Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream

Delight in this decadent cake perfect for entertaining. 

Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream
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CAKE
  1. 4 cups cake flour, sifted
  2. 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
  3. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. 2 cups sugar, divided
  7. 4 large eggs, separated
  8. 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved
  9. 11⁄3 cups whole milk
  10. 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
BUTTERCREAM
  1. 2 pounds unsalted butter, softened
  2. 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  3. 2⁄3 cup orange blossom honey
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved
  5. 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. Garnish: ground pistachios
Instructions
  1. For cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) cake pans with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pistachios, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine butter and 11⁄2 cups sugar. Beat at medium speed with a mixer until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in reserved vanilla-bean seeds. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk in three additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg-white mixture into batter until well combined. (Do not overmix.) Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, smoothing tops.
  5. Bake until
a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely on wire racks. Tightly wrap cake layers with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
  6. For buttercream: In a large bowl, combine butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat at medium-high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add honey, reserved vanilla-bean seeds, and salt, beating until smooth.
  7. Spread buttercream evenly between layers (place layers upside down when stacking) and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with ground pistachios, if desired.
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