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Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake

This moist and tender pistachio cake is lightly spiced with cardamom and finished with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting. This Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake is an elevated take on the classic vanilla cake with chocolate icing that is perfect for any occasion.

If you love the classic combo of vanilla cake and chocolate icing as much as I do, be sure to check out some of my other favorites like my Simple Naked Birthday Cake, Birthday Snack Cake, or my Chocolate Raspberry Cake.

chocolate pistachio cardamom cake

Why You'll Love This Recipe

This Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake is a sophisticated cake for your next 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!

This simple layer cake is a moist and tender pistachio cake infused with the warmth of ground cardamon. I finish this cake with a classic chocolate buttercream frosting and decorate the outside with pistachios. The rich chocolate frosting pairs very well with the slight spice of cardamom in the cake and the salty pistachios.

chocolate pistachio cardamom cake

Tips for 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!

Ingredients for Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake

Organic Valley Salted Butter

Costco Kirkland Organic Cane Sugar

Organic Pistachio Extract

Organic Valley Large Eggs

Organic Valley Grassmilk

Stoneyfield Organic Vanilla Yogurt

Homemade Organic Cake Flour

Frontier Co-Op Baking Powder

Frontier Co-Op Fine Sea Salt

Frontier Co-Op Organic Cardamom

NuNaturals Organic Dutch Cocoa Powder

Florida Crystals Organic Powdered Sugar

Organic Roasted & Salted Shelled Pistachios

chocolate pistachio cardamom cake

Why Organic

Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!

So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.

Chocolate Pistachio Cardamom Cake

Recipe by MimiDifficulty: Intermediate



This lightly spiced cardamom pistachio cake is coated in a chocolate buttercream, and more pistachios decorate the outside for a sophisticated birthday cake recipe.


  • Batter
  • 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 vanilla yogurt, room temperature

  • 170 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) organic cake flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Frosting
  • 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

  • Topping
  • 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.
  • Learn how to crumb coat a cake with my tutorial, How to Crumb Coat a Cake.

Did you make this recipe? 
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