Pistachio Bundt Cake

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Perfect Pistachio Bundt Cake

This year was Jakey Boy’s 37th birthday, and his 4th baby was to be born close to that date.  The family decided to bring his birthday to HIM, so I made a cake!  Jake is not a dessert lover at all.  He doesn’t like really sweet things, and each year I try to find something to bake for him that is different, a little tart and fun.

This recipe had been in several newspapers recently and it intrigued me.  It looks like a lot of work, but actually it wasn’t too bad.  There are three components: the cake, the glaze and a ricotta mix to serve on the side.  Honestly a dollop of fresh whipping cream in lieu of the ricotta cream would have been fine but the glaze kind of dresses it up. And for me, I’ll make the ricotta topping just because I liked the texture.

I was worried about the cake.  My 11-year-old grandson was with me and he separated the nine eggs; I cannot say for sure that they did not have any yolk in them.  I demonstrated and he did the work, but when I whipped them they were a little…less than marshmallow-like and they did not really hold their peaks.

I needn’t have worried. The end result was sensational!  The cake was lovely and green and moist.  Jake and the rest of the family were all impressed.  All is well that ends well!

(PS – don’t tell Jake there was instant pudding in there or he would not be as enamored with the cake.)

(PPS – I use weight measurements for baking and recommend this always if they are available!)

Pistachio Bundt Cake

Yield: at least 12 pretty big servings.  We fed over 20 and no one left hungry. 



Cake Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray or neutral oil (my paste or Bakers Joy)
  • 2¾ cups/351 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1(3.4-ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon/195 milliliters whole milk
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons/205 grams full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (I don’t have vanilla bean paste)
  • 9 large egg whites
  • A little less than 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons/528 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups/300 milliliters avocado oil(or grapeseed or canola)
  • ⅔ cup/85 grams shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped: mine were salted but raw pistachios  would work too.
Whipped Ricotta Ingredients (see NOTE)
  • 1⅓ cup/328 grams whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar to taste (personally I prefer less sweetness and didn’t add any so my ricotta whip  was thick)
  • Pinch of sea salt

NOTE: I would  add very little confectioners’ sugar.  For me, I like it thicker and not too sweet. Cooks choice.

Glaze Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups/230 grams sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
  • SEE NOTE: ¼ cup/60 milliliters fresh lime juice (from about 2 medium limes), plus more as needed
  • ½ cup/64 grams unsalted roasted shelled pistachios, sliced or coarsely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish
  • 2 tsp grated lime zest for garnish

NOTE: I just sifted what appeared to be 1 ½  cups of powdered sugar to my eye, then added enough lime juice until it was able to be put into a plastic bag to pipe on the cake. I needed less than 1 lime


Heat oven to 350 degrees with the shelf in the middle of the oven,  and coat the inside of a 12-cup (or larger) Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray or my baking mix for coating pans. The cake will come to the very top of the pan while baking then shrink back a little.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pistachio pudding mix and baking powder (I sifted all 3 together too). In a second medium bowl whisk together the milk, yogurt and vanilla until smooth.

Combine the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer). Beat on medium speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, increase the mixer speed to high, and beat until the egg whites are marshmallowy with firm peaks that form when the beater is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the flour mixture and canola oil, and gently mix them into the egg whites using a rubber spatula until smooth and no pockets of unincorporated flour remain. Gently mix in the milk mixture until completely smooth, and then stir in the chopped pistachios until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared Bundt pan, smooth into an even layer and tap the pan on the counter several times to remove any large air pockets. Bake until the top of the cake is lightly browned and a skewer or cake tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 60 to 75 minutes: NOTE: mine took less than 60 min, about 55 min.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then flip the cake out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before glazing. I DID THIS THE DAY BEFORE and wrapped the cake well so it wouldn’t dry out.

While the cake is cooling, make the whipped ricotta: transfer the ricotta to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and add the olive oil, vanilla, and salt. Add a little powdered sugar if you wish.  (SEE MY NOTES ON INGREDIENTS) Process until the mixture is completely smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed, 40 to 60 seconds total. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 1⅔ cups. Note: my plain ricotta was very smooth and I could have done this with a food processory, using just a whisk. Also – the whipped ricotta can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge tightly covered with plastic wrap.

Once the cake is completely cooled, and the day you plan to serve it, make the glaze: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lime juice until the sugar is completely dissolved. I used a lot less sugar and less lime juice too, so go slowly. The glaze should be very thick yet pourable. If the glaze is too thin, whisk in additional powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time. If it’s too thick, whisk in additional lime juice one teaspoon at a time. Transfer the glaze into a piping big or a large zip-top bag with the corner cut off and drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Immediately garnish the top with the sliced pistachios and sprinkle with just a touch of flaky sea salt and/or  grated lime zest. Let stand until the glaze has set, about 20 minutes, and serve with the whipped ricotta.

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One Response to Pistachio Bundt Cake

  1. Ruth Craver says:

    Marilyn, I’ve put instant pudding in some of my cakes, if I wanted more of a pound cake consistency, but usually vanilla, never pistachio. There’s a molded salad that always seems to be at pot lucks, where you take a package of pistachio pudding, a can of crushed pineapple, and a container of cool whip, mix them all together, and voila! I don’t like cool whip, but I have to admit the result is delicious. And easy! If I make a lemon bundt cake, I put in a package of lemon pudding, and a cup of blueberries. Your cake looks beautiful!

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