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Friday, April 19, 2013

Chocolate Pistachio Cake

When the going gets tough the tough get going baking happens. Baking therapy is one of my main go-tos, especially while living here when I don't have my wonderful YMCA facility just a few minutes down the hill (my other great stress reliever). Things are fine, we're just getting some pretty broken sleep these days which is starting to add up! 

Chris and I both LOVE pistachio flavored treats however since having Gabriel we have learned that he has a tree nut sensitivity which means I need to stay away until he's weened. Bummer, I know. However it definitely puts a stop to the excessive taste testing and tasting in general! Fortunately Christopher and his coworkers were more than willing to be my taste testers! Hubs came home with rave reviews about this cake that was finished in about an hour. The cake carrier was practically licked clean- one of the guys took a spoon (fortunately not his mouth) and scrapped every last bit of frosting and crumbs off the container. Specifically he got comments about how soft and moist it was! Yahoo, that's what you want out of cake right? 

What I love about this recipe is that it's pretty easy to adapt into other flavors. For example, this recipe is based off of the lemon cake recipe I blogged a couple years ago, just a couple ingredients changed or were omitted. 


1 cup butter softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups prepared pistachio pudding

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup salted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
***I had to triple this recipe to frost the entire cake

Cake Directions: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with pudding, beating well after each addition (batter will be thick).

Divide batter evenly between three  greased and floured 9" cake pans. 
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from cake pan and cool on wire rack.

Frosting Directions: Beat butter by itself for a couple minutes in the mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add your powdered sugar a cup at a time on the lowest speed. Add the last 3/4 cup of powdered sugar with the 1/4 cup baking cocoa. Once sugar has mixed with butter turn mixer back to medium and add the salt and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes.

Because I don't have awesome bands that help a cake bake evenly (yet), you can either cut the top of the cake so that it is even or use frosting to even it out. The edges of a round cake tend to not be as tall as the center of the cake because the edges bake faster. To even the lay of cake with frosting I simply pipe a ring around the cake layer and then fill the rest in keeping the tallest point of the cake as thin as possible with frosting to prevent having more frosting than cake in the center. See below.

To frost the outside of the cake like I did I used a jumbo closed star tip made by Ateco (you can find it in my list of 'Things I'm Using and Loving' on the right) and made flat swirls. I've seen this look on many blogs across the web and was initially very intimidated by it. However, with these fabulous tips and a great butter cream recipe it was fairly simple!

And lastly, I couldn't bake without the help of my little man. He loves being right at my feet, quite literally, as I bake. As soon as he hears the mixer he is on the move to join me.

Get creative with this recipe, try some other flavors of pudding and let me know how it turns out!


I love reading your comments so please don't be shy! I'll usually even invite myself over after you've dropped a note to see what you're up to!


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