Mary’s Nan’s Macaroon Cake

My friend Mary responded to the Almond Macaroon Cake I posted with a version that her Nan used to bake. So in the spirit of an old-fashioned ‘Bake-Off” I visited Mary’s kitchen where she also cooked this for me and included her apple cake. Just a longer walk around the block required.

Nan’s recipe for Macaroon Cake has a topping baked into the cake just like mine but the cake beneath is lighter, more of a sponge and the macaroon flavour differs by the nuttiness of toasted coconut. Just forgive me for not photographing it out of the tin, but it did look very beautiful and Mary cut it in half and so I took my share to enjoy with friends.

Mary keeps her recipe in one of those small exercise books that our mothers and grandmothers used to record their favourite recipes from friends and relatives. Not many people bother to hand write recipes in little books today as recipes can be found in the plethora of cookbooks on the market or simply go to the internet. I do I hope families continue to hand down any they have in the family, and if they don’t want them anymore I wish they would donate them to State Libraries, especially the one in Queensland where I have established a collection of books on Gastronomy. That info is in another story I have written about in past blogs.

Macaroon Cake

First layer ingredients                                                                           Second layer ingredients

56g unsalted butter                                                                                           Two egg whites

¾ cup caster sugar                                                                                            ½ cup caster sugar

2 egg yolks                                                                                                           1 cup desiccated coconut

½ cup milk

1¼ cups self-raising flour

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar, add the egg yolks, one at a time, then gradually add the flour.

Place in a lined cake tin – we doubled this recipe and used a large tin but if using this single recipe then a 18cm tin will suffice.

Bake in oven at 170c fan forced for around 30 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if it cooks right through the middle.

Beat egg whites and add sugar until it is thick and stiff. Spoon over top of cooked sponge and return to oven for around 15 -20 minutes until it is cooked and browned. For a printer friendly version Nan’s Macaroon Cake from Mary O’Shea


  1. #1 by Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial on August 5, 2010 - 8:15 pm

    Sounds delicious, Roz! I love how old recipes never wasted anything – if I need two egg whites for the topping, then I’ll make the base work with two egg yolks.. 🙂

  2. #2 by Debra Kolkka on August 5, 2010 - 8:49 pm

    My mother had an excercise book with recipes as well. I wonder if she still has it.
    This cake looks delicious.

  3. #3 by Anna Johnston on August 5, 2010 - 10:30 pm

    Coming from a long line of great cooks we have both my grandmothers and great grandmothers hand written recipe books, I confess we hardly ever refer to them except for things like Xmas Puddings and the like. But, some of these old recipes are brilliant and don’t waste a thing.

  4. #4 by Korena Pairama on June 14, 2011 - 6:52 am

    My partner made this cake, and it came out amazing. It was delicious, and looked fantastic as he added some swirly
    detailing after placing the beaten egg whites on the cake. The only thing we noticed about the recipe directions is that it doesn’t say when to add the milk or coconut. For experienced bakers they will automatically know when to put these ingredients in but for beginners and people that just follow the recipe will find there cake not turning out correct. Over all this is a great recipe for the whole family to enjoy!


    • #5 by tastetravel on June 16, 2011 - 4:29 am

      You are right, just add the milk ingredient with the first group of ingredients, and just add coconut with the second group of ingredients. I will edit the recipe. Thanks for notifying me, Roz

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