Light, airy and full of flavor this Vanilla Bean Pistachio Cake is a fun and tasty flavor combination perfect for absolutely any occasion.
So last-minute, my mom called me and asked if I had any plans for baking the next day. I did, but nothing that was in dire need of being made right away, just some stuff that I wanted to try. So I said not really. Well here last-minute she asks me to make my aunt a 70th (sorry Aunt Karen) birthday cake! So obviously since I love cake and I’m the nice daughter that I am I happily obliged.
Well my mom said anything but coconut, so she said to brainstorm some flavors and call her back within the hour. So I had come up with some flavor ideas and I had reverted to trusty old Facebook to ask some of my friends flavor ideas. So I put the ideas all together and gave my mom a call back. The first idea out of my mouth was this Vanilla Bean Pistachio Cake! Well needless to say, I didn’t have to name off any more and she was sold at the first option.
Vanilla bean and pistachios go together so well. Both flavors are light and subtle and don’t overpower each other one bit! Luckily vanilla beans are something that this girl keeps on hand thanks to my amazing friends over at Rodelle! The vanilla beans that I used for this luscious cake are the ever delicious Madagascar vanilla beans, and you guy’s if you’ve never had vanilla beans before, go pick yourself up some of these babies!
So this is actually one of my go-to vanilla cake recipes. It’s super simple and it whips up really nice. I like to switch between vanilla beans, vanilla paste and vanilla extract depending on what type of filing or frosting I was doing. Since I was going with the light flavor of pistachio for this one I figured that vanilla bean would pair super well with it and boy was I right.
I know I probably say this all the time, but this is one of my most favorite cakes to date. No joke. Some of my other absolute favorite cakes is this Banana Cream Cake, Peanut Butter Banana Cake and this Black Forest Cake. But I have so many different cakes on my blog that it’s seriously hard to just pick a handful, so go search “Cake” and you’ll see some of the other amazing flavors that I’ve played around with in the past.
So getting back to this delicious Vanilla Bean Pistachio Cake. So I’m sure you could totally make your own homemade pistachio buttercream using pistachios but I’m just not that dedicated into making my own, kinda too much work for an already kinda simple cake wouldn’t you say? So in this frosting is a packet of pistachio pudding! So easy! Plus, it gives it a nice little green color and the flavor is just right for me.
A little vanilla is added to give it a little more oomph and sweetness, but all in all you probably don’t even need to add that! So if you have actually seen some of my other cakes, this is a new one for me. Usually I don’t texture my cakes at all, but this one I decided to make a change and textured the sides. I love how it turned out. No special equipment needed to do it, all I did was use my offset spatula and pressed against the frosting gently and spun my cake on my turnstile.
So my friends, I urge you to give this Vanilla Bean Pistachio Cake a try, I can’t express how much I love the flavors of this puppy! I think this is my new favorite cake…until next week when I make another and rant and rave about that one too. But no, really…go make this! And if you do make ANY of my recipes head on over to Instagram and tag me or use the hashtag #bakingwithtornadoughalli I’d love to see your creations!
Vanilla Bean Pistachio Cake
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 Rodelle Madagascar vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp Rodelle vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 lb butter
- 1 pkg pistachio pudding 3.4 oz
- 1 tsp Rodelle pure vanilla extract
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- 4-6 Tbs milk
- Chopped pistachios optional
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In bowl mix together your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until combined, set aside.
- In another bowl beat together your butter and sugar until fluffy, add in your eggs 1 at a time until blended
- Mix in your vanilla bean and vanilla paste.
- Alternate adding your dry ingredients and milk into your wet ingredients.
- Place in 2 9" prepared cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden and they spring back.
- Remove from oven and turn onto cooling racks to fully cool.
- Meanwhile to make frosting, in large bowl beat your butter until light and fluffy.
- Blend in pudding and vanilla and then add in your powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
- Once sugar is added add in your milk slowly until you reach your desired consistency and continue to beat on high for about 5 minutes to fluff up.
- On turnstyle or cake stand place one layer of your cake and then spread about 1 cup of your frosting in the center and spread to about 1/2" from sides.
- Top with second layer of cake and then spread frosting around the top and sides of your cake until covered, reserving about 1 cup of your frosting for decorating.
- To make a textured cake using a offset spatula place gently on the bottom of your cake and press into frosting and spin cake around, repeat in rows until you reach the top of your cake.
- Pipe remaining frosting into large roses on top of cake then sprinkle with pistachios.
I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday. The cake was yummy rich lovely vanilla flavor. The icing was tasty but unfortunately grainy from the instant pudding mix. It also requires a large tip to decorate or the nuts from the pudding mix get stuck as you decorate the cake.
I made your vanilla pistachio cake instead of vanilla bean I used vanilla essence that cake was very delicious thanks for the recipe
Do you chop up the vanilla bean? I assume so but it doesn’t actually say to do that.
No, you slice the vanilla bean open and scrape out the inside.
Instead of adding just the pistachio pudding packet, I prepared it with only half the required milk on the box. People said the icing was gritty so adding it while prepared made it creamy. I also only did 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar as people complained it was to sweet. It was just perfect this way
My family loves this cake! I have made it the past 3 years for St Patrick’s day. I know it’s not obviously not Irish, but the green is so lovely, and we all love pistachios! Thank you for such a great recipe that has turned into a tradition in our house!!
Is the pistachio pudding the instant pudding kind?
Yep, instant pistachio pudding 🙂
Can i use almond flour and almond milk as a sub?
I’ve never tried it with almond flour, but from previous baking you can substitute it 1:1 but usually almond flour require more binder like an additional egg or such.
I have quite a bit of baking to do for a St. Patrick’s Day party. I’m thinking of making this recipe as cupcakes. Do you know how many days in advance they could be made and still be fresh?
The cake/cupcakes itself you could probably make a day or two in advance as long as they are kept in an airtight container you should be fine.
This cake turned out fabulous! Thank you for sharing the recipe
I skipped the pistachio pudding mix for the icing, simply added a very light tinge of green paste colour & 1/2 tsp of pistachio extract