Pistachio Bundt Cake from Scratch
Delicious and flavorful, this homemade pistachio bundt cake is the perfect dessert for spring. The easy-to-follow recipe yields a moist cake that has a natural nutty taste in each bite. Top it with a simple glaze and you have a treat everyone will love!
If you don’t know, I love making desserts from scratch. I don’t typically use baking mixes, which is why I was set on making this pistachio bundt cake without pudding mix or boxed mix. I wanted natural pistachio flavor and a cake using all the usual ingredients (butter, eggs, sugar, etc.) The result was a delicious success!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfect pistachio flavor: This is one of the best nutty flavors in my opinion. This recipe uses roasted pistachios plus pistachio extract for a lovely taste.
- No boxed mixes: I opted to make this recipe from scratch without pudding mix. I know it’s a popular choice, but I wanted something a little more authentic.
- Great dessert for entertaining: Bundt cakes serve a crowd! They also make for a beautiful presentation at holidays such as Easter and St. Patrick’s Day.
- Easy to make: The recipe is straightforward and simple. The batter comes together in 10 minutes and the cake is ready to eat in just a few hours!
- Flour: Use all purpose flour for best results. If you choose to use cake flour, add 2 extra tablespoons for every cup of all purpose.
- Butter: Unsalted butter not only adds a rich taste, but also makes a moist and tender texture.
- Pistachios: Opt for roasted unsalted pistachios (shells removed, of course). If you can’t find roasted, toast the nuts yourself on the stovetop or in the oven.
- Pistachio extract: This may be difficult to find, but pistachio flavoring/extract is available online. A good substitute is almond extract.
- Milk: Whole milk yield better texture and flavor. In a pinch, low-fat or buttermilk will work.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, this is used to make the vanilla icing on top.
Make it green. Add a couple drops of green food coloring or gel to the batter before baking. You can also dye the icing or use green candy melts on top of the cake. Alternatively, try baking a matcha cake for natural green flavor.
Try different flavors. This cake would also taste delicious with ground up almonds or walnuts. You can also mix in 1/2 cup shredded coconut. For a citrus note, add 1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest or lemon zest to the batter and use fresh citrus juice in the glaze.
Make it chocolate. Replace 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and mix in 1 cup chocolate chips to the batter.
Switch the topping. Instead of a glaze, you can top this pistachio bundt cake with chocolate ganache! Cool whip or homemade whipped cream would also taste delicious. I’m also a fan of the cream cheese frosting on my pumpkin bundt cake.
How to make pistachio bundt cake from scratch
- Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, pistachios, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar until light in fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and pistachio extracts.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and milk into the batter. Mix just until combined.
- Transfer batter to a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 F for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the glaze. Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour glaze over cooled cake. Garnish with chopped pistachios.
Weigh your ingredients for accurate measurements. If you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down). Also, use room temperature ingredients. It’s easier to mix and results in a better textured cake.
Use roasted pistachios for the best flavor and pistachio extract if you can find it. If you can’t find roasted pistachios, you can toast raw pistachios in the oven or on the stovetop to enhance the nutty flavor. Also, almond extract works in a pinch and pairs well.
Don’t over-mix the batter or over-bake the cake. Mix the flour and milk in just until combined and the flour pockets disappear. Check if the cake is done by inserting a skewer or butter knife into the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, then it’s done.
Grease your bundt pan with my homemade cake release goop. It’s a simply mixture that gets into all the nooks and crannies. It guarantees the cake a clean release from the pan!
Let the cake cool completely before frosting. After cooling in the pan for 10 or 15 minutes, invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. If it is still warm, the icing will melt and absorb into the cake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but it won’t have the same flavor. Almonds and walnuts are good substitutions.
Yes, a 9×13 or two 8-inch round pans will work. Baking time will be shorter, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Yes, once the cake has cooled completely, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap. Place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.
It was either over baked or there was too much flour added. Make sure your oven temperature is correct with an oven thermometer and use a kitchen scale for accurate ingredient measurements.
If you enjoyed this dessert, try one of these recipes next!
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Get the Recipe: Pistachio Bundt Cake from Scratch
- 2 ½ cups (312 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shelled and ground pistachios
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pistachio extract, (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup shelled pistachios, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground pistachios. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Mix in pistachio extract and vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, finishing and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° F for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the icing. Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Pour over cooled cake and garnish with shelled pistachios. Slice and serve.