The Great Australian Lamington

The Great Australian Lamington
Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland - creator of the world-famous Australian Lamington.

The Humble Australian Lamington - Created in Queensland in 1901

Australian Lamington

The world-famous Australian lamington is over a century old.

Despite some dubious claims from New Zealand, the lamington is as Australian as meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars, ranking alongside the other true Australian icons of the pavlova, peach melba and Vegemite.

This Australian culinary icon, which consists of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with fine desiccated coconut, was created through an accident at work by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the thoroughly-British eighth Governor of Queensland.

The maid-servant was working at Government House in Brisbane when she accidentally dropped the Governor's favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate.

Lord Lamington was not a person of wasteful habits and suggested that it be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate to avoid messy fingers.

Paul Tully celebrates
the 100th anniversary
of the world renowned
Australian lamington
on 19 December 2001
Lord Lamington devoured this new taste sensation with great delight and the maid-servant's error was proclaimed a magnificent success by all! The Governor however is on the record as calling them "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

Lord Lamington was born in London, England on 29 July 1860 as Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE holding the aristocratic title of Baron Lamington.

He was Governor of Queensland from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901.

After leaving Queensland, he went on to become the Governor of Bombay in India for 4 years. He died at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1940.

According to Hansard page 728 at the Australian Constitutional Convention in Canberra on 11 February 1998, Cr Paul Tully, an elected delegate representing "Queenslanders for a Republic" suggested that his extensive research of the Governors of the 6 Australian colonies and states had produced evidence of only "one, single, solitary, positive achievement of any Governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788" and that was Lord Lamington's contribution to the culinary delights of the Australian nation!

Lord Lamington served Queensland for 5 years but despite all of his colonial, aristocratic pomp and ceremony, the only thing which Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE will ever be remembered for in Australia is the creation of the world-famous lamington.


3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour 1/2 cup milk.

Beat the eggs well, gradually adding the sugar until dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla essence and then stir in the self raising flour and whip the butter into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a cake tin or lamington baking dish and bake in a moderate oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes and then stand for 24 hours preferably in the refrigerator, before applying the icing.

4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups desiccated coconut.

Stir the cocoa and icing sugar vigorously in a large bowl, adding the milk, butter and boiling water, warming the chocolate mixture over a very low heat until it has a smooth creamy texture. Cut the sponge cake into equal squares about 5cm x 5cm and, using a fork or thin skewer, dip each piece into the chocolate mixture ensuring that the mixture is liberally and evenly applied. Dip each piece into the desiccated coconut, allowing the lamingtons to cool on a wire tray for several hours.



Do you have an interesting historical anecdote about the Australian lamington?
Please email the Australian Lamington Official Website.

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Try the Lamb

 but don't forget 

the humble Aussie Lamington 

on Australia Day.

How to make Lamington Blondies

Everyone loves a lamington, but that doesn't mean you can't tweak the formula a little. 

These are best prepared the day before serving.

Read more:

Toowoomba should let go of the lamington and claim the Southern Cross windmill

Toowoomba is known as the garden city for its high percentage of beautiful gardens, but there is more to the inland city than petunias and pansies.

"A lot of people may not know the iconic Southern Cross windmill calls Toowoomba home," historian Peter Cullen said.

Full report:

Lamingtons with the flavour of quince

Frank Camorra
Frank Camorra says: There's nothing like a small baked treat with a delicious twist to improve any occasion. 

I love a good lamington, and my favourite condiment is quince paste. 

I have put them together here for a tart twist on the Aussie classic that can be served for any occasion.

How to make Australian lamingtons with quince:

Lamington National Park named after Lord Lamington is 100 years old

On 31 July 2015, it was  the 100th birthday of Lamington National Park and the state government announced that the park will expand by 586 hectares - the biggest addition in its history.

Full story:

Sydney's Bennelong restaurant re-opens and is serving Cherry Jam Lamingtons


Fresh face of restaurant result of multi-million dollar re-fit
New design will seat 99, with another 40 in the bar
Be prepared to shell out $125 for three-course experience

AFTER what seems like an age for Sydney foodies, the iconic Bennelong restaurant reopens under a sail of the Sydney Opera House tomorrow.

