Macaroon Cookie Cake

A light chocolate cake with pockets of a coconut surprise. This Macaroon Cookie Cake is uniquely sweet and has a melt in your mouth chocolate frosting.

My husband LOVES coconut. So when his birthday rolls around, I know a coconut cake is what’s on the menu.

Our 3 day coconut cake is always an option, and German chocolate cake is a close second. But if I need something a little more simple, this Macaroon Cookie Cake is a win. Just look at those pockets of coconut:

closeup of macaroon cookie cake on a spatula

Why you’ll love this cake:

  • 100% from scratch cake (with an option of a shortcut)
  • Pockets of sweetened coconut inside
  • Melt in your mouth chocolate buttercream frosting
  • Makes a traditional 9×13 cake

What is a macaroon?

A macaroon is a traditional cookie that is a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, coconut, vanilla, salt and eggs. My favorite way to have this cookie is when it is dipped in chocolate so you can imagine that I’d love this macaroon cookie cake that has chocolate cake baked around it.

macaroon filling for cake

The Parts of the Cake

There are 3 parts to this cake:

  • chocolate cake
  • macaroon filling
  • chocolate buttercream

You’ll need 3 different mixing bowls to make this cake. I know that sounds like a lot of dishes, but I’ll give you a few hints for shortcuts after the we talk about recipe itself.

Tips for Making Macaroon Cookie Cake

  • Sweetened or unsweetened coconut will work for the filling. Either works. I like to use unsweetened so since you’re adding more sugar anyway.
  • Make the coconut topping in advance if you’d like. It will get one step out of the way.
  • The cake calls for unsweetened chocolate squares. You can find these in the baking aisle. Melt them down and add them to the batter. The batter isn’t a deep chocolate color so don’t be concerned. It is lightly chocolate flavored.
  • Use butter instead of shortening if you’d like, but the texture will change just slightly.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, place one teaspoon vinegar in a measuring cup, then fill it the rest of the way with milk. This will imitate sour milk and is an acceptable substitute for buttermilk.
  • If all you have is self-rising flour, you can use that instead. Just omit the baking powder, soda and salt.
  • Cool the cake completely before you frost it. You can use your favorite chocolate frosting if you’d like.

Recipe Shortcuts

If you’re short on time, there are two shortcuts available:

  1. Chocolate box cake mix: Any flavor chocolate cake mix will work for the base of this if you don’t mind a semi-homemade cake. Our favorite is a fudge cake.
  2. Premade frosting: Have a favorite tub of chocolate frosting? Use that instead of mixing up your own buttercream.
a slice of macaroon cake on a plate
a slice of macaroon cake on a plate

Macaroon Cookie Cake

4.67 from 6 votes
A light chocolate cake with pockets of a coconut surprise. This Macaroon Cookie Cake is uniquely sweet and has a melt in your mouth chocolate frosting.
Servings 15
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes


For the macaroon topping:

For the cake:

For the frosting:


Make the macaroon topping:

  • In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the macaroon topping. Mix well. Set aside.

Make the cake:

  • Grease the bottom only of a 9×13 baking pan. You can use butter or shortening to grease the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
  • Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in 30 second increments, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is completely melted. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly while you mix the first ingredients together.
  • In a large mixing bowl (use either a stand mixer or a hand mixer), cream together the sugar and shortening until well mixed.
  • Add in the eggs and mix again, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix again.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk well.
  • Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend for about 2 minutes on low speed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Spoon teaspoon-fulls of macaroon filling over the cake batter.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

  • While the cake is cooling, prepare the buttercream.
  • In a stand mixer with the beater blade, beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth, creamy and nearly white in appearance.
  • Add in the salt and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Add the heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, mixing slowly until it is the consistency that you’d like.
  • Beat for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting over the cake.


The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 582
Keyword chocolate sheet cake, coconut cake

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About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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