Jul 5, 2017


Cardamom, Rose Water & Pistachio Cake

Middle Easter Dessert - Cardamom, Rose Water & Pistachio Cake

The title of this cake includes three of my favourite ingredients so I knew it was going to be right up my alley, and I was right. This cake is just a lovely combination of flavours – warmth and earthiness from the cardamom, beautiful aroma from the rose water and wonderful nuttiness and moistness from the pistachio. It also has just the right amount of sweetness and with its colourful presentation it would be just as nice for a tea time treat or as a dinner party dessert paired with some creme fraiche. I often have Middle Eastern themed dinners, be it Persian food or recipes inspired from Ottolenghi’s many books and this cake makes a great finale for these cuisines. As usual when you’re baking make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature and if possible do try to make this in a bundt tin as it adds to the visual appeal.

Ingredients    Adapted from The Foodies Wardrobe

1½ cups plain flour
¾ cup almond meal
¾ cup roughly ground pistachios (plus extra for garnish)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
170 g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
Dried edible rose petals for decoration – optional

For the glaze:
⅔ cups icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosewater
water – enought to make a paste

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease a bundt tin with oil or butter and then dust with almond meal to create a good non-stick layer.

Mix the first 7 dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and blend until smooth. Mix the yoghurt and vanilla paste together in a bowl or measuring cup. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet to the butter and sugar.  Begin and end with the dry ingredients, beating just until blended with each addition.


Turn the batter into the greased tin. Bake for about 55 minutes in the centre of the oven. Test to check it is cooked by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the thickest part of the cake. It should come out clean. The cake should be risen and slightly golden on the top.


Cool in the tin, then invert when completely cold onto a plate. To make the glaze, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. The glaze should be thick like liquid honey, but still be able to run slowly off a spoon. If the glaze is too thin, you will find that it just runs completely off the side of the cake – you can add more icing sugar to thicken it if this is the case. Glaze the cake when it is completely cool.  Dust with crushed pistachio nuts and dried flowers while the icing is still wet.

Best Middle Eastern Dessert

17 thoughts on “Cardamom, Rose Water & Pistachio Cake

  1. Looks delicious. You’re right about the bundt tin.

  2. Will you please let me know if your recipe calls for European butter or American? I recently moved to Italy and am still learning how to adjust for higher fat butter. Thanks!

  3. So glad that it worked out for you!

  4. Pingback: Tip of the week: Make your own fine or powdered sugar – Greg Nelson Cooks

  5. I’m really curious to see a photo inside of the cake, is it more dense or more light weight? and can you add honey to the batter?

    • JJ, the cake is more dense due to the almond meal and pistachios but certainly not heavy. I haven’t tried adding honey to the batter. If you try it please let me know how it turned out.

  6. Absolutely beautiful delicious cake. I have baked this cake three times now and each time it came out perfect. I followed the recipe to a t. Thank you for sharing x

  7. Hi Your cake looks fabulous .What is the volume of your cup please? Do you by any chance have the recipe in grams or ounces?

  8. Hello . It looks like a beautiful garden🌹🌷🌹..what is the size of the mold used ?
    Thank you 😊

  9. First time baking it. It is fluffy, moist, exotic flavor and sweetness and tartness from the glaze makes the cake so perfect. For those using SMEG oven do bake it for 45 minutes instead of 55 as it comes out perfectly. Once again thank you all the way from malaysia here.

  10. Perfect perfect perfect. Loved it. For SMEG oven bakers, please bake for 45 minutes instead of 55 as per stated. It comes out perfect. I think anything more will be burnt. Thank you once again all the way from malaysia here.

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