Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Filling and French Buttercream

Moist and tender pistachio cake layered with tart raspberry filling and creamy, sweet French buttercream. This pistachio cake is a pistachio lover’s dream come true! Made with homemade pistachio butter.
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Serves: 8 cups
close up of pistachio cake

This tender pistachio cake is made with homemade pistachio paste (so easy you won’t ever buy it again) and layered with fresh raspberry reduction and a rich French buttercream that tastes like ice cream! Pistachio lovers go CRAZY for this cake!

close up of pistachio cake

If you’ve never had pistachio then you’ve got to give it a chance! It’s such a unique flavor. Rich, nutty, earthy, and very distinct. This cake doesn’t use any artificial pistachio flavor so it’s a great recipe to try if you want to experience true pistachio flavor. 

 

Pistachio Cake Ingredients

pistachio cake ingredients

Pistachio butter: If you do not have pistachio butter on hand you can make your own using pistachios and oil! Keep scrolling and I will walk you through how to make your own pistachio butter. So easy and much cheaper than buying it!

Clear Jel: Clear Jel is a thickening agent that you will use to make the raspberry filling. If you do not have Clear Jel, then you can use cornstarch as a substitute. Cornstarch is stronger than Clear Jel. If you’re substituting Clear Jel with cornstarch, then you will cut the amount needed in half (e.g. 2 ounces Clear Jel = 1 ounce cornstarch).

How to Make Pistachio Butter

close up of pistachio butter in a jar

Don’t have pistachio butter on hand? No problem! You can make your own! 

Here is what you will need to make pistachio butter:

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (roasted or raw is fine)
  • 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed)

How to make pistachio butter step-by-step:

  1. In a food processor, add in your pistachios with the chopping attachment. adding pistachios to a food processor
  2. Begin blending, scrape as needed until they are pretty finely chopped.close up of finely chopped pistachios
  3. Then, add in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil (grapeseed oil would work or another neutral oil) and blend it until you have a peanut butter texture. This will take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes depending on your food processor. closeup of blended pistachio butter
  4. Scrape the processor as needed.
  5. As an optional step, add in 1-2 drops of food coloring. If you have roasted pistachios, neon green food coloring is best. If you have unroasted pistachios, avocado green food coloring is better. You can use whichever green food coloring you have, but if you want a recommendation I would suggest the Chef Master gel food coloring. Use code “SUGARGEEKTEN” to get 10% off your order!adding green food coloring to pistachio butterclose up of pistachio butter

Preparing the Raspberry Filling

  1. First, combine the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.pouring sugar onto raspberries in a saucepan
  2. Then, use an immersion blender to make the filling smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer).
  3. In a separate container, combine your Clear Jel (or cornstarch) and water to make a slurry. Mix until smooth.combining clear jel and water
  4. Then, pour it into the raspberry mixture and let it simmer until the mixture is clear and thickened.adding clear gel slurry to the raspberry mixture
  5. Remove the raspberry filling from heat, and then stir in the lemon juice and zest.adding lemon zest to raspberry mixture
  6. Pour the filling into a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it’s touching the surface of the filling to prevent skin from forming.adding raspberry mixture to a clear bowl
  7. Finally, cool the raspberry filling entirely before using it. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Pistachio Cake Instructions

  1. Prepare three 6” round cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan spray.
  2. Preheat your oven to 335ºF (168ºC).
  3. First, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients. This includes flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix them to combine.adding dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer
  4. Then, in a separate bowl, combine the room temperature eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk gently to combine and set aside.
  5. Next, using a large measuring cup, combine the oil and the pistachio butter. It is ok if these don’t completely mix together. Ultimately, the mixer will do most of the work for you.
  6. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the buttermilk/egg mix to the dry ingredients while mixing on low speed.adding buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients
  7. Once it has evenly combined into the dry ingredients and thoroughly moistened it, add in the oil and pistachio butter.add the pistachio mixture to the batter
  8. Fold in your chopped pistachios at the end. adding chopped pistachios to batter
  9. Mix your cake batter on medium speed until the batter is fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are combined.
  10. Next, add in your desired amount of green food coloring to achieve the “pistachio color” you are wanting. I use one drop of avocado green. When you bake the batter, it will be slightly green but it tends to look more yellow if you do not use any green food coloring.adding green food coloring to pistachio cake batter
  11. Divide the cake batter evenly into your prepared cake pans, and bake them at 335ºF (168ºC) for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out from the center cleanly. Add 5 more minutes at a time until the cake is finished baking.pistachio cake batter divided into cake pans
  12. Finally, cool your cakes for 10 minutes inside the cake pans before attempting to remove them from their pans onto a cooling rack. Freeze them for 1 hour before frosting.baked pistachio cakes

