The Great Lamington Debate & A Pink Gin Bake

The Great Lamington Debate & A Pink Gin Bake

5 minute read

One of our favourite New Zealand based distilleries, 1919, recently displayed some good old Kiwi ingenuity and launched their amazing Raspberry Lamington Gin, the second in their Kiwiana range. We just had to get ourselves a bottle and boy, oh boy is it delicious! Made with fresh berries, it has a punchy hit of raspberry with a hint of coconut that takes us right back to the days of yonder where we’d visit the local bakery and grab a piece of the infamous spongey goodness. 

Now, placing the Lamington in a “Kiwiana” range seemed bold to me but I was sure 1919 wouldn’t make unsubstantiated claims! Or would they?

It’s common knowledge that there are a few things us Kiwis and Australians enjoy having a “friendly” debate over - which one of our fine nations gets to claim the pavlova or Russell Crowe for instance? But what about the Lamington? 

The Lamington was named after Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. Legend has it that Lord Lamington’s French chef, Armand Galland, was pressed for time and unprepared for guests, so he took some leftover sponge cake, dipped the squares in chocolate and then tossed them in some coconut. This ingenious creation had the guest begging for the recipe and it eventually made its way into a Queensland newspaper in 1900, appearing in a New Zealand newspaper in… 1902. 

An article published by The Guardian in 2014 alleged that Lord Lamington had in fact visited Wellington in 1895 and was most impressed by a sweet treat called a Wellington – a double sponge dessert, coated in coconut. And thus, the debate was reignited, Kiwis everywhere rejoiced, and the pavlova/Russell Crowe debate reached newfound heights. Alas, The Guardian had fooled us all (even Wikipedia) and the article’s writer, none other than Olaf Priol, was in fact a ruse - an anagram of ‘April Fool’.

After all that research, we ended up craving lamingtons and needing something to soothe our wounded pride. So, what to do? Make Raspberry Gin Lamingtons of course!

TLDR; The Aussies are the rightful claimants to the lamington, and we made a delicious boozy version of our favourite Aussie treat, inspired by the kiwi’s very own, lamington drink, of which 1919 are the rightful claimants.  

These Raspberry Lamington Gin inspired lamingtons are INSANE. “The best lamington I’ve ever had!”, “EXTREMELY DELICIOUS!”, “My mouth is having a party!” are just some of the reviews received from our team at New Zealand HQ. So, without further ado, we proudly present the Raspberry Gin Lamington featuring our Top Shelf Pink Gin flavouring.

Note: 1919 Distilling is not affiliated with Still Spirits / and no Still Spirits products are used in their range.  

Pink Gin Raspberry Lamington Recipe:


  • Plain sponge cake (store bought or recipe below)
  • 50 g butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp raspberry jelly crystals
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp pink gin made with Top Shelf Pink Gin Flavouring
  • 3 cups desiccated coconut
  • 250 g mascarpone (we made our own using the Mad Millie Italian Cheese kit)
  • pink gin jam (recipe below)


Cut the sponge cake into squares.

Mix the jelly crystals and icing sugar together then add boiling water and melted butter. Stir until smooth and add the pink gin.

You should have a thin, pourable icing. If not, add extra water until you do. 

Dip each sponge square in the icing and place on a tray with baking paper. Sprinkle generously with coconut and allow to dry.

Slice each square in half and spread with a layer of mascarpone and gin jam, then sandwich together.


Sponge Cake:


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  • 2/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Plain Flour in 1 cup – fill rest of cup (250 ml) with cornflour
  • 2 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 180°C and line two 20 cm cake pans, or a sheet cake pan with baking paper.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the boiling water until stiff. Add the white sugar slowly, beating until dissolved. Add egg yolks one at a time.

Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the sugar and egg mixture and fold in. 

Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. If using a sheet pan, you may need to bake for a few minutes longer.

Once cooked and still in the tin, drop the pans from 30 cm high on to a bench so the sponges remain even. Allow to cool.

Gin Jam:



Chill a small plate in the freezer.

Place raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and a little water in a heavy bottom saucepan and gently heat on low, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. 

Bring the pan to a rolling boil for 6 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Drop a small amount of jam on the chilled plate, then return to the freezer for one minute. 

Remove the plate from the freezer and run your finger through the jam – if it wrinkles and feels like a gel, it’s ready to use, if not return to the heat for another 2 minutes. 

Allow the jam to cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the gin. Pour into a sterilised jar.


Head to your local Still Spirits stockist to pick up your ingredients and get experimenting today!

Don't forget to share your creations with us on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via social media, leave a comment below, or send us a message directly here.

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