This post has been a long time coming so grab a slice of this pistachio cake and a cup of coffee and let’s catch up!
The past several months have been a busy time for me. My full time job is at an accounting firm and while most people think of tax season as April, the real tax season begins in January.
This was my first tax season as a full time employee and I started out with the intention to continue blogging through this time. However, the recipes I was coming up with were a little lacking so rather than post something I was less than excited about, I gave myself permission to simply take a break.
Thankfully, tax season is over now and I’m beginning to transition out of that mode and get back into the kitchen.
I knew I wanted my first post back to be something exciting and new for my blog. I haven’t posted a cake recipe yet and after decorating this cake at Christmas, I was itching to decorate another.
I arrived at this cake for two reasons, one of which may seem odd and perhaps it is.
A few months ago, I made a chocolate hazelnut cake by Minimalist Baker. It was written as a vegan and gluten-free cake and while I made some non-vegan, non gluten-free substitutes, I really enjoyed the cake because it was just rich and sweet enough to satisfy a chocolate cake craving but it didn’t leave me in a sugar coma.
I knew if I made a cake I wanted it to be similar to that one.
The next issue was flavor, what kind of cake would this be? There are so many options!
You might think this is super weird but it is 100% true… I got the idea for pistachio cake with vanilla bean frosting from a candle I had. The scent was exactly that – pistachio vanilla and it smelled amazing. Every time I had it burning, it would smell like something delicious was baking in the oven.
With all that, I came up with this cake. The cake itself isn’t super rich but is slightly sweet. Paired with the frosting, which is more decadent, it makes a nice balance. You feel like you’re eating cake but don’t end up asleep on the couch after eating a slice (or two). Don’t ask me how I know. ;)
In full disclosure, I enjoy baking but have not made many cakes in my lifetime so you can find better a cake assembly tutorial here. This was my attempt at a naked cake… let’s just say I have some learning to do but I love the rustic look of naked cakes and wanted to achieve that look here.
One other thing to note is the frosting recipe as written is meant for a thin layer around the sides (i.e. my naked cake attempt). If you prefer a thicker frosting, feel free to add a little more butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.
If you make this recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram. Use #thesimplefoodie, I’d love to see it!
1 Bowl Pistachio Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. buttermilk (or sub 1 c. milk (can use nondairy) + 1 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar)
- 3 t. baking soda
- 1/2 c. honey
- 2/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. melted coconut oil (or butter)
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 c. toasted pistachios, ground to a meal in a food processor or blender
- 1 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. oats, ground to a flour in a food processor or blender
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/3 c. roughly chopped toasted pistachios
- extra chopped pistachios for topping
- fresh raspberries, optional for topping
- 3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1/4 t. vanilla extract
- 1 T. milk
- Preheat oven to 350° and butter two 8″ round cake pans. Dust with flour and shake out excess. If not using buttermilk, measure out the milk and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl.
- Next, add baking soda to the buttermilk and stir. Add the sugar, honey and buttermilk mixture to the eggs and whisk to combine. Then add the applesauce, vanilla, melted coconut oil, salt and mix.
- Add the pistachio meal, whole wheat flour, oat flour and all purpose flour and whisk to combine. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top appears dry and edges are brown.
- Let rest in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the edges and invert onto cooling racks. Let cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Wash out the mixing bowl used earlier. Add the softened butter, vanilla bean, and vanilla extract. Using a mixer, beat the butter a few minutes until it is creamy.
- Next, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing between additions. Add in the milk and combine. The frosting should be creamy but hold it’s shape.
- Stick the frosting in the fridge while the cake finishes baking and cools. Let the frosting warm up slightly before frosting the cake. It will also soften a little as you frost the cake.
- Dab a little frosting onto the center of a serving plate or dish (this keeps the cake from moving). Transfer the bottom layer of the cooled cake to the serving plate/dish. Spread a layer of frosting on the top of the bottom layer and top generously with chopped pistachios.
- Carefully top with second layer and frost the top, then the sides.
- Sprinkle on extra chopped pistachios and top with raspberries, if desired.
- The cake will keep for a few days at room temperature if covered. Though it’s always best fresh.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker’s 1 Bowl Chocolate Hazelnut Cake