White Chocolate Macadamia Cake

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake Slice

In this White Chocolate Macadamia Cake spongy cake layers are filled with fluffy coconut Swiss meringue buttercream and encapsulated in a rich white chocolate ganache glaze.

It is another cake that we enjoyed during our travels in Malaysia. Unlike the Triple Decker Cheese Cake from last week’s post, we had this luscious dessert at a restaurant/coffee shop called Secret Recipe. It is a very popular chain that can be found in almost every mall we went to.

Macadamia White Chocolate Cake

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake

I loved the spongy cake layers that are so typical for Asian-style cakes. They were paired with rich buttercream that was fluffy at the same time. The big chunks of toasted macadamia nuts in the filling give the cake a nice crunch.

The white chocolate glaze looked so perfectly smooth – almost like a comforting blanket covering the delicate cake on the inside. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in the flavor of it. It tasted – quite obviously – like cheap compound white chocolate.

For this reason I absolutely recommend using fine, good quality white chocolate in the recipe for white chocolate ganache glaze below.

Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Cake

For this cake recipe I adapted a recipe from Cooking Hawaiian Style. It’s quite a long recipe so I let you get to it without further ado.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cake
In this White Chocolate Macadamia Cake spongy cake layers are filled with fluffy coconut Swiss meringue buttercream and encapsulated in a rich white chocolate ganache glaze.
Yield: Makes one 4-layered 9 inch cake
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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    • Regina says

      Thank you for visiting Amy! Hope you still had some of your awesome PB Chocolate bars to satisfy the sweet craving 😉

    • Regina says

      Although I have to credit the cafe for this great cake flavor combo, it truly is a genius idea! Tim Horton’s (I guess they are mainly in Canada only) has my absolute favorite white chocolate macadamia cookie. I am always very hesitant to share it when my husband wants a bite, although they are huge!! 😀

  1. says

    Hi Regina – I’m so glad I came across your blog! And glad to hear you’re a fellow fan of my little corner of the world – what a fun adventure you’re on! I am quite familiar with Secret Recipe, but have never tried this cake. I absolutely love all those layers – looks well worth the trouble to try to make it myself!!!

    • Regina says

      Hey Jess, just found out you are in Bangkok. Thats fantastic+I will have to read through your blog some more 🙂 To be honest, I don’t know if Secret Recipe in Thailand has this cake, but it was in pretty much every outlet in Malaysia.

  2. says

    Hi Regina! I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog. I had this cake too in Secret Recipe numerous time. It’s one of my mom’s fav cake. Am happy that you travelled to Malaysia too. I’m from Kuala Lumpur btw. Hope you had a lovely time here in our country and this cake you made looks just as good if not better ;). Cant wait to try this out. Cheers, Jo

    • Regina says

      Lovely to have you here Joanna 🙂 We were in KL twice already – once for 2 days of sightseeing and once just traveling through. What a big and bustling city with so much to see.
      I have to clarify though that the cake in the picture is from Secret Recipe. I rarely get to use an oven during our travels, so I try to feature similar recipes of fellow food bloggers to give an inspiration how it can be made at home. This one is definitely far on top of the list of cakes I have to make when I can bake again 🙂

  3. says

    fluffy coconut Swiss meringue buttercream – that sounds so heavenly! and a rich white chocolate ganache glaze is the best kind. I love white chocolate so much! And the cake itself looks so springy and wonderful! And your layer are just so perfectly neat! Impressive!

    • Regina says

      Yeah, I would say Asian cakes are fairly spongy and not very sweet at all. Much like chiffon cake but still in a different way from German cake.
      This one at least had a nice, rich buttercream filling.

  4. Steve says

    Hi I do not have cake flour here in Adelaide and only have Plain and Self Raising Flour. Is there something I can add to either one to make it cake flour or is there a substitute I can use to make this cake?

    • Regina says

      Hmm…I wrote this earlier but it seems to have disappeared:
      Every cup cake flour can be substituted with 3/4 cup (84 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch.

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