Exactly 18 months after the doors closed on Guillaume Brahimi’s Bennelong, chef Peter Gilmore and restaurateur John Fink are waiting in anticipation for the first official customers to walk through the door tomorrow night after a multi-million dollar refit.

“I’m not nervous at all, to be honest. I’m really pumped,” Fink said. “It’s one of the greatest privileges of my professional life.”

Gilmore and Fink, staff, friends and family have been trialling the menu and different spaces for almost two weeks, including the restaurant proper, a bar, a semi-private dining space and the casual “Cured & Cultured” section. Chefs to have enjoyed a sneak peak inside include Alex Herbert and Martin Boetz.

The restaurant’s stunning new interior space.

The Bennelong kitchen crew get cracking.

“We started with family and friends so it was nice and easy, we were just trying to get a feel of the space. It’s like test-driving a Maserati around the block,” Fink says.

“Then we get industry professionals to come in and you expect them to tear you to shreds.

“But we are still driving the Maserati. We’ve now got stickers on the side and the helmet on and we are ready to go.

“I think we’ve spent close to two weeks in a training period. In the first week we did a whole day on HR, workplace policies, health policies, sexual harassment, use of IP and IT, hygiene, how to wash your hands, everything.”

The Bennelong: All lit up and ready to start again.

The new restaurant, which will seat 99 in the dining room and 40 in the bar area, will feature a $125 three-course a la carte dinner menu with six entree and seven main course options, plus a two-course lunch menu for $80, or three courses for $130.

Patriarch of the restaurant group, Leon Fink, didn’t have much to say, his son said.

“I know when he’s happy, he doesn’t talk much. You know you really have to do something when he starts to say something.”

Entrees include Queensland scallops with dory caviar, cultured cream and citrus, slow-cooked heirloom pumpkin, Bruny Island C2 cream, Manjimup truffle and roasted seeds or grilled Lady Elliot Island bug, fermented chilli, organic turnips and radishes.

Mains include roasted John Dory served on the bone, orach, turnips, kalian and umami butter,

King George whiting, sea scallops, leeks, native parsley, celery heart, ice plant broadbeans and kale, Flinders Island salt grass lamb, nasturtiums, anchovy salt or Macleay Valley suckling pig, with black garlic and “smoky juices”.

The Bennelong team before completion of the renovation.

There are also vegetarian options including a dish of ancient grains, eggplant, mushrooms and hazelnuts.

There will also be a selection of seafood and charcuterie at the Cured & Cultured bar such as

Sydney rock oysters with lemon and pepper granita, raw Mooloolaba yellow fin tuna, mushroom soy, pickled white radish and sesame oil, a dish of red claw yabbies with lemon jam, cultured cream and buckwheat pikelets or a salad of saltwater chicken, udon, palm heart, sesame and peanuts, plus Byron Bay black pig prosciutto and smoked Wagyu tartare.

Or just stay for a $28 dessert, including the classic pavlova with a Gilmore twist of Opera House sails, a cherry jam lamington, strawberries and cream or “chocolate cake from across the water”, a reference to Quay, Gilmore and Finks other famous venue on the other side of Sydney Cove at the recently refurbished Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Bennelong now puts the Fink Group in three prominent positions on the city side of Sydney Harbour, as they also have Otto, the modern Italian restaurant, under chef Richard Ptacnik, on the next headland at Woolloomooloo.

The Bennelong team includes (from left) sommelier Russell Mills, restaurant manager Neil Walkington, general manager Kylie Ball, chefs Rob Cockerill and Peter Gilmore and owner John Fink.

NZ secret cake club enjoys Aussie Lamingtons

Secret cake club opens doors

Helen Cox, fourth from left, started a
Kiwi Clandestine Cake Club after
reading the UK club recipe book.

There's a new club in town and its members indulge in the secretive eating of cake.

Clandestine Cake Clubs are popular worldwide and Helen Cox has cooked one up in Auckland.

Nine people gathered for a slice of the action, and of the cake, at the first meeting in Cox's Browns Bay home.

The Clandestine Cake Club's first
 meeting set a high standard.

