Saturday, September 01, 2012

Pista Cake Bake Together

You have looked at the picture and wondered finally did She learn to decorate?

Last weekend we had a virtual bake together. Anshie of  Spiceroots had got us drooling with a beautiful shelled pista studded cake, so we coaxed her into sharing the recipe and then followed this bake together. I was watching all the frantic activity thru the day, as the status updates said, pistas shelled and slivered, cake baking and home filled with aroma, discussions on what creative liberties one can take with the recipe and the dressings et al. One awesome picture was posted first thing in the morning by M, who is a beyond awesome baker and decorator to cheer us on.

I love to bake but you know me I am not too much into decorating or rich cakes, except the last time when I attempted the Moist Chocolate Cake. This time however it is the magic of a lil world of foodies that pushed me into it. In between anecdotes Anshie mentioned about her daughter teasing her why she had tied a diaper around a cake tin? I scampered into my kitchen immediately! Keep reading to know what spurred me on...

The original recipe for Sicilian Pistachio Cake With Golden Neoclassic Buttercream is the point of reference however due to my family's vegetarian choices I decided to adapt it but decorate it just like you see it there, all with the blanched, slivered pistachios that make the cake look so gorgeous.

Here are my adaptations of that classic cake:

Serves: I halved the measures as it is a rich cake to get 6 decent servings

Cake: eggless, used flax seed powder. Sour cream replaced with thick curd/ yogurt. No soda increased baking powder. 

Cream: eggless, honey in place of golden syrup, lime zest big pinch instead of pista essence. 

Verdict: Rich creamy all the way a pista celebration. 

Next time: I would make a light pista butter for the frosting.

So putting down the recipe here to look back and use it when I want, for it was a success truly.


For the cake:
1 tablespoon of flax seed powder (soaked in 3 tablespoons of warm water and rested for 10 mins)
1/3 cup, thick yogurt
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup lightly toasted pista
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cups leveled,white flour/ maida
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or butter

In a mixing bowl, measure out yogurt, vanilla extract, butter and beat together till light and fluffy.

Grind pista to a coarse meal. Mix together the pista meal, flour, powder sugar, baking powder and salt to make it airy.

Fold the dry ingredients into the the wet beaten ingredients. Meanwhile keep a greased and flour dusted 5 inch tin ready. Pour the batter into the tin. Level out the batter by tapping it on the counter.

What I unlearnt is, the usual pulling the batter to the edges to level out the batter after it bakes.

No more cutting out the dome to flaten the top of the cake and no more wastage.

Now get ready for a new learning! The original recipe mentions use of cake strips. You can buy those if you are in the US but in India, we are very resourceful. We wet a kitchen napkin. Tie it around the cake tin. This will ensure an even rise. This is the take way for me from the bake together. Doesn't it look just like a diaper on the cake tin?

I baked the cake in a preheated oven at 180 deg Celsius in the convection mode for 45 mins. Till a knife pricked in came out clean. This mode turned out best for the cake. It retained its green color which is so important for this cake. Let the cake cool completely for 1.5 hr. Put it in the fridge for 1/2 hr.

You get a perfectly flat top cake best for decoration. That is what you do next. So get the cream ready now.

For the cream and decoration
1/8 cup icing sugar
1/8 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 big pinch lime zest
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 drops pistachio essence (I skipped it)
1/4 cup blanched pista nuts, slivered

Put butter, vanilla, lime juice in the bowl and whisk. Mix in the honey and the icing sugar whisk till light. You get a beautiful creamy dressing.

Now spread the creamy dressing over the cake and carefully decorate with the pista slivers. There you have the wonderfully studded cake. Drool.


  1. Hahahha.. she is so thrilled her Cake diaper story is famous. Coincidentally I still have those cake strips, that she called cake diapers all those years ago. I am so glad you joined the fun. We should do this again <3

    1. Anshie Oh you do! that's nice and its so good to have a thrilled kid at home. Yes we should do it again. Thank you for this tip!

  2. love this cake diaper thing. I do it all the time but have stitched a few strips of old towels. works quite well. the cake looks fantastic especially love the decoration.

    1. Thanks Sayantani! No wonder your cakes always were flat top, had noticed some.

  3. Really you have created a nice blog, All Kinds of Variety at one place, Wonderful writing ... I have everything at home, and will try it this weekend and also check out my video
    How To Make Thai Red Curry

    1. Thanks for commenting and sharing your video will check it out soon. Keep visiting Venkat!

    2. Thanks Anjali, need ur comment on my video...

  4. Anjali, I've never thought cooking was fun, you seem to turn around the whole idea! Totally inspiring...

    1. Oh cooking is fun and therapeutic too Kiran!

  5. You reduced the recipe by half, but used only 2 Tbls of butter instead of 6? Wow. The texture doesn't seem to be impacted at all even with the reduced fat. The green specs on cream look so lovely.

    1. ET exactly, we home cooks rock in those matters, to point out how 6Tsps of butter is so unnecessary! There is enough wetness in the cake plus I used flax seed powder so the crumb perfect. Also the convection mode does not drying out the cake much. It's a stud of a cake ;)


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