We’re talking all things pistachio cake today! It’s a really simple cake batter made with ground pistachios, which give a nice, nutty flavor. Baked until golden, soft, and slightly dense. Topped with a creamy whipped honey mascarpone, only slightly sweet, and completely delicious.
What I love about this pistachio cake is that it’s really subtle. It’s not overly sweet, so I kind of classify it as an afternoon tea cake. But, it also dresses up really well for any type of celebration.
It’s definitely on the modest side compared to something like this decadent chocolate birthday cake…which means it’s simple, comes together really easily, and can be done somewhat last minute.
The cake itself has such a lovely, unique pistachio flavor. You’ll finely grind up pistachios (I like to buy roasted, salted pistachios for this) and combine them with cake flour. The rest of the batter is very standard.
I actually tested about 6 different versions of this cake, though, continually tweaking ingredients here and there. The result? A pistachio cake that is very tender, has lots of moisture, and consists of the perfect texture. The cake also started out having a chocolate buttercream (which I scratched and used for the birthday cake I mentioned above).
I finally landed on a whipped honey mascarpone as the frosting. It’s essentially whipped cream folded into a mixture of mascarpone cheese, honey, and a pinch of salt. It works perfectly with the cake…not too overpowering, and just sweet enough from the touch of honey.
You can top this pistachio cake with any berry you’d like. I had used strawberries from the farmer’s market, some chopped pistachios, and a very generous drizzle of honey. I think the honey is definitely key to add another layer of moisture to the cake.
And with that, let’s make some cake this weekend!!Print
Pistachio Cake with Whipped Honey Mascarpone
simple pistachio cake topped with whipped honey mascarpone and strawberries
yield: 1 (10″) cake
- 4 oz roasted, salted pistachios
- 6 oz cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 8 oz granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- chopped pistachios
Whipped Honey Mascarpone
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10” cake pan with butter.
- Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ground pistachios, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the sugar, then the oil, then the milk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for about 36-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out fairly dry.
- Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Run a butter knife along the edges. Flip the cake onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully.
- Use a serrated knife to even off the top of the cake. Mound the whipped honey mascarpone (recipe below) on top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the mascarpone into an even layer on top and all sides.
- Decorate with strawberries (or any other berry) and chopped pistachios. Drizzle the cake with honey.
Whipped Honey Mascarpone
- Add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the cream on medium-high speed until semi-stiff peaks form (try not to overwhip).
- Transfer the whipped cream to a different bowl and set aside.
- Add the mascarpone cheese, honey, and salt to the stand mixer bowl. Using a paddle attachment, mix on medium-high speed for a minute to aerate the mixture.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture in two additions until fully incorporated. Use at room temperature.