This beautiful middle eastern cake has finely crushed pistachio nuts mixed in with aromatic cardamom spice, Rosewater and lemon. Even more Rosewater and lemon are infused into the cake via a thorough drenching with warm syrup. A yoghurt and Rosewater cream complements a slice of this cake perfectly.
Rosewater Pistachio Cake

As soon as I saw this Rosewater Pistachio cake recipe appear on Masterchef I had to try it. This beautiful middle eastern cake came from the famed international chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. I love his recipes because they are absolutely packed with flavour, and this rosewater pistachio cake is no exception.

Finely crushed pistachio nuts are mixed in with aromatic cardamom spice, Rosewater and lemon. Even more  Rosewater and lemon are infused into the cake via a thorough drenching with warm syrup. A yoghurt and rosewater cream complements a slice of this cake perfectly.

HOW TO MAKE ROSEWATER PISTACHIO CAKE


Click to watch how to make Rosewater Pistachio Cake

ROSEWATER PISTACHIO CAKE

Makes: one 23cm round cake   Difficulty: Medium

EQUIPMENT:

23cm Springform tin
Food Processor

INGREDIENTS:

Rosewater Pistachio Cake

300g Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
330g Caster Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1 lemon
4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
Seeds of 3 Cardamom Pods, or 1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom
150g Pistachios, shelled, finely ground in a food processor
100g Almond Meal
170g Semolina, fine grade
1 ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons quality Rosewater

Rosewater Syrup

100ml fresh Lemon Juice
80ml quality Rosewater
100g Caster Sugar
20g shelled Pistachios, roughly chopped (to decorate)

Rosewater Cream

200g Greek Yoghurt
200g Crème Fraiche
1 tablespoon Icing Sugar Mixture
1 tablespoon quality Rosewater

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease the base and sides of the springform tin with non-stick spray, then line both the base and sides with baking paper.

Add the softened butter, caster sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat together on medium speed until the mixture is pale, thick and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Don’t worry if the batter looks like it has split at this stage. It will be ok. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add the cardamom (seeds only, or ground cardamom), ground pistachios, almond meal, semolina, baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients gently into the batter.

Add the lemon juice and rosewater and gently fold together once more (the cake batter is quite thick).

Scoop the cake batter into the cake tin. Spread right to the edges of the pan and level the top.

Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the cake tin on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes. The cake is done when the top springs back when lightly touched in the centre. A skewer inserted into the middle should comes out a bit oily but with no sticky crumbs attached.

About 10 minutes before the cake is done, prepare the warm rosewater syrup. Add the juice, rosewater and caster sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while stirring constantly. Once the syrup is boiling, remove it from the heat.

Remove cake from the oven and leave it the right way up in the cake pan. Immediately pour the warm syrup evenly over the cake. It might look like a lot of syrup, but it works out fine. Scatter chopped pistachios over the top. Leave the cake in the tin while it cools.

While the cake cools prepare the Rosewater cream: whisk together the yoghurt, crème Fraiche, icing sugar and rosewater until smooth. Set aside to chill in the fridge.

Serve the cake at room temperature with a spoon of Rosewater cream.

BAKING TIPS:

  • This cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I found the cake tasted even better the day after it was made.
  • The rosewater syrup is not thick at all. It looks like a lot of syrup but it will all be absorbed into the cake.
  • Just before serving you can add rose petals to the cake. I have used fresh rose petals from the garden on my cake, but these are not edible!!! They are only for effect. You can candy your own rose petals providing they are food grade, or you can purchase them at speciality food stores. I found them quite expensive to buy though.

Recipe adapted from Pistachio and Rose Semolina Cake, by Yottam Ottolenghi.

 

Rosewater Pistachio Cake

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Fragrant cake flavoured with rosewater and crushed pistachios, drenched in rosewater syrup, topped with pistachios and served with rosewater cream.
Rosewater Pistachio Cake
Course Cake
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10 people, at least
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

people, at least
Rosewater Pistachio Cake
  • 300 g Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 330 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Lemon finely grated zest
  • 4 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 Cardamom Pods keep the seeds, OR
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom
  • 150 g Pistachio Nuts shelled, finely ground
  • 100 g Almond Meal
  • 170 g Semolina fine grade
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons Rosewater good quality
Rosewater Syrup
  • 100 ml Lemon Juice fresh squeezed
  • 80 ml Rosewater good quality
  • 100 g Caster Sugar
  • 20 g Pistachio Nuts shelled, roughly chopped
Rosewater Cream
  • 200 g Greek Yoghurt
  • 200 g Creme Fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon Icing Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Rosewater good quality

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease the base and sides of a 23cm (9in) round springform tin with non-stick spray, then line both the base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Add the softened butter, caster sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat together on medium speed until the mixture is pale, thick and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Don’t worry if the batter looks like it has split at this stage. It will be ok. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the cardamom (seeds only, or ground cardamom), ground pistachios, almond meal, semolina, baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients gently into the batter.
  5. Add the lemon juice and rosewater and gently fold together once more (the cake batter is quite thick).
  6. Scoop the cake batter into the cake tin. Spread right to the edges of the pan and level the top.
  7. Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the cake tin on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes. The cake is done when the top springs back when lightly touched in the centre. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out a bit oily but with no sticky crumbs attached.
  8. About 10 minutes before the cake is done, prepare the warm rosewater syrup. Add the juice, rosewater and caster sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while stirring constantly. Once the syrup is boiling, remove it from the heat.
  9. Remove cake from the oven and leave it the right way up in the cake pan. Immediately pour the warm syrup evenly over the cake. It might look like a lot of syrup, but it works out fine. Scatter chopped pistachios over the top. Leave the cake in the tin while it cools.
  10. While the cake cools prepare the Rosewater cream: whisk together the yoghurt, crème Fraiche, icing sugar and rosewater until smooth. Set aside to chill in the fridge.
  11. Serve the cake at room temperature with a spoon of Rosewater cream.

Recipe Notes

  • This cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I found the cake tasted even better the day after it was made.
  • The rosewater syrup is not thick at all and does not need reducing over heat. It looks like a lot of syrup but it will all be absorbed into the cake.
  • Just before serving you can add rose petals to the cake. I have used fresh rose petals from the garden on my cake as pictures, but these are not edible!!! They are only for effect. You can candy your own rose petals providing they are food grade, or you can purchase them at speciality food stores. I found them quite expensive to buy though.

You might like our other cake recipes like Orange Cardamom Cake, Sri Lankan Love CakeFlourless Lemon and Almond Cake, and Flourless Orange Cake. We have a whole section of baking recipes with rosewater to explore, including Rosewater Pistachio Cupcakes.

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