Fluffy pistachio cake with rosewater buttercream featured

Pistachio cake recipe with rosewater frosting

Bake this fluffy pistachio cake recipe from scratch and make an aromatic rosewater frosting for a unique birthday dessert (plus a how to bake a level cake)

Course Dessert, Sweet
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword baking, cake, cardamom, from scratch, frosting, pistachio, rosewater
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 -14
Calories 639 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


For the pistachio cakes

  • 3 1/3 cups (400 grams) cake flour, sifted
  • 5 teaspoons (25 grams) baking powder
  • 3/4 to 1 cups (90 grams) roasted pistachios, unsalted
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup minus 1 heaped tablespoon (210 grams) soft butter
  • 4 medium eggs (200 grams), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) vanilla
  • 2-3 drops green food coloring, optional

For the rosewater buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 250 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups (500-625 grams) confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted (you’ll adjust this according to your preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons rosewater or to taste
  • 3-4 drops pink food coloring


  • Some chopped pistachios for decoration
  • 2 8-inch (20 cm) round pans


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease and line with baking paper two 8-inch round pans. Then, wrap them with wet cake/towel-strips.

  2. In a food processor, process one cup flour, one cup sugar and the pistachios until finely ground (processing nuts with the flour and sugar prevents them from turning pasty).
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, pistachios, salt, baking powder, and cardamom) and mix for 10-20 seconds until well combined. Add the butter and mix on low speed until mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. Combine milk, vanilla and eggs in a jug and mix with a fork just to break down the eggs. Add about three-quarters of the wet ingredients in the bowl and beat on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl halfway. You will see the mixture to lighten in color and get fluffier. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat for another 30seconds until well combined. Add the green food coloring (if using) and mix well.
  5. Divide mixture into two pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert onto a rack and let the cakes cool.
  6. For the buttercream, beat the butter and 3 1/2 cups sugar on low speed until well incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat well for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy. Add the salt, the vanilla, the food coloring, and two tablespoons rosewater and beat to incorporate. Taste the buttercream and add more sugar or rosewater to your preference, until you get the consistency you want.
  7. When cakes are cooled, frost with buttercream and decorate with chopped pistachios.
  8. Eat!

Recipe Notes

These Wilton 8 inch cake pans (set of 2) are my absolute favorite for baking cakes.