Lamington with cream. Photo: Monica Shaw
Saturday is Lamingtons Day and you don’t have to be Australian to be part of the celebration. 

Lamingtons bring back wonderful childhood memories, one of them being that I never knew these deliciously moist coconut squares as Lamingtons, but Ystervarkies -  because of their striking resemblance to hedgehogs.

Lamingtons are made of sponge cake with a slightly moist outer layer, dipped in chocolate syrup and covered with coconut. 
It is believed the cake was created by the Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington when a cook accidentally dropped a vanilla cake into some melted chocolate.
Lord Lamington suggested dusting the tiny squares in coconut flakes to make it look presentable for his well-esteemed guests. 
Now a firm favourite in South Africa, no afternoon tea is complete with a plate of ystervarkies. 

Get a head start and try these two recipes ahead of International Lamington Day. 

Moist Lamingtons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Serves: Makes about 20

Ingredients
  • 250g Snowflake Easymix vanilla muffin
  • 200ml cooking oil
  • 250ml milk or water
  • 4 extra-large eggs
Chocolate syrup
  • 750ml (400 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 45ml cocoa powder sifted
  • 100ml water
  • 45ml butter or margarine
  • 500ml (160g) desiccated coconut
Coconut for covering

Method
  1. Place premix into a mixing bowl. 
  2. Lightly beat eggs, oil and milk together. 
  3. Add to premix and mix with a whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  4. Spoon mixture into a lined and greased 18 x 27 cm rectangular pan. 
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C for 25 - 30 minutes. 
  6. Leave to cool in pan for a few minutes. T
  7. Turn out and cut into squares.
Syrup 
  1. Mix icing sugar, cocoa powder and water together in a medium, heavy-based saucepan. 
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until sugar has melted. 
  3. Remove from heat and add butter. 
  4. While still warm, dip cake squares in syrup, but do not soak.
  5. Roll squares in a thick layer of coconut. 
  6. Place onto a wire rack to set.

Almond & Coffee Lamingtons

Almond & Coffee Lamingtons

Ingredients 

Cake: 

  • 125g softened butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 2 tsp. almond essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 330g flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 190ml milk

Icing 

  • 375ml water
  • 60g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. coffee granules

Cream 

  • 250ml fresh cream
  • 4 tsp. almond essence

Assembly:

  • 500g desiccated coconut
  • Preheat oven 180°C. Grease and line square muffin tins. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and almond essence.
  • Fold in dry ingredients with milk. Pour batter into the tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the fridge. Cut into squares.

Method 

Dipping icing 

  1. Heat water and butter. 
  2. Add sifted dry ingredients. 
  3. Mix until dissolved. 
  4. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. 
  5. Keep warm until needed.

Cream

  1. Whip cream with almond essence until firm to pipe. 
  2. Put in piping bag with star piping tip.

Assembly 

  1. Dip squares in icing. 
  2. Roll in coconut. 
  3. Cut in half, horizontally. 
  4. Pipe cream in the middle and sandwich. 
  5. Set in fridge.

* Recipe by: Chanelle Lutchman