Pistachio Cake

2 Sep

So I was talking to my mom awhile back, catching up on gossip back home – somehow it turned to cakes and she asked if I had a good recipe for pistachio cake. I told her I did not, but that I would look around and see what I could come up with. Pistachio cake is something that has never really been on my radar. I know it’s popular and lot of people love it (with good reason). I kind of  remember it from growing up – seeing it every now and then at church socials and things like that, but it’s never been something I had much of an opinion on. Kind of like someone’s little sister that I grew up with but never got to know. Always quiet – but always there, looking at me. Always hiding something. Little freak.

So with my recent carrot cake success, I thought this might be fun to make something different, flavor-wise (for me) – and who knows, pistachio cake might just become a new friend! So, what I ended up making was a cake from this recipe, and the icing from this recipe. I started with a yellow cake mix. (Yes, another boxed cake mix. I promise to start featuring desserts made from scratch – soon, I promise!)

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Pistachio Pudding Mix

Pudding. Yum.

And to this I added a box of pistachio pudding. Green. Yummm.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Dry Ingredients

After combining these 2 dry ingredients, you’ll want to add some oil, eggs, water and a little almond extract. You can also add some drops of green food coloring to give the green a little boost. I prefer a more subtle, understated green. More of a whisper of green, if you will.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Pistachio Cake Batter

Whisper of Green

Anyhow, once the batter is all combined, pour into a greased bundt pan.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Pistachio Cake

Perfectly done!

You’ll want to bake it for close to an hour – until it springs back from touching it or using the old toothpick trick. I checked it after the shortest amount of time and it came out perfectly. Let it cool completely before popping it out of the pan for icing.

For the icing, I just combined all the ingredients with a hand mixer until it turned stiff and then generously schmeared all over the top of the cake. Since the icing is pudding based, I just made sure it was mostly even all over, without big glops falling off the sides.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Pistachio Cake

No Glops Allowed!

Glops can be fun, but not usually. Again, kind of like that weird little sister of the friend you grew up with. You can also throw some walnuts around the top as well – will make it look more interesting. Maybe if that weird little sister were more interesting, you might have gotten to know her better too.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Pistachio Cake

Who’s All Grown Up?!

The cake was super good and really impressive looking – kind of like that weird little sister, all grown up! However, the pistachio flavor was almost too subtle. But the almond extract give it a nice boost. Who knew what I was missing out on all these years? Enjoy!

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Pistachio Cake

Pistachio Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • several drops green food coloring (optional)

Icing:

  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup cold 2% milk
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. Combine cake and pudding mixes in a large bowl. Once combined, add eggs, water, oil, almond extract and a few drops of green food coloring. Beat well until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared tube or bundt pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until done. Cool in pan for 15 minutes – turn out onto wire rack and cool completely before icing.

For the icing, combine all ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until stiff, thick peaks start to form. Frost the cooled cake completely and evenly. Top with walnuts, if desired.

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