Pistachio Raspberry Cake Recipe. Deliciously nutty layers of pistachio cake enrobed in a beautiful raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.
Anyone else in a seasonal (the fact we are getting more snow and ice) funk this week? I’m not happy, I’m not sad, just somewhere caught in between. The only thing I can seem to do to perfection this week is day dream and then day dream some more.
Out of all that day dreaming came this cake, a special cake, a Pistachio Raspberry Cake. Three layers of pistachio studded cake covered in the prettiest colored raspberry swiss meringue butter. I’m pretty sure though my subconscious borrowed the color scheme and desire for pistachios from this post from Sugar, Salt, Magic (check it out its worth a look). I fell in love with Marie’s tart when I saw it and as I was editing my photos I started to think, “where have I seen something similar to this before?” then it hit me.
Pistachio Cake and Raspberry Buttercream Breakdown:
- The pistachio cake has 1 1/2 cups ground pistachios (I used a 6 ounce bag of unsalted and shelled pistachios)
- The pistachio cake itself has a wonderful crumb.
- This pistachio cake has some weight to its texture thanks to the pistachios. It melts like butter with each bite.
- The raspberry swiss meringue buttercream is heavenly, smooth and creamy
- The color alone makes me swoon.
- I love the tiny flecks of real raspberry.
- There is nothing like the taste of real raspberries.
For a little added raspberry flavor I added a swipe of raspberry puree on top of one of the buttercream layers and then again on top. That deep pinky red stops me in my tracks and the flavor is to die for. I made fresh raspberry puree, well I used frozen raspberries to be more exact. You can go this route if you choose or jam in the jar is just fine. I would highly recommend that if making your own you strain to remove the seeds and if using jam you buy seedless.
The over all mood I felt with this cake was classy yet rustic. In keeping with the vibe I decorated with additional buttercream in a simple star pattern on top and sprinkled on crumbled freeze dried raspberries and rough chopped pistachios.
A Few Notes:
- You will want to use a food processor to make the pistachio crumbs. You will see that I have a few larger pieces (see picture above) left for some texture in the cake but over all they are processed into a crumble.
- Be careful not to over process your pistachios or you will have pistachio butter. The best way to help avoid this is to use the “pulse” button so you can control when to stop/start the processing.
- I baked these cakes at a low temp to get flat tops. However I still got a tiny hump on top of cake which I just cut off using a serrated knife.
- When you add the raspberry puree on top of the buttercream layer it might make the cake layer on top of it slide a bit when trying to frost (it did for me). Just be aware of it and hold the layer in place as you frost the cake.
- I had the idea of using the raspberry puree as a drip down the side of the cake. It did NOT work, the drips separated. Not a big deal but in case you had the same idea thought I would save you some time and disappointment by telling you my experience.
Enjoy this Pistachio Raspberry Cake for your next get together or cake craving!!
FORGOT TO PIN IT? Here you go. Thanks.
Pistachio Raspberry Cake Recipe
- Note: you will need a total of 1 1/2 cups raspberry puree in total here's the break down- 3/4 cup for the buttercream and 3/4 cups for extra flavor on top of the buttercream layers.
- All ingredients should be room temp.
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 - 6 oz bag of unsalted pistachios plus a few extra for garnish, these will not be ground but rough chopped ground into fine crumbs (see notes for more info)
- 1 Tbsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter room temp
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup milk room temp
- Few drops of green food coloring optional - I used a very tiny amount but wish I had used a little more.
- RASPBERRY PUREE makes 1 1/2 cups:
- 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cups raspberry puree
- Freeze dried raspberries
- Rough chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (this is not a typo, lower temp makes for a smaller hump on top of the cake).
- Grease, parchment and flour 3 - 7 inch round baking pans, set aside.
- In medium bowl add the flour, ground pistachios, salt, baking powder, stir, set aside.
- In bowl of mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the eggs 2 at a time, continue mixing.
- Add in the extracts, continue mixing.
- With mixer on low add the flour mixture and milk by alternating each. Mix until fully combined.
- Pour batter evenly into the 3 prepared cake pans.
- Bake 40 minutes (rotating cake pans half way through) or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- RASPBERRY PUREE:
- Place raspberries and sugar into medium sauce pan.
- Break up the raspberries with spatula as they thaw and continue to stir.
- Stir mixture until bubbling.
- Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. The mixture should thicken.
- Pour mixture into strainer over a bowl and press raspberries through the strainer.
- Keep at it until all the raspberry is pushed through and only the seeds are left.
- Also scrape the underside of the strainer with the spatula as some raspberry puree will stick there.
