Pistachio Layer Cake

This fun spring green cake is beautiful and oh so tasty! It’s picture-perfect for a birthday celebration for your friends who love pistachios and … the color green! The pistachio flavor derives from chopped pistachios in the cake batter, as well as pistachio pudding mix used in the frosting.  

Perfect Spring Green Pistachio Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting

One thing I would suggest if you decide to make this cake is to sift out and discard as many of the tiny nut fragments as possible from the pistachio pudding mix when making the frosting. I encountered some blockages in my cake decorating tips due to the tiny bits of nuts. If you want to decorate with the flowers I used on top, use a # 822 open star frosting tip, which makes it pretty easy to create these giant swirly looking flowers! Okay, not that easy, I made several attempts, by scraping off the frosting and putting it back into the pastry bag, but with a little practice, you will get it, I promise! But, if you are good at making frosting roses with the rose nails, they would be beautiful on this cake for springtime!

I’ve been using Wilton’s cake strips to make the cake layers nice and flat. This has truly been a cake-baking lifesaver for me! By wrapping the layer pans with a dampened cake strip, the cake comes out nice and flat on top. Before using these, my cake layers were always a little bit like Mt. Vesuvius, with a great big hill in the center, or sometimes a crater. Now I can always count on them being perfectly level. This helps a great deal when it comes to putting the layers together and frosting the cake! 

Pistachio Layer Cake

Ingredients

Pistachio Cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 3/4 cup, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup milk 2% or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt I used Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour sifted with other dries
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped pistachios unsalted and roasted use 1 1/2 cups for cake and 1/2 cup for garnishes on top and around the cake.

Pistachio Buttercream Frosting – Makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake and the decorative flowers on top.

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter 1 pound
  • 1 4.3 oz. package pistachio pudding mix sift out the little nut pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 8 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk

Instructions

Pistachio Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare three 9-inch layer pans by greasing and flouring the entire inside surface and fastening the damp “Bake-even” strips around the outside edges of the pans. (if you don’t have these, you can still bake this cake, but trust me, they are well worth the investment.)
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 cups pistachios, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Beat in egg whites, until well integrated, scraping sides of the bowl as you go. Beat in yogurt.
  • Now, add dries alternately with milk, beating with each addition until well incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Begin and end with dries.
  • To assemble cake set aside about 1/3 of the frosting for decorations on top. Then, place the first cake layer on your cake plate. Spread about 1/2 -3/4 cup of the frosting over the first layer. Repeat with the remaining two layers. Then frost the sides.

Pistachio Buttercream Frosting – Makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake and the decorative flowers on top

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy and fluffy. Add pistachio pudding mix and blend well. Mix in vanilla and almond extracts. 
  • Now, add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Continue to add powdered sugar until you reach desired spreading consistency. 

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