Yesterday I promised you the recipe for this perfect pistachio cake with cardamom and lime from our Easter tabletop, and here it is! I happen to think the flavors are ideal for entertaining as it’s not too sweet and sure to please any palate! (Don’t tell, but I was totally eating this for breakfast for days after, and so was my guy!)
This cake – slightly adapted from Nigel Slater’s recipe in the first volume of The Kitchen Diaries – is zingy with citrus and spice, and fragrant with rosewater, with fresh flavors that are perfect for a spring feast.
Pistachio Cake with Cardamom and Lime // serves 12
Active time 20 minutes + 10 minutes for frosting (start to finish: 3 hours, including baking, cooling and setting time for frosting)
For the cake
- 1⅓ cups butter (about 2½ sticks)
- 1⅓ cups superfine sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups shelled pistachios (approximately 4 ounces)
- 1¼ cups almond flour
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (as desired)
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- For the frosting and decoration
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Juice from 2-3 limes
- ½ cup chopped pistachios (optional)
- Lime zest (optional)
Grease a 9-inch Springform cake pan with butter and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 320°F.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a food mixer until extremely pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in between each addition. Grind the pistachios finely using a food processor (you should end up with about 1 1/4 cups of ground pistachios) and stir them gently into the batter, together with the almond flour. Stir in the lime zest and juice, the rosewater and the cardamom. Gently fold in the flour.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it to the edges and smoothing the top with a knife. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, until a deep golden brown and a metal skewer or stick of spaghetti stuck into the middle comes out fairly clean, with no damp batter stuck to it.
Leave to cool in the pan.
For the frosting and decoration
Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl and stir in the lime juice bit by bit until you have smooth thick glaze that pours easily. If necessary add a little cold water to thin things out, but don’t make it too runny as then the glaze will sink into the cake.
Remove the cooled cake from the pan, flip it over so that the smooth bottom is uppermost and remove the parchment paper. Brush off as many crumbs as you can and then pour on the frosting, spreading it out with a small spatula or knife until the top of the cake is covered. Don’t touch it as it sets, as that will spoil the glossy surface.
Leave the glaze to harden for about 30 minutes and then decorate as you wish with chopped pistachios, lime zest or spring flowers.
You can bake the cake the day before, frost it simply about an hour before serving and then bask in the kudos from your assembled guests!