GemLife

Lamington lore – The origin of the lamington.

Australia’s most iconic and beloved cake, the lamington, originated in Queensland well over a century ago.

The lamington was either named after the British-born former Governor of Queensland, Lord Charles Lamington, who governed between 1896 and 1901, or possibly in honour of his wife Lady Mary Lamington.

It is not known for sure who created the lamington. One story credits its creation to a butter-fingered maid who accidentally dropped cake into chocolate icing, another to a cooking instructor at Brisbane’s Central College, but the most likely creator is Armand Galland, Lord Lamington’s French chef.

A recipe for lamington cake first appeared in the Queensland Country Life newspaper in 1900, and from there it quickly became a staple recipe in cookbooks and publications and a favourite at regional fairs’ baking competitions.

The lamington is so deeply embedded in Aussie culinary culture, that there is an entire book dedicated to its history The Lamington Enigma: A Survey of the Evidence by University of Southern Queensland professor Maurice French.

In Australia, the lamington remains a firm favourite for morning teas and afternoon teas alike, and is a popular choice for Australia Day picnics, alongside the pavlova.

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