Pistachio Pound Cake

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This ultra moist Pistachio Pound Cake has amazing flavor, with flecks of pistachios in every bite! It is a simple scratch recipe to make, and perfect for so many occasions, from birthdays to potlucks, holidays and more. We hope that you enjoy it!

Pistachio Pound Cake, sliced, on a cake pedestal.

How to Make Pistachio Pound Cake

You can find the full, printable cake recipe at the bottom of this post. Here is a quick look at our steps!

  • Grease and flour a tube pan. Preheat the oven to 325℉.
  • Finely chop the shelled pistachios in a blender, or place them in a sealed ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Cup of crushed pistachios.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt to combine, set aside for later.
  • Using an electric mixer (paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Next, gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each until the yolk is incorporated.
Butter, Sugar, and Eggs.
  • Add the vanilla extract and almond extract to the 1 ⅓ cup of buttermilk.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in the mixing bowl. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. I do three additions of dry, alternating with two additions of wet.
  • Gently fold in the crushed pistachios. Scoop batter into prepared bundt pan.
Pistachio Pound Cake Batter in pan and after baking.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes. The cake is done when the cake springs back when the top is lightly touched or until a toothpick comes out clean. *Baking times may vary. Start checking as the timer approaches 1 hour.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out.

For the Easy Glaze

The glaze for this cake is optional, but gives us an added boost of nutty flavor. This glaze is based on our easy vanilla glaze recipe which we've used on many pound cakes and bundt cakes over the years.

It is a combination of powdered sugar, a splash of milk, a pinch of salt, and almond extract. It can be spooned over the cooled cake, or applied with a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped away for added control (or by using a ziplock bag with the corner snipped away.)

We topped off our cake with a sprinkling of crushed pistachios.

Pistachio Pound Cake, sliced, on a cake pedestal.

Recipe FAQs

Buttermilk is always a popular cake ingredient. It gives the batter an added boost of acidity, which acts to soften the strands of gluten in the cake batter. This makes for a softer, more tender cake.

Today's cake is much like our popular Buttermilk Pound Cake, but with the addition of pistachios, almond extract, and a bit more buttermilk.

While the cup of crushed pistachios add great flavor to the cake layers, almond extract gives us an extra boost of nutty flavor. Most pistachio flavored desserts (ice cream, pudding, etc.) contain almond extract in addition to pistachios.

No, this cake is fine to sit out at room temperature under a cake dome or in an airtight container.

Yes, just as with most of our cakes, from lemon pound cake, to sour cream pound cake, pineapple pound cake and more, this cake freezes perfectly.

Once the pound cake has cooled to warm (or room temperature), wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil. Freeze for up to three months.

To thaw, move the wrapped cake from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before you need it. Then, the next morning, move to the kitchen counter to continue warming to room temperature.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! We hope that you enjoy the recipe. Make sure to check out our full collection of cake recipes and cake decorating video tutorials!

Pistachio Pound Cake, sliced, on a cake pedestal.

Pistachio Pound Cake

This moist, tender Pistachio Pound Cake has amazing flavor and a fine crumb.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15
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Ingredients

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened (339g)
  • 3 cups (600g) sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature (place in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to speed up the process).
  • 3 cups (342 g) cake flour (Not self rising. We use Swan's Down, bleached)
  • ½ teaspoon (2)g baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1⅓ cup (313g) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
  • teaspoons (10g) Almond Extract
  • 1 cup (130g) finely chopped/crushed pistachios (We used salted, dry roasted, shelled pistachios. If using unsalted you can add an additional ½ teaspoon salt to the recipe.)

Miscellaneous

  • Additional crushed pistachios to sprinkle on top

Easy Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (measure then sift)
  • 3 tablespoons milk (add additional as needed in small increments)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (adjust to your liking)

Instructions

  • Grease and flour a tube pan. Preheat the oven to 325℉.
  • Finely chop the shelled pistachios in a blender, or place them in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt to combine, set aside for later.
  • Using an electric mixer (paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Next, gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each until the yolk is incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract and almond extract to the 1 ⅓ cup of buttermilk.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in the mixing bowl. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. I do three additions of dry, alternating with two additions of wet.
  • Gently fold in the crushed pistachios.
  • Scoop batter into prepared bundt pan.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes. The cake is done when the cake springs back when the top is lightly touched or until a toothpick comes out clean. *Baking times may vary. Start checking as the timer approaches 1 hour.
  • This makes approximately 8 cups of batter.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out.

Quick Glaze

  • Combine ingredients, stirring until smooth. If it is too thick, add more. milk in small increments. If too thin, add additional confectioners sugar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Decorating the Cake

  • Once the cake has cooled, you can spoon the glaze over the cake, or for more control, you can spoon it into a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped away. If you'd like, sprinkle with additional crushed pistachios.

Notes

Bundt Pan: Our bundt pan has a baking capacity of 12 cups and measures about 10 inches. If you are working with a smaller pan, it will take longer to bake. Be careful not to overfill. (General rule of thumb: don't fill pan past ⅔ full)
Freezing: This cake can be frozen. If working in advance, we like to tightly wrap our freshly baked cake in a layer of plastic wrap and foil while the cake is still a bit warm and pop in the freezer. The cake can be frozen for up to three months.
Thawing: Bundt cakes take longer to thaw than cake layers. It is best to move the frozen, wrapped cake to the refrigerator the night before, and then move to the kitchen counter the next morning (still wrapped) to continue thawing for a few hours. If you'd like, you can remove the foil after a condensation has formed.

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9 Comments

    1. Hi Helene! I don't see why not- I haven't used pistachio extract before. You likely wouldn't need the almond extract in that case.

  1. I’d like to make this With refined sugar free if possible. Also, I mill my flour and usually use soft white wheat berries for cakes. What’s in cake flour and any thought for substitution options using whole grains?

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was such a hit with my family and friends, I had to make a second batch. Very moist and cake was not too sweet. It was absolutely delicious. It looked very elegant with the pistachios sprinkled on top of the icing. I will make one more batch to freeze.