White Chocolate Macadamia Cake

I cherished the light cake layers that are so common for Asian-style cakes. They were combined with rich buttercream that was soft in the meantime. The enormous pieces of toasted macadamia nuts in the filling give the cake a pleasant crunch.


For the Cake:
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2-1/4 cups fine (caster) sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup toasted macadamia nuts
For the Buttercream:
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons coconut extract
¾ cup toasted macadamia nuts
For White Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
16 oz. (450 g) good quality white chocolate
6 fl.oz. (3/4 cup) heavy cream

Macadamia Nut Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper circles.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and cream together. Occasionally scrape down sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, scrape down bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Mixture may look curdled at first, but will smooth out soon. Add sour cream and vanilla and combine well.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine ½ cup of flour mixture with the macadamia nuts in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are very finely ground (about 1 minute). Stir ground nuts into the rest of the dry ingredients.
  4. On low speed, add dry ingredients to butter mix in 4 stages. Blend well and scrape down bowl after each addition.
  5. Divide batter between both pans and bake for 45 minutes, until the cakes are golden and a cake tester (or tooth pick) inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on racks, then invert pans to remove cake layers and peel off parchment paper.
Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Whisk egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of your mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Whip mixture with the whisk attachment on medium speed until cooled. Changing to the paddle attachment beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth (mixture will look curdled at first and then suddenly come together). Mix coconut extract into the buttercream.
  1. Very roughly chop toasted macadamia nuts. Stir nuts into 2 cups (little less than half the batch) of the buttercream; this will be the filling between layers.
  2. Torte both cake layers so you end up with 4 layers. Place the first one onto a cake board and evenly spread about ⅓ of the filling mixture onto the cake layer. Thickness of filling can vary to individual taste. Top with the second cake layer and repeat for the next two layers. Once the four cake layers are assembled and filled, ice the top and the sides with remaining buttercream (without nuts.) Chill cake in the fridge.
White Chocolate Ganache Glaze
  1. For the ganache glaze chop white chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Set aside. Bring heavy cream to a boil, remove from heat and pour over white chocolate pieces. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then carefully stir until a smooth ganache forms. Don’t stir to quickly as you don’t want to incorporate air bubbles.
  2. Let ganache cool until it is no longer warm to the touch (84F/28C) but still is pourable and hasn’t hardened. At room temperature cooling might take up to an hour. You can speed up the process in the fridge, but stir occasionally so the sides don’t cool faster than the center.
  3. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Put the cake on the rack. This way excess ganache will drip onto the baking sheet without getting the cake board dirty. Pour the white chocolate ganache glaze onto the chilled cake and let it also run down to cover the sides.
  4. Let the cake sit for just a minute and scrape excess from the bottom, then move the cake (and rack) to the fridge to let it firm up. Store the cake in the fridge until ½ to 1 hour before serving. The ganache will be easier to cut with a hot knife.

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