Pistachio Cake with Honey Rosewater Buttercream

This Pistachio Cake with Honey Rosewater Buttercream, brimming with Middle Eastern aromas, is sure to thrill and fulfill any dessert appetite! This recipe calls for an ultra-moist and soft pistachio cake laced with the earthy, nutty taste of pistachios, which is enhanced by the addition of lemon zest-rubbed sugar. This flavor-packed cake is then topped with a delicately sweet Honey Rosewater Buttercream with strong floral undertones that is hypnotizingly scented.

This Pistachio cake is styled in a semi-naked fashion with honey rosewater swiss meringue buttercream


Pistachio Cake

  • 3/4 Shelled, Unsalted Pistachios
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour, measured correctly †
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Table Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar, divided
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Strong Pistachio Extract or Almond Extract (such as LorAnn Extra Strength Pistachio Oil)
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • Juice of ½ Lemon

Honey Rosewater Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 3 Large Egg Whites
  • 2/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 ½ cups Unsalted Butter, at room temperature (or very slightly colder)
  • 2 tsp Rosewater
  • Pinch of Salt
This Pistachio cake is styled in a semi-naked fashion with honey rosewater swiss meringue buttercream


Note: These measurements are for 1 cake layer. If you want a two layer cake (like the one pictured), then double the recipe!

Pistachio Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter and flour a 9-inch springform cake pan. In a food processor, pulse pistachios until they are well-ground and fine in texture (don’t overprocess or the pistachios will turn into a paste).
  2. Add the ground pistachios, flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt to a medium to large mixing bowl and whisk to incorporate. Set aside 12 cup sugar and lemon zest in a separate dish, then massage the sugar and zest together until the sugar is completely colored yellow and extremely aromatic.
  3. Add eggs, sugar, lemon-zest-sugar, vanilla, and pistachio extract to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. After 5 minutes on high, the mixture should be thick, fluffy, and have tripled in volume. Then sprinkle in the oil gently. After all of the oil has been added, continue to beat for another minute.
  4. On low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the stand mixer in three batches. With the last of the milk, add the lemon juice. Only beat until the batter is smooth. Place the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Before icing the cake, let it cool fully.

Honey Rosewater Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. In a metal dish, combine the egg whites, sugar, and honey and set it over a saucepan of boiling water (ensuring the water is not touching the metal bowl). Continuously whisk the mixture until it reaches 165°F (70°C). Remove from the heat as soon as possible and place in the stand mixer.
  2. Turn the stand mixer on high and beat the meringue for roughly 7 minutes using the whip attachment. The bowl should be cold to the touch and the meringue should have crisp peaks.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, letting each addition to fully combine before adding the next. When all of the butter has been added, increase the speed of the stand mixer to high and continue to beat until the buttercream is smooth. (It may appear curdled at times, but keep pounding.) Place in the freezer for 15-25 minutes if it seems soupy and overly liquid, then rebeat).
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the buttercream, rosewater, and salt.
This Pistachio cake is styled in a semi-naked fashion with honey rosewater swiss meringue buttercream

Source: Food Duchess

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