Pistachio Raspberry Cake

This Pistachio Raspberry Cake is made of layers of moist Pistachio cake, with Raspberry Jam and Pistachio Ganache as fillings, topped with Pistachio Buttercream.

pistachio cake topped with pistachios and raspberries.

You will love making this cake, and even more enjoying it. The flavors of pistachio and raspberry go so well together.

This Pistachio Raspberry Cake is brimming with nutty and sweet pistachio flavor. It is loaded with pistachios in the cake layers, filling, and frosting. The pistachio flavor is complimented so nicely by the tangy raspberries making a delightful combination.

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slice of pistachio raspberry cake.

How to make Pistachio Raspberry Cake

There are different elements we have to make when putting the Pistachio Raspberry Cake together.

They are: Pistachio Cake Layers, Raspberry Jam, Pistachio Ganache, and Pistachio Buttercream.

But first, let’s talk about the star of the show: pistachio nuts!

removing skins from pistachios

How to make pistachio flour

You will need pistachios to make the cake. I got roasted pistachios in the shell from the store. Then I removed the shells, and skinned the pistachios by dunking them in a pot of boiling water for one minute. After they sit in the boiling water for one minute, remove them to a paper towel lined tray, and rub them with the other paper towel, the skins should come off easily.

Doing this step will make sure the pistachios are bright green. This step is by no means necessary, it’s just something I like to do to obtain a super green flour.

To make pistachio flour, simply place the pistachios in a blender or small food processor and process until it becomes a fine powder.

You can use roasted or raw pistachios, salted or unsalted. I’ve found that the amount of salt in the pistachios won’t alter the final taste and texture of the recipe, so feel free to use what you have in your pantry, or what you find at the store.

making pistachio flour by grinding pistachio nuts.

Pistachio Paste

You will also need some pistachio paste for this cake, to make the ganache. We use the ganache both in the filling, and also in the buttercream.

To make pistachio paste at home, check out this post, or you can always use store-bought.

Making pistachio butter is super easy, and all it requires is for you to process the pistachio nuts with water in a small blender or food processor until it becomes a smooth paste.

slice of pistachio raspberry cake.

Pistachio Cake Layers

Making the pistachio cake batter is super easy. On a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vegetable oil together. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.

The almond extract is optional, but helps to enhance the pistachio flavor. If you don’t have any, or if you simply don’t want to add it, leave it out.

Add the half of the flour mixture (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) and half of the buttermilk, alternating them until it’s all added. We add this in parts to minimize mixing time, which helps obtain a soft and fluffy cake.

making pistachio cake batter by mixing the butter, oil sugar, add the eggs and mix to combine.

At last, add the pistachio flour and mix to combine. You can also add a drop of green food coloring to help the cake become a vibrant green, but this is a totally optional step as well.

Divide the cake batter between 3 8-inch cake pans, greased and lined with parchment on the bottom. Also remember to grease the parchment. I like to use spray oil because it makes it super convenient to do this.

Bake in the pre-heated 350ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake.

making pistachio cake batter, adding ground pistachios to the batter and mixing, then dividing the batter between 3 cake pans.

Once the cakes are baked, let them cool down.

If not assembling the cake on the same day, wrap the cakes individually in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge or freezer. They will store well in the freezer for up to 2 months, or in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Now we will make the Raspberry Jam. It can totally be made in advance, it will last for quite a bit in the fridge, up to a week.

pistachio cake topped with pistachios and raspberries.

Raspberry Jam

The Raspberry Jam is the easiest thing to make. Of course you can use store-bought. But making your own can be super cheap and also very easy, specially when raspberries are in season, which happens to be the case for me.

Simply mix the raspberries with sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until the raspberries are falling apart.

Then add a mixture of cornstarch and water and cook until the jam is thick, stirring non stop, for just a couple of minutes.

Remove the jam to a bowl. You can pass the jam through a strainer or sieve to retain the seeds. I don’t love too many seeds in my jam so I always strain it. If you do like the seeds, leave the jam as it is.

making raspberry jam.

Once the jam is ready, place it in the fridge to cool down. And it’s time to make the ganache filling.

Pistachio Ganache

The Pistachio Ganache is just one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. This is how you make it.

Add the pistachio paste to the heavy cream and heat it up in the microwave. Then pour it over the white chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts.

Let the ganache come to room temperature. When I am in a hurry, I simply place the mixing bowl with the ganache in the fridge and set a 10 minute timer, and every 10 minutes I give it a stir to ensure it’s cooling down evenly. I continue to do this until I notice the ganache is thick enough to spread.

making pistachio ganache by mixing pistachio paste and heavy cream into white chocolate and mixing to combine.

We will use a bit of the ganache to fill the cake and a bit to make the Pistachio Buttercream. If you don’t want to use ganache in the buttercream, I will give a substitution below.

Pistachio Buttercream

In this Pistachio Buttercream recipe, we are using the ganache we just made to flavor a plain buttercream frosting.

You could also leave the ganache out and add 1/4 cup of pistachio paste instead, or 1/2 cup of pistachio flour.

