Pink lamingtons are soft and fluffy sponge cakes soaked in jelly and covered with coconut. Originally from Australia this treat has found it’s way to Malta were it’s found at every bakery.
While growing up in Malta my mum used to frequently buy me a ‘pasta mir-roża’, a large piece of bright pink sponge cake covered in coconut, which I enjoyed having with a cup of milk tea. Back then I really thought that was something truly Maltese and only a treat available on this tiny island. However, while growing up and the glorious internet came to be the holy grail for information, I discovered how wrong I was. Actually, the pink sponges have a name, which is lamingtons and lamingtons originate from the large island of Australia!
Lamingtons traditionally are sponges covered in a chocolate glaze and coconut. Most of the time they are also filled with jam and cream. However, you can easily find them in various flavours and colours, such as the pink ones here.
The most logical reasoning I could find on how these little treats found another home so far away, is that they were brought over to Malta by the Maltese themselves who migrated to the new land. Fun fact: there is a large Maltese community in Australia and they keep most of the islands traditions to this day! I personally, have a huge part of my family there whom I would like to visit one day!
However, one thing I can’t get my head around is why only the pink lamington found it’s way to Malta. Even though, you can of course find the other version, it’s the pink one that is the most popular and commonly bought.
Making the Pasti mir-roża
Another great thing about this treat? They’re really easy to make, even though they don’t look as such. All you have to do is simply bake a sponge cake and cut into your desired shape. Afterwards, dip the sponge cake into a jelly mixture, which consists of jelly crystal granules and boiling water which is not left to completely set. It’s important to make sure that you cover all the sides of the sponge cake without soaking the cake too much. While the cake is still wet, roll into the desiccated coconut and cover completely. That’s all! They’re a really fun treat to create especially if you have kids helping you.
Pink Lamingtons – Pasta mir-roża
For the Sponge
- 250 g butter
- 250 g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200 ml milk
- 350 g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Pink Coating
- 200 ml boiling water
- 1 packet raspberry/strawberry jelly crystals
- few drops red food colouring optional
- fine desiccated coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a square or rectangular tin (I used two 9x9inch square tins) with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the self-raising flour and salt.
- In a mixer or in a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together until you get a pale colour. Add the eggs to the mixture and mix well.
- Gently add the flour and the vanilla extract. Mix well until combined.
- Lastly pour in the milk and mix until it’s incorporated. Don’t over mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the tins and tap on the bench to remove any bubbles formed in the mixture.
- Bake the sponge for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Once baked, let the sponge cool in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely before starting the next step.
- In a deep bowl mix together the jelly crystals, boiling water and if desired the food colouring. Mix well and let the mixture cool slightly. I like to put in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
- As soon as the jelly red mixture is ready, cut the sponge into equal square or rectangles.
- Slowly dip each piece of sponge into the jelly mixture making sure to coat each side. Afterwards, roll the dipped sponge into the coconut and lay on a tray.
- Repeat the process until all the pieces are covered in the jelly mixture and coconut. N.B. clean the coconut occasionally as pink chunks of coconut will form as you go along.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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any suggestions to replace these jelly cristals?
Hi 🙂 Yes, you can mix together 390g icing sugar, 40g butter, food colouring and about 100ml water. Make sure that the mixture isn’t too thick, you might need to add a bit more water. Of course, you can add any flavouring you want to this mixture to give the cakes some extra flavour.
Let me know if there is anything else!