Raspberry Pistachio Cake
This Raspberry Pistachio Cake is as much about simplicity as it is elegance! A quintessential snacking cake. The flavor and texture is reminiscent of classic financier cakes.
Rich and buttery, this tender crumbed cake is prepared with homemade pistachio flour and packed with fresh, tart raspberries. Today’s recipe is inspired and lightly adapted from this Blueberry Almond Tea Cake, a reader favorite.
One layer cakes are one of my favorite things to bake because we’re not overthinking things. To me, this is what summer baking is all about!
Why You’ll Love This Raspberry Pistachio Cake
- Ease: This cake isn’t complicated. One layer, easy preparation, with simple garnishes. I love how quickly and easily the batter comes together. A standard 8-inch cake pan is all you’ll need to bake this cake, along with a stand mixer (or hand mixer) for creaming the batter.
- Flavor: This cake is buttery, flavorful, and rich. Nutty pistachios and tangy raspberries are a classic flavor pairing. If you enjoy my Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies or Raspberry Pistachio Scones, you’ll love this cake. It is particularly irresistible when served slightly warm from the oven.
- Texture: This cake is made with the creaming method (beating softened butter and sugar). The addition of rich pistachio nut flour produces a moist, tender crumb. A touch of raw sugar sprinkled on top of the batter creates a slightly crackly, shiny top once baked.
- Versatile: I’m partial to raspberries, but feel free to change up the berries depending on what’s in season! Pitted, halved cherries or blackberries are another great choice. You can also use frozen berries to enjoy this cake any time of year. It makes a lovely afternoon tea or snacking cake, but can also be dressed up with powdered sugar and served alongside additional berries and a dollop of whipped cream for a special occasion.
How to Make Homemade Pistachio Flour:
Similar to almond or other nut flours, homemade pistachio flour comes together in seconds. It lends an incredible flavor and lovely hue to baked goods! To make it, you’ll need shelled (ideally, raw) pistachio meat and a large food processor.
To save time, I recommend buying shelled pistachios (Trader Joe’s is an affordable and reliable source!). I always recommend utilizing a baking scale for accuracy.
How to Make Pistachio Flour: Add shelled pistachios to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse repeatedly until the pistachios are finely ground and similar in texture to almond flour. Be careful to avoid over-processing, which can cause the nuts to release oils and the mixture to become clumpy (we do not want to make nut butter!).
How to Prevent Berries from Sinking During Baking
One common pitfall when adding (dense and heavy) berries to batters is that they can have a tendency to sink during baking. Contrary to popular belief, tossing berries in a small portion of flour has been shown to make zero difference.
Following a tip from Serious Eats, we’re avoiding the ‘sinking berry’ issue by adding the batter to the cake pan in two stages. A portion of plain batter (without added raspberries) is added to the pan, then the raspberries are folded into the remaining batter and this is added directly on top.
This simple, genius tip keeps the raspberries from sinking to the bottom! Try it with your favorite muffin recipes and report back.
Flavor Variation Ideas:
This cake can be adapted in so many ways! Substitute the pistachio flour with other nut flours, such as hazelnut or easy-to-find almond flour. Use other berry varieties.
If using other nuts flours, add a touch of almond or hazelnut extract in addition to vanilla extract. Use orange zest in lieu or in addition to lemon zest. Garnish with finely crushed pistachios or sliced almonds for contrast and texture. It’s a wonderful canvas with which to get creative!
Raspberry Pistachio Cake
- ¾ cup (100g) shelled raw pistachios ground finely into flour (see recipe instructions)
- 1 cup (120g) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter softened
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) whole or low-fat milk
- 6 ounces (170g) fresh raspberries or frozen
- 1 tablespoon (13g) turbinado or demerara sugar
- powdered sugar for dusting
- fresh raspberries (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) with a rack in the center position. Generously grease an 8-inch cake pan (at least 2-inches deep) with baking spray or butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper (here's an easy tutorial!), grease again, and set aside.
- Make the Pistachio Flour: Place the shelled raw pistachios in a large food processor. Using the blade attachment, pulse repeatedly until finely ground and similar in texture to almond flour. Be careful not to over-process or the oils from the pistachios may release and the mixture can become clumpy.
- Transfer the pistachio flour to a medium mixing bowl. Add the all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar until fragrant and moist. Add the softened butter. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar mixture over medium-high speed (6) until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl halfway as needed to ensure the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Reduce the speed to medium (4) and slowly add the eggs, one a time. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed. Beat until incorporated (the mixture will look slightly broken). Over low speed, slowly add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the milk. The batter will come together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and gently mix the batter to ensure all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Transfer roughly half of the batter to the greased, parchment-paper lined cake pan. Using a spatula, fold the raspberries into the remaining batter. The berries may break slightly, but that's fine. Transfer this batter to the cake pan, adding it directly on top of the first layer. Smooth the top of the batter with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the turbinado (or Demerara) sugar. Why This Method Works: Dividing the batter and adding a portion (without raspberries) to the bottom of cake pan prevents the raspberries from sinking during baking.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Using a knife, run along the sides of the cake pan to release the sides of the cake and then carefully invert onto a wire rack. Flip and allow the cake to cool right-side up.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, dusted lightly with confectioner’s sugar as desired and additional fresh raspberries (optional).
- Storage: While this cake is best served slightly warm out of the oven or the day it is baked, leftovers can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Flavor Variation Ideas:
- This cake can be adapted in so many ways! Substitute the pistachio flour with other nut flours, such as hazelnut or easy-to-find almond flour. Use other berry varieties.
- If using other nuts flours, add a touch of almond or hazelnut extract. Use orange zest in lieu or in addition to lemon zest. Garnish with finely crushed pistachios or sliced almonds for contrast and texture. It’s a wonderful canvas to get creative!