But trust me, with the ganache this frosting will be dreamy!

Beat the butter for a few minutes until fluffy and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low. Add the ganache and beat again. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix to combine.

making pistachio buttercream with a standmixer.

Now that all these elements of the cake are ready, it’s time to assemble it.

You will need a turntable or a cake plate.

pistachio cake topped with pistachios and raspberries.

To assemble the Pistachio Raspberry Cake

Place one cake layer on the cake plate. Pipe a ring of the Pistachio Buttercream around the edges. I like to pipe a double ring, to make it very tall.

Then fill the center with about 1/2 cup of the ganache and then the jam.

I actually piped the ganache in a swirl and then piped the jam inside the swirl instead of spreading one on top of the other. But you can do either way.

Then spread a generous amount of frosting around the cake, use a bench scraper to smooth the sides and use an offset spatula to smooth the edges on top.

assembling and decorating a pistachio raspberry cake.

I decided to go for a very amount of frosting outside the cake to give it a crumb coated kind of look, sort of rustic.

On top of the cake, I piped a bit of frosting, and displayed some fresh raspberries, and some pistachios, as well as some of the pistachios I had turned into flour sprinkled on top.

slice of pistachio raspberry cake.

Storage of the Pistachio Raspberry Cake

You can store the Pistachio Raspberry Cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. I like to wrap with plastic directly on the surface of the slices, and then place in an airtight container to prevent the cake from dying out.

This cake can also easily be frozen. Slice individual slices and wrap each individually in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

You can also freeze the whole cake. I made miniature cakes from this recipe and froze the whole frosted mini cake by wrapping it in plastic and placing in an airtight container in the freezer.

To make the mini cake, I divided all ingredients of the recipe by 3, and made into 6 3-inch cake rounds, which made for 2 mini cakes. They looked super cute and I froze one for when my mom comes to visit.

mini raspberry pistachio cake.

If you like Pistachio Raspberry Cake, you might love these recipes below:

pistachio cake topped with pistachios and raspberries.

If you make this recipe, tag me on instagram or send a comment below, I love to hear from you and see what you’ve been baking.

slice of pistachio raspberry cake.
pistachio cake topped with pistachios and raspberries.

Pistachio Raspberry Cake

Camila Hurst
This Pistachio Raspberry Cake is made of layers of moist Pistachio cake, with Raspberry Jam and Pistachio Ganache as fillings, topped with Pistachio Buttercream.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 14 slices
Calories 250 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pistachio Cake
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 287 grams
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature (113 grams)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 60 ml
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 300 grams
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract optional
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 295 ml
  • 3/4 cup ground pistachios 90 grams
  • 1 drop green food coloring optional
Raspberry Jam
  • 2 cups raspberries 280 grams
  • 1/4 cup sugar 50 grams or any sweetener, you can use maple syrup or honey as well
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
Pistachio Ganache
  • 1 3/4 cup white chocolate 297 grams
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream 157 ml
  • 2/3 cup pistachio paste homemade or store-bought 161 grams
Pistachio Buttercream
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (339 grams)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 437 grams
  • 3/4 cup pistachio ganache recipe above
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract optional
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
To decorate
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Chopped pistachios

Instructions
 

Pistachio Cake
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper on the bottom and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
  • Beat the butter, oil, and sugar together with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, beat for another minute to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl. Stir on the lowest setting just until combined.
  • Add half of the buttermilk, stir to combine.
  • Next add the remaining flour mixture and stir.
  • Add the remaining buttermilk and mix.
  • Finish by adding the pistachios and fold with a spatula to combine. Also add the food coloring if using. Only one little drop of food coloring will go a long way and help enhance the color of the cake and keep it a vibrant green.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the three pans.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool down for 10 minutes, then flip onto a cooling rack and let them cool down completely. If not assembling the cake on the same day, wrap the cakes individually in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge or freezer. They will store well in the freezer for up to 2 months, or in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Raspberry Jam
  • Place raspberry, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes. If mixture becomes dry, add a tablespoon of water (or more lemon juice), to the pan.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in the water.
  • Add it to the pan and cook for 1 minute until the jam is thick.
  • Remove it to a small bowl, you can strain if you don’t like the seeds. Let it cool in the fridge until completely chilled.
Pistachio Ganache
  • Mix the heavy cream and pistachio paste together.
  • Heat up the mixture until 175ºF, or until very hot in the microwave, before it comes to a boil.
  • Pour the cream into the white chocolate through a strainer, to retain any bits of pistachio nuts in order to obtain a smooth ganache. Squeeze the mixture well to ensure only the bits of nuts are being retained by the strainer. Mix with a whisk until the chocolate melts entirely.
  • Let the ganache cool down at room temperature for about 2-3 hours, or place it in the fridge. If you place it in the fridge it should take about 1 hour to thicken, make sure to give it a stir every 10 minutes or so.
  • You can leave the ganache in the fridge for longer or make it ahead, if the ganache gets too hard, let it sit at room temperature until it softens up.
Pistachio Buttercream
  • Beat the butter with a mixer for 3 minutes on medium high speed, until fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar and start mixing on low, then add the pistachio paste and continue mixing.
  • Raise the speed to medium and whip for three minutes until fluffy.
  • If the buttercream looks dry, add a bit of heavy cream to make it smoother. And if the buttercream looks too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar to firm up the consistency.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extract and mix to combine.
  • The next step is optional but can be helpful, mix the buttercream on low speed with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes, or by hand using a spatula for about 5 minutes or for as long as you can mix it by hand, this will eliminate air bubbles and make the buttercream silky.
To assemble
  • To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on the cake plate or turntable. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edges, to contain the filling when stacking.
  • In the center of the cake, add about 1/2 cup of ganache and spread around. Then spread some jam on top.
  • I actually piped the ganache on a spiral, and then piped the jam inside, but you can spread the ganache on the bottom and then spread the jam on top.
  • Top with another cake layer. Repeat the filling.
  • Top with the final cake layer.
  • Spread a generous amount of frosting around the cake, and use a bench scraper to smooth the sides, and an offset spatula to smooth the top, by swiping the edges with the spatula coming towards you at a slight angle. I just kept the cake semi-naked by spreading just one layer of frosting around it.
  • You can do a thicker frosting coating on the cake if you wish.
  • To decorate the top, I piped some buttercream and placed some raspberries and chopped pistachios on top.
Storage
  • Store the cake in the fridge covered for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: slice individual slices and wrap each individually in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • You can also freeze the whole cake. I made miniature cakes from this recipe and froze the whole frosted mini cake by wrapping it in plastic and placing in an airtight container in the freezer.

Notes

Pistachio paste: You can use store-bought pistachio paste or make your own. Here is the recipe for making your own pistachio paste.
Simple syrup: You can brush the cake layers with simple syrup when assembling it. To make simple syrup simply bring to a boil 100 grams of sugar and 100 grams of water, then let it cool down completely. When assembling the cakes, brush them with the syrup. I love brushing my cakes with simple syrup, but it’s completely optional and this cake is moist enough that doesn’t need it. If you like an extra moist cake, you can brush it with the syrup.
Ganache: Use good quality white chocolate when making the ganache, with at least 20% cocoa butter.
Pistachios: The pistachios used in the recipe can be roasted and even salted. I like to get pistachios with the shells on, so I can remove them from the shells and skin them before using in the recipe. In this recipe it won’t make that much of a difference to use skinned pistachios or not. Using skinned pistachios usually just helps with keeping the green vibrant color.
Almond extract: It’s optional to add almond extract to the cake batter and frosting. The almond extract actually helps enhance the pistachio taste, so we only add a very tiny amount, but you can leave it out if you don’t have any, or don’t want to use it.
Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, simply substitute the same amount with regular whole milk. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the milk and let it sit for 2 minutes before adding to the recipe.
Pistachio Buttercream: When making the Pistachio Buttercream, you could leave the ganache out and add 1/4 cup of pistachio paste instead, or 1/2 cup of pistachio flour. In either cases, remove from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of powdered sugar, and then add more powdered sugar as needed to firm up the consistency, but most likely you won’t need as much powdered sugar if not adding the ganache, and adding the paste or the pistachio flour instead.
Keyword cake, pistachio, raspberry

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the detailed instructions! I made this cake and it was stunning wish I could upload a picture here!

  2. Hi
    Thanks for the recepie
    The buttercream ingredients list calls for pistachio ganache but in the instruction in says pistachio paste
    Which one should I add to the buttercream?
    Thanks

    1. you will add some of the ganache to the buttercream. and you use the paste to make the ganache. part of the ganache goes into the buttercream and the rest goes into filling the cake along with the jam.

  3. 5 stars
    This cake was exceptional. I made it for my baby shower. I didn’t make the pistachio ganache but made a pistachio paste to add to a swiss meringue filling.
    Also left out the almond extract and it still tasted amazingly of pistachio. I’ll be making this again! Thank you.

    1. About 10 ounces I’d say. But if you want to have more to sprinkle on top of the cake etc, I’d get between 12 and 16 ounces just to be sure.

  4. 5 stars
    Flavor is amazing, but I’ve baked this twice now, measuring all in grams. My cake keeps crumbling. What can I do?

  5. That cake looks divine! I plan on making it for my mother’s 70th birthday! But we will be 17 people. How can I adapt the cake so that I can make 17 slices minimum? Make another layer?

    1. If you cut it event style you can get even 24 slices, they will just be a bit smaller. I would just make this recipe and cut them smaller, check this website how to cut it event style. If you still want more cake or if this is the only dessert and you want to make sure people have seconds, I would make one and a half of the recipe and make a 3 layer 9 inch cake instead. Just make sure you convert by hand when doing the math, take each ingredient separately and multiply by 1.5, and that will be the amount you will need for that ingredient. The method and everything stays the same, just baking time might change, the cakes might need a bit longer in the oven.

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