Pistachio Cream Cake

This is an amazing cake that holds up well in the fridge, which means it can be made a day before serving. The recipe has an optional custard sauce that adds a nice moisture element while giving you a gourmet flare. My advice is to take your time and enjoy the way that fresh ingredients are combined to surprise you flavors.


  • Cake
    • 2 TBL Butter
    • 1.5 cups Cake flour – sifted
      • To make, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour with 2 TBL cornstarch + 2 tsp baking powder. Sift to combine evenly.
    • 1.25 cups Sugar
    • 1 tsp Baking powder
    • 3/4 cups Pistachios – roasted, coarsely chopped, salted or unsalted
    • 2 TBL Poppy seeds
    • 1 tsp Lemon zest – grated
    • 1 tsp Orange zest – grated
    • 1/2 tsp Cardamom – ground
    • 1/2 cup Whole milk
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or powder
    • 3 Eggs – large
  • Cream Frosting
    • 1.5 cups Whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup Sour cream
    • 1/4 cup Sugar
    • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
    • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Sesame Custard Sauce
    • 5 large Egg yolks
    • 1 TBL Toasted sesame oil
    • 3 TBL Sesame seeds
    • 3/4 cup Sugar
    • 1 cup Whipping cream
    • 1 3/4 cups Whole Milk


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting
  2. Make Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
    2. Line bottoms with waxed paper cut to fit; butter paper and dust with flour.
    3. In a small bowl, mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, 1/2 cup chopped pistachios (wrap remaining airtight), poppy seeds, lemon peel, orange peel, and cardamom.
    4. In a glass measure or small microwave-safe bowl, melt 2 tablespoons butter in
      a microwave oven on full power (100%), 1/2 to 1 minute.
    5. Add milk and vanilla.
    6. In a deep bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat eggs with remaining 1 cup of sugar until thick enough to hold mounds briefly (4 to 5 mins).
    7. Add flour mixture and milk mixture. Stir or mix gently until well blended.
    8. Scrape batter equally into prepared pans and bake on center rack of oven until edges are browned and begin to pull from pan sides and centers spring back when lightly pressed (~20 to 25 mins).
    9. Cool layers in pans on a rack for about 10 minutes. Invert cakes from pans onto rack and carefully pull off and discard waxed paper.
    10. When cake layers are cool, slice in half (if desired). Put cream between each layer.
    11. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  3. Make Cream Frosting
    1. In a chilled mixing bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat 1 1/2 cups whipping cream until it holds soft with distinct peaks.
    2. Add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp each almond extract and vanilla.
    3. Beat on high speed until mixture is thick enough to hold soft,
      distinct peaks.
  4. Make Sesame Custard Sauce
    1. In metal bowl, combine egg yolks and sesame oil, whisk just enough to blend.
    2. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir and shake sesame seeds until toasted pale golden brown (~3 mins).
    3. Pour seeds into blender with the sugar and whirl until seeds are coarsely ground.
    4. Return mixture to frying pan; add whipping cream and milk. Stir over M-H heat until scalding (~5 mins).
    5. Whisk cream mixture into egg yolk mixture, then scrape back into frying pan. Stir over M-L heat with a flexible spatula, scraping pan bottom and sides.
    6. When custard gets to 160 degs F., it will start to thicken.
    7. Pour through fine strainer and immediately cool in an ice bath. Once cooled, transfer to frig in sealed container.
  5. Plating
    1. Uncover cake and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pistachios. On each dessert plate, spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons Sesame Custard Sauce. Cut cake into wedges and set in sauce on plates.