A couple of months ago I was looking for a cake to serve for Persian New Year that would have a slight Middle Eastern feel to it and came across this recipe from Nigel Slater which fit the bill perfectly. This is an amazing cake, moist and so flavourful with just a hint of the exotic from the subtle fragrance of the rosewater. The simple icing with its slight lemon tang is the perfect counterpart for the cake. Whilst the cake is quite dense, as it’s heavy on pistachios and almonds, it’s not overly sweet and can stand on its own as both a coffee cake or a dessert.
Ingredients Adapted from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries
100g shelled pistachio nuts
100g ground almonds/almond flour
1 orange, zest and juice
1 teaspoon rosewater (I used 1 tablespoon as I wanted the rosewater to be a bit more prominent)
60g plain flour
Chopped shelled pistachio nuts to decorate – optional
For the icing:
100g icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a 22cm or 23cm round cake tin. Place the pistachios in a mini food processor and blitz until finely ground.
Cream together the butter and sugar using a stand mixer or electric mixer until light and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the almonds and ground pistachios. Beat in the orange juice and zest and the rosewater, mixing only enough to combine. Fold in the flour using a metal spoon.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 50 minutes to an hour. Cover the top of the cake with foil after 40 minutes. The cake is ready when a metal skewer inserted into the centre come out mostly clean, with no big clumps of cake clinging to it. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. To make the icing, whisk together the lemon juice and icing sugar to form a paste. Pour this over the cooled cake and top with the some roughly chopped pistachios (if using) then wait for at least 30 minutes for the icing to set before slicing and serving.
May 22, 2015 at 10:19 am
Looks delicious. I should have made this instead of an orange almond cake for the throng of 20 I have coming over for a wake at lunch time today. :0
May 23, 2015 at 7:35 am
Hi Kathryn, Wow – 20 is a lot to cater for! Hope it all went well and orange almond cakes sounds lovely!
May 24, 2015 at 1:11 am
Reblogged this on Jane Doe (at-your-service).
Mar 18, 2017 at 9:00 pm
Do you think lemon could work instead of orange? I often find orange in cakes tastes odd – sorta marmaladey – which doesn’t work for me. Also, I’m wondering if the flour could be replaced with a gluten free alternative for my picky family 🙂 It’s not a *lot* of flour, so I’m hoping it wouldn’t change the texture much.
Mar 19, 2017 at 6:47 am
Calliophone, I think the orange could definitely be replaced with lemon. I do know what you mean about the taste of oranges in cakes but I must say this didn’t stand out at all. I also think that you could get away with using gluten free flour. I haven’t tested this though so I am just guessing. If you do try it please write back and let me know how it turned out.
Jan 17, 2021 at 10:26 pm
I bake cake Pistachio Semolina, and I use only lemon, and this cake looks similar, so should be taste good with lemon. Every body lovely my Semolina cake.
Jan 18, 2021 at 7:46 am
Your semolina cake with lemon sounds delicious, Diana!
Feb 1, 2021 at 3:55 am
Hi there, is this 160 in a fan or static oven?
Feb 1, 2021 at 6:38 am
Rebecca, it’s 160C fan or 180C non fan. I’ll adjust the recipe to clarify. Thanks!
Jun 21, 2021 at 9:35 pm
It works very well with gluten free flour.
Mar 7, 2023 at 8:12 pm
Do you store it in the fridge
Mar 8, 2023 at 8:08 am
The cake can be stored in an airtight container for a few days or you can store it in the fridge but bring it back to room temperature to serve.