Macadamia cake

My tribute to the famously buttery Australian nut, the macadamia, in the form of a delicious cake.


This cake is my somewhat patriotic tribute to the famously buttery – and notoriously tough-shelled – Australian nut, the macadamia. While the result might look unassuming, its plain, pale golden appearance belies its surprising richness.

Toasting the macadamias before grinding them in the processor brings some great woody depth to the flavour. I pulverise most of them to dust, holding back a few to be broken down into rough chunks which stud the finished cake with some of the texture.

It’s perfectly good as a snack or coffee cake, yet interesting and elegant enough to serve warm as a chic dessert. Because I’m all about getting ahead, I’ll bake the cake and leave it to go cold in its tin, then cover the top with foil and warm it through in a low oven for 10 minutes, serving each slice with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.

Macadamia cake


Serves 8–10.

150g (1 cup) unsalted macadamia kernels
100g (¾ cup) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
125g (½ cup) unsalted butter
100g (½ cup) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60ml (¼ cup) milk

Set your oven to 180°C. Butter a 21cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Spread the macadamias out on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes until golden. Watch them carefully, as once they start to colour as they can burn quickly. Set aside to cool a little.

Put the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor along with about three-quarters of the macadamias. Process until nuts are finely ground. Add the remaining nuts and pulse just until they’re broken down but with some texture remaining.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle beater (or bowl and mixer of your choice), cream the butter and sugar together until it becomes pale and fluffy.

Add the two whole eggs and the yolk, beating thoroughly between each addition, and the vanilla extract.

Spoon in the floury nut mixture in three parts, alternating with half the milk to finish with the nut flour, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes until palely golden. A cake tester (skewer, toothpick or even a stick of spaghetti) inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before unspringing and leaving to cool completely.