This was my 22nd birthday, can you believe it? I can’t. It took me a while to get into the spirit of it, but a few days before the big day, I realized that I hadn’t even thought of what kind of cake I was going to make. Clearly, it was time to pull myself together.
I wanted something light and summery, but still with a decent amount of chocolatey goodness. Hence, a fluffy pistachio cake with light lemon buttercream covered in a chocolate ganache shell. You are welcome, friends.
- 1 cup roasted pistachios
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 vanilla bean pod seeds (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and line the bottoms of two 8″ (or 9″ if you want a larger, flatter cake) pans with parchment paper.
- Grind pistachios, setting aside 1/4 cup crumbs for frosting and decoration.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Whisk wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once thoroughly incorporated, pour into prepared cake pans.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (check around 28 minutes).
- Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto greased cooling racks.
- Prepare the buttercream while the cake is cooling.
Lemon (Pistachio) Buttercream
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar (+more as needed)
- 2 vanilla bean pods’ seeds (or 2 Tbsp vanilla extract)
- 2 Tbsp fine (organic) lemon zest
- 1/8 cup ground pistachios (if desired)
- Beat butter until smooth.
- Gently add powdered sugar, and continue beating until the mixture has doubled in size, occasionally scraping down the bowl.
- Add vanilla, lemon zest, and 1/8 cup ground pistachios whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
- Prepare the ganache once the cake is entirely assembled.
- 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Place chocolate into large, heatproof liquid measuring cup or bowl (preferably with spout).
- Heat cream over medium heat until just bubbling.
- Pour over chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
- Stir to combine, then pour over assembled cake.
- After pouring the ganache over the cake, sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 cup reserved pistachio crumbs while the chocolate is still warm.