I was looking for a small cake for a summer gathering when the Costco Connection magazine was plopped into our mailbox. In it, I found this Lemon Pistachio Cake with Mascarpone Frosting.
They credit Indira Hampton from withspice.com (she has a beautifully-done recipe website by the way) and the cake looked simple and delicious to me.
Plus, it has so many components I love – pistachios (my favorite nut), lemon, and mascarpone. I knew it was going to be good!
It was hard not to snack on the salted, roasted pistachios, but I did manage to save a cup or so of them for the cake!
It’s a simple one-layer snack cake with a creamy frosting and is very good. Don’t forget the extra sprinkle of pistachios on top.
You can taste the lemon in the cake as well as the frosting, but it’s doesn’t overshadow the pistachio-ness (?) of the cake.
Besides on top of the cake, the pistachios are used as kind of a flour in the cake.
They’re ground into almost a meal, but you don’t want to process them too long or you’ll end up with pistachio butter.
Pistachio butter. That might not be a bad thing…
The ground pistachios give the Lemon Pistachio Cake with Mascarpone Frosting a nice texture. Top it with that creamy frosting and you’ve got a great combination.
Don’t beat the mascarpone frosting too long or it might curdle up. You want it smooth and creamy. If you don’t want to use mascarpone, go with cream cheese (preferably creamy Neufchatel).
If you’re looking for another simple one-layer cake for a gathering, you might also like refreshing, delicious Lime Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting It’s amazing!
- 3/4 C shelled roasted pistachios, plus extra chopped for topping
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 C cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 C sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 C milk
- 1/2 C butter, softened
- 1 C sugar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 C mascarpone, softened
- 3/4 C powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a buttered 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, then butter the paper.
- Put the 3/4 cup shelled pistachios and lemon zest into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the pistachio mixture to a medium bowl.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the pistachio mixture. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla and milk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until fully incorporated. Turn the mixer on low and alternate adding the dry ingredients (in 3 additions) and the sour cream/milk mixture (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients).
- Remove the bowl from the stand and stir a couple of times with a rubber spatula to get anything that may be stuck on the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes and carefully remove the cake from the pan (you may need to run a knife around the edges to loosen). Peel off the parchment paper, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the frosting: Combine all of the frosting ingredients into a medium bowl. Begin on low to mix in all of the ingredients, then on medium until just smooth (don't overbeat or it may curdle).
- Frost the top (and sides if you wish) of the cake, then sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios on top for decoration. Serve or refrigerate until serving. (Best served fresh. If refrigerated, leave a room temp for 5-10 minutes before serving.)
Will keep in the refrigerator 2-3 days, but best the first day.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 516Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 488mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 7g
Nutrition Values are Approximate