Easy Pistachio Cake made from real pistachios covered with a four-ingredient mascarpone cream frosting.
- 130 grams (1 cup) whole pistachios, shelled not salted
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 140 grams (1 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- Zest of 1 large lemon, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat milk or whole milk
- 60 ml (1/4) full fat Greek yogurt or natural yogurt
Mascarpone cream frosting
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) thickened or heavy cream
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2–3 tablespoons good quality blackberry jam
- Pistachio cake
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper.
- Use a food processor to pulse the pistachios until they become fine (but still a little chunky) crumbs (see photo below). Try not to over-mix or the pistachios will turn into a paste.
- In a large mixing bowl, add caster sugar, flour, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. Stir briefly to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add oil, vanilla, eggs, milk and yoghurt. Whisk briefly just to break up the egg yolks.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula until combined – but be careful not to over-mix. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.
- Bake cake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Mascarpone cream frosting
In a medium mixing bowl, add cream, mascarpone and vanilla. Beat using an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture thickens.
- Dollop a couple of teaspoons of blackberry jam into the cream and gently swirl using a spoon. Spoon frosting over cake and use a small spatula to spread it out into one even layer.
- Add a few extra teaspoons of jam and swirl it into the frosting.
Pistachios: You can use either raw or toasted pistachios as long as they are NOT salted. Blitz them into small crumbs using a food processor. Don’t over-grind them or they will turn into a paste. See photo for visual reference.
Lemon zest: Or you can use orange zest if you prefer.
Thickened cream: Look for a cream that is at least 35% fat and it should say on the product that it is suitable for whipping. Do not use light or low fat cream.
Mascarpone cream: If you don’t have access to mascarpone cheese, creme fraiche is the next best thing. Or you can leave it out entirely and just have a whipped cream frosting.
Storage: Once frosted, this cake is best kept covered in an airtight container in the fridge. Without frosting, the cake itself can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Cake pan size: You can use this recipe to make a one layer 8-inch cake, or a two layer 6-inch cake.