Friday, November 4, 2011

Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream: Classic Cakes

As my own birthday approached this past September I found my head, not unusually, filled with thoughts of cake. I wanted to try something different, but not so outlandish that I would risk ending up with a flavor I didn't dig. I started out thinking, "neopolitan cake." Then I thought, "No, those flavors are too simple, what about spumoni cake?" Lastly, I thought, "The pistachio part of the spumoni cake is probably the best, I wonder if I can find a good pistachio cake recipe??" And so go the thoughts of a cake obsessed lady with a knack for Internet searches.

This time around, the product of my Internet searching that piqued my interest the most was Baked's Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream and it resides on Oprah's website. Pistachio infused cake? Fluffy buttercream icing with a hint of honey? Sign me up!

Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I did not get to make this cake until October. I guess there was a bigger plan for it though, because instead of my 34th birthday cake, it became a gift for my Grandmother's 80th birthday; which is, as far as birthdays go, a much bigger deal!

As it turns out, this pistachio cake was chosen as one of 10 "sweet creations" in celebration of "O" Magazine's tenth birthday. Also, when I posted about making this cake on the KT Kakes Facebook page Josie over at Pink Parsley mentioned she had made this cake for her birthday a while back. She also blogged it and her write up on it is, as usual dead on. Her observations were also similar to my own. I agree that the cake is delicious but the frosting recipe is the real find here. It is not too sweet and comes together so silky, smooth, and is really SO good! So, I won't re-invent the wheel any further, if you want the details on making this cake you can head over to Josie's blog post.

I linked to the recipe above, but for simplicity's sake, I will also paste it in below. The only change I made was to the number and size of pans I used to bake the cake. The recipe is for a traditional layer cake with 3 8 inch layers, but I only had two 8 inch pans. So instead, I went for two tiers of one 2 layered 8 inch cake and one 2 layered 6 inch cake. I don't think it changed the texture at all and it made for a nice looking 80th birthday cake.

Oh, one quick note on the fondant roses: I used this youtube tutorial to make them. I worked with pre-made Satin Ice fondant that was already tinted red and the roses came together SO quickly! It took me about 20 minutes to make the four roses on the top of this cake. As a bonus, it just so happens that red roses are my Grandma's favorite flower.

Baked's Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream via

Servings: Serves 12–16


1 1/3 cups shelled pistachio
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs , at room temperature
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
3 large egg whites , at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
24 Tbsp. (3 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract

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