This easy Pistachio Cake recipe from scratch requires just a few minutes of hands-on preparation time and 10 ingredients. Made from scratch with freshly ground pistachios, without artificial colors or cake mix. By the way, have you tried my pistachio cookies yet?
Place pistachios in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer the ground pistachios to a bowl and mix together with flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mix butter and sugar until fluffy, pale, and creamy — about 2 minutes.
Add one egg at a time and mix until combined before you add the next egg.
Add sour cream and vanilla and stir to combine.
Alternately add dry ingredients and milk. Start and end with dry ingredients.
The batter is very thin.
Transfer to a parchment paper layered 9" baking pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Notes on frosting
I usually serve this cake with an orange-pistachio syrup that I drizzle over just before serving (you can find the recipe in the recipe card at the end of this post). Keep the syrup in a saucepan and reheat when needed.
When I'm in the mood for chocolate, I like to serve this cake with a few dollops of chocolate cream cheese frosting on top. I use the frosting from my Banana Chocolate Cake and only make half of the recipe.
Expert tips for success
- Take care that you don't grind the pistachios for too long. Otherwise, you will end up with a paste.
- You can also use an 8" (20cm) pan; you will need to adjust the baking time to about 10 minutes longer.
- I recommend making the cake a day before serving. The flavor develops overnight, making it a delicious make-ahead cake.
Which pistachios did you use for the cake?
I use green peeled pistachio kernels grade A from Iran. They have a dark green color because they are harvested before they are fully ripened and therefore don't turn yellow. That's why my cake is so intensely green in color without using food coloring.
The color, appearance, and taste of this cake will depend greatly on the type of pistachio you use. Pistachios can vary in taste, color, and size. Depending on where you live, you will have just a few different types of pistachios available, or maybe only one. I'm currently living in the UK and have pistachios available from Iran and the US.
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I recommend adding toppings just before serving.
Let the cake cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags. It freezes well for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap, and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Then drizzle the syrup on top as desired.
More easy cake recipes to try
If you love easy cake recipes, then you've come to the right place. I'm sure you will love these recipes as well!
- Raspberry Cake
- Applesauce Cake
- Pumpkin Cake
- Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake
- Banoffee Cake
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Air Fryer Vanilla Cake
Pistachio Cake Recipe From Scratch (with ground pistachios)
- 1 cup pistachios, shelled, unsalted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 vanilla beans* (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- ½ cup milk
OPTIONAL: orange pistachio syrup
- ⅓ cup pistachios, roasted, shelled, salted
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large orange - zest and juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of a 9" (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place pistachios in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Don't grind too long. Otherwise, it turns into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 egg at the time and mix until incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla* and stir to combine. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.
- Transfer to the prepared baking pan and bake for about 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.
- Orange pistachio syrup (OPTIONAL): In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, cook pistachios, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until sugar is completely dissolved and syrup coats the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour syrup over cooled cake slices just before serving. Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days. Reheat leftover syrup to liquefy again, if necessary.
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Delicious! Mine wasn’t quite as vibrantly green, which I understood from the comments of the author, but it was really nice. Not too sweet, just perfect. I topped with a simple syrup using Grand Mariner, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of pistachios. Next time I will try adding some orange zest to the batter and a bit over the whipped cream.