• Lamington doughnuts (Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson)

To jam or not to jam, that is the question?






Skill level

Average: 4 (4 votes)

There’s much debate between Australians as to whether a lamington should contain jam or not. My preference is based on taste, not tradition, and I have to say I love the combination of tart raspberry jam, chocolate and coconut. These were created as a fun alternative to a traditional lamington. 


  • 1 quantity doughnuts (recipe here)

Coconut coating

  • 200 g (7½ oz) shredded coconut

Chocolate ganache

  • 100 g (3½ oz) dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent cocoa solids, roughly chopped
  • 280 g (10 oz) whipping cream, 35 per cent fat
  • 15 g (½ oz) glucose syrup
  • 200 g (7 oz) raspberry jam

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the coconut coating, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).

Spread the coconut out over a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 3–4 minutes, until lightly toasted, and set aside to cool.

To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate in a medium sized metal bowl. Bring the cream and glucose syrup to a simmer in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat, stirring to combine. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for a few minutes so the chocolate can melt, then mix thoroughly, stirring well to ensure there are no lumps of chocolate left.

Put the jam in a piping (icing) bag, make a slit in the side of a doughnut and insert the tip of the piping bag into it. Fill generously, but not so much that it’s oozing out of the top.

Holding the doughnut over the bowl, use one hand to cover it in ganache, making sure you coat the entire surface well with chocolate. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts, putting them on a clean tray lined with baking paper as you go.

With clean hands (or clean gloves, if you prefer), roll each doughnut in the coconut, making sure the entire surface is coated. To keep things tidy, it’s a good idea to place the doughnuts into patty pans once coated – this will stop the doughnuts rolling around, and gives people something to hold their doughnut in while they eat it.



• For a more traditional lamington, the jam, chocolate ganache and coconut crust could also be used on squares of sponge cake.

• When coating the doughnuts, use one hand to roll in the chocolate ganache and the other to roll in the coconut. This avoids a messy finish.


Photography by Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson.

This recipe is from The Tivoli Road Baker by Michael James with Pippa James published by Hardie Grant Books (RRP $60) and is available in stores nationally.