Ever since we started dating, I have baked a new cake for Shawn’s birthday. This is actually not wise, because, in most cases, it was the first time I was using a recipe and the end result was usually a disaster. The first year, there was what was intended as a strawberry shortcake, but qualified better as a paperweight. The next year was a testament to the fact that I like to suffer, but, really, it was the hens who suffered more than me, because I must’ve wasted at least 23 eggs in several stubborn attempts at making a Swedish Prinsesstårta. Eventually, I wised up and, perhaps somewhat improved my skill at baking, when I made an Australian national favorite, lamingtons for him.
When you marry an Aussie, there is a good chance that at some point you will be treated to lamingtons, big, fluffy cubes of sponge cake dipped into chocolate, then covered in shredded coconut. Shawn’s always made pink lamingtons for me and those are my favorite. Dipped in raspberry jello, they taste so fruity and their electric pink color adds a touch of whimsy to the coffee table.
Valentine’s Day falls on a weeknight this year and, between work and Daisy’s school, karate lessons, there’s really little time for making an elaborate menu happen. So, we girls are going to surprise Daddy with Lamingtons, not only because they’re Australian like him and he just loves them, but also because we can knock a batch out in no time.
You can certainly make a cake from scratch, and any flavor you like (chocolate does great covered in Nutella, dipped in coconut), but, to save time, we grabbed a box of Duncan Hines. I didn’t get paid to tell you that. It really is my go-to cake mix, because it doesn’t have a chemical after-taste and is a guaranteed success, even when you’re rushing.
Makes: 12 2″ cubes or 24 cupcakes
Prep: 30 mins
Bake: 25-30 mins
6 oz box raspberry or strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
16.5 oz box Duncan Hines French Vanilla Cake mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup light vegetable oil
3 free-range eggs, @ room temp
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
Make jello first as it will need to firm up a little bit. Transfer to the fridge to chill.
Remove eggs and 1 cup of milk to warm to room temp.
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Make cake according to instructions on the box.
Use a rectangular 13 x 9 cake pan. You’re going to cut them into cubes.
After you remove the cake from the oven, allow it to rest 10 mins before turning onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Take jello out of the fridge.
Toss some shredded coconut onto a plate.
Cut cake into big cubes, about 2″x2″.
Dip each side into the nearly-set jello,
then coat each side with shredded coconut.
Cover and store in the fridge til ready to eat.
I’m always ready to eat these!
Pink Lamingtons are an Australian tradition, but also a welcome treat at any celebration, even Ordinary Tuesday. And, if you’re scrambling for Valentine’s Day ideas, don’t panic. Make a run to the market for a box of cake mix, jello and shredded coconut. Lamingtons are an easy and unexpected treat for your sweetie.