This cake is a super old recipe, yet somehow I have never shared it. I came across the photos for it recently when I was doing a digital dump and cleaning out old stuff on my computer. And I love getting surprised when I find things I just completely forgot about! This cake being one of them.
Plus, this cake is so good, I cannot believe I haven’t shared it yet! So I am excited to share this recipe with you. This simple layer cake is a pistachio cardamom cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and decorated with pistachios. The rich chocolate frosting pairs very well with the slight spice of cardamom in the cake and the salty pistachios.
This Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake is a sophisticated birthday cake for your next birthday celebration. This isn’t the kids cake! This is an adult cake, and yes, there should be adult cakes. I think something that gets overlooked is more sophisticated cake flavors, as everyone always wants funfetti, red velvet, or Oreo. But I am here to tell you to give his Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake a try! I bet you will love it!
Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake
• Make sure your butter is soft for the cake batter. It’s really important to have soft butter for cake. I like to leave butter out on the counter overnight in the colder months, as it can soften at room temperature. You may still even have to soften it in the microwave still. Make sure to only soften 1/2 cup for 10 seconds, no more! Even if you have to do it multiple times, 10 seconds per 1/2 cup is the most you should do. As if you do longer, it can melt certain portions of the butter and that is not good.
• It is important to have the eggs, milk, and yogurt at room temperature. The butter and sugar are at room temperature already, so that’s why it is important to have these ingredients at room temperature too. If they are cold, then the butter and sugar can seize up and then create butter chunks in the cake batter. So allow these ingredients to come to room temperature too.
• I use Ateco tip #32 to pipe dollops of frosting around the boarder of this cake. This is totally optional! You can use a different tip, or you can skip this all together. This is just a decorative option. You can find Ateco tip #32 here.
• Make sure to store the cake in an airtight container or in a cake dome so it doesn’t dry out. You can find one of my favorite cake domes here. They are truly the best if you bake often!
Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake
Makes three layer 6-inch cake
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic pistachio extract
2 organic large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup organic milk, room temperature
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic plain yogurt, room temperature
170 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) natural cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
411 grams (scant 3 cups) organic powdered sugar, sifted
43 grams (1/2 cup) organic Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
2 to 3 teaspoons organic milk
57 grams (scant 1/2 cup) organic roasted, salted, shelled pistachios, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cane sugar, and pistachio extract. Add the eggs, milk, and yogurt and mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, cardamom, and sea salt and whisk together. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Continue to mix on low until you don’t see any specs of flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the cake pans.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the powdered sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk. Mix on low until combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
To assemble: On a cake stand or spinner, place the first layer of cake. Add a generous amount of frosting and spread evenly. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process.
Crumb coat the cake. Frost the cake smooth and add the pistachios half way up the sides. Place remaining frosting in a piping bag with Ateco decorating tip #32 and pipe dollops around the top of the cake.
Store in a cake dome for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free — Replace the cake flour with 170 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude — Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.