We’re having a family barbeque today in celebration of my daughter being home. I always like to surprise my family with a recipe from our past and this time, I decided to make our Aunty Kay’s coconut squares!
My Aunty Kay is my godmother and was always our ‘cool’ Aunt. She worked as a waitress for Stouffer’s Restaurant in Public Square in Cleveland. When I was little, she was my ‘big city’ Aunt. She’s the one I’d go to when I had a problem. She bought the BEST presents and we always held Christmas at her house. My Aunt Kay is now ninety years old.
Back in the fifties and sixties, women were very protective of their recipes and would often accidentally ‘leave’ out an ingredient. Aunty Kay would do that and this time…she did it to me again! A few years back my sister put together a family cookbook and included Aunty Kay’s Coconut Squares since it was always our favorite dessert. I dug out the recipe and decided to surprise my sisters this weekend.
Things were going well until I decided to frost the cakes and they dissolved in the frosting! You had me Aunt Kay – but only for a moment. We now have GOOGLE! After a few searches, I found a recipe for “Lamingtons” which is very similar to Aunt Kay’s Coconut Squares.
Lamingtons are very popular in Australia and consist of a small square (cube) of white cake (sponge, butter, or pound) that is dipped in a sweet chocolate icing (frosting) and then rolled in desiccated (unsweetened) coconut. I suspect their namesake, Lord Lamington (Governor of Queensland from 1896 – 190l), might be surprised at how popular these cakes have become. I am told that Lamingtons are sold in most Australian bakeries and sell very quickly at bake sales. So quickly, in fact, that charities have what are called ‘Lamington Drives’.
I now bring you Aunty Kay’s Coconut Squares – corrected version!
Start with a box of white cake mix and bake in a 9″ x 13″ pan according to the cake mix directions.
Freeze the baked cake for a few hours. Remove from freezer and cut into squares. Cut the browned edges off the cake.
Frost each side of the square with the warm frosting and dip into unsweetened, fine ground coconut (you can find it at a health food store or specialty baking store.)
Let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
They are a bit tedious but well worth the effort.
I can’t wait to surprise my family with these little squares of memories and deliciousness!
I love you Aunty Kay!
What I was making a year ago: SHRIMP NOODLE STIR FRY!