These lamington cupcakes are such a fun way to jazz up Australia’s favourite treat, made with vanilla coconut cupcakes coated in a chocolate icing and desiccated coconut, topped with a creamy swirl of coconut buttercream. These cupcakes are so much fun to make and even better to eat. Plus this recipe is dairy free and vegan!
Is there anything more quintessentially Australian than lamingtons on Australia Day? If you agree but are looking for something a bit different, but don’t want to go too far from the classic, then this recipe is for you.
I had so much fun making these lamington cupcakes. They are a fusion of two of my favourite cakes being lamingtons which are a soft vanilla cake coated in chocolate icing and coconut, then made into cupcakes – the defining feature of which is frosting piled on top!
These cupcakes are also dairy free and vegan making them a great option for those of us with dietary needs and intolerances.
There are two components to this recipe, the cupcake itself and the icing and frosting.
Let’s start with the cupcakes. The cake we’re using for these lamington cupcakes is a vanilla coconut flavour that happens to be vegan meaning we don’t use dairy or eggs.
The result is a really light, white cake that is a bit different from the usual butter cake you’d use for a classic lamington, but works perfectly all the same.
- Plain flour – or all purpose in the US.
- Baking powder – for the lift and lightness in these cakes.
- Salt – enhances the flavours in the cake.
- Vanilla extract – for flavour.
- Coconut oil – melted and cooled to room temperature. You could also use canola oil or any light tasting oil with the same results.
- White sugar
- Coconut milk – I always use the variety from the can which gives the best flavour and creamy texture.
These cupcakes have not one but two different icings. The chocolate icing the cupcakes are coated in, and the creamy buttercream swirled on top. You’ll need a handful of ingredients for both.
- Icing sugar – the base for both
- Cocoa powder – for the chocolate icing.
- Dairy-free butter – the base of the buttercream frosting, but we also add a little bit to the chocolate icing to keep it silky smooth and shiny.
- Vanilla extract – to enhance the flavour of the chocolate icing.
- Coconut milk – to give that creamy consistency and coconut flavour to the buttercream.
- Desiccated coconut – to coat the cupcakes after they have been dunked in the chocolate icing.
There are a few steps to this recipe but all of which are quite straight forward. You’ll need a few bowls and an electric mixer for the buttercream.
Start by making the cupcakes. Sift together dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients and then combine everything until a thick batter forms. Once together, stop mixing as you don’t want to overwork the batter as this will result in a denser texture.
Scoop the batter evenly into a cupcake pan that’s been lined with muffin cases using a spoon or cookie scoop. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until lightly golden and the tops spring back when lightly touched. Set aside to cool completely before icing.
Once the cupcakes are cool, make the chocolate icing.This step is exactly like a classic lamington.
Make the chocolate icing by sifting together the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the boiling water, dairy-free butter and vanilla and stir until smooth and shiny. You want the icing to be quite thin to be able to coat the cupcakes, so adjust the water as needed to maintain the correct consistency.
Spread some desiccated coconut on a large plate. Remove the cupcakes from the paper cases and using two forks, dip each cupcake into the chocolate icing to coat completely. Allow any excess icing to drip off before rolling it on the coconut.
Use only a small amount of coconut on the plate at a time and replace as needed throughout the process for the best results as it can get clumpy with drips of chocolate.
Set the cupcakes aside on a plate or wire rack to set and continue this process with all 12 cupcakes.
Next, make the buttercream frosting – I prefer to do this in a stand mixer but a handheld mixer will also work. Beat together all of the ingredients, adjust the coconut milk and salt to taste.
Once thick and creamy, add the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe swirls on top of each of the cupcakes.
I finished mine off with a little grated dark chocolate, but you could also use a sprinkle of desiccated coconut.
More vegan cupcakes:
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted and cooled to room temperature
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
For the chocolate icing:
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4-6 tablespoons boiling water
- ½ teaspoon dairy-free butter
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
For the coconut buttercream frosting:
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- 125 grams dairy-free butter
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
- Pinch salt to taste
- Start by making the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tray with paper cases.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract until combined. Add in the coconut milk and mix together. Add in the dry ingredients and gently mix until a batter forms. Once together, stop mixing as you don’t want to overwork the batter.
- Place the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan using a large spoon or cookie scoop. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden and the tops spring back when lightly touched. Set aside to cool completely.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, make the chocolate icing. Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the boiling water, dairy-free butter and vanilla and stir until smooth and shiny. You want the icing to be quite thin to be able to coat the cupcakes, so adjust the water as needed to maintain the correct consistency.
- Spread some desiccated coconut on a large plate. Remove the cupcakes from the paper cases and using two forks, dip each cupcake into the chocolate icing to coat completely. Allow any excess icing to drip off before rolling it on the coconut. Use a small amount of coconut on the plate at a time and replace as needed throughout the process as it can get clumpy with drips of chocolate.
- Set the cupcakes aside on a plate or wire rack to set and continue this process with all 12 cupcakes.
- Make the buttercream frosting. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free butter until creamy. Add in 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in the coconut milk a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and creamy but still thick enough to stand up on its own. If it’s a bit thin, add the additional cup of icing sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Finally, add in the salt to taste if it’s tasting a bit too sweet and mix through.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag with your favourite piping tip attached and pipe swirls of frosting on each cupcake. Finish by grating over some dark chocolate or a sprinkle of extra coconut.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.