The origins of the cake are unclear. It's possible they came from either Scotland or New Zealand, where the local sheep population provided inspiration for the coconut-covered dessert.
Another popular story says that a guest a dinner party being thrown by Lord Lammington dropped his sponge cake in gravy and when he threw it out, it landed in a bowl of coconut. Another diner, one Agnes Lovelightly, put two and two together and thought of dipping the cake in chocolate and topping it with coconut.
More likely, the desserts were simply a clever way for bakers to use up leftover sponge cake. We love Sarah's description on the I Ate Brisbane blog of standing over the sink or stepping into the backyard to eat Lamington Cakes where the crumbs won't make a mess!
• My Favorite Lamington from I Ate Brisbane
Curious to try this dessert for yourself? We might not find lamingtons in bakeries here in the US, but we can certainly make them at home!
How do you like your lamingtons?
(Image: Martha Stewart)