One of my first food memories of Australia was the day I hiked through the rainforest close to my student housing in Brisbane, Queensland. Since my housemates were all busy, I went on a tour and had an amazing time! When we took a break from hiking, the tour guide prepared afternoon tea with classic Aussie honey tea and lamingtons. I have been in love with these delicious bites of cake ever since but haven't had any since I left Oz. Since I'm currently living on an island that requires me to walk through rainforests and take ferry rides (just like in Brisbane), I find myself missing the flavors of Australia. Vegan Lamingtons are my remedy! Baked goods are one of the easiest things to veganize and these are no exception. With moist sponge cake, a coat of chocolate, and an outer of shredded coconut, these little delights bring back all the memories of my day trip through the Australian rainforest.
Since I like to cut back on sugar, I've put in parenthesis the option to swap out the processed sugar in the recipe for honey, stevia, or agave. I used honey, as it is my sweetener of choice, and it was marvelous!
3 1/2 cups twice sifted flour
2 cups sugar (or try using just 4 tbsp of honey)
1 shallow tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup coconut oil (if you don't have coconut oil, try using 3/4 cup vegetable oil)
2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
4 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F Bake Time: 40 minutes
1. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine and mix all wet ingredients.
2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well until the batter is smooth and lump free.
3. Let batter sit for 5 minutes. Do not try to bang out the bubbles.
4. Pour batter into a square or rectangle cake tin/glass (doesn't matter which size since we will cut the cake into bite-sized squares.) Again, don't bang out those bubbles.
5. Into the oven at 350°F and bake for 40 minutes. If your oven heats unevenly, your cake will be uneven. If this is the case, turn the cake at the 20 minute mark for more even baking.
6. Let cake cool before making lamingtons.
2 tbsp. coconut oil (vegan butter works as well). To melt place oil in a bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water.
1 1/2 cups icing sugar (I hate to add powdered sugar even though it makes beautiful frosting. Today, I've used only the cocoa powder since it already has sugar in it).
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups hot water
In a medium heat proof bowl, add the oil, sugar (optional), cocoa powder and hot water. Mix until it is smooth.
1 vanilla cake
1 cup shredded coconut
1. Cut cooled cake into bite-sized squares.
2. Place shredded coconut in a bowl or on a plate for coating.
3. Dip each cake square first in chocolate then coat with shredded coconut. Set aside on a plate or parchment paper to set. Repeat until you are done and you'll have lamingtons!! Enjoy with tea or coffee!