Pistachio cake

Drench this pretty cake with a tangy orange glaze for a taste of sunshine on the plate
By Rachel Allen
Pistachio cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-10
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes cooling time
  • Effort: easy


  • 150 g unsalted pistachios nuts, shelled
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 orange, zested
  • double or single cream, whipped, or Greek yoghurt, to serve

For the glaze

  • 1 large or 2 small orange, juiced
  • 100 g light soft brown sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter the sides of a 23cm cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment.

2. Place 100g of the pistachios in a food processor and pulse a good few times until coarsely ground. Tip into a large bowl and sift in the flour and the baking powder, mixing together to combine.

3. Cream the butter until soft in a separate bowl or in an electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl for a few seconds or just until mixed. Gradually add these to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time.

4. Beat in the milk and orange zest, then tip in the ground pistachios and flour and fold gently to combine. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a spatula.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6. For the glaze: Place the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil and immediately remove from the heat.

7. When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it sit in the tin for just 5 minutes. Loosening around the edges using a small, sharp knife, carefully remove the cake from the tin and transfer to a serving plate.

8. Straight away pour the hot glaze over the cake -reheat it if it has had a chance to cool down. Chop the remaining pistachios and scatter over the cake to decorate, then allow to cool completely while soaking up the glaze.

9. Serve with a spoonful of softly whipped cream or natural Greek yoghurt.

Text © Rachel Allen 2012. Photography © Philip Webb 2012.
Recipe from:

Rate This Recipe