My pantry

A wedding cake birthday cake…. Pistachio and Rosewater Cake with White Choc Ganache

May 12, 2013

ingredients for pistachio and rosewater cakeA few years ago I discovered a cupcake that captured every one of my senses and made my cake jackpot lights and bells go nuts.

I’m not a generally store-bought cupcake kinda gal but when I walked past a sign saying pistachio and rosewater cupcake, I knew one of those puppies had my name all over it.

When it came time to organise my wedding cake I knew this baby was it. The problem was I was getting married 2500 kms away from this shop. I explained my plight, thinking maybe they’d take pity on me and allow their recipe to wing its way to my cake maker in Port Douglas, QLD… alas, they merely shook their heads and said forget about it.



They also said that this cake would never withstand being larger than a cupcake as the mixture would cave in.

Dastardly bastards. They may as well have challenged me to a sword fight at dusk.

I went to my guru of cake. I described this cake to her with words like delicate, exotic and exquisite. She had never heard of such flavours in a cake.

There was only one thing for it. Express Post.

pistachio and rosewater cake with white chocolate ganache

From the second she received the slightly sweaty, partly mooshed, icing smeared flying cupcake, she was onboard the adventure. She was dissecting it on her tongue, trying to recreate the texture and flavour. She did all that and more. She not only matched the delicate flavours, but she made it better… and then smothered it in white chocolate ganache.


I didn’t throw a kids party for Kiki’s first birthday. I threw a late lunch feast for a few dear ones who love her to pieces. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to recreate our wedding cake. Maybe it’s a little bit weird, but I’ve actually been dying for an excuse to make it.

The beauty of it is it’s possibly the easiest cake ever. You make it in a food processor. No creaming, no sifting, no nuffing. You chuck everything in, and whizz.


Note : This is to make one 8 inch round cake…. oh, and this batter is so freakin’ yummy, it’s addictive.

pistachio and rosewater cake with white chocolate ganache

What you will need :

For the cake – 

  • 150g shelled pistachios
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater

For the ganache – 

  • 120g white chocolate, plus a few pieces for garnish
  • 60 ml cream
  • a small handful of pistachios, chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line a baking tin.

Very finely grind your nuts in a food processor.
Chuck in your flour, cardamom and sugar and blend to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Tip into your tin and bake for 55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for an hour before turning out (although apparently it’s also divine warm with cream)

Chuck your chocolate and cream into a saucepan and melt together. Leave to cool for a good few minutes before you spoon on. Spoon into the middle and gently push it towards the edge until it runs down the side.

I then melted my remaining few pieces of chocolate and smeared in onto baking paper before rolling it and setting it in the fridge. When you unfurl it you have curls and cool pieces for garnish. Chuck it on with some pistachios and you have yourself a cake that’s fit for a wedding… or a first birthday.

rosewater pistachio birthday cake





our-growing-edge-bannerHooking up with Our Growing Edge. This month’s host is Sonya, at And More Food.
Go see who’s tending their growing edge this month!

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  • Reply Vanessa Beattie (@BabblingBandit) May 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

    What a great story! I love pistachios, rose water and white chocolate! All mixed up in a cake sounds divine. I’m defo going to make this. V.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys May 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I ate some for breakfast!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 12/05/2013, at 8:47 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Kristy @ The Life She Made May 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Mmmm, this really does sound incredible. I love nut cakes and middle eastern flavours too. I’m bookmarking this to make soon.

  • Reply mydearbakes May 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Marvelous bake! I like it! =)

  • Reply Bunny Eats Design May 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I love the story of this cake too. You’ve pretty much made an epic tradition. It could be your family cake. Love the whole “bung in the food processor” attitude…If only I had one of those magical machines.

    To be honest, I didn’t know pistachios came pre-shelled. I’d never be able to shell pistachios without eating them. Force of habit. Isn’t it interesting that the time it takes to shell a pistachio is identical to the time it takes to eat one? Once I start eating, it’s difficult to stop because the flow is so very zen.

    Thanks for submitting this gorgeous cake to Our Growing Edge!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys May 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Pistachio nuts are addictive!! These are raw and unshelled. TBH they’re easier to resist than roasted and salted.

      I hope it becomes a family tradition because I adore it. Went to my bro’s cafe two days ago and it was sitting on the counter… He pretends he doesn’t read my blog so he was busted 😉

  • Reply Unwind Cooking May 14, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Stunning photo. I’ve never made cake so this recipe is definitely one to try.

  • Reply our growing edge: may 2013 | andmorefood June 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    […] at look what I made! – I really want that mold. and as a triumph over a mean bakery – keeping up with the holsbys came up with a pistachio rosewater cake with white chocolate ganache that’ll do you for […]

  • Reply andmorefood June 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    hello! and thank you for this lovely entry into this month’s our growing edge. I’ve got it up in my round-up here.

    this looks so good. I have a weakness for pistachios, and with chocolate – I’m a goner.

    p.s. (happy first birthday to the little one!)

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 5, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Thanks so much….nice wrap up.
      This cake is my new favorite. If you came to tea, it would surely be on the table.

  • Reply Nicole July 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    HI, I made the rosewater pistachio cake for my mums 70th Birthday. It was AMAZING! Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      I’m so thrilled to hear that!! Happy birthday to your mama.

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 04/07/2013, at 3:20 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

      • Reply Nicole January 3, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        Hi, I want to make this cake again but I now follow A grain free diet. Would you know how to adjust the recipe? Im thinking just add an extra 150grams of pistachios in place of SR flour. Should I adjust any other ingredients? Thanks.

        • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys January 4, 2014 at 5:52 am

          I think it’s a bit of trial and error… You could just use more nuts, should be fine, or you could try GF flour with baking powder? Either way I think you’ll need a little more baking powder so it doesn’t get too dense. The flavour will still be amazing but a different texture, I think. Let me know how you go and I can add a note to the post! Good luck x

          Sent from my iPhone


  • Reply Kay Ram September 24, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Thank you for this amazing recipe! I made it for my father-in-law’s 70th birthday as I was trying to recreate a baklava like flavour (his favourite but WAAAY beyond my pastry skills) in a cake. It was a massive success. I then used it to win a bake-off competition at my work. I’m just about to make it again for a friend’s birthday and wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for sharing 🙂

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