HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Birthday Cake w/ Pistachios

My mom turns 65 in two week and one of her favorite things is pistachios. I'm therefore in search of a fabulous birthday (frosted) cake recipe that includes/highlights them. Leads appreciated!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I will have a look. I've seen loads of pistachio butter cream icing for cakes. I don't know if that helps?

      1. re: skigirl

        I've made it- it was a nice cake, and very festive, but the pistachio flavor was rather subtle. I toasted the pistachios and they were nice and flavorful, but somehow they got a little bit lost in the overall cake. I think the chocolate sort of took over, but then again, I'm not a big chocolate fan. Maybe it's possible to make pistachio frosting for the outside instead?

        1. re: another_adam

          Thanks for the helpful input! If that's the case, maybe I can swap out the marzipan for pistachio marzipan. RLB has a recipe for it. Any thoughts on that approach?

          I do like the chocolate on the outside. Otherwise, would make Baked's Aunt Sassy cake (described by another poster and I already have that cookbook).

          1. re: skigirl

            Oooh, I never considered the idea of pistachio marzipan! I'm sure that would up the pistachio flavor. (So would pistachio extract instead of vanilla, but that might be pushing it!) It's also possible that using ganache only on the outside and something else in the middles would help reduce the "overwhelmed by chocolate" effect, but the ganache layers do help to make it an impressive-looking cake...

            1. re: skigirl

              I forgot to add that I did also up the pistachios to a full cup, which several commenters had also recommended...

              1. re: another_adam

                great tip about the additional pistacihos! I'm actually going to make a practice cake this weekend. If I'm overwhelmed by the chocolate ganache, i'll revise after. If it isn't a total debacle, I'll let you know how it goes.

                1. re: skigirl

                  FYI, I've made this cake before too, with the increased pistachios. The cake was subtly flavoured but our biggest problem was with the chocolate ganache. It didn't spread well and when it did it was streaky. Everyone still liked it but we were cursing as we made it.


        2. http://www.pink-parsley.com/2011/03/p...
          skigirl, happy to recommend this cake and the frosting plays really well with the cake flavors.
          It's a tall, light crumb cake.

          1. Haven't made any, but Aunt Sassy's and the Sicilian pistachio cake pictured on Tastespotting look yummy. http://www.tastespotting.com/search/p...

            1. It's not your typical birthday cake, but an interesting cheesecake:


              1. I recently made a pistachio cake using a recipe for financier - which is typically made from almond flour (you can google for recipes - I didn't save it). I toasted and ground the pistachios in a processor to a semi-fine flour (let it cool completely, and pulse a lot - if it heats up too much the nuts will exude too much oil and clump). Added crumb-cake recipe topping and dusted with powdered sugar. Very good, and plenty of pistachio flavor.

                1. This cake is probably completely impractical and not fitting for a couple reasons, but I thought of it because it looks really special and is really pretty. It's the Persian Love Cake from epicurious.


                  It's a chiffon cake with some persian flavorings like rose water. And decorated with rose petals. Hard to get in winter but probably not impossible for a special birthday.

                  The pistachios aren't a big flavor, just a decoration on top. But it would be a nod to her love of pistachios.

                  Looking at the picture reminded me of something I just learned in time for making cranberry pistachio icebox cookies for Christmas. (Which by the way your mother would love. Prominent pistachios and very good taste.) Anyway, someone on this list told me that if you get raw pistachios (which I found refrigerated at my coop) they will be green while roasted ones are less green. Maybe that helps whatever you make if you want that green color.

                  Happy birthday baking.