Internationally, the clubs follow the same recipe and there are few rules.

No one knows the venue until just days before and as long as you've registered, you'll be sent an email with the location.

Bakers can bring a non-baking friend to help eat the cake but don't expect to be let in with rule-breaking cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies or tarts.

Each meeting has a theme, Auckland's first is, "Sweet As – Quintessential Kiwi Cakes".

Ohakune carrot cake, a lamington and hokey pokey cake, and of course a buzzy bee are among the seven the theme draws to the table.

"That's the beauty and the magic. It's completely up to each person's interpretation of the theme," says Cox.

Although all cakes are welcome and taste buds are kind judges, presentation standards are high and some bakers spent hours on their edible projects.

Cox is on maternity leave from her personal assistant job and says there's no such thing as a bad cake.

"As long as it's made with love and with fun. Having fun is the most important thing."

After a slice of each cake it takes a while for everyone to move. When they do, it's back to the table to cut up and hand out leftovers to take home.

Cox hopes to whisk up more members before the next meeting but says it's hard spreading the word to people outside her personal network.

Discussions decide next month's theme, "A Slice of Cake".

The mission is to turn a slice, such as caramel or ginger, into cake form.

All the members know for now is it will be held somewhere in Takapuna.

The first Clandestine Cake Club was started in Britain in 2010. There are now more than 30 in 16 countries including one in Christchurch.

To find out more and join the Auckland club, go to the clubs tab at

Australian Lamington cakes with quince

Makes 12

There's nothing like a small baked treat with a delicious twist to improve any occasion. I love a good lamington, and my favourite condiment is quince paste. I have put them together here for a tart twist on the Aussie classic that can be served for any occasion.

Lamingtons, but fancy!

  • 115g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 240ml milk, at room temperature
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 35g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 45g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2-3 cups desiccated coconut
  • 200g quince paste, warmed and pureed 
  • 300ml cream, whipped to soft peaks


Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12-muffin tin with paper patty pans.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and 120ml milk to the butter mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the patty pan cups with the batter and bake for about 18 minutes or until just set and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, remove paper patty pans carefully. Place the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.

Heat the butter and remaining 120ml of milk in a small microwave-safe bowl until the butter is melted then pour into the icing sugar mix. Stir the mixture until it reaches a smooth pouring consistency.

Place the coconut on a large plate. One at a time, dip the cupcakes into the chocolate coating then roll the cakes in the coconut. Gently transfer the lamingtons to a clean wire rack to set.

Once set, use a small paring knife to cut out a teaspoon-sized hole in the top of the cake and fill with quince puree. Pipe cream on top of each cake and serve.

TIP: Icing the lamington cakes is easier with two people: one to dip each cake in the chocolate, the other to coat it in coconut, so you don't have to clean the icing off your hands each time.

Makes 12

Main Ingredients - Eggs, Cream/Milk, Coconut
Cuisine - Modern Australian
Course - Dessert, Snacks, Finger-food
Occasion - Australia Day, Morning/Afternoon Tea, Birthday, Picnic

Lamingtons: Australia's own national delicacy

IT'S definitely a dessert Australians call their own. The Lamington consists of squares of sponge cake coated first in a layer of traditionally chocolate sauce, then in desiccated coconut. Lamingtons are sometimes served as two halves with a layer of cream or strawberry jam in between.

While there's some argument over the origin of the Lamington, most food historians believe it was named after Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, although it might have been named for his wife, Lady Lamington.

Legend has it that Lamington's chef, French-born Armand Galland, was called upon at short notice to provide something to feed unexpected guests. He quickly cut up some leftover French vanilla sponge, dipped the slices in chocolate and set them in coconut. The guests were delighted and asked for the recipe.

Queen of Lamingtons is master baker Nadine Ingram, who owns the hugely popular Flour and Stone patisserie in Sydney's Woolloomooloo district. Aficionados say her Lamingtons are the best in Australia.

During my recent trip to Sydney, I dropped by Flour and Stone to talk to Nadine about Lamingtons.

This uniquely Australian dessert went out of fashion a few years ago, but thanks to the efforts of bakers like Nadine, Lamingtons are now as popular as ever and today appear on the menu of high-end restaurants and are sold in trendy bakeries throughout the country.

