Vegan lamingtons which are easy to make, fluffy and uses only common pantry staples. Enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike!
What are lamingtons?
Lamingtons are a very popular Australian and New Zealand snack or dessert. They consist of a fluffy vanilla sponge cake that is covered in chocolate and dried coconut. Sometimes lamingtons are filled with jam or cream.
In Australia and New Zealand, lamingtons (like custard tarts and Anzac biscuits) are often found in many corner bakeries and supermarkets. They're enjoyed at community and social events such as barbeques!
Are lamingtons vegan?
Normally, lamingtons are not vegan. The vanilla sponge conventionally has eggs, butter and dairy milk. The chocolate coating is often made with butter or dairy chocolate which has milk solids.
In Australia, the lamingtons at Woolworths and Coles (our two major supermakets) are not vegan as they have egg powder in them.
However, it's very easy to veganise lamingtons! I used my classic vegan vanilla cake recipe (adapted from my cookbook).
Instead of the conventional chocolate frosting using icing sugar, I covered my lamingtons in a chocolate ganache made with dark chocolate and coconut cream. This creates a thicker and more indulgent coating!
And of course, each lamington dipped in desiccated coconut.
Ingredients to make vegan lamingtons
Since lamingtons are a VERY common and popular dessert, I chose ingredients that are easily accessible, affordable and found in supermarkets.
I used sunflower oil instead of vegan butter for these lamingtons. The liquid oil makes the lamingtons moister! However, you can still use butter. The butter gives the sponge a classic buttery taste (duh!) but are a little drier.
To make the vanilla sponge, we need:
- self-raising flour
- plant-based milk such as soy, almond or coconut
- liquid vegetable oil or melted vegan butter
- apple cider vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
- baking powder
- vanilla extract + pinch of salt
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
We'll be decorating each vegan lamington using the following ingredients:
- raspberry jam, homemade or store-bought (optional)
- vegan chocolate ganache using chocolate and coconut cream
- dessicated coconut
How to prepare the easy vanilla cake for the lamingtons
Making the vanilla sponge is super easy. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix. Add the wet ingredients and mix til combined. Bake til golden!
I'd HIGHLY recommend making the sponge the day before you need it then chilling it in the fridge overnight. Chilled cakes are *always* easier to handle than fresh cakes.
I baked my cakes in an extra-large sheet tin to make a thin sponge cake. However, you can still use a smaller tin if that's all you have. A smaller tin will create a thicker layer so feel free to slice your cake horizontally to create thinner layers.
I cut my sheet cake into 2 layers. I generously spread raspberry jam on one half then sandwiched it with the other half. I'd recommend spreading more jam on your sponge cake than I did below :).
Alternatively, you can dip the sponge pieces without the jam. THEN cut the lamingtons in half and spread the jam in the middle.
I wanted small lamingtons so I cut 16 squares from this slab. However, this made the lamingtons quite tall so if you make them for a crowd, I'd recommend cutting 12 lamingtons then cutting them diagonally.
Tips for coating the vegan lamingtons
I'll be honest - this part can be a little messy so don't do it when you're in a rush or bad mood!
When dipping the sponge in chocolate, I'd recommend using a fork as that allows excess chocolate to drip away. Also, definitely scrape off the excess chocolate on the edge of the bowl. This recipe includes a little more chocolate than you need as it's easier to dip each lamington when you have more chocolate.
When you coat the sponge in coconut, the key is to avoid touching the wet chocolate with your fingers otherwise most of the coating will end up on your hands rather than the cake. What I do is:
- Place the chocolate covered cake in the coconut
- Liberally sprinkle some excess coconut onto the wet sides of the cake. This acts as an initial barrier between the chocolate and your fingers.
- Lightly grab the vegan lamington, turn and toss it on the coconut until you're happy with it. Voila!
These are some substitions you can make and some that you absolutely cannot!
To making refined sugar-free lamingtons, you may replace cane sugar for coconut or rapadura sugar. The latter two sugars are great for baking as they still make fluffy sponges. However, those sugars will make your sponge brown and caramel in taste.
Do NOT replace the liquid oil for coconut oil unless you live in a hot climate. Coconut oil is very solid at room temperature so it will make the sponge dense.
I do not recommend using pre-made gluten-free flour blends for this recipe (or any recipe ever). The gf flour blends (in Australia at least) tend to make sponge cakes gummy, chewy and dense.
I haven't tried a combination of gluten-free flours for this exact recipe but if you feel like experimenting, I'd recommend using a blend of almond meal, white rice flour and the smallest amount of tapioca starch.
Check out my other vegan lamington recipes
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- 2 ½ cups (310g) self-raising flour, (note 1)
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups (375g) dairy-free milk
- ½ cup (125g) neutral flavored oil, or melted vegan butter
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Filling and coating
- 1 ¼ cup (210g) roughly chopped vegan chocolate or chocolate chips, slightly sweetened
- 1 cup (240g) thick scoopable canned coconut cream
- ~½ cup (160g) raspberry jam, optional
- ~2 cups (160g) desiccated coconut
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line large baking tin with baking paper. I used a 33 cm x 23 cm (13 in x 9 in ) cake tin.
- Add all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) to a large mixing bowl. Mix until there are no big lumps. Add all the wet ingredients (milk, oil ACV, vanilla) to the bowl and mix until smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the baking tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into each cake and it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
- Cover the cake and chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours or in the freezer for 1 hour. You can also chill the cake overnight. (note 2)
To make the ganache coating (after your cake has chilled):
- Add the chocolate and coconut cream to a small saucepan or double boiler over medium heat. Melt and mix the ganache until it's smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
To assemble the lamingtons:
- If your slab of cake is thick, slice it in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Or if your cake is thin, slice it in half vertically (see pictures above).
