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Recipe: Sicilian Pistachio Cake

pistachio cake

Recipe: Sicilian Pistachio Cake

It is well known across Italy that each region has its own culinary specialty. The foothills of Mount Etna, in eastern Sicily, grow pistachios with such a special flavor they have been granted government protection. Kitchens across the world proudly label dishes prepared with this pistachio after the town in the heart of the region they are grown, Bronte.

Here is a Sicilian pistachio cake recipe that is sure to have anyone asking for a second slice. Maybe  your second helping will make you want to join our Grand Cycling Tour of Sicily and taste the real Bronte pistachios for yourself.


4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus more room temperature butter for pans
1 cup Sicilian pistachios, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons pistachio paste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add flours and salt and pulse until finely ground.
  3. Combine the yolks, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy, about two minutes. Whisk in the pistachio paste and melted butter.
  4. Using a mixer, whisk the whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Raise speed to medium-high and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Then, working in three additions, fold in the flour mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake until cakes are set and lightly golden, about 25 minutes.
  6. Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Run a knife around the pans to loosen the cakes and invert onto a wire rack. Remove parchment and reinvert to cool completely.

Recipe from: Martha Stewart