To give this cake a pronounced nuttiness, pistachios are ground to a paste in a food processor before being mixed into the batter. Buy best-quality pistachios, and pick through the nuts for the greenest ones (snack on the rest!). Finish the cake with creamy white icing and slivered nuts. MAKES TWO 9-BY-5-INCH LOAVES
For The Cakes
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup shelled salted pistachios, ground to a paste in a food processor, plus 3/4 cup coarsely chopped shelled salted pistachios
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1tablespoon coarse salt
For The Icing
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted slivered pistachios
- Make the cakes: Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans; line with parchment. Butter parchment; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, cream cheese, and pistachio paste until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low. Gradually add granulated sugar; beat until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, 1at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; beat until just combined. Fold in chopped pistachios.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1hour 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely. (Cakes can be stored at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, up to 1day.)
- Make the icing: Whisk confectioners’sugar, heavy cream, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Pour mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Immediately drizzle cakes with icing, and sprinkle with pistachio slivers.
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