Coconut squares

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This coconut squares, and the next two recipes I’m going to share on my blog are from Romania. They also are recipes I used to have as a child. I made some modifications to them, as my diet has changed and now I’m having a dairy free diet (with the rare exception) and I’m also vegetarian. Anyway, the recipes will be delicious and pretty similar to the original ones. Also, my husband and I avoid sugar, so in most of my recipes the sugar content is up to 50% less then the traditional recipes require. We are used to lower sugar recipes, as the flavour of the other ingredients come through better.

These coconut squares are called Lamington and they originate from Australia. How these made their way into the Romanian cuisine would be quite interesting to find out. I will make filled Lamingtons and mark them as Australian in my Taste the World series. I never had coconut squares with cream in the middle, so that sounds really interesting.

Coconut squares

The sponge can be made with fat (oil, butter, or margarine) or not. I made these with margarine and the texture is a bit more dense. If, alternatively, you want more fluffy coconut squares, then don’t add the margarine in the sponge. It’s a matter of preference, as the recipes work with either of them.

Ingredients for 9 Coconut squares:

for the sponge
– 200g white plain flour
– 4 large free range eggs
– 100g margarine
– 90g sugar
– vanilla paste
for the syrup
– 50g margarine
– 125ml soy milk
– 100g sugar
– 15g cocoa powder
grated coconut for finishing them off

Start by preheating the oven to 200C or 180C for fan assisted ovens.

Coconut squares - how it looks inside

Make the sponge by mixing the flour with the vanilla, sugar, margarine, and the beaten eggs. Pour the cake batter into the oiled baking tray and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes. Take the sponge out and transfer it on a cooling rack. When the sponge is cooled completely cut it into squares.

Meanwhile, make the cocoa syrup by melting the margarine with the milk in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and cocoa and mix until they are incorporated and the syrup is starting to thicken a bit. Leave the syrup to cool down a bit before you dip the sponge in it.

Now dip the sponge squares in the syrup making sure they are all covered in syrup. Use a fork to do that before transferring the sponge on a plate covered in coconut. Flip the squares on all sides so that the coconut sticks to the sponge.
The coconut squares are now ready to be served.

Have you ever had these before?

9 thoughts on “Coconut squares

  1. Those look divine! But since I don’t eat eggs and my husband isn’t a great fan of coconut, I don’t guess I’ll be trying this recipe. A shame.

  2. I have a bookazine of desserts, published by one of the Australian women’s magazines, and there are a few Lamington recipes. I always wanted to try them, as I love coconut. It is interesting that they are popular in Romania, I don’t think we had them in Russia.
    Your version is very pretty, and I bet tasty too.

  3. Australian? No. They’re from New Zealand! LOL!
    Antipodean children in the 40s, 50s and 60s were used to Lamingtons being served at parties and special occasions. As well as the delicious chocolate recipe above, for a change we used part-set flavoured Gregg’s jellies to dip the sponge into before rolling in coconut.
    In the UK, any supermarket jelly would do but it needs to have a little less water added and left until it shows signs of beginning to set before the sponge is dipped in.

  4. I’ve never had a coconut square but I love the sound of them. Coconut is delicious so I’ll save this recipe so I can give them a try 🙂

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