Making the French Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and salt and whisk them until the yolks and whites are combined.
  2. Then, add in your sugar and whisk it to combine. adding eggs to a mixing bowl
  3. Next, place the bowl over a water bath of simmering water over medium heat.mixing bowl on a pot of simmering water
  4. Periodically stir the eggs and watch them to ensure they do not heat unevenly. If you don’t occasionally stir and watch the eggs, they will likely cook on the side of the bowl. Another thing to look out for is the sugar can sink to the bottom of the bowl causing uneven heating. Store bought eggs come pre-pasteurized, so heating them to a particular temperature is unnecessary. However, you must have the sugar dissolved for the meringue to whip properly.whisking egg mixture in a bowl
  5. Once you don’t feel any grains in between your fingers when you touch the egg mixture then the sugar is dissolved and is ready to whip. rubbing the egg mixture between fingers
  6. Then, once the eggs and sugar are ready, move the bowl to your mixer and begin to whip them at high speed using your whip attachment.
  7. After about 5-8 minutes, the meringue will almost double in size and form into firm (but not stiff) peaks. FYI: The addition of the egg yolks will keep the meringue from becoming stiff like an all-white meringue.close up of whipped egg mixture
  8. Once the meringue has cooled (feel the bowl with your hand), begin to add in your butter in chunks while mixing on low. adding butter to whipped egg mixture
  9. Then, after you add in all of your butter, whip the buttercream a few more minutes until the texture changes to a whipped cream-like texture. Once you have the right consistency, add in your vanilla extract. You can use the seeds of one vanilla bean in place of vanilla extract for an even better taste!adding vanilla to french buttercream
  10. Stop whipping the buttercream when it does not have a strong butter flavor anymore, and it is light and creamy in texture. Switch to the paddle attachment.close up of french buttercream on a whip
  11. While the paddle is mixing, add 2 oz of pistachio butter, and 1-2 drops of green food color to reach your desired color. adding pistachio paste to french buttercream
  12. Allow the French buttercream to mix on low for about 5 minutes. Ultimately, this will push out the air bubbles to get you the most desirable texture. closeup of pistachio buttercream

Assembling the Pistachio Cake

This pistachio cake is simple enough that you do not need cake decorating experience. But, if you want to learn cake decorating basics, tools, and techniques, check out my blog post on how to decorate your first cake.

how to make a cake tutorial
  1. First, trim off the dome of your cake layers and the brown edges around the sides and bottom.trimming pistachio cake layerstrimming pistachio cake layers
  2. Place the first cake layer onto your cardboard cake round. Then, spread a thin layer of raspberry filling on top of the cake.adding raspberry filling to pistachio cake layer
  3. Next, spread on about 1/4″ of your buttercream, and then add your next layer of cake.adding buttercream to pistachio cake
  4. Repeat this process with layer two, and then add your final layer of cake on top.adding the top layer of cake to the pistachio cake
  5. Cover the entire cake in a thin layer of buttercream. This is called the “crumb coat.”crumb coating the pistachio cake
  6. Then, place your cake into the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes to set the buttercream layer.
  7. Apply your final coat of buttercream and add a nice rustic finish with your offset spatula if you desire. adding a rustic texture to buttercream with an offset spatula
  8. Next, scoop up a handful of chopped up pistachios and carefully press them into the buttercream around the bottom of your cake.adding pistachios to a frosted cake
  9. Sprinkle more chopped up pistachios on top of the cake in a circle around the edge.sprinkling pistachios on top of the pistachio cake
  10. Finally, as an optional step, pipe a few dollops of buttercream using a piping bag and a star tip and then place a few fresh raspberries on top. The reason you want to include pistachios and raspberries into your cake decoration is because you want someone to look at the cake and know what’s inside of it without having to cut into it!piping dollops of buttercreamadding fresh raspberries to pistachio cakeclose up of pistachio cake slice

FAQ

What is pistachio cake made of?