Nadine added Lamingtons to her extensive menu in early 2012. “The reaction was overwhelming,” she said. “They always sell out. We can't not have them.”

And bakers have been reinventing the dessert. Recent interpretations include a Lamington affogato, Lamington Tiramisu. At Flour and Stone, Nadine's iteration is a panna cotta Lamington.

But before we start on the more complicated interpretations let's look at this traditional recipe:



4 eggs
200g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
110g butter, melted and cooled


75g unsalted butter
250ml milk
65g cocoa powder
435g confectioners' sugar

6 cups desiccated coconut


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 3 cm-deep, 20 cm x 30 cm (base) pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2 cm overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may curdle).

Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight.

Icing: Sift confectioners' sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling milk. Stir until smooth.

Cut cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip 1 piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Stand for 2 hours or until set. Serve and enjoy.

Poll reveals Australia’s favourite food icons as Lamingtons rank ahead of Chiko rolls and Dagwood Dogs

Nadia Sinkovic 11,
loves her vegemite. 
VEGEMITE has trumped the meat pie as Aussies’ top food icon in a tastebud opinion poll.

Pavlova was nominated third favourite, despite a long-running dispute with New Zealand over the meringue dessert’s heritage.

Steak and macadamia nuts were next in line, surprisingly edging out lamingtons.

Those quizzed placed eating kangaroo ahead of Chiko rolls as “icon” status. Dagwood dogs were next, while Iced Vovos were least nominated.

One thousand adults, polled by Pure Profile for the upcoming Good Food and Wine Show, could choose from 10 icon suggestions or select their own.

Both men and women preferred their own cooking to their mother’s or a professional chef’s, the survey also found. Most blokes rated their partners’ culinary skills best.

Men tended to have the most adventurous palates.

They were more willing to try new things, tweak recipes, or try wild meats such as crocodile, boar and wallaby.

Half of Australians were inspired to make their dinner from whatever was in the fridge or pantry rather than rolling out standard week night meals or reading and researching a recipe.

Join the Great Australian Bake Off 2015

Maggie Beer is a judge on Foxtel's
new season of The Great
Australian Bake Off.
WHEN you ask veteran chef Maggie Beer why she loves cooking, the passion oozes from her voice gooier than one of her signature chocolate puddings.

"The best thing about it is baking for the people that you love," she says.

The amiable culinary icon will this year join acclaimed chef Matt Moran to judge the new Foxtel series The Great Australian Bake Off - something she hopes will allow plenty of Queensland women and men to show off their culinary skills.

"We're wanting to cast the net even wider and encourage the men of Australia to join the show," Maggie says.

"We want a lovely mix of ages and genders… that is what will make it more interesting I think.

"If we can have a mix of young, middle-aged and old - because I'm old myself," she chuckles, "but we'd like to encourage the men thinking about it who are perhaps tentative, to join the fray and have some fun."

Maggie says she'd like to continue the trend of moving away from the "traditional way of thinking" when it comes to men donning the aprons and baking a cake.

"What I think is happening with food, is people of all ages and genders are understanding the creativity and the inspiration that's in them they haven't expressed before so they're starting to get interested (in baking)," she says.

"When they get the time they see what it's all about; it's something that I believe may be lurking in a lot of people but they've perhaps been busy and haven't tried it."

I bite the bullet and share with Maggie my own belief of having a (very) hidden talent, having always thought I'd be an excellent baker if only I were bothered to try. Call it lazy, or just having a false sense of my own God-given gift just waiting to pour out, Maggie was quick to support my pipedream:

"Perhaps it hasn't been the right time, but it will be. There'll come a time when it's right for you, but it has to become a focus and priority for a while to really expand on your interest," she says encouragingly.

"(Practice) when you can, engage in it and hope the passion blooms… I just think baking and cooking is such pleasure. If you love it, you love it for yourself and the people that you love."

Maggie urges those home cooks who may be thinking of sharing their baking talents with the world to jump on board the new series of The Great Australian Bake-Off.

"If you're thinking of auditioning, you already love to cook and to bake," she says.

"One is not exclusive of the other but food has got to excite you. Sharing your food with family and friends has got to excite you."

The Great Australian Bake Off will put 12 home baking enthusiasts through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, all in the hope of being crowned Australia's Best Home Baker.

"It's got to be more than just baking a cake. It's thinking about food, creating it in your mind and wanting to learn," Maggie says.

"That's what happens when you get the time to really focus on it. You already have the passion to learn so it only builds from there."
Food author Maggie Beer:
"I love to learn and I am
always exploring."

Road to a life-long career

Maggie Beer is a self-taught cook, food author, restaurateur and food producer based in South Australia's Barossa Valley. After establishing the highly acclaimed, award-winning Pheasant Farm Restaurant in 1979, she went on to set up her state of the art export kitchen in 1993. These days, Maggie juggles her career in television presenting and food writing, with running her food business from the Barossa.

Maggie tells APN she was lucky to be brought up in a household where food was "vitally important".

"It isn't the most familiar story in a typical Australian household," she recalls.

"My father had an instinct for food, my grandmother was a beautiful baker and myself and my eldest daughter love to bake.

"Cooking in general came easy to me. I'm not saying baking came easily to me, because you have to follow such strict rules. But I love to learn and I am always exploring."

Maggie says cooking was "simply a necessity" when her family were farming pheasants in the 1970s and people didn't know how to cook them.

Travelling to all different parts of the country, Maggie says Queensland shines when it comes to locally-grown produce.

"I have seen the food in Queensland really develop over the years which has been a lovely thing," she says.

"Whenever I'm in Queensland I would always go to a really good restaurant, and I love your markets. The markets on the coast, at Noosa and up at Port Douglas it's all about showcasing the food.

"You have a very particular climate in Queensland which makes your food really interesting."

The Great Australian Bake Off will begin production shortly, and the Foxtel series is currently looking for contestants. Amateur baking enthusiasts can register at

Great Australian Bake Off's Casting call...

Are you a whiz with a whisk? Maggie Beer and Matt Moran want you. From lamingtons, to Anzac biscuits, to vanilla slice, we are a nation who have a passion for impressing our friends, family and colleagues with our latest baking creations. The Great Australian Bake Off will celebrate our country's love for baking. We are looking for passionate bakers to apply for the latest Australian TV series, and be put to a series of cooking tasks that will crown one winner Australia's best amateur baker.

Based on the highly successful BBC series The Great British Bake Off, The Great Australian Bake Off will be a showstopper as culinary icon Maggie Beer and acclaimed chef Matt Moran judge your best cupcakes, sponge cakes and shortbread. Or you might prefer to wow us with your ombre cakes, salted caramel tarts and your bombe alaska. Whatever your bake, if you think your baking is up to scratch, apply to be a contestant now.


National Doughnut Week: the very best doughnuts in London - with a hint of the Aussie Lamington

Whether you like your doughnuts covered in sugar or stuffed with cream, there's a deep-fried delight that's perfect for you

Go nuts: The Lamnut is a hybrid of a traditional Australian Lamington cake and a ring doughnut.

As doughnuts continue to upstage cupcakes in the capital, available in all sorts of weird, wonderful shapes and sizes, National Doughnut Week gives them a place to truly shine.

Still wondering where to start? Here are the glorious balls of deep-fried dough you need to add to this week’s doughnut-eating bucket list.

Glazed and sugared

Matcha doughnut

Crosstown Doughnuts, who have just opened a new Soho store on Broadwick Street, offer a delicious matcha doughnut: a glazed ring doughnut flavoured with the tea that famously boasts antioxidant properties (the health benefits are probably outweighed by all the sugar, but we’ll forget about that). If that doesn't float your boat, try the orange blossom glazed doughnut with its discrete layer of date jam and orange blossom glaze, or the cinnamon sugar ring doughnut.

Matcha made in heaven: Crosstown Doughnuts' tea-flavoured treat

Rhubarb crumble doughnut

The wonderfully-named Glazed & Confused, whose doughnuts are scattered around independent coffee stores in London and available online, do a particularly special rhubarb crumble doughnut. It's a ring doughnut with a rhubarb sugar glaze and crunchy homemade oat crumble crumbs. What's not to like?

Ready to crumble: Glazed & Confused's rhubarb doughnut

Filled: more is more

The crème brûlée doughnut

With its array of mouth-watering flavours, toppings and colours, Dum Dum Donutterie in Box Park, Shoreditch is one of London’s best shouts for decadent doughnuts. The crème brûlée doughnut is a popular option, covered in a glistening, crunchy caramel glaze and piped full of rich vanilla cream. The peanut butter and jelly doughnut, inspired by America’s love for PB & J, is also a customer favourite.

Life is sweet: the crème brûlée doughnut

Salted caramel doughnut

In Borough Market, bakery Bread Ahead has garnered a cult following who loyally turn up every Saturday to get their hands on one of baker Justin Gellatly's fit-to-bursting salted caramel doughnuts. Golden, soft balls of dough are filled with salted caramel cream, then plugged with a shard of crisp, homemade honeycomb, before the whole thing is sprinkled with sugar. Eating will get messy but it must be done and enjoyed.

Divine dough: Bread Ahead's salted caramel creations

Savoury: doughnuts for dinner

The katsu curry donut

All hail the katsu curry donut, created with love in Clapton by small-scale doughnut company, The Hole Donut. A spicy, punchy spoonful of katsu curry is encased in a soft, doughy ball and generously sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. They work far better than you’d ever think, and simply must be tried.

A change from the usual: the katsu curry doughnuts

Ox cheek doughnut

This doughnut, served with apricot jam and paprika sugar, is one of the must-try dishes on the menu at Duck & Waffle. Well worth venturing 40 floors up to sample.

What a cheek: the ox doughnut at Duck & Waffle

Crab doughnut

They say you go Chiltern for the celebrities, not the food, but we disagree. Chef Nuno Mendes’ dainty balls of dough stuffed with fresh crab are spectacular.

Bitesize: the ones you pop and can’t stop

Doughnut bites

Street foodies You Doughnut steal the crown of this category with their impossibly moreish doughnut bites. The dessert traders rotate around London’s markets, often found at KERB and this summer Street Feast Dalston Yard, pleasing punters with their mini sweet treats served by the pot and loaded with sauces and toppings. A mouthful of heaven.

Oh, just one more then: You Doughnut's mini treats

Mexican doughnuts

Asia de Cuba in St Martins Lane has recently relaunched with a new menu and chef, but thankfully kept their Mexican doughnuts on the menu. These bite-size brioche balls, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a spicy Thai chilli chocolate, are worth leaving room for — they're light enough to eat plenty of, rest assured.

Mexican madness: the doughnuts at Asia de Cuba

Oreo doughnuts

On the glutinous end of the spectrum, The Blues Kitchen (which has sites in Camden and Shoreditch) do small but deadly with their Oreo doughnuts: Oreo cookies are coated in dough and deep-fried so everything smooshes and melts into a gooey, chocolatey, delicious mess.

Genius or insanity? The Oreo doughnuts

Doughnut butties and burgers: why use bread when you can use doughnuts?

Delicious doughnut burger

Not content with adding savoury fillings to doughnuts, innovators have done one better and added doughnuts to savoury meals. A "Delicious Doughnut Burger" has just been added to the Ed's Diner chain menu as the Burger of the Month. It comprises sweet doughnut stacked with a beef patty, bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce. Somehow it works.

Fancy a doughnut for dinner? The Ed's Diner offering

Deadly donut burger

Later this year, Leeds' favourite Red’s True Barbecue will be landing in London, bringing with it its deadly donut burger. That's “two house-made 100 per cent steak burgers flame grilled over hickory, melted double cheese, smoked peppered bacon, dirty sauce and deep fried crispy onions, all between two sweet glazed donuts". Are you brave enough?

Culinary challenge: the deadly donut burger

Doughnut buttie

Elsewhere, get the day off to a good start with a Doughnut Buttie at BIRD, Shoreditch — an upgraded bacon sarnie with doughnuts and maple syrup drizzle.

Bacon and doughnuts... a magic combination?

Fusion: the doughnuts which can’t decide if they really want to be doughnuts


Cronuts had their moment a couple of years ago but though the hype has died the product remains. Dum Dum Donutterie has a selection of creative versions, including the almond creme and pistachio cronut, but the best is the Croconut, infused butter crème, a dark chocolate glaze and coconut sprinkles.

I should coco: the Croconut


Continuing in this vein, tea room Bea's of Bloomsbury (who were among the originators of the London Cronut scene) offer the Duffin, a jam-filled muffin-shaped doughnut. It'll mess with your mind.

Fluffy goodness: the Duffin

Lamnut doughnut

Crosstown Doughnut do a noteworthy fusion with their Lamnut Doughnut — a hybrid of a traditional Australian Lamington cake and a ring doughnut.

Doughnuts, meet Lamingtons: the Lamnut

The goodness of glaze with inspiration from the Australian Lamington

From being an all-American snack, the doughnut has captured hearts across cultures. SUSANNA MYRTLE LAZARUS finds out what makes the sweet treat an international favourite

Warm, jam-filled and crusted with sugar — the memory of the first doughnut I had as a child is not something I will forget. The sticky sugar got all over my clothes and the sickly sweet jam left red lines around my mouth not unlike the Joker’s scars, but it also left me with a lifelong love for the sweet snack.

Over the past week, a lot of people in the United Kingdom have been sharing videos of their attempts to eat a similar doughnut without licking their lips even once (it’s harder than it sounds). And doughnuts of all shapes, sizes and flavours are selling by the dozen, as people are indulging their sweet tooth by telling themselves that it’s for a good cause: National Doughnut Week.

Started by an independent baker, Christopher Freeman, in 1991, the annual event was meant to raise money for various children’s charities. So far, over 14 million doughnuts have been sold as part of the fundraiser, from small-time bakeries to the chain stores like Krispy Kreme. (If you’re easily amused, look up those doughnut-eating videos by searching for #nationaldoughnutweek on social media platforms.)

While its predecessors can be traced back to ancient civilisations, the doughnut as we know it today is attributed to Elizabeth Gregory. The mother of a mid-19th century ship’s captain, she made a fried dough delicacy flavoured with nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon rind, and filled it with nuts at the centre in case the dough didn’t cook through: hence the very literal name. They really caught on during World War I, when women volunteers, catchily called Doughnut Dollies, distributed millions of them to homesick American soldiers. The advent of the first doughnut-producing machine in 1920 cemented its popularity by becoming a fast food staple. And of course, Homer Simpson made the pink-frosted, sprinkle-covered doughnut a pop culture classic.

I’ll admit it; I did not wait for the big brands to grace Chennai with their presence. I once asked a friend who had gone home to Delhi for the holidays to bring me back a selection from the Singapore-based chain, Mad over Donuts. She, bless her soul, obliged. For many years, the sugar doughnut was all we could get in our neighbourhood bakeries. Occassionaly, we would come across a batch coated in a barely-there chocolate glaze. A slightly better version was available at the bakery chains and coffee shops that began popping up all over the city. And now, we’ve got dedicated stores that are filled with the divine scent of doughnuts being baked or fried. With more international brands launching in the city, I sense many delicious outings over the coming months.

In spite of the variety of choices now available, one can’t help but be jealous of those in cities like London and New York, with their Matcha, salted caramel, creme brulee and bacon-flavoured doughnuts apart from cronuts, duffins and lamnuts (inspired by the Australian Lamington cake).

Not to mention the fact that the USA has set apart at least four occasions to celebrate the doughy confectionary: National Doughnut Day, International Jelly-filled Doughnut Day, National Cream-filled Doughnut Day and Buy a Doughnut Day.

The thought of all this sugar drives me to the nearest mall to scarf down a chocolate-covered custard-filled doughnut. But it’s not just for dessert or a snack in a nation that loves its sweets: have it with coffee for breakfast or cut one in half, and make a sandwich with your favourite filling for lunch or dinner.

And while we can’t compete with John Haight, the Guinness Record holder for consuming 29 doughnuts in just over six minutes, go ahead and pick one up today. It is, after all, the weekend.