When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd, not lemonade! Surely lemon curd is superior, after all it stores well and makes an excellent, potable gift! Aside from the obvious (eating it straight out of the jar), it’s great for slathering on toast, piling on fresh scones with cream, gilding a cheesecake, spooning into little butterfly cakes, spreading on pikelets, swirling through yoghurt, or this – the ultimate dessert – making little lemon flavoured lamingtons – dare I say, the next wave in ultimate Australia Day desserts!

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It was my auntie’s 70th earlier this year, and my brother and his wife wanted to treat her to a lovely meal out while they were visiting from interstate. They chose a cosy little café in the Adelaide Hills, and we all met there for brunch. The café is housed in an old, rustic stone cottage, and the dining tables are scattered amongst what were originally the bedrooms. As well, to my son’s delight, we found a lovely, long sunroom across the front of the house populated with a rocking horse and various wooden toys.


As per my usual style, I ordered a savoury brunch before realising that there were desserts to be had! I never had that giant lemon curd lamington, but I couldn’t stop dreaming about it afterwards. Which of course, is why we are here now; after seeing them I just had to make my own! Taking my cue from Taste magazine I have decided to use curd as the filling, and not the coating. These ‘lemontons’ may not be as large as the ones at the café, but they are superb, and won’t require a drive into the hills on a weekday.


Lemon Curd Lamingtons {gf}
Sponge cake filled with lemon curd, dipped in icing and rolled in coconut is always a good idea!

Makes 16

For the lemon curd
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

For the cake
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup Orgran gluten-free all-purpose plain flour *
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
130g (1 ½ cups) shredded coconut

For the icing
500g pure icing sugar (sifted)
80ml (1/3 cup) water
20g unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A few drops yellow food colouring (optional)

For the filling
½ cup whipped cream

Begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

For the lemon curd, whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk constantly until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Allow to cool.

For the cake, preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 20cm (8×8-inch) square cake tin with a light coating of cooking oil, then line with baking paper.

Place eggs and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl; beat with a handheld electric mixer until thick and creamy. Gradually add caster sugar, beating until sugar dissolves and mixture triples in volume. Sift flour with baking powder; gently fold into mixture with a large metal spoon until just combined. (Don’t overmix.)

Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove tin from oven; set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Turn out cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove baking paper; discard.

Halve the whole cake. Fold ½ cup lemon curd into ½ cup whipped cream. Spread over cake base. Top with remaining cake. Chill for 30 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.

To make icing, sift 500g icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in 80ml (1/3 cup) water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the melted butter, until smooth. Add a few drops food colouring, if desired. Place over a saucepan of warm water.

Place coconut on a rimmed plate. Use 2 forks to dip 1 cake square in icing. Shake off excess. Roll in coconut to coat. Transfer lamington to a lined tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Set aside for 1 hour to set.

Adapted from Healthy Food Guide and Taste mag Sept 2013

*Use regular all-purpose (plain) wheat flour, if desired.

These can be frozen and then defrosted at room temperature – and you would barely know the difference!

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