Pistachio cake batter is made using pistachio butter. Pistachio butter is made by grinding up pistachios and oil in a food processor. In addition to pistachio butter, pistachio cake is made of all-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, and a hint of green food coloring. 

How do I know if my pistachios are bad?

Shriveled, dehydrated-looking pistachios have gone bad. Use pistachios that are round and full in shape, and are yellow or green in color (dark brown indicates they are definitely bad).

Do I need to use food coloring?

No. Food coloring is optional. However, if you do not use food coloring, then your cake may not appear green.

Can I use cake flour?

No. For this recipe, you want to use all-purpose flour. You want to use all-purpose flour because this cake is made with buttermilk which tenderizes the gluten in the flour (and makes it moist and tender). 

I don’t have pistachio butter. What else can I use?

If you do not have pistachio butter, you can make your own! Using a food processor, combine 1 cup of roasted pistachios and 1-2 tablespoons of neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed oil) until you reach a butter consistency.

What flavors go well with pistachio?

Pistachio goes great with fruits and chocolates! Want a few ideas to change up this pistachio cake recipe? You can pair this pistachio cake with a tangy, cream cheese frosting that tastes incredible with the raspberry filling.

Or, if you’re a chocolate fanatic, switch up the raspberry filling for chocolate ganache. If you really want to make this pistachio cake to the next level and the ultimate chocolate lover’s dream, top your pistachio cake with a decadent, chocolate drip on top! 

Why is there no butter in this cake recipe?

When you work with pistachio butter (either from the store or homemade), you do not need to use additional unsalted butter in the recipe. Why? Because your cake will get its fat content from the pistachios with the oil in the pistachio butter.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Pistachio macarons

Raspberry filling

Cream cheese frosting

Easy chocolate ganache

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of pistachio cake

Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Filling and French Buttercream

Moist and tender pistachio cake layered with tart raspberry filling and creamy, sweet French buttercream. This pistachio cake is a pistachio lover’s dream come true! Made with homemade pistachio butter.
5 from 15 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
chilling: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 1569kcal

Ingredients

Raspberry Filling

  • 13 ounces (369 g) fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 5 ounces (142 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ounce (28 g) lemon zest
  • 1 ounce (28 g) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces (57 g) water
  • 1 ounce (28 g) Clear Jel or cornstarch

Pistachio Cake

  • 14 ounces (397 g) all purpose flour
  • 7 ounces (198 g) granulated sugar
  • 7 ounces (198 g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 ounces (284 g) buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 6 ounces (170 g) oil
  • 4 ounces (113 g) pistachio butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon green food color (optional)
  • 4 oz chopped pistachios plus more for garnish

French Buttercream

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 ounces (397 g) granulated sugar
  • 24 ounces (680 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Equipment

  • Food processor

Instructions

Raspberry Filling

  • First, combine the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.
  • Then, use an immersion blender to make the filling smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer).
  • In a separate container, combine your Clear Jel (or cornstarch) and water to make a slurry.
  • Then, pour it into the raspberry mixture and let it simmer until the mixture is clear and thickened.
  • Remove the raspberry filling from heat, and then stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  • Pour the filling into a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it’s touching the surface of the filling to prevent skin from forming.
  • Finally, cool the raspberry filling entirely before using it. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Pistachio Cake

  • Prepare three 6” round cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan spray.
  • Preheat your oven to 335ºF (168ºC).
  • First, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients. This includes flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix them to combine.
  • Then, in a separate bowl, combine the room temperature eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk gently to combine and set aside.
  • Next, using a large measuring cup, combine the oil and the pistachio butter. It is ok if these don’t completely mix together. Ultimately, the mixer will do most of the work for you.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the buttermilk/egg mix to the dry ingredients while mixing on low speed.
  • Once it has evenly combined into the dry ingredients and thoroughly moistened it, add in the oil and pistachio butter.
  • Mix your cake batter on medium speed until the batter is fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are combined.
  • Next, add in your desired amount of green food coloring to achieve the “pistachio color” you are wanting. I use one drop of avocado green. When you bake the batter, it will be slightly green but it tends to look more yellow if you do not use any green food coloring.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly into your prepared cake pans, and bake them at 335ºF (168ºC) for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out from the center cleanly. Add 5 more minutes at a time until the cake is finished baking.
  • Finally, cool your cakes for 10 minutes inside the cake pans before attempting to remove them from their pans onto a cooling rack. Freeze them for 1 hour before frosting.

