The Chocolate Pistachio Cake is an elegant dessert, easy to assemble and the perfect centerpiece for any special occasion.
A rich decadent chocolate cake, a soft pistachio frosting, a smooth chocolate ganache: this chocolate pistachio cake has everything to make the perfect dessert. And a naked cake is a go for when you want an easy layer cake to assemble but still want a wow factor.
Chocolate with pistachio, it’s a win match when you’re looking for which flavors go together. The chocolate cake layers I use for this recipe are moist and rich in flavor. The smooth pistachio buttercream is based on my ermine buttercream; it tastes amazing and it’s a good substitute when you don’t like American buttercream.
Why you will love this Chocolate Pistachio Cake?
Either for a birthday, a party or if you are looking for St Patrick’s desserts, this chocolate pistachio cake is the celebration cake to put on your table.
The chocolate cake is an easy cake to bake.
Ermine buttercream is easier than Swiss buttercream and not over sweet like the traditional American buttercream.
This pistachio frosting tastes amazing and it’s silky smooth and not too sweet. Made with homemade Pistachio Butter but you can opt for a store-bought jar if you wish.
This cake is wow, and will be fabulous on your table.
How do I store the Chocolate Pistachio Cake?
Keep the chocolate pistachio cake in the fridge and bring it back at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving (adjust the time according to your room temperature). You want the pistachio frosting soft.
If it’s not too hot, you can leave the cake at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
Can I make it ahead?
You can prepare the cakes (without the frosting) 2 days in advance. Let them completely cooled and wrap them tightly with cling film. Place them in the fridge.
You can prepare and assemble this chocolate pistachio cake one day before serving. Once the frosting is ready, assemble the cake and place it the fridge, covered with a cake dome to prevent absorption of fridge smells.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), fan off. Line three 6 inch (15cm) round cake pans with baking paper or grease with baking spray.
Chop finely the chocolate and place it in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time. Once the chocolate is almost melted, stop microwave and stir the chocolate until it is completely smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), baking powder, and baking soda. Add in the caster sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients: eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Mix until combined but do not over mix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Weigh the batter is the more accurate way to ensure an even distribution of batter. (about 300 – 325g in each cake pan)
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Note: I place wet cake strips around the pans. It helps keep the sides moist and limits the dome on the top, but it usually takes 5 minutes extra to bake the cakes. So, start to monitor the cake after 25 minutes of baking.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.
Make sure to read my blog post about the Ermine Frosting. You will find tips, faqs and step by step images of the process.
In a small saucepan, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add in your milk. Cook over medium-heat until a simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture is fully combined, no lumps remain, and it thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
It usually takes between 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your stovetop and/or the size of your saucepan.
Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure to touch the surface of the mixture to prevent skin from forming. Cool to room temperature.
Note: You can let it cool in the fridge but make sure to let it back to room temperature before continuing the recipe.
When your pudding base is cooled and ready to continue the recipe, stir it with a spoon to soften a little bit.
Note: your pudding base must be at room temperature but not too warm/not too soft to continue the recipe. The butter should be soft.
Place your butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrap the sides as needed.
While the mixer is running on a medium speed, add one tablespoon at the time of the pudding mixture, making sure it’s fully incorporated with the butter before each addition.
Once all the pudding base is fully incorporated, swap with the whisk attachment and whip the ermine buttercream on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and pistachio butter, and whip on medium speed until fully incorporated but do not overmix.
Place chocolate and cream in a microwave proof bowl and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each time.
Once chocolate looks almost melted, but not completely, stop microwave. Stir until it is fully melted and combined with the cream. Set it cool until your reach a spreadable ganache. It takes 20 to 40 minutes depending on your room temperature.
Proceed when the cakes are completely cooled.
Using a cake leveler or a long-serrated knife, level the cakes if needed to remove any domes and to have flat cakes.
Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cakeboard. You can put some frosting in the middle of the cake board to prevent the cake from moving.
Place 2/3 of the Pistachio Buttercream in a piping bag fit with a round tip or just cut the end of the bag. Spread a layer of the frosting over the first cake layer. You can use a palette knife to level if needed.
Top with the second cake layer and spread a layer of frosting.
Top with the last layer of cake, making sure the cake is upside down to have a perfectly flat surface on the top.
Using an offset palette knife, spread chocolate ganache on the surface. If the ganache is too set and not spreadable, microwave for 10 seconds.
Place the remaining pistachio buttercream in a piping bag fit with a open star tip (Wilton 6B). Pipe spirals around the border or any other decorations.
Chill the cake for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
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