- Spread the jam liberally on half of the cake and sandwich it with the other half (or omit the jam). Slice the cake into 12-16 squares.
- Place your chocolate ganache in a shallow bowl and the dessicated coconut in another.
- Using a fork, fully coat a piece of cake in the ganache. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Then quickly toss the cake in the coconut until it's fully coated. Set aside and repeat for the remaining pieces of cake. (note 3)
- Store the lamingtons in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. The lamingtons can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- If you don't have self-raising flour, substitute for 2 ½ cups (310g) plain flour and increase the baking powder to 3 tsp (total) and add ½ tsp baking soda. For gluten-free vegan lamingtons, use 1 ¼ cups (125g) almond meal/flour and 1 ¼ cups (200g) gluten-free flour blend. Increase the baking powder and use baking soda as above.
- Chilling the cake makes it MUCH easier to handle when you cut and coat it. Make sure you keep the cake in an airtight container or cover it well to prevent it from drying out.
- This step can be fiddly and messy. That's part of the process! For quicker lamingtons, skip the jam and just dip them in chocolate and coconut.
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Hi! 🙂 if using gluten free flour blend+almond flour for a gluten free version… how much would you increase the baking powder by approximately?
If I use a rectangular pan can I use the same recipe to make lamington roll cakes?
Hi Sinu! I've tried a similar recipe for a roll cake (with added flax eggs and aquafaba) but it crumbled everywhere, unfortunately. It may work with added xantham gum or applesauce!
Miriam Attard says
10/10 for the cake- light & delicious. I struggled to get the ganache to stick to the cake however. That aside, really good & enjoyed by all.
Hi Miriam, that's great that you enjoyed the vanilla cake! With the ganache, it may not stick if it separates which happens when you overheat the mixture. This can be easily fixed by blending the mixture with a stick blender, whisking it very very well by hand or adding more cream/milk. I hope that helps!
This recipe is amazing - it's so delicious!! A must make 10/10
This Lamington recipe is soooo delicious, as you say it's very addictive!!
The cake is very moist and stay moist even 3days later if conserved in fridge in box sealed.
The Ganache is a die for 😆 I use 160gr milk chocolate and 50gr dark chocolate, the balance was perfect 👌🏼
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe 🙏🏻
Aw thanks so much for your wonderful feedback Anne! And I love the combination of chocolates that you used :). Thanks for making my day!
I agree, very easy to make, and they were a great success, thanks for the recipe and I also like all your tips.
I made these tonight and they’re absolutely delicious! I found the coconut oil in the cream separated out when I was making the ganache which resulting in the ganache splitting but that was fixed by removing some of the excess oil and adding some soy milk to thin the ganache back down to a dippable consistency. Overall super fun to make and absolutely the best vegan lamingtons I’ve ever had. Will definitely make again!
Ooh I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Yep, sometimes coconut cream/ganache can separate if it's heated a little too high (don't worry, it happens to me too!) but you troubleshooted it well :)! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review x
Could you use light/white spelt flour? 🙂
Yes absolutely! It'll make the lamingtons slightly more dense but still delicious 🙂
Absolutely loved making this recipe! It came together super easily and kept well in the fridge for a few days! I didn't have self-raising flour but your instructions to make it ourselves were very clear and the cakes turned out delicious! I would totally make them again 🙂
They were so good!
These were AMAZING!! We’re in Lockdown in London doing Veganuary and I wanted a little slice from home (Australia) so thought I would try these out. So impressed. They were delicious, fluffy and moist. I’m new to vegan baking and honestly didn’t expect them to taste this good - I will totally make them again. Great recipe! Thanks!
Aw that's music to my ears! Soo glad these were able to bring you a dose of home all the way in London! What a great Veganuary dessert too. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂
Made this recipe yesterday and turned out amazing! Thank you!
Soo glad to hear Cristina and thanks for your feedback 🙂
Thank you, great recipe! I made them with glutenfree flour and they still came out super fluffy and good.
They were really easy but quite time consuming. I think the one ”problem” I had was that I couldn’t get enough jam to stay between the cake layers, just a really thin layer.
So glad they worked with gf flour! And yes, they can take time to prepare! I think one way of getting around the jam issue is by cutting the lamingtons *after* dipping them then spreading lots of jam in between. Though this can be a little messy!
Loved these! Simple to make and turned out wonderfully!
That's amazing Annabel! Thanks for your lovely feedback 🙂
Natalie Ford says
OMG These were so good. So easy to make. I used the base sponge recipe but altered to make passionfruit lamingtons. I just added 2tbsp passionfruit pulp to the sponge mix pre cooking. I then made a passionfruit buttercream filling using vegan butter, passionfruit pulp and icing sugar instead of the jam to stick them together. Once sandwiched i then dipped them in to more passionfruit pulp instead of chocolate and rolled them in coconut as per the recipe above. These went down a hit. The sponge was super light and fluffy. Thank you Anthea. Cant wait to try more of your recipes. 🙂
I LOVE the idea of passionfruit lamingtons and how Summery they must've been! Thanks for alll those tips too - I need to try them next time. Thanks a million for your kind comment!
Another big hit with my mixed diet family - vegan, veggie, dairy free - they all loved these! None of us had ever had lamingtons before, but we will definitely be having them again very soon! Thank you for a real treat!
That's soo amazing Sal! It's the best news when non-vegans enjoy these recipes. Thanks so much!
I made them! Mine are not nearly as pretty or uniform as yours, but they are delicious! Thanks for the recipe Anthena.
So glad to hear Sue!! Thanks for your feedback 🙂