BA’s Best: Macaroon Cake

BA’s Best: Macaroon Cake
Macaroon Cake

This is a frighteningly good dessert independent of it being GF and DF. Like, not good for something GF/DF, but actually just good on its own. It’s shocking when a thing like that happens, isn’t it? There’s no texture compromise either; no inexplicably crumbly denseness or suspicious sponginess. And as my celiac-sporting father-in-law reported back, it’s good for breakfast, too.

I will say, more than most of the BA recipes that I cook, I tweaked this one a lot. I’m sorry, but I am a good home cook, so if I follow a recipe and it doesn’t work out (when it’s something fairly simple that should come together fairly easily if it’s going to), I tweak. That was the case with this frosting. Or in this case, ganache, because it certainly did not become anything reminiscent of frosting. The original idea was to beat warm, chocolaty coconut milk until it just became frosting magically?? There was just no way that was going to happen (I tried – TWICE). Also, the original recipe calls for making these little candied almond-coconut clusters, but honestly they were a bit of a faff and not even so good as to be worth it. The final tweaked version comes out a lot simpler than the original, though feel free to check the original recipe on Bon Appetit’s website and inform me of what crucial powers I lack that were needed to help turn warm coconut milk into spreadable frosting.

Macaroon Cake

BA’s Best: Macaroon Cake

Taken from BA’s Best arsenal, with a very good bit of fiddling and omitting

Serves 12


1 cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled + more for greasing pan
¼ cup cocoa powder + more for dusting pan
1 cup skin-on, raw almonds
8 oz semi- or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
6 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla 

4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can that was shaken extremely well)
Pinch of kosher salt
Coconut shavings + sliced almonds, for garnishing


Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10-inch round cake pan with the coconut oil and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Brush the paper with oil and dust the sides of the pan with cocoa powder (this is a bit tricky, just hold down the parchment with your thumbs and try to just dust the sides and tap out any excess cocoa). Set aside. Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and just slightly darkened. Let cool and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Meanwhile, heat the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a medium heatproof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water (though the bowl should not touch the water – you should only have a 1-2 inch depth). Stir the chocolate mixture frequently until it has melted and become completely smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a food processor (or high-powered blender), repeatedly pulse the toasted almonds, kosher salt, and cocoa powder until finely ground. Add the shredded coconut and pulse a few more times to combine. Set aside.

Using a standmixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl and electric beaters), beat the eggs on medium speed until blended, ~20 seconds. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla then increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is pale and thick. You can test it by letting some fall back into the bowl from the whisk/beaters – it should immediately sink back into itself. If using a standmixer, switch to the paddle attachment and, on low speed, gradually add the melted chocolate mixture. Beat to incorporate, then mix in the ground almond mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the batter several times to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top down. Bake the cake until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean but greasy, ~35-45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 20 minutes. It might cave in slightly in the middle, but don’t worry about it; you’ll be flipping it soon any way. Run a paring knife or thin metal spatula around the edge of the cake pan, place a cake stand or plate (or whatever you’re serving it on) centred on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the serving vessel. Carefully peel off the parchment and let the cake cool completely. If you for some INEXPLICABLE reason have to move this cake, be so so so ginger and gentle and actually just please don’t move it. It will just fall the fuck apart and you will sigh very loudly and your partner will look on in terror awaiting your reaction.

When ready to “frost” the cake (which can be done before serving or as early as a day or two before), start on the ganache. If you want it warm and still-runny, do shortly before serving, otherwise you can do it anytime the cake is completely cool. Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan set over medium-low. Warm the coconut milk until it is just simmering, but certainly not boiling. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pour the hot milk overtop to completely submerge the chocolate. Cover with a lid or plate and let sit for 5 full minutes. Whisk together to combine into a smooth (dairy-free!) ganache and pour over the cake immediately while it’s still runny. You can let the ganache thicken a bit longer if you like by leaving it to just sit out, but do be warned that it goes from pourable to not-at-all-pourable remarkably quickly. Garnish the cake with shavings of coconut and sliced almonds while the ganache is still wet. Cover until ready to serve or eat right now with the reassurance of knowing that tomorrow’s stomach pain definitely wasn’t from this.

Macaroon Cake