- Let cool completely, place plastic wrap directly on top of mixture so a skin does not form on top. (can be cooled in refrigerator).
- In medium sauce pan add the egg whites and sugar.
- On medium heat you are going to whisk egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved (you can test it by rubbing a small amount between your fingers to test it, it should be completely smooth).
- Transfer to mixing bowl and with whisk attachment whisk on high until stiff peaks form and mixture is cooled. (mixture must be cool or your butter will melt, feel the bottom of the bowl and if still warm let sit until cooled)
- On low speed add the butter one piece at a time. Mix until well combined.
- If decorating with white buttercream like in the photos take out 1/3 cup buttercream before adding the rasperry puree.
- With mixer running on medium speed add raspberry puree to buttercream one spoon full at a time.
- Mix until fully combined scraping down the sides with spatula as needed.
- Level out cakes by cutting the bumped top off each.
- Put a small dab of frosting on cake board/cake plate to stop cake from sliding off.
- Put first cake layer on cake board/plate, Frost the top with buttercream.
- Pour about scant 1/4 cup of raspberry puree on top and spread with offset spatula.
- Repeat with remaining layers.
- On top layer pour a scant 1/4 cup of raspberry puree and smooth with offset spatula spreading up to 1/8 inch from the edge.
- GARNISH (optional):
- Pipe different size stars using pink and white frosting.
- Sprinkle with freeze dried raspberries and chopped pistachios
2. Be careful not to over process your pistachios or you will have pistachio butter. The best way to help avoid this is to use the "pulse" button so you can control when to stop/start the processing.
3. I baked these cakes at a low temp to get flat tops. However I still got a tiny hump on top of cake which I just cut off using a serrated knife.
4. When you add the raspberry puree on top of the buttercream layer it might make the cake layer on top of it slide a bit when trying to frost (it did for me). Just be aware of it and hold the layer in place as you frost the cake.
5. I had the idea of using the raspberry puree as a drip down the side of the cake. It did NOT work, the drips separated. Not a big deal but in case you had the same idea thought I would save you some time and disappointment by telling you my experience.
Wow, simply stunning food photography! I LOVE the color of this cake. Gorgeous! And the recipe\ looks incredible to boot! 🙂
Thanks Christina! The color makes me swoon to :-).
I am glad to have checked your blog today! Stunning creation Stacey!! Such a beautiful cake! Can’t take my eyes off it!
Thanks Deepika! I appreciate the kind words. Take care.
So beautiful ! Keeping for celebrations and gatherings ! Thank you so much !
Thank you very much! So glad you like it. Take care.
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
We’re definitely stuck in that “not winter/not spring” weather funk too!! I know summer is right around the corner so I’m trying not to get TOO frustrated!! I love this cake, Stacey! The pistachio is so pretty, and such a perfect compliment to the raspberry. Have a great weekend!
Hi Katherine! Thank you, its a fun combo of flavors. Take care.
Leanne | Crumb Top Baking says
This is cake perfection Stacey! Love the raspberry flavour, and all those pistachios! Such a great combo! Hope the weather is warming up for you. We are definitely in the ‘in-between’ season, but the sun has been out the past few days and the temps seem to be warming up! Fingers crossed!
Thanks Leanne! Looks like spring is here finally. Thrilled you like the cake 🙂 Take care.
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I made this cake twice and it was a success both times ! That raspberry butter cream is unbelievably delicious. And I’m French so people can get very serious when it comes to pastries around here !
The first time I tried a geode cake, it was my very first and it was 40 degrees (Celsius) outside. Everything was melting, including the guests ! The second time I wanted to try your suggestion of presentation. It was for my son’s first birthday. He loooooved it ! And so did everyone else.
I would like to post pictures but I don’t know if it is possible in comments.
Thank you so much !
Hi Mathilde, Im so thrilled your cakes turned out wonderful and that you took the time to let me know, thank you. Lol, yes, being French holds you to a higher standard 😉 I don’t think pics are allowed in the comments. If you are on Instagram though feel free to post it and tag me, I’d love to see it! Take care.
The cake itself was fantastic. However, the buttercream was sickeningly sweet. It was so sweet that I threw it out and followed a different recipe.
I’m so happy that you loved the cake. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t care for the frosting but glad you had an alternative recipe to fall back on. Happy baking 🙂
Hi Stacey. I don’t have 7 inch cake pans. I only have 9 inch cake pans. Could you please suggest how I go about making the Cake batter and still get a layered cake? Do I double any of the ingredients?
