Pistachio Cake – Sugar Spun Run

My pistachio cake is made WITHOUT any pudding mixes or emulsions! As an alternative, we’ll mix pistachios, almond extract, and browned butter (my secret ingredient) to create an unimaginable taste and crumb. Recipe features a how-to video!

Cross section of a pistachio cake made with three layers of green cake and a swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

Pistachio Cake From Scratch

It took rather a lot of trial and error to get the flavour of this pistachio cake good. Since I didn’t need to use pudding combine or emulsions (which may be costly, onerous to search out, and inconsistent), it was necessary for me to create an genuine taste in a easy, attainable approach.

The answer? Brown butter!

Identical to in my butter pecan cake, brown butter provides a nutty, nicely rounded, deep taste to this cake. When paired with the brilliant taste of almond extract and loads of chopped pistachios, we really completely nail the pistachio taste. It’s unimaginable!

Slice of pale green layer cake made with pistachios on a white plate with one bite missing.

Why you’ll love my recipe:

  • Makes use of the reverse creaming technique, which yields a plush crumb AND avoids the danger of over-mixing the cake. This cake really melts in your mouth!
  • Made solely from scratch with no synthetic flavors, emulsions, or boxed mixes of any form.
  • Pairs nicely with many frostings (solutions under!), however I particularly like it with my swiss meringue buttercream.

That is nothing like these shiny inexperienced, pudding-filled pistachio cake you’ve made up to now–it’s remarkably higher!

What You Want

My pistachio cake recipe makes use of principally fundamental components, however there are just a few wildcards. You will have:

Overhead view of ingredients including buttermilk, pistachios, almond extract, and more.
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk is vital for taste, tenderness, and moisture on this pistachio cake recipe. Yours must be at room temperature whenever you add it for straightforward combining (and on that be aware, you ought to be utilizing room temperature eggs too!).
  • Brown butter. If you happen to haven’t made brown butter earlier than, don’t panic! I am going over this in my video under and now have a complete put up on how one can brown butter should you want much more pointers. Be certain that your butter cools down fully earlier than including it to the recipe; it doesn’t need to be solidified, however it shouldn’t be in any respect heat.
  • Almond extract. Whereas we’re utilizing a small quantity of vanilla extract, we’ll add much more almond extract to essentially carry out the pistachio taste.
  • Pistachios. Use salted, dry roasted pistachios and finely chop them (I like to make use of a mini meals processor for this). If you happen to can’t discover salted pistachios, use unsalted pistachios and improve the salt within the recipe to 1 teaspoon.
  • Meals coloring. Meals coloring is clearly optionally available, however if you would like your pistachio cake to have a greenish hue, you will want so as to add it. I speak extra in regards to the model and colours I like to make use of within the recipe notes under.

SAM’S TIP: Do NOT over-bake this cake! Whereas the crumb is mushy and tender, the crumb will seem a bit extra crumbly as a result of finely chopped pistachios (identical to my butter pecan cake). If baked correctly, it received’t be; nevertheless, if the cake is over-baked, it’s going to really be dry.

Bear in mind, that is simply an summary of the components I used and why. For the complete recipe please scroll all the way down to the underside of the put up!

Make Pistachio Cake

Four photos showing cake batter being prepared with brown butter and salted pistachios.
  1. Brown the butter – soften the butter over medium warmth, then scale back the warmth to medium-low and prepare dinner, stirring continuously, till brown bits kind within the pan. Pour the brown butter right into a heatproof bowl and let cool fully earlier than continuing.
  2. Mix the dry components in a big bowl, then step by step stir within the cooled brown butter till included. The combination will probably be dough-like at this stage; that is regular!
  3. Whisk collectively the moist components in a separate bowl (or giant measuring cup), then step by step stir them into the butter/flour combination till the batter is uniform.
  4. Fold within the pistachios till evenly distributed.
Four photos showing cake batter being portioned into pans, baked, and stacked with frosting.
  1. Add meals coloring, if desired, and stir to mix.
  2. Evenly portion the batter into three greased, floured, and parchment lined pans. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted within the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Bear in mind, don’t over-bake!
  3. Let the desserts cool of their pans for quarter-hour earlier than inverting onto cooling racks to chill fully.
  4. Stage the desserts if wanted, then adorn with icing. I’ve a put up on how one can adorn a cake if you wish to hone your adorning abilities!

SAM’S TIP: Most ovens bake erratically, so take a look at every cake individually if you’re baking all three on the identical time. If you happen to can solely match two layers on the middle rack of your oven on the identical time, simply let the one sit on the counter whereas the others bake.

Overhead view of a cake decorated with a border of chopped pistachios around half of the cake.

Continuously Requested Questions

Can I exploit all-purpose flour as a substitute of cake flour?

