I’m the first to admit I’m a sucker for a lamington.
There’s something so nostalgic about the combination of a freshly baked vanilla sponge, smothered in rich chocolate icing and rolled a layer of desiccated coconut.
It brings back memories of my 5 year old self being taken to the local bakery after school to choose a treat off their nearly empty, flour dusted wooden shelves. Luckily there’d still be one or two lamingtons left and after I’d carefully carried it home, I would eat it as slowly as possible, savouring every bite.
Rather surprising that I became a pastry chef really.
If you’re not familiar with lamington cakes, they’re believed to have originated in Australia in the early 1900’s, and are still popular in New Zealand, South Africa and some parts of the U.K to this day.
Lamingtons are traditionally made from a square of vanilla sponge cake which is coated in an outer layer of chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut. A popular variation is to put a layer of raspberry jam and cream in the centre, and in New Zealand raspberry iced lamingtons are also very common.
Despite being a HUGE lamington fan, I haven’t been able to indulge in these little cakes for quite some time because they’re traditionally made with dairy, gluten and lots of refined sugar! And while I created this raw chocolate and raspberry lamington slice a little while back, it wasn’t quite the same.
So it was high time I gave these iconic little cakes a Swoon Food makeover!
I needed to create a low sugar, dairy, gluten and grain free version that was also ideally plant based and made with whole food ingredients. So I decided the best way to achieve this was to create a raw version in order to keep to the whole food brief, as let’s face it, a vegan, gluten free vanilla sponge cake just doesn’t taste good.
Luckily my raw version came out even better than I expected.
Thanks to cashews, the vanilla “cake” has a delicious creamy vanilla flavour with a texture that looks just like cake to the naked eye. I created a fresh raspberry jam centre and used raw chocolate as the icing.
Best of all because these mini lamingtons are so nutrient dense, they only need to be bite sized so are perfect as a little mid afternoon or after dinner treat, and will last for ages in the freezer
When you make these Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons, let me know!
Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons
Prep time: 30 minutes Chill time: 30 minutes
1 cup cashews
3/4 cups desiccated coconut
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp rice syrup or pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
2 tsp vanilla essence (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 tsp basil or chia seeds
Raw Chocolate Icing
1/2 cup/70g raw cacao butter
1/2 cup/85g rice or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup/60g extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup/65g raw cacao powder
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1 cup desiccated coconut for rolling
To make the ‘cake’:
Line a small brownie pan (18cm x 30cm or 20cm x 20cm) with non-stick paper.
Place the cashews and coconut in a food processor and blend until you have fine crumbs. Add the salt, vanilla and syrup and pulse until well combined. The ‘dough’ should come together in a ball.
Press the dough into the pan in a thin even layer, and place into the freezer to set.
To make the jam:
Place the raspberries in a small pan set over low heat and stir until warm and juicy. Turn off the heat and add the basil or chia seeds. Stir well and leave to stand for 10 minutes or so, to allow the seeds to absorb the liquid.
To make the icing:
Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then turn off the heat. Place the cacao butter, coconut oil and salt in a heat proof bowl and place on top of the pan of steaming water, stirring occasionally until fully melted.
Melting the ingredients using this method ensures the temperature of the ingredients doesn’t go above 47ºC thereby keeping the nutrients in them intact.
Once melted remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
To assemble the mini lamingtons:
Removed the ‘cake’ from the freezer and spread with raspberry jam. Cut in half down the centre and flip one side on top of the other to create a sandwich. Return to the freezer for at least half an hour to let the jam firm up. Ideally you want both the ‘cake’ and jam to be semi-frozen, at which point remove it from the freeze and cut into small even cubes, approximately 1.5cm wide. You should get about 20. Return to the freezer until you’re ready to ice.
To ice the mini lamingtons:
Set up a bowl of cooled melted raw chocolate and a bowl of desiccated coconut. Use a fork to dunk each lamington into the chocolate, let it drain through the fork, then roll in the coconut. Place iced lamingtons back on the tray and then return to the freezer to set.
These raw mini lamingtons will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Serve frozen, chilled or at room temperature.