Hi Christina, thanks for the inquiry. You have a few options here:
Option 1: this recipe should have you covered if using (2) 9 inch pans. (possibly (3) 9 inch cake pans but the cake layers would be very, very, thin)
Option 2: If you want to use (4) 9 inch pans then you can double the recipe.
Option 3: If you want a 3 layer cake you can double the recipe and just make some cupcakes with the additional batter. Or…you can increase the recipe by only half (rather than doubling the recipe) but this gets tricky with some ingredients, example 3 eggs in the original recipe would now be 4 1/2 eggs (not easy to measure a 1/2 of an egg). It just depends on how comfortable you feel dividing ingredients.
Of course your bake time will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Regarding the buttercream and raspberry puree, if making a 2 layer cake you should be covered. If making a 3-4 layer cake I would suggest making the puree and buttercream as noted in the original recipe and then for the final coat of frosting and garnish decide if you need a second batch of either of these made.
Any other questions please let me know. Take care 🙂
I haven’t made the cake yet but I’ve made the buttercream and it’s delicious! I have a question about the cake though: do I use 6 oz of ground pistachios or do I grind 6 oz of pistachios and use whatever amount is made? If it’s the latter, do you know how much the amount would be? Asking because I already have ground pistachios. And would I be able to bake this in 8” pans? Thank you!
Hi Serena, its 6oz of whole pistachios and then you would grind them. Because we are working with weight (rather than a measurement like 1 cup) the pistachios should be 6 oz whole or ground. You can certainly use 8 inch pans. If using 3 pans your layers will be slightly shorter. If using 2 pans they will be slightly higher as more batter will be in the pans. Adjust your baking time accordingly. Any other questions please let me know 🙂 . Take care and happy baking.
Do you grind the pistachios in the shells or de-shell them first?
Hi Lucy, Thank you for your question. Definitely shelled first but you can buy pistachios already shelled which will save your finger tips from getting sore 😉 . Take care!
I tried this recipe last night for my grandmother’s birthday and it turned out great! The texture goes perfect with the soft buttercream and the tart complements the nutty pistachio flavor. Everything went according to plan except when I added the raspberry puree to the buttercream it curdled (I didn’t have any extra eggs to redo). I opted for two separate cakes (7×2″ and 10×3″) and both were eaten quickly by the whole family. I used less sugar for the buttercream than the recipe called for because I am not a sweets person and it was still a tad sweet. I also added 1 tbsp matcha as I didn’t have green food coloring. Would recommend this recipe if you’re tired of the usual chocolate or vanilla cakes- this raspberry pistachio cake is refreshing.
Hi Italia, I am so happy this cake was a delicious part of your grandmas bday, thank you for letting me know. I like the adjustments you made to your liking as well. I agree that it is a wonderful change from chocolate or vanilla. Take care and happy baking 🙂 .
Lovely recipe, the cake crumb is a nice texture and also not too sweet. Great flavour mix. Would certainly recommend and bake again!
I did however need to add a significant amount of icing sugar into the Italian meringue buttercream after following the quantities in the recipe, as it was too thin to ice with.
Thank you for letting me know how much you liked the cake. I’m sorry the buttercream didn’t set up right for you. I will check the recipe again and see if anything needs adjustment. Happy baking! 🙂
This cake looks classy!!! I am going to make it tonight for my daughters 18th birthday tomorrow. I will let you know how it turned out. Can’t wait to make it tonight!
Hi Rebecca, How exciting, 18 is such a stepping stone! I am honored you would make this cake! Best wishes to the birthday girl! Happy baking and take care 🙂
priya patel says
Hiya! What can we use as a cake flour substitute?
Hi Priya, Cake flour is lighter than traditional flour and has a lower protein content. You can use all purpose flour but will get a heavier cake. To make your own cake flour start with 1 cup of all purpose flour, remove 2 Tbsp of it and then add 2 Tbsp of corn starch. Happy baking! Take care 🙂
Priya Patel says
I will try this! Thank you
hi! just wondering if i can cut the recipe cleanly in half to make a smaller cake? trying to feed 3-4 and don’t need a big 3 layer cake but really want to stick to this flavor profile. thanks!
Hi Nina, you can certainly cut this recipe in half for a smaller cake. Thank you for the question. Happy baking. Take care. 🙂
This cake looks so delicious! I think I want to use the seedless Raspberry jam instead of making the raspberry puree. Is it okay to add the jam to the buttercream just like you would the puree? Thanks.
Hi Rachel, yes, you can use jam. Just note that jam has gelatin in it (puree doesn’t), so you may need to stir it first to loosen it up before adding it to buttercream. Take care 🙂