Macadamia nuts and white chocolate are a match made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. Macadamia nuts can go well with a wide variety of ingredients, of course, but their buttery nuttiness pairs perfectly with the creamy vanilla of white chocolate. Anyone who has eaten a good white chocolate macadamia nut cookie can confirm this, as it is one of the most popular ways to use macadamia nuts in the kitchen. As good as they are, those cookies aren’t the only option for baking with macadamia nuts and these Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Tea Cakes are a great way to start expanding your repertoire.
The tea cakes are similar to cupcakes, but they’re a touch sweeter than your average cupcake and don’t need any frosting to finish them off. These start with a batter made with ground macadamia nuts. You can grind them into meal – just like almond meal or flour – in your food processor in just a few seconds. I recommend starting with toasted macadamia nuts (they’re most often sold toasted), since they have a greater depth of flavor than untoasted nuts, but both will work. The ground nuts are combined with flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla to make the rest of the batter. White chocolate chips are folded in before baking.
I didn’t include any chopped nuts in the cake batter because I really like the soft, fluffy texture of the cakes and didn’t want the nuts to take away from it. You get a tremendous amount of macadamia nut flavor – more than you might expect from such a mild nut – in these that you don’t really need extra nuts, though I did sprinkle a few on top for looks. The white chocolate, in contrast, assimilates well into the batter, adding sweetness in every bite. As always, be sure to use real white chocolate that is made with only cocoa butter and not other vegetable fats.
The finished cakes area ready to eat as soon as they have cooled. They can be baked with or without paper liners, though the liners will make them a bit easier to get out of the pan by preventing any sticking. They’re tender and flavorful, with just the right balance of sweetness and nuttiness that you might expect to find in a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie!
Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Tea Cakes
3/4 cup ground, toasted macadamia nuts
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 tbsp milk
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
2 tbsp chopped macadamia nuts, for topping (toasted or untoasted)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together ground macadamia nuts, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in eggs and milk. Whisk until all ingredients are well-combined. Add in melted butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Stir in white chocolate chips.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with chopped macadamia nuts.
Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Run a knife around the edge of the cakes, if not using paper liners, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.