June 6, 2011

pistachio cake

Some ingredients are just hard to find at local grocery stores. Unsalted and shelled pistachios are one of them. My husband found and ordered these raw pistachios (shown below) online after searching and reading the reviews.

And so my pistachio project begins.The first of many recipes I found and tried was this pistachio cake. There are several variations online so it was confusing to choose which one is the best but I settled for this.

I wanted a cake with pistachios in the lead role :-) This recipe uses ground almonds too but I reduced it and increased the amount of the pistachios. I also reduced the butter and combined it with olive oil to make it a bit lighter. It makes a small 9" round cake but it's loaded with ground nuts and has very little flour in it. I forgot that I have pistachio flavoring so I used vanilla. The sweet glaze on top with lemon juice, sugar and whole pistachios added extra moisture to the rich cake.

(recipe adapted from Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse)

150 g butter (about 1 1/2 sticks)
50 g olive oil
225 g white sugar
grated zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 large eggs
50 g ground toasted almonds
150 g raw pistachios
50 g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

whole roasted pistachios
50 g sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper. Roast or broil the pistachios about 10 minutes, stirring them from time to time. Grind the pistachios in a food processor until fine. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour mixture and the ground nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350F or until done. Cool and invert cake onto a serving platter.

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and lemon juice for the glaze. Add the whole pistachios and cook until slightly thickened. Pour over the warm cake.


  1. Your pistachio cake looks great :) I liked how you adapted the recipe to include more pistachios, they add so much flavour and colour to the cake.

  2. Glad you like it! It may be possible to use 100% pistachios if ground almonds are not available but I have to say I like the combination. Thanks for your nice comment.

  3. Hello, this is the first recipe I have followed off of a blog...and it's absolutely delicious. To make it my own I added some rose water to the syrup which I think worked well and I would use less lemon zest next time (there definitely will be a next time), only because I am not so fond of lemon.
    I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks

  4. Thanks for the rose water idea! Glad this worked out well for you.

  5. What is the oven degree to used? Thank you

    1. Oops sorry...bake the cake at 350F. Thanks and I hope you like it :-)

  6. When to add the olive oil?

  7. Cream the butter and oil together with the sugar. Thanks and I hope you like it.