Gluten Free Lamingtons – Australian Cake – Coconut Bars (Allergen-Free Options)

This delicious gluten free lamington is an Australian cake made from squares of butter cake or sponge cake coated in a chocolate sauce, which penetrates the cake creating its unique texture. The chocolate sauce coated squares are immediately coated in desiccated coconut. Prior to, or after coating with chocolate, you may also cut each square in half and fill with either strawberry jam or cream. Learn traditional and unique variations.

Check out the Video to the texture of the sponge cake version.


Did You Know?

Lamingtons were created due to an error. A piece of cake fell into some melted chocolate and someone decided to roll it in coconut.


National Lamington Day

Lamingtons are so popular that in Australia and New Zealand every July 21, they celebrate National Lamington Day. This dessert is even sold during fundraising drives.



Some Australians refer to lamingtons as lammos (plural) and lammo (singular). In Cleveland in the U.S., they are called “coconut bars”.



In New Zealand, one popular variation contains raspberry icing. You can make any flavor icing you wish. Just substitute additional confectioners’ sugar for the cocoa powder and add a few drops of flavoring and/or food coloring. Natural flavorings are available on Amazon by Olive Nation. Another brand that offers natural and artificial flavorings/emulsions is a company called LorAnn Oils.

You can really fill lamingtons with anything. Do you like Boston cream pie? Use whole egg pastry cream, the richer version, or dairy-free or traditional recipe.  Enjoy tiramisu? Try the cream cheese and espresso filling in the Tiramisu Cake Recipe.


Which Cake Recipe Should I Use?

I have made the butter cake and the sponge cake. The sponge cake is my recommendation hands down!


Links You’ll Need:

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

Chocolate Icing Recipe (Dairy-Free if desired)


Gluten Free Lamingtons

If you enjoy coconut, you'll love gluten free lamingtons. Coat them in chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, or other icings and fill them with jam or pastry cream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Australian
Ingredient Keyword chocolate icing, dairy free chocolate icing, sponge cake, strawberry jam
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling & Chilling: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 9 people


  • 1 recipe Gluten Free Sponge Cake*
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Icing Dairy Free if needed
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam (optional)
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut or shredded unsweetened coconut (200g)


  1. Fetch the recipe for Gluten Free Sponge Cake at the above link. Oil the sides of an 8x8 or 9x9-inch square pan. Place a couple of dots of oil on the bottom. Line just the bottom with parchment paper (the dots of oil will anchor the paper) and oil the top of the paper; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

  2. Follow the instructions for making the sponge cake batter only. Then pour into the prepared pan. Run a butter knife through the batter in both directions to pop any large air bubbles.

  3. Lower the oven's temperature to 325ºF and bake the cake on the center rack for 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. (If your finger leaves a dimple on the top of the cake, continue baking for 5 minutes and retest. Another sign of doneness is when the cake just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (but not completely).

  4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the pan from the rack and coat the rack with oil. Place the oiled rack on top of the pan and invert them both. Remove the rack and remove and discard the parchment paper.

  5. Allow the cake to cool on the wire rack 20 minutes. Then, wrap completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (This helps avoid a lot of crumbs when cutting and dipping.)

  6. Once completely cool, cut the cake into three equal strips and fill with your desired filling such as jam, pastry cream, buttercream, whipped cream, or even some of the chocolate icing (below). Then, cut the strips into thirds to make 2-2/3 x 2-2/3-inch squares.

  7. Make the icing by sifting together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder; set aside.
  8. Add the water and butter to a glass measuring cup and boil in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in the vanilla.

  9. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk to combine.
  10. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper; set aside.
  11. Using two forks, dip the filled cake squares into the chocolate sauce and lift up, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Holding the cake with one fork, spoon the icing over the cake and be sure the sides are completely covered as well. Again, allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

  12. Add about 1 cup of coconut to a bowl. Lay the chocolate-dipped lamington on top of the coconut and then add more on top. Pat the coconut into the chocolate icing on all sides. Then, transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

  13. Refrigerate the lamingtons until set. Then, tap each lamington on the parchment paper to remove any loose coconut. Serve on cake plates with dessert/salad forks.


* For egg-free, substitute 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine for egg yolks and 1/2 cup liquid from can of white kidney/cannellini beans for the egg whites.

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