Coconut Macadamia Cake
Coconut Macadamia Cake

The cake starts with Julia Child’s Perfect Genoise.

Perfect Genoise

Baking With Julia

makes enough batter for one 8-inch round cake


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract


Pour the melted butter into a 1-quart bowl; reserve. Return the sifted flour to the sifter or sieve and add 1 tbsp of the sugar and the salt; sift onto a piece of waxed paper and set aside.

Put the eggs and the remaining sugar into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer (or work with a hand-held mixer). Holding the whisk attachment from the mixer in your hand, beat the mixture to blend the ingredients. With the bowl and whisk attachment in place, whip the mixture on medium speed until it is airy, pale, and tripled in volume, like softly whipped cream, 4 to 5 minutes. You’ll know that the eggs are properly whipped when you lift the whisk and the mixture falls back into the bowl in a ribbon that rests on the surface for about 10 seconds. If the ribbon immediately sinks into the mixture, continue whipping for a few more minutes. Pour in the vanilla extract during the last moments of whipping.

Detach the bowl from the mixer. Sprinkle about one third of the sifted flour mixture over the batter. Fold in the flour with a rubber spatula, stopping as soon as the flour is incorporated. Fold in the rest of the flour in 2 more additions.

Gently spoon about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the melted butter and fold the butter in with the rubber spatula. Fold this mixture into the batter in the mixer bowl. (This is the point at which the batter is at its most fragile, so fold gingerly.) The batter should be poured into a prepared pan and baked immediately.

Bake at 350° about 25-27 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched and just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Cool in pan about 10 minutes then remove, cooling right-side up on cooling rack.

May be prepared 24 hours in advance.  leave on rack, uncovered, at room temperature.

To assemble:

After splitting the cake, I whipped cream with a bit of sugar and flavored with vanilla and coconut. I spread it on the bottom layer and added shredded coconut. I then added the top layer, frosted the rest of the cake with the whipped cream and added chopped macadamia nuts to the side.