that soaks into the sponge, and then rolled in shredded coconut. A top-notch lamington will have jam and cream in the middle. Lamingtons are a messy affair that take time to bake, which is why most Australians buy them at local bakeries or at fund-raisers. One afternoon, I was craving a lamington but was too lazy to make the real thing; that’s when I came up with the Lazy Lamington. It has all the key flavors: coconut, berries, chocolate, and cream, but I’ve nixed the sponge cake. It’s a one-pan lamington that’s meant to be shared with friends and multiple spoons.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10 1⁄2 by 7 1⁄2-inch ceramic dish with butter. (There’s no need to use parchment paper if you’re going to serve straight from dish.) Make the batter for the Versatile Coconut Cake according to directions below. Cut the raspberries in half and fold them gently into the batter.
- Place a large sifter or a sieve in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and sift.
- Add the coconut and sugar to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Finally, add the melted butter and stir until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Keep the cake in the dish and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Pour the cream into a cold large metal bowl.
- Add vanilla extract and sugar.
- Using a balloon whisk, begin to whisk the cream until it has doubled in volume, has smooth soft peaks, and is light and fluffy.
- Using a spoon, dollop the cream on top of the cake. Don’t spread it out; you want to keep the volume in the cream. Finally, sprinkle the toasted coconut and chocolate shavings on top.
Reprinted with permission from Simple Cake by Odette Williams, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit Nicole Franzen © 2019.