oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle
position. Butter, or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, the bottom and sides
of an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake pan.
In a large bowl
or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In bowl of electric
mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar
and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time,
beating well after each addition.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low
speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning
and ending with flour.
Spread the batter into the
and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Bake in a preheated oven for
about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the
cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in its
pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and
invert, lifting off the pan. Re-invert. Once the cake has completely
cooled cut it into 16 two-inch (5 cm) squares. Wrap the cake in plastic
wrap and refrigerate (to make them easier to frost) for several hours or even
Chocolate Frosting: Place
the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl over
a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the mixture until it becomes smooth
and of pouring consistency.
Make a production line; put the
squares of cakes on a wire rack that is placed over a baking sheet (to catch the
drips). Have ready
the coconut on a
large plate and the chocolate frosting. Spoon or ladle the
chocolate frosting over each square of cake, making sure you cover all sides.
(It is best to do a few squares of cake at a time.) With a small offset spatula or knife transfer the chocolate covered cake to the
plate of coconut and roll the cake in the coconut, covering all sides.
Gently transfer the lamington to a clean wire rack to set. Repeat with the
rest of the cake squares. Once the Lamingtons have set, store
in an airtight container for several days.
Note: When you ladle the frosting over
the cake, some of the frosting will drip onto the baking pan. Pour this
frosting back in your bowl and reuse (strain if necessary). If the icing becomes too thick to
pour, simply place the frosting back over the saucepan of simmering water and
reheat until it is of pouring consistency. (You may have to do this a few times
as the frosting has a tendency to thicken over time. Add a little more
milk to frosting if necessary to get the right consistency.) Makes 16 2-inch (5 cm) squares.