Pistachio and rosewater cake

Photographer: Adam

So a couple of months back I got an email from my bestie, the subject line read “I just made the most mackin’ cake…”  Needless to say, my interest was piqued.  When I read on to discover that said cake was made with ground pistachios and rosewater and topped with rosewater cream, I was sold.  And when I made it for the office the other day, everyone who tasted it was sold too. It is just so freakin’ good.  We share a lot of recipes and menu ideas and I am very pleased to be able to share this wee gem with you.

I love how recipes evolve as different people put their own slant on flavours, techniques and presentation.  As to be expected I made a few tweaks to the recipe that was passed onto me.  I added a pistachio praline crust which adds a crystalline, crunchy edge to lead you into the buttery, floral cakey goodness.

This recipe is for one large cake.  To make the little cakes in the photograph I made one big cake and then used a round cutter to cut several smaller cakes from this which I rolled in the praline, but you could decorate one large cake in exactly the same way.  The cake needs to be completely cold before you crust it or it will crumble.


150g shelled pistachios
150g self-raising flour
1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
200g butter, softened
3 eggs
2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp rosewater

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
50g shelled pistachios

Lemon icing
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp melted butter
1 ¼ cup icing sugar

Rosewater cream
250 ml cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp rosewater

Fresh strawberries to serve


Preheat oven to 170ºC on Bake. Grease and line a 22cm spring-form tin
1. In a food processor, blend the pistachios until very fine.
2. Add flour, ground cardamom, baking powder and pulse to combine. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until very pale.
4. Add eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
5. Add pistachio and flour mixture, milk and rosewater. Use a metal spoon to carefully mix the ingredients together until just combined.
6. Pour into tin and bake for 45 minutes, until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.
7. Cool cake in tin for 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

1. Grease a shallow baking tray and sprinkle over pistachios.
2. Gently heat sugar and water in a saucepan until a rolling boil is reached — do not stir.
3. Keep the sugar syrup boiling gently until the bubbles begin to slow and a gold colour develops around the edges.
4. Swirl the saucepan to spread the colour, being careful not to incorporate air.
5. Once evenly gold in colour remove from heat and pour over pistachios. Leave to set.
6. Once set, break pieces into bowl of food processor and blend until texture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Lemon icing
Combine all ingredients to make a thin icing and use to stick praline to sides of cake.

Rosewater cream
Whip cream, sugar and rosewater together until cream is whipped.

To assemble
Once completely cold, cut rounds of desired size from main cake, or simply use whole cake. Ice sides of cake(s) with lemon icing and roll in praline to coat. Plate cake(s) and top with rosewater cream. Sprinkle over extra praline and decorate with fresh strawberries.