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.

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Pistachio Cake

Ingredients:

  • 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

Destructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8″ (or 9″ if you want a larger, flatter cake) pans with parchment paper.
  3. Grind pistachios, setting aside 1/4 cup crumbs for frosting and decoration.
  4. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  5. Whisk wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  6. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once thoroughly incorporated, pour into prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (check around 28 minutes).
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto greased cooling racks.

Notes:

  • Prepare the buttercream while the cake is cooling.

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Lemon (Pistachio) Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Destructions:

  1. Beat butter until smooth.
  2. Gently add powdered sugar, and continue beating until the mixture has doubled in size, occasionally scraping down the bowl.
  3. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and 1/8 cup ground pistachios whisk until thoroughly incorporated.

Notes:

  • Prepare the ganache once the cake is entirely assembled.

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Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Destructions:

  1. Place chocolate into large, heatproof liquid measuring cup or bowl (preferably with spout).
  2. Heat cream over medium heat until just bubbling.
  3. Pour over chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir to combine, then pour over assembled cake.

Notes:

  • After pouring the ganache over the cake, sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 cup reserved pistachio crumbs while the chocolate is still warm.

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