Pistachio Cake

When people think of pistachio cake, they think of green food coloring, and pistachio pudding. If that’s what you prefer, then this is not the cake for you. This cake also isn’t the cheapest to make, considering pistachios are expensive (at least where I live), but I promise it’s worth the money and the effort.

This cake is unlike any other cakes I’ve ever tasted – it’s delightfully nutty, a bit salty, and sweet all at once. Plus, the frosting is even made with real pistachios! The flavors come together beautifully, creating a salty and sweet combination with a somewhat dense yet delicate crumb.

pistachio cake

I’ve made this cake twice now, for different clients who fell in love with the cake. The photo above is a three layer pistachio cake I made for a man named Ed, for his birthday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a photo of the crumb, but you can guess it took all my willpower not to cut a slice from that beauty!

Since the cake has chopped pistachios inside, it gives a slight salty crunch with every bite. I could go on forever about how delicious it is, but why don’t you just give it a try?


Another two layer cake I made for a friends mother, for mother’s day!

Since mother’s day is just around the corner, why not make your mother or loved one this special cake?


Pistachio Cake

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Total time: approx 1 hour

This recipe will make one 2 layer pistachio cake.



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped, unshelled pistachios


6 oz bag of unshelled pistachios, chopped very fine
1 pound of soft, unsalted butter (4 sticks)
about 1 lb bag of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 teaspoons of milk

Preheat oven to 350, and spray two 9 inch pans with nonstick spray.

Chop your pistachios until they’re a little smaller than the size of peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat until smooth.

With the mixer speed on low, add a third of the flour mixture, mixing until combined. Then, add a 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Add another third of the flour mixture, until combined. Add the last 1/2 cup of sour cream, mixing till combined. Then, add the last of the flour mixture, mixing until combined.

Lastly, add in your chopped pistachios, making sure all the ingredients are mixed in to create a smooth batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

For the frosting

With a knife or in your food processor, chop the pistachios very fine. The texture should be almost crumb like, but big enough so the frosting can still spread smoothly. Look at the photos for reference.

With your stand mixer and your paddle attachment, add your soft butter, half the bag of powdered sugar, vanilla, and pistachios.

Beat together until they’re almost combined, then add in the rest of the bag of powdered sugar, and as many teaspoons of milk to make it your desired consistency.

Beat together on high-speed for about 3-4 minutes, so it’s whipped, smooth and light.

Frost the cake once it’s completely cooled!


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