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Why I love this pistachio cake recipe

Just like my Lucky Charms cookies, this St. Patrick’s Day cake isn’t remotely Irish, but it’s green and that’s pretty cool with me. And, green cake beats green beer any day.

This pistachio cake is naturally colored green with matcha tea powder, and it gives the cake a beautiful green hue and contributes a subtle earthy flavor to the cake that enhances the nuttiness of the ground pistachios.

This cake would be a great dessert for a more authentic main course like Irish beef stew or shepherd’s pie, but it would be great with the classic Irish-American corned beef and cabbage.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

About the ingredients:

To make this cake dairy free, I used a combination of vegetable shortening and vegan butter. If you aren’t dairy free, you can substitute regular butter.

Regular yogurt and milk can also be substituted for the vegan alternatives listed, just be sure you aren’t using Greek yogurt, which would be too thick.

Another option would be to substitute a total of 1 cup buttermilk for the almond milk and vegan yogurt combined. Again, these last two options aren’t dairy free, but will work for this recipe.

How to make this green pistachio cake

Grind the pistachios. I did this in a food processor, but you can also use a food mill if you have one. I follow the same steps for how to make almond flour. Just don’t go too far, or you’ll end up with pistachio butter.

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the ground pistachios with flour, baking powder, salt and matcha powder. Set aside for later.

Cream the sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening with the sugar until light and fluffy. This usually takes a minute or two, depending on the temperature.

Add the wet ingredients. Beat in the eggs, one and a time, followed by the almond milk, yogurt, and extracts.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Add the flour mixture, a little bit at a time, to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. The color should turn nice and green when the wet ingredients mix with the matcha.

Bake the cake. Divide the batter between your prepared cake pans and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or the top springs back when gently pressed.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting. Melt the white chocolate chips and beat the vegan butter or shortening until fluffy, adding powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.

More St. Patrick’s Day desserts:

More St. Patrick’s Day recipes:

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Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

This pistachio cake recipe is naturally colored green thanks to the additional of matcha green tea, and it’s topped with a rich and silky white chocolate frosting.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the pistachio cake:

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (3/4 cup flour), ground into a meal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (or vegetable shortening)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

For the white chocolate frosting:

  • 7 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening or vegan butter
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 34 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and grease and flour 2 8-inch baking pans. 
  2. Grind pistachios in a food processor or food mill until they become a fine meal similar to almond flour.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine ground pistachios, flour, baking powder, matcha, and salt. Whisk until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the vegan butter, vegetable shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated.
  6. Mix in the milk, yogurt, vanilla extract and almond extract until combined.
  7. About 1/2 cup at a time, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, beating until combined. Continue until everything is mixed together, scraping the sides as needed.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool to room temperature before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Add white chocolate chips to a small mixing bowl. Microwave for 2 30-second intervals, stirring between to help the chocolate melt. If needed, continue to heat for 10 second intervals, until the chocolate is melted after stirring.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter or shortening with salt, vanilla extract and almond milk. Add melted chocolate and about 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Then, add about 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Frost cake as desired.

Keywords: dairy free, green, pistachio, matcha, cake, layer cake, white chocolate

Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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