Pistachio Cake + Almond Orange Buttercream
Pistachio Cake + Almond Orange Buttercream_1

This cake is like a little piece of sunshine in each bite. The roasted pistachios give it a hearty, satisfying base flavor, and the orange/almond buttercream adds a certain lightness that can only be found in homemade frosting.

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Pistachio Cake

  • Flour: 3 1/2 cups 
  • Baking Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Baking Soda: 3/4 teaspoon
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon 
  • Butter: 1 3/4 cups
  • Sugar: 2 cups
  • Eggs: 4
  • Buttermilk: 1 1/2 cups
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 1/2 teaspoon
  • Pistachios (Roasted & Salted): 1 cup + 1/4 cup (divided)
  • Honey: 1 tablespoon

Almond Orange Buttercream

  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Egg Whites: 4
  • Softened Butter: 26 tablespoons
  • Almond Extract: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Vanilla Extract: 3/4 teaspoon
  • Orange Zest: 1 teaspoon

The How To (Pistachio Cake):

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, butter three 9 inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  2. Blend 1 cup of pistachios until partially ground - remove 2 tablespoons and set aside. Continue blending until the mixture reaches a flour-like consistency.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pistachio flour) into a bowl. While you sift, break up any lumps that formed during the blending process.
  4. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)
  5. Add in vanilla.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition. Make sure not to over-beat the batter!
  7. Pour buttermilk over mixture and mix in on low speed.
  8. Add in flour/pistachio mixture in three batches just until combined.
  9. Mix in remaining two tablespoons of partially ground pistachios.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until top of cake springs back to the touch.
  11. Cool cakes in the pans for twenty minutes and then turn them out onto wire racks.

The How To (Almond Orange Swiss Buttercream):

  1. In a medium metal bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, whisk together egg whites and sugar until you can no longer feel any sugar granules between your fingers.
  2. Grate in orange zest.
  3. Pour mixture into your mixer and whip until it turns white and doubles in size.
  4. Add almond and vanilla extracts.
  5. Throw in the softened butter one stick at a time and continue whipping until it holds it's shape and generally looks delicious.


  1. After the cakes are completely cool, alternate layers of cake and frosting.
  2. Mix the remaining half cup of pistachios with 1 tablespoon of honey.
  3. Finish your cake by sprinkling the honeyed pistachios over the frosting.
  4. Try not to devour immediately.
  5. Consider sharing with loved ones.
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A Few Notes:

  • If your cakes have domed up, use a serrated knife to level them prior to assembly.
  • Be careful not to over-blend the pistachios (or you'll get pistachio butter!)
  • Don't be afraid of Swiss Buttercream! You can do, and everyone will think you're very fancy.
  • Make sure not to get any condensation in your frosting before you whip it - the water will disrupt the fluffing process (technical term).
  • If you're not a fan of almond flavor you can skip the almond extract and add 1/4 teaspoon more of vanilla.

Pairs Well With: