Delicious Pistachio Cake Recipe – Step by Step Guide

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Delicious Pistachio Cake Recipe: With real pistachios (yes, no pudding or cake mixes needed!) this incredibly moisturizing and tasty pistachio cake recipe produces a genuinely memorable cake that is packed with nutty, rich, pistachio taste.

the cake has a lovely creamy element added to it by the frosting, which is a not-too-sweet pistachio cream cheese.  Delectable, in a word!


Delicious Pistachio Cake Recipe



Pistachio Cake

  •  cups (175 g) pistachios, unsalted
  • 2⅓ cups (300 g) flour regular all-purpose flour (see note 1 if you want to use cake flour)
  • ¼ cup (25 g) cornstarch
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt – omit if using salted butter
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter – room temperature
  • ½ cup (105 g) unflavoured vegetable oil – I use canola
  • 1⅔ cups (332 g) white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract/essence
  • ½ tsp almond extract/essence
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  •  cups (336 g) buttermilk – room temperature, see note 5 if using a homemade buttermilk substitute
  • Few drops green food coloring (optional)—gel and liquid are both fine as you only use a small amount


Pistachio Cake

  • Warm the oven up to 180 °C (350 °F) (see note 4 if you’re using a fan function) and grease or line two 8-inch cake pans. For best results, use my homemade cake release.
  • Put your nuts in a food processor and pulse them until they are small pieces (see note 6). Put it away for now when you’re done.
  • Put the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and sift them together. Mix with a whisk or fork until everything is well mixed. Put away.
  • Put butter, vegetable oil, and sugar in a different bowl. Work together for two minutes with an electric mixer (a hand mixer or a stand mixer will work, see note 2). Make it light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well between each one (about 10 to 15 seconds).
  • Put in the vinegar, sugar, and half of the buttermilk. Mix everything together well. Now put your mixer down because you will be mixing the rest of the batter by hand.
  • Half of the dry ingredients that have already been mixed in should be added to the wet mixture. Use a spoon to gently fold it in until it is just combined. Then add the rest of the buttermilk and mix it in by folding it in. Finally, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix them in slowly until they are just mixed. Do not mix too much (see point 3).
  • Throw in the chopped pistachios and a few drops of green food coloring (less if you’re using gel colors; you just need a soft green color). Use a spatula to mix the ingredients together until they are just mixed. You can add more flavor if you need to, but be careful not to mix the batter too much.
  • The batter should be spread out evenly between the two 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist bits on it.
  • After baking, let the cake layers cool in the cake pans for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, remove them and place them on a wire rack to cool fully before frosting them with the pistachio cream cheese recipe below.

Pistachio Cake

Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer if using one), add in butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract/essence, almond extract/essence and cream.
  • Mix on the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined (about a minute), and then turn up the speed to a medium high and mix for a full 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl half way through. If using a stand mixer then use the paddle attachment.
  • Once finished, add in the cream cheese and crushed pistachios and mix until well combined. Avoid overmixing. Finish off by adding in a few scant drops of green food coloring (if using gel colours then use less – you only want a pastel green color).
  • The frosting should be silky smooth and it’s now ready to use! See note 7 if your frosting isn’t fluffy and smooth. For decorating ideas, check out the recipe video or blog post above


Southwest Pasta Salad



Note 1. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (325g total required). 

Note 2. If using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment for the initial mixing, but continue to do the last step by hand as stated in the recipe.


Note 3. By gently folding in the ingredients, it prevents too much gluten from forming, thus giving us a softer cake. Only mix until the strands of flour have disappeared and the batter is uniform. 

Note 4. In this recipe I use an oven with no fan function. The fan forced function cooks cakes/cupcakes faster, so if using a fan function (also known as convection mode) then you will need to reduce the temperature to 160C (320F). 


Note 5. I use store bought buttermilk (and is what I recommend for this recipe) which is thicker than a homemade substitute. For this recipe, because it uses a lot of buttermilk, a homemade substitute doesn’t give the same results. If you are using a homemade version you will need to reduce the amount of buttermilk to about 1 1/4 cups (275g) – though this still doesn’t guarantee that you will get the same results. 

Note 6. You don’t want the pistachios to be too fine (like a powder), but you don’t want large chuncks either. Process them until they’re a bread crumb consistency with a few small chunks in them (see video for visual).


Note 7. If you find that your frosting is a bit firm and has a lot of air bubbles, then it means that either the butter or cream during the initial 10 minutes of mixing was too cold. To fix this, gently heat the buttercream in the microwave for 5 second bursts (don’t heat it for too long otherwise the buttercream will melt), mixing in between each burst until the frosting is softer in consistency and you can easily mix it, and then re-whip it for a few minutes. If your frosting is too soft, simply pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes, and then re-whip it. 




  • Calories: 907kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 91g
  • Protein: 11g | Fat: 57g
  • Saturated Fat: 27g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 17g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 149mg
  • Sodium: 311mg
  • Potassium: 333mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 64g
  • Vitamin A: 1357IU
  • Vitamin C: 1mg
  • Calcium: 139mg
  •  Iron: 2mg

FAQs AND Questions

How to Store Pistachio Cake

Because the filling has cream cheese in it, this cake needs to be kept in the fridge overnight. During the day, it can be left at room temperature. The cream cheese won’t go bad because of the sugar and fat in the frosting. This is why you can leave it out at room temperature for a long time.

When you want to store it, put it in a jar that won’t let air in and put it in the fridge. Before you serve it, let it cool down to room temperature.




    Jasmine Gomez is the Wishes Editor at Birthday Stock, where she cover the best wishes, quotes across family, friends and more. When she's not writing for a living, she enjoys karaoke and dining out more than she cares to admit. Who we are and how we work. We currently have seven trained editors working in our office to produce top-notch content that you can rely on. All articles are published according to the four-eyes principle: After completion of the raw version, the texts are checked by (at least) one other editor for orthographic and content accuracy.

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