French Buttercream

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and salt and whisk them until the yolks and whites are combined.
  • Then, add in your sugar and whisk it to combine.
  • Next, place the bowl over a water bath of simmering water over medium heat.
  • Whisking occasionally, heat the eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. It should feel smooth when you rub it together with your fingers.
  • Periodically stir the eggs and watch them to ensure they do not heat unevenly. If you don’t occasionally stir and watch the eggs, they will likely cook on the side of the bowl. Another thing to look out for is the sugar can sink to the bottom of the bowl causing uneven heating.
  • Store bought eggs come pre-pasteurized, so heating them to a particular temperature is unnecessary. However, you must have the sugar dissolved for the meringue to whip properly.
  • Then, once the eggs and sugar are ready, move the bowl to your mixer and begin to whip them at high speed using your whip attachment.
  • After about 5-8 minutes, the meringue will almost double in size and form into firm (but not stiff) peaks. FYI: The addition of the egg yolks will keep the meringue from becoming stiff like an all-white meringue.
  • Once the meringue has cooled (feel the bowl with your hand), begin to add in your butter in chunks while mixing on low.
  • Then, after you add in all of your butter, whip the buttercream a few more minutes until the texture changes to a whipped cream-like texture. Once you have the right consistency, add in your vanilla extract.
  • Stop whipping the buttercream when it does not have a strong butter flavor anymore, and it is light and creamy in texture.
  • While the paddle is mixing, add 2 oz of pistachio butter, and 1-2 drops of green food color to reach your desired color. Allow to mix on low to combine completely. Next, switch to your paddle attachment on your stand mixer and allow the meringue to paddle on low for 8-10 minutes. Ultimately, this will push out the air bubbles to get you the most desirable texture.
  • Finally, prepare a piping bag to use your buttercream, or wrap it up and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it (or store it in the freezer as you would with Swiss meringue buttercream).

Assembling the Pistachio Cake

  • First, trim off the dome of your cake layers and the brown edges around the sides and bottom.
  • Place the first cake layer onto your cardboard cake round. Then, spread a thin layer of raspberry filling on top of the cake.
  • Next, spread on about 1/4″ of your buttercream, and then add your next layer of cake.
  • Repeat this process with layer two, and then add your final layer of cake on top.
  • Cover the entire cake in a thin layer of buttercream. This is called the “crumb coat.”
  • Then, place your cake into the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes to set the buttercream layer.
  • Apply your final coat of buttercream and smooth out any edges you don’t like.
  • Next, with clean hands, scoop up a handful of chopped up pistachios and carefully press them into the buttercream around the bottom of your cake.
  • Sprinkle more chopped up pistachios on top of the cake in a circle around the edge.
  • Finally, as an optional step, pipe a few dollops of buttercream using a piping bag and then place a few fresh raspberries on top. The reason you want to include pistachios and raspberries into your cake decoration is because you want someone to look at the cake and know what’s inside of it without having to cut into it!

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
  1. Weigh your ingredients to avoid cake failure. Using a kitchen scale for baking is super easy and gives you the best results every single time. 
  2. Make sure all your cold ingredients are room temperature or slightly warm (butter, milk, eggs, to create a cohesive batter. Curdled batter causes cakes to collapse.
  3. No buttermilk? You can make your own buttermilk 
  4. Need more help with making your first cake? Check out my how to decorate your first cake blog post. 
  5. Make your own pan release (cake goop!) The best pan release ever! 
  6. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 1569kcal (78%) | Carbohydrates: 163g (54%) | Protein: 15g (30%) | Fat: 98g (151%) | Saturated Fat: 48g (240%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 414mg (138%) | Sodium: 716mg (30%) | Potassium: 347mg (10%) | Fiber: 5g (20%) | Sugar: 121g (134%) | Vitamin A: 2530IU (51%) | Vitamin C: 18mg (22%) | Calcium: 152mg (15%) | Iron: 4mg (22%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating