Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Whole Grain Spelt Lamington's

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Whole Grain Spelt Lamington's

Baking, admittedly, is one of my weaker cooking skills and something I have been trying to remedy. Now, I am not the biggest fan of baked goods, I enjoy them yes, but there is always too much, and I am truly satisfied with a simple piece of fresh fruit. However, I enjoy the act of baking, and since Brett and my co-workers happily eat the goods I make, I continue on trying.

This weekend I made Lamington's. I had never had a Lamington until making them over the weekend. These little cakes covered in chocolate and rolled in coconut originate in either Australia or New Zealand; apparently there is some contention between the two nations as to where the Lamington is "indigenous" to. After making them, I can understand why they would want to fight over the bragging rights to these delicious cakes. I decided to make them as I thought trying my hand at coating a cake with frosting would be a good way to improve my skill, I had some organic shredded coconut still hanging around from the rice crispy treats I made over last winter, and Brett is a chocolate fanatic - up to this point I have been mostly working with spiced breads and pumpkin - so chocolate seemed the way to go.

I modified this recipe from Joy of Baking to make it whole grain, dairy free, and more to our tastes, so I might have taken away from the authenticity of the Lamington's, but we thought they were super good. The original recipe yielded 16 Lamington's, but after cutting my cake into 16 pieces, I realized that Lamington's were a lot bigger than I thought they would be. I was imagining little bite-sized treats, but after cutting them into 16 squares, I realized I was going to have something more on par with the size of a Little Debbie Snack Cake. So I decided to cut the pieces smaller, which I also believe made the chocolate dipping and coconut rolling easier than it would have been with the larger cakes. Not to mention they are more of a finger food this way.

These would be great to take to a holiday potluck or family gathering, or even on a Sunday when you have folks over for football. Who doesn't like bite-sized treats?

Note: The assembly process is a lot easier if you have two people working on it. I enlisted the help of Brett for this part, and I must say, he did a far better job of dunking the cake pieces in to the chocolate than I did. I would have made quite the mess had I done this all on my own. Also, using my method of making bite-sized Lamington's you will yield far more than 16. I cannot even count how many Lamington's this made - tons - so make sure you have plenty of willing mouths to feed these too - these being cake covered in chocolate, I doubt that will be too difficult.

The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Whole Grain Spelt Lamington's


2 cups whole grain spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup safflower oil
2 eggs (or egg replacer) *
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain rice milk

Chocolate Frosting:

4 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 cup plain Hempmilk ++ (not local, but from a local store)


2 cups organic shredded coconut

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray an 8x8 pan with oil spray.

Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Using an electric mixer, slowly add in the wet ingredients.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick or knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

Allow to cool completely.

Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into large squares.

Cut each square in half, then in half again length-wise, then in half on more time.

Put in the fridge to cool for a few hours, this will make coating them easier.

For the frosting:

Prepare a pan of boiling water.

Get a smaller, stove safe bowl and mix together sugar and cocoa powder.

Add the Earth Balance and milk. Stir well.

Place in the pan of boiling water, carefully stirring until well blended.

For the coating:

Spread the coconut out on a plate.

To assemble:

(Brett and I did this together, it might be a slightly difficult one person project, but I think it can be done.)

We started an "assembly line" to do this part. We had our cold cake bits, chocolate, and coconut spread out, with a wire cooling rack at the end of our counter.

Using a toothpick, grab a piece of cake and carefully dunk it into the chocolate.

Trasfer to plate of coconut and roll on all four sides. Move to the wire rack to cool completely.

Once completely cooled, place in airtight containers between layers of parchment paper.

Did I mention these are whole grain? While this isn't health food by any stretch of the imagination, you can at least rest knowing that you are getting some good fiber into your system while enjoying a tasty snack cake!

'Til next time!


Heather @ SGF said...

Looks yummy! I've never even heard of them, but they sounds wonderful!

PS. How lucky you are not to crave baked goods. I'm a total addict so I try not to make much around here, although I enjoy it.

VeggieGirl said...

I've never heard of these treats either - yum!!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - Thank you. I hadn't either, but I was looking around online for something more "complicated" to make, stumbled across a recipe for these, remembered I had some dried organic coconut that really needed to be used up (because I got it for one recipe and then didn't have anything else to do with the rest of the bag - I got the coconut almost a year ago!).

Haha, I suppose so. My cravings all seem to center around spicy food for the most part. I have cravings for sriracha (a spicy chili garlic sauce made from ripe jalapenos) more often that I would like to admit. I do like baked goods, but it is not as though I will tear through the whole thing in a day, not at all, I either have to make something chocolate so Brett will tear through it (while I enjoy a few) or bring some into work, 'cause otherwise it will go bad. I guess I just like making them more than eating, which is a good situation for Brett. ;-)

Veggie Girl - They are definitely unique!

jessy said...

i agree! who doesn't like bite-sized treats! wow! i've never heard of lamingtons - and i think i would quite like to try these, too! chocolate, coconut, cake?! yes pleeeeeeeeease! :D thanks for the recipe, Jennifer! you're a fine baker, indeed! yay!

Callina said...

Those look amazing! I LOVE chocolate and coconut!

SusanB said...

Lammington's!! Thank you for this, I used to eat these when I was traveling in Australia and I had forgotten all about them. I think the sizes I saw were more like what you made then your recipe's suggested size, but they were usually served two at a time (good for sharing). Alas though, my partner doesn't like shredded coconut so I rarely bake with it. Perhaps an exception is warranted.

Cookiemouse said...

They look and sound lovely. Also never heard of them before.

Leng said...

I love hearing stories of you and and Brett in the kitchen! Although....I've had a lamington. It sounds delish (I love chocolate too). I know what you mean about baking too much. Good think you have Brett's co-workers to spoil.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

you could have been talking about me in your first paragraph! I swear I will master baked goods one day... And yours look great!

kale for sale said...

I have to echo that these look delicious. Chocolate and coconut - what's not to love?!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - I don't know, I'm not sure I would trust someone who didn't like bite-sized sweet treats. ;-)

Haha, thank you about my "fine baking skill", but it is just bordering on chaos in the kitchen when I bake. Usually it looks like a war zone when I'm done, but as long as the baked goods turn out, I will forgive my clumsiness, messiness, and all around inability to do anything the requires fine motor skill. :-)

Callina - Thank you. They were a lot easier than I thought they would be to make. A lot of fun when two people work together too.

Susan B - Wahoo for someone who has heard of these! I'm glad that I got the size right. I think and exception WOULD be warranted here. And I also thought you could get creative with these, make an almond flavored cake and roll the cakes in crushed almonds, there are so many possibilities!

Cookimeouse - They were really tasty!

Leng - We work together pretty well in the kitchen - though our kitchen is really too small for one person to work in there, let alone two, somehow we made it work.

They were wonderful!

And thank goodness for Brett, friends, and co-workers, otherwise I wouldn't be able to bake!

Lisa - I'm glad I'm not the only one. I think I struggle more than most people with baking. I'm not too creative with it, and my clumsiness doesn't help either. Nor does the fact that I am a messy cook help. Just picture me covered with chocolate, flour, and coconut, as well as the rest of my kitchen and you have an idea of what baking at our place is like. :-)

Kale for Sale - Thank you! I know! Lots of goodness in one treat!

DP Nguyen said...

Oh wow, those look very delicious! I love baking--it's one of my favorite things to eat. I'm not a fan of eating them, most of them are too sweet for me, but like you, i love making them for my family and friends.

Bianca said...

I wish I could say that a piece of fresh fruit would satisfy my need for sweets...but not so. It takes a nice fattening cupcake or a rich vegan brownie to do that for me...or one of your lamington's would help too. :-)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

DP - Thank you. They were very rich. I'm glad I'm not alone! I've always felt a little like a weirdo because of it, but most of the stuff is just too dang sweet! I used to be able to handle it when I was a kid, but not any more!

Bianca - Hahahaha, I don't mind one of those from time to time, but I can only handle so much richness and it definitely isn't something I crave. If you were ever in the area, I would make you a nice fattening vegan baked good - I love making them and it would relieve me the effort of determining who to push half of them off on!