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Lemon and Macadamia Cake

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Lemon and Macadamia Cake

This is a very decadent take on the humble lemon drizzle cake, and is great for special occasions.


Fills 450-500g loaf tin

Lemon and Macadamia Cake
120g macadamia nuts
Butter, to grease
50g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
2 lemons
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Drop of vanilla extract
160g icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Spread the macadamia nuts out on a baking sheet and bake for 8–10 minutes until lightly golden. Tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  2. Lightly grease the loaf tin with a little melted butter, then line the base and short sides with a strip of baking parchment that extends over the sides.
  3. Transfer 100g of the cooled nuts to the small bowl of a food processor (reserving 20g for decoration) and add the flour and 2 tbsp of the measured sugar. Process briefly until the nuts are broken down to the consistency of nibbed almonds, taking care not to over-grind them or they will release oil that will interfere with the meringue. Roughly chop the remaining nuts and reserve for decoration.
  4. Finely grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze the juice, set both aside (the juice will be used for the icing later). Separate the eggs into 2 medium bowls, ensuring no yolk is present with the whites.
  5. Set aside another 2 tbsp of the sugar, then add the remaining sugar, lemon zest and vanilla to the yolks and beat, using an electric whisk, until the mixture increases in volume and becomes pale and mousse-like. Set aside.
  6. Using clean beaters, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then add the reserved sugar and continue to whisk for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture returns to stiff peak.
  7. Add a spoonful of the whisked whites to the ground nuts, flour and yolk mixture, (this will loosen it before the remaining whites are added) and carefully fold the mixtures together until evenly combined. Do not over-fold or the mixture will lose volume.
  8. Working quickly, gently pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, holding the bowl as close to the tin as possible to ensure minimal air loss. Cook in the middle of the oven for 30–40 minutes until well risen and lightly golden. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake; it should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, but no raw mixture.
  9. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the remaining nuts and make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add in enough of the lemon juice to create a glacé icing, stirring well until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick, beat in a few drops of lemon juice to achieve a slightly looser consistency or alternately if it is too thin, add in some more icing sugar.
  11. Carefully drizzle the lemon icing over the top, allowing it to run down the sides a little. Sprinkle the reserved chopped nuts onto the icing and leave the cake to stand for 15 minutes to allow the icing to set. Cut into slices to serve.

This recipe is one of many taught on our Essential Cooking Certificate: Online Course.

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