This gluten free lamington loaf cake is the very definition of comfort food: easy to prepare, packed with flavour and so ridiculously delicious you’ll be back for seconds. The coconut sponge is perfectly soft, moist and buttery, with a strawberry jam layer in the middle. The chocolate icing and a layer of desiccated coconut bring together what is essentially a giant, super-charged lamington.
150g(1 ¼ cups) plain gluten free flour blend(I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour, which doesn't contain xanthan gum. You can also mix your own blend from 50% white rice flour, 30% potato starch and 20% maize flour by weight.)
¾tspxanthan gum(Omit if your GF flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
90g(1 cup + 2 tbsp) unsweetened desiccated coconut
120mL(½ cup) whole milk, room temperature
For chocolate icing:
100g(3.5 oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
60g(½ cup) icing/powdered sugar
50mL(3 ½ tbsp) whole milk
5g(2 tsp) Dutch processed cocoa powder
5g(1 tsp) unsalted butter
You will also need:
100g(⅓ cup) strawberry jam
80g(1 cup) unsweetened desiccated coconut
For coconut loaf cake:
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin (9x5x3 inches/23x13x7.5cm) with baking/greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, using a balloon whisk, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.Tip: It's very important that your eggs are at room temperature and that you add them one at a time. This way, you'll maintain the emulsion of the butter and guarantee a silky smooth, fluffy cake batter – which will ultimately result in a melt-in-the-mouth cake crumb. If you forgot to take your eggs out of the fridge, place them in warm water for 10-15 minutes before using them.
In a separate bowl, sift together the gluten free flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Add the desiccated coconut and mix well until combined.
Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately add the dry ingredients (in three batches) and milk (in two batches) to the butter-sugar mixture, whisking well after each addition, until you get a smooth, fluffy cake batter with no flour clumps.Tip: This alternating way of adding dry and wet ingredients helps maintain the emulsion of the butter in the cake batter, ensuring that your batter remains smooth and that the final baked cake has the perfect crumb. When alternating dry and wet ingredients, make sure to always end with the dry.
Transfer the cake batter into the lined loaf tin and smooth out the top.
Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 45 minutes or until well risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning too quickly, cover with aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done.
Allow to cool in the loaf tin for about 10 minutes, then remove from the tin onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For chocolate icing:
In a saucepan, combine all the chocolate icing ingredients and cook over medium heat with frequent stirring until the chocolate and butter have melted and the the ingredients are well combined. The final icing should be smooth and glossy.
Set aside to cool until warm.Tip: You don't want the chocolate icing to cool too much, as it will become too thick to easily spread on top of the cake. If your icing does cool and thicken too much, re-heat it briefly in the microwave.
Assembling the lamington loaf cake:
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the cooled loaf cake horizontally in half.
Spread the strawberry jam in an even layer onto the bottom half of the loaf cake.
Place the top half of the loaf cake on top of the jam layer, pressing down gently to “stick” the two halves together.
Use a large pastry brush to spread the chocolate icing evenly onto the loaf cake. Make sure that the whole cake is covered in the chocolate icing, including the top and all four sides. (If you’ve managed to get a lot of chocolate icing onto the plate/platter that the cake sits on, you can wipe it away at this point.)Tip: Using a pastry brush to ice a cake might be rather unconventional, but it works perfectly – and it’s definitely much easier to do than pouring the icing on top of the cake and then somehow awkwardly trying to use an offset spatula to also cover the sides. Trust me, just use a pastry brush.
Sprinkle the desiccated coconut on top of the chocolate icing while the icing is still wet/sticky to the touch. Then, cover the sides of the cake with desiccated coconut. Make sure that the whole cake is evenly coated in coconut. Use another clean pastry brush to remove any excess desiccated coconut from around the cake on the plate/platter. Tip: Covering the sides of the cake with coconut is easiest done by holding a handful of desiccated coconut in your hand, and pressing it against the side of the cake (see post for photos).
Chill the cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes so that the chocolate icing sets, then slice and serve.
The lamington loaf cake keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).