Easy Pistachio Cake Recipe

I love using nuts in baking. Of course, being Southern, I have a penchant for pecans but I love all nut flavors. They bring texture and saltiness to the sweet, softness of cake. Almonds, pecans, walnuts are all friends of mine but today, I am craving the compact yet powerful pistachio.

The subtle taste of pistachios knocks the flavor profile of this cake out of the park. Pistachios bring the perfect texture balance…not too heavy like pecan or walnut. Add my favorite cream cheese frosting and filling and you have a specialty cake that reaches the next level. I added some blackberries for a hint of juicy freshness.

One tip, make sure you can find unslated and shelled pistachios. I spent too much of my life shelling these babies!

Minette Rushing Custom Cakes
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
pistachio cake

Pistachio Cake



  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease and flour 3 – 8” pans.
  3. In a large bowl, add flour, ground pistachio nuts, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Whisk together to incorporate.
  4. Separate eggs. (Whites will be beaten later so you will want to put them in a large mixing bowl.)
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter for 2 minutes on medium.  Add sugar and mix until light and creamy.
  6. Add Oil until just incorporated.
  7. Add egg yolks, one at a time.  Beat until fully incorporated.
  8. Add pistachio paste and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.
  9. Alternate adding the dry ingredients (flour mixture) and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Take care to not overbeat. 
  10. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  11. Fold in the egg whites into the cake batter until incorporated.
  12. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  13. Let cakes rest for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto cooling racks.


Buy UNSALTED pistachio nuts, shelled if you can find them.

Pistachio paste can be ordered online but you can make your own.  Put pistachio nuts in a coffee grinder and grind until you have a smooth paste.

Pistachio nuts can be ground in a food processor.

Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.

Creaming butter and sugar often mean different things to different people.  When done correctly, the mixture will be lighter in color, fluffy with very little grit when rubbed between your fingers.  Use medium speed for 3-4 minutes with a paddle attachment. Should be all you need.  

King Arthur is my go to flour.

Once cakes are out of the oven for 10-15 minutes, take them out of the pan and allow them to cool on a cooling rack.  When they are still a little warm, wrap them in Saran Wrap and let them finish cooling. Place in the fridge once they have cooled.

  1. Laney says:

    Oh the importance of buying shelled. It seems so simple but is truly valuable advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Get the latest recipes and business tips!

Sugar for your inbox!