Cake flour makes for a mushy, tight crumb right here that works completely with the chopped nuts. Cake flour is my advice, however in a pinch all-purpose flour may be substituted, simply be sure you substitute properly and be aware the feel won’t be as mushy or plush.

What flavors go along with pistachio?

Chocolate, raspberry, almond, cherry, citrus, apricot, honey, cardamom, and rose are just some flavors that pair nicely with pistachio. If you happen to’re trying to boost this cake, attempt including my raspberry cake filling or pastry cream between the layers, or swap the icing with white chocolate buttercream or whipped cream frosting. A chocolate ganache drip and garnish of dried rose petals or fruit would even be beautiful right here!

Are you able to freeze pistachio cake?

Sure you may. Simply ensure that to wrap it tightly earlier than freezing in an hermetic container or freezer-safe ziploc bag. This cake will hold for a number of months within the freezer.

Slices of pistachio cake on white plates.

I significantly LOVE this pistachio cake recipe, and I’m so excited to listen to the way you prefer it!

Get pleasure from!

Let’s bake collectively! I’ll be strolling you thru all of the steps in my written recipe and video under! If you happen to do that recipe, be sure you tag me on Instagram, and you may as well discover me on YouTube and Facebook

Cross section of a pistachio cake made with three layers of green cake and a swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

Pistachio Cake

My pistachio cake is made WITHOUT any pudding mixes or emulsions! As an alternative, we’ll mix pistachios, almond extract, and browned butter to create an unimaginable taste and crumb. Recipe features a how-to video!


Course: Cake, Dessert

Delicacies: American

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 25 minutes

Whole Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 12 servings

Energy: 465kcal

Forestall your display from going darkish


Brown the Butter

  • Soften butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium warmth.

    1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter

  • Lower warmth to medium-low and prepare dinner, stirring and scraping the underside with a heatproof spatula, till brown bits kind on the underside of the pan (butter will sizzle, foam, and pop then it will sluggish earlier than it browns). Pour right into a heatproof bowl and permit to chill till now not heat to the contact earlier than continuing.

Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and grease 3 8” (20cm) spherical baking pans with baking spray. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper to make sure the desserts received’t stick.

  • In a big mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), whisk collectively cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    3 cups (333 g) cake flour, 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon salt

  • Add (cooled) browned butter and use an electrical mixer to stir on low-speed till totally included.

  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl or giant measuring cup, whisk collectively buttermilk, eggs, and extracts till well-combined.

    1 ½ cups (354 ml) buttermilk room temperature most well-liked, 2 giant eggs room temperature most well-liked, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¾ teaspoon almond extract

  • With mixer on low-speed, step by step drizzle the buttermilk combination into the flour combination. Scrape the perimeters and backside of the bowl to make sure the batter is uniform (it’s alright should you discover small lumps within the batter).

  • Add pistachios and use a spatula to stir till nicely included.

    1 cup (145 g) dry roasted salted pistachios

  • Add drops of meals coloring, if desired. Stir till uniform in shade.

    Inexperienced meals coloring

  • Evenly divide batter into ready pans and bake within the middle rack of 350F (175C) oven for 25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted within the middle comes out clear or with moist crumbs.

  • Enable desserts to chill of their pans for quarter-hour earlier than working a knife across the fringe of the cake to loosen it from the pan then rigorously invert onto a cooling rack to chill fully. Muffins have to be fully cooled earlier than adorning.


  • Stage desserts if wanted (I linked to my favourite cake leveler within the “Tools” part above) and adorn with frosting. I did a easy, semi-naked protecting for the perimeters of the cake with thicker frosting in between layers and on prime of the cake, however you may fully cowl the complete cake with a single batch of Swiss meringue buttercream. If desired, prime cake with extra chopped pistachios.

    1 batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream



Pistachios may be measured earlier than or after chopping. If you happen to can’t discover salted pistachios, improve salt within the recipe to 1 teaspoon.

Meals Coloring

Non-compulsory, cake won’t be inexperienced with out meals coloring. I choose to make use of Americolor gel meals coloring. I exploit a small drop every of “Mint” and “Avocado” although both one would work positive. A little bit goes a good distance, pistachio must be a pale inexperienced.


Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my desire. Different choices embrace marshmallow frosting, cream cheese frosting, white chocolate buttercream, or actually any buttercream from my frosting library.


Retailer in an hermetic container at room temperature for as much as 24 hours or within the fridge for as much as 5 days.


Serving: 1serving | Energy: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 8g | Fats: 22g | Saturated Fats: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 2g | Monounsaturated Fats: 7g | Trans Fats: 1g | Ldl cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 605IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

Dietary info relies on third-party calculations and must be thought-about an estimate solely. Precise dietary content material will differ primarily based upon manufacturers used, measuring strategies, cooking technique, portion sizes, and extra.