Pistachio praline & vanilla cake

Pistachio praline & vanilla cake

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(3 ratings)

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Cooking time

Cook: 30 mins

Skill level



Cuts into 10 slices

Pistachio praline and vanilla sponge - a nutty-tasting cake that's perfect for birthdays

Nutrition and extra info

  • Cake base freezes well for 3 months
  • Easily doubled
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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For the cake

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100g pistachios
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the pistachio & vanilla filling

  • 200g pot full fat soft cheese
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a few drops vanilla essence

For the topping

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a handful of roughly chopped pistachios

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  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
  2. Blitz the pistachios in a food processor until very fine. Add the self-raising flour and caster sugar to the nuts and blitz until completely combined. Add eggs, baking powder and milk and mix together.
  3. Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. For the filling mix the soft cheese with the caster sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence.
  5. Sandwich the sponges with the filling. For the topping, stir 2 tbsp water with 100g caster sugar in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on High for 3-4 mins until bubbling and starting to caramelise. Stir in a handful of roughly chopped pistachios then quickly spoon onto the cake. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2005

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Show comments
CurlysCooking's picture

I was initially put off from making this cake because of quite a badly written recipe and negative comments.
I decided to make it and adjust the recipe - mainly leaving out the praline topping!
I rewrote the recipe which I'm hoping is easier to follow on my blog http://www.curlyscooking.co.uk/?p=2079

gilleeneyc@gmail.com's picture

Eeeehhh, you forgot the butter! Lovely cake - baked it today - but you forgot to mention in the method how /when to incorporate the butter, so I didn't! So, the cake was a bit dry. However, miraculously it turned out okay otherwise...

katycooks's picture

I commented on this several hours ago and yet my post isn't appearing - do posts get removed if they are critical? I'll try again:

1. The method for making the sponges is clearly flawed. A novice baker would be utterly flummoxed!
2. Why suggest adding caster sugar to the mascarpone when icing sugar works better?
3. The topping is a disaster and is unnecessary. Either put more of the mascarpone on top and sprinkle the chopped pistachios on that, or just dust the top of the cake with a bit of icing sugar and/or a mixture of icing sugar and more ground pistachios.

last edited: 11:29, 25th Oct, 2013
katycooks's picture

This is a badly flawed recipe. As mentioned by others, the method for making the sponges makes no sense at all. Also I think using caster sugar for the filling makes no sense either - I used icing sugar which gave a nice smooth result. As for the topping, having taken heed of the negative comments about it, I merely swirled a little of it around in circles on the top of the cake and then sprinkled the chopped pistachios over that. I did end up with a very nice cake, but only because I ignored half the recipe. Not very impressive at all GF - you should fix this recipe!

mikyven's picture

Is it really necessary to bake two cakes and then put them on top of each other? I treid other recipes where it was written to do so but I never did it....I always cut the cake in two! And they always work well!

vickpole's picture
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I made a little mistake by putting in bicarb of soda in instead of baking powder so then added the baking powder aswel, lol!! The sponge was lovely, really moist, light and the taste of the pistachio's really came through but they really do have to be whizzed up finely. The filling was great I added more than a few drops of vanilla extract to get the taste. The praline top just didn't work do not know what I did wrong it was just like a brick - fortunately was only cooking for close family so it was a laugh but i wouldn't try the praline again.

bethocallaghan's picture
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There seems to be a lot of confusion over this recipe. I ground the nuts and then mixed with the other dry ingredients and then mixed in all the wet ingredients. Very nice. If not quite as light as some of the other cakes in this set.

lindsay's picture
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annawalton's picture

I make as a victoria sponge but with the nuts as the addition, came out really light and fluffy. basically blitz nuts and then make