Pistachio cake



Commentary by Beth Aasen

Co-owner of Donatello’s Italian Restaurant in Carmel

This is a special recipe, I’ve somewhat come up with myself after years of tweaking other recipes. I’m entering it in the Indiana State Fair this year. Previously, I won first place for overall double layer cake at the fair for my lemon cake. The pistachio cake has become one of our most popular desserts at the restaurant and people ask me to make entire cakes sometimes. Every once in a while I can, but I’ve had to tell some people I couldn’t because it’s hard to keep up with the baking for everyone and run a business as well.


1 1/2 sticks butter

2 /12 cups cake flour

1 table spoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 table spoon almond extract

3 cups buttermilk

4 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

2 1/2 packets (3.4 oz.) of instant pistachio pudding mix

4 ounces 7-Up


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put 2 1/2 packs of pudding mix in medium bowl. Add 7-Up until covered. Set aside. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set side.

Grease and flour 3 spring pans, preferably 9-inch round pans. Use a mixer and beat together the butter, sugar and pudding mixture. Add eggs to the mixer and lightly mix on a slower speed.

With mixer on low, slowly add 1/2 of the flour mix (flour, baking powder and salt) and then 1/2 of your buttermilk. Then go back and forth, mixing in the flour mix and the buttermilk until it’s all mixed. When it’s ready, pour it equally into each of three pans.

Bake 12 minutes.

Icing ingredients:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 sticks butter, softened

4 ounces of 7-Up

2 1/2 packs (3.5 oz.) of instant pistachio pudding mix

1 tablespoon almond extract


Pour pudding mix into a shallow bowl. Pour 7-Up on top until covered. Stir and stir.

Set aside for at least a half hour.

Mix in butter to the bowl and then slowly add the powdered sugar and extract.

Preferably use a standup mixer on a low speed.

Cake assembling directions:

Once the three cakes have cooled, slowly remove them from the pans, and then you’re going to use your icing between the layers to create a triple layer cake. Be sure to smooth out the outside and let the cake sit for a few hours in a refrigerator before cutting the cake. You can chop up some pistachio nuts and put it on the icing if you’d like.

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