It seems only fitting that I should start this blog off the right way: with a cake recipe. Not just any old cake recipe, but what is without a doubt the best cake I have ever made. Yet.
When I first saw this cake on Linda’s blog, The Tart Tart, I knew I absolutely had to make it, but it had to be the right occasion; it was a show-stopper. That occasion turned out to be Easter this year. I was in charge of making dessert (of course – I probably volunteered for it), so I started scrolling through my Pinterest boards to see if anything popped out at me. I saw this cake and immediately knew it was the perfect choice: The flavor palette is a bit unique and reminded me of Spring, it seemed like something everyone in the family would appreciate, and I was dying for an excuse to make it.
I planned my Easter weekend so that the Saturday beforehand I had no real plans except to make this cake. I wanted to be able to take my time and have it be perfect. I didn’t want any major distractions and I didn’t want to have to rush through it for some reason and end up frosting the cake when it was too warm. No way – this cake deserved my full attention and that’s what it would get. I had a lot of fun making it, and you know what? It did turn out perfectly.
This cake, oh my. If you love pistachios, you’ll love this cake. If you don’t love pistachios, you might still love this cake. The pistachio flavor was pleasantly subtle and nutty, and the cake balanced a wonderful density and lightness, while the honey buttercream frosting was just sweet enough with a soft whipped quality that complimented the cake. It was an “oh my God” cake.
Robert (aka Future Husband), who normally yells at me for baking and demands I get things out of the apartment and take them to work so he’s not tempted to eat all of it, told me that under no circumstances were the cake leftovers (how were there even leftovers?) allowed to leave our apartment. We probably had the equivalent of three small pieces of cake leftover after Easter dinner, and somehow we managed to ration that cake out over the next five days before we finished it off. We didn’t want it to end. You might be wondering how good this cake could have been after five days. Well let me tell you, this cake also has magical powers. Perhaps the humidity and temperature in my kitchen were just right that week, or maybe the honey buttercream frosting acted as a mystical protective force field, or maybe the stars just aligned in our favor. I don’t know, but either way, that cake stayed just as perfect as it was the first day for that whole week. It was a true gift.
We recently had a birthday party for my cousin, who was a big fan of this cake. At this recent party, MONTHS after we ate this cake, where there were not one but TWO delicious cakes present, he randomly brought up this pistachio cake. “Hey Sara, remember that cake you made for Easter?” Uh, duh Brian, best cake ever. “That was the best cake I’ve ever had.”
That’s right, people. If I haven’t convinced you by now to make this cake, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. You just have to do it. But do me a favor? When you decide to go for it, try to set aside a good chunk of time to make it. Enjoy it. Take some time to Instagram your process, dance around to your favorite music while the mixer is running, blast Taylor Swift on repeat – no one’s here to judge. Then, share some with your closest, most beloved friends and family. And if you can, sneak some leftovers.
Normally I would post a recipe here, but I made this so long ago and Linda did such a great job on her site, I’m just going to point you over there.
Here are a few notes from me:
• Please please please use parchment paper rounds on the bottom of your cake pans. It makes such a difference when getting the cake out of there. It’s the best method I’ve found so far. I grease the whole pan, put the parchment paper round down on the bottom, and then grease over that as well.
• I used two 8×8 inch pans, but if you have 6×6 inch pans like Linda, go for it!
• Be careful not to over-mix the cake batter or you might end up with a cake that is too dense.
• If you have never made this kind of frosting before, the process might seem weird. Just go with it; it’s really something special.
• Taste the frosting as you make it and add the honey and vanilla to taste.
• The real name for this cake is actually The Aunt Sassy. I love that!
** All photos in this post are from my personal Instagram account.