A Very Festive Pistachio Orange Blossom Cake
This cake or loaf (if you want to call it that) has delicate orange notes, a warm nutty pistachio flavour and a moist crumb structure. It's delicious with a slab of cold butter and paired with warm tea. A few things to note:
  • Beat your butter and sugar using a creaming beater until it is pale and fluffy. Creaming is a proper baking technique that is crucially important in baking cakes. Properly creamed butter and sugar will be pale yellow in color, but not white. Creaming incorporates the maximum amount of air bubbles created by dry sugar mixed with solid fat (butter), so a recipe will rise in the oven and be light in texture when baked.
  • If orange flower water is difficult to get, use orange zest or orange juice.
  • You can grind pistachios up in your Food Processor - just make sure that the skins are peeled off the pistachios.
  • If mascarpone if tough to procure, replace it with a blend of softened cream cheese and butter. Alternatively, you can simply mix powdered caster sugar and orange juice for a thinner, more drippy type of frosting. It should cool and harden with time.
  • Lastly, it's very important to let the loaf cool in the tin before popping it out - you don't want to risk the loaf crumbling. Cooling is just as important as any other step in baking!
Love lemon-y recipes? Try these: Classic lemon tart or a Lemon Cheescake.  


Making the cake
  150 g softened butter
  150 g caster sugar
  4 eggs
  80 g plain flour
  1.50 tsp baking powder
  100 g pistachios, finely ground
  70 g ground almonds
  2 tsp orange flower water or orange zest
  250 g mascarpone
  50 g powdered caster sugar
  1 tsp orange flower water or orange juice
  ½ tsp vanilla extract



Preheat your oven to 170C, and line a loaf tin with baking parchment paper.


Fit your Kenwood Chef kitchen machine with the creaming beater, and add the butter and sugar to the bowl.


Set the machine to a low speed, then slowly increase to a medium high speed, and cream together the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy, for around 5 minutes.


Crack one egg into the bowl, and add a spoonful of the flour to stop the batter from curdling. Beat the mixture together for 30 seconds, until fully combined, then repeat with each of the remaining eggs, adding a spoonful of flour with each egg.


Once the final egg has been mixed in, sift in the remaining flour and baking powder. Change the bowl tool for the K beater, and set the machine to a low speed until the flour is just combined.


Add the ground pistachios and almonds and again mix on a low speed until just combined.


Finally, add the orange zest or flower water, and briefly mix on a low speed.


Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.


Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 45mins-1hr, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.


Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before lifting out of the tin onto a cooling rack.


Whilst the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Into the clean bowl of your kitchen machine, fitted with the creaming beater, add all of the frosting ingredients, and beat together on a medium speed, until fluffy and smooth.


Once the cake is completely cool, top with the frosting, and decorate with slivered pistachios and candied orange slices if you wish.