The traditional Australian treat is given a chocolate peanut butter makeover! I’ve marbled the classic vanilla sponge with a sinful Reese batter, dunked them in dark chocolate icing, and rolled them in Reese’s Pieces and roasted peanuts. Two amazing combinations from one cake — what could be better?
Those of you who have been with me since the inception of this blog know that I began writing it during my year in Australia. You’re also probably aware that I’m a massive fan of Australian cuisine. I’ve tackled and given my own spin to Anzac biscuits, bircher muesli, and even savory meat pies. But one of the very first Aussie desserts I chose to replicate was the lamington. The lamington is a moist little sponge cake wrapped in a layer of rich chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut. When made right, they’re one of the best treats to have with afternoon tea. And while I’m a big fan of my lime cordial lamingtons, I thought I might give a bit of a North American twist to these cakes.
It’s kind of funny, but when I was making chocolate peanut butter recipes in Australia, people would look at me like I was crazy. In North America, we are wellllll accustomed to using peanut butter in desserts and sweet treats. (I mean, I made a freakin’ cake to celebrate this sensational combo!) But in Australia, they see peanut butter as a savory-only type of spread. Many of the Aussies I came in contact with had never even heard of, much less tasted, the two together, and many seemed reluctant to try it. I thought I’d try to change that by integrating two things that make our continents great!
So here we have it. The love-cake of our two stellar nations! The marbled Reese lamington! Aren’t you so excited hearing those words? I know I am. These tiny cakes are AH-mazing. I can’t even put into words how incredible these taste!
This Reese spread is crazy delicious. I’d heard how much this spread tasted like Reese Peanut Butter Cups, but the rumors were nothing in comparison to that
first second third spoonful. I am now fully addicted to this stuff. So is my brother. And my mom. And my dad. And… okay, EVERYONE I’ve hand-fed this spread to is now converted. I see many more Reese-inspired treats in our near future!
I tried to make these lamingtons as easy and clean-up-light as possible because I know everyone appreciates less bowls in the sink. A simple, classic sponge cake batter makes up the vanilla marble of the cake. To make the chocolate peanut butter swirl, all you do is add some Reese spread to the batter! How easy is that? Just add the spread, give the mixer a couple more spins, and voila! Easy-peasy.
These really are little bites of chocolate peanut butter heaven. The cakes are a little dense to hold up to being dunked in chocolate and rolled in Reese’s Pieces dust, but they’re super moist and have tons of vanilla and Reese flavour. I chose to use a dark chocolate icing because I feel the stronger taste enhances the flavour of the Reese spread, but feel free to use regular unsweetened cocoa powder if you don’t have Dutch-processed on hand. I won’t judge.
I’ve given you the choice to roll your lamingtons in pulverized Reese’s Pieces or roasted peanuts. You can also go half and half like I did. I will say that the cakes rolled in the Reese’s Pieces are a lot sweeter and have far more Reese flavour than their peanut counterparts. If you’re looking to cut the sweetness a little, go for the peanuts. You still get that chocolate peanut butter taste without the sweetness being too overwhelming. Personally, I prefer the Pieces coated cakes. But I also have a sweet tooth the size of Texas.
What are you waiting for? Go and get your hands on a jar of this spread and make yourself some lamingtons!
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup raw cane sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk (I used 1% cow's milk)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread
- 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup milk (I used 1% cow's milk)
- ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
- 2½ cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 cup mini Reese's Pieces*
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts*
- To make the sponge, preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C) and grease an 8 x 8 baking tray with butter and line the bottom with non-stick paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until white and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs at a low speed, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each egg. Once the eggs are incorporated, mix in the vanilla and then pour in the milk in a slow, steady stream. The batter may curdle, but this is okay. Turn the mixer back up to medium speed and add the baking powder. Finally, add the flour a ½ cup at a time until combined.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared tray and smooth it out. Add the Reese spread to the remaining batter and return the bowl to the mixer. Stir the batter on medium speed until the spread is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape the Reese batter into the prepared tray on top of the vanilla batter. Smooth out the batter and then gently drag a clean knife through the layers in a continuous “S” motion to swirl them together.
- Bake the sponge for 45--50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake springs back to the touch. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Once the cake has cooled, double wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight. This step is not mandatory, but I found the cake cut better and I lost less of it in the icing after it had the chance to harden a little.
- To make the icing, melt the butter and milk together in a medium microwave-safe bowl and whisk until emulsified. Add the cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar and whisk until smooth. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. If not, add a bit more icing sugar, a ¼ cup at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Prepare a wire rack with either parchment paper or a cookie sheet placed underneath to catch chocolate drippings. In a small food processor (I used my Magic Bullet), blitz the Reese's Pieces into a fine dust and pour into a medium bowl. Repeat this step with the roasted peanuts and a separate bowl.
- Remove the sponge from the refrigerator and shave off any browned outer edges. Cut the sponge into 16 equal squares. Using two forks, dunk one cake piece into the bowl of chocolate icing and coat completely. Raise the cake and allow the excess icing to drip off. Drop the cake into bowl of Reese dust and turn to coat. Place the cake carefully onto the wire rack and repeat this process with the remaining cakes, switching half way through to replace the Reese dust with the peanuts.
- Allow the lamingtons to harden at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once the cakes have hardened, place in an airtight container. The lamingtons will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. (If they last that long!)
Disclosure: I received monetary and product compensation from Hershey’s Canada for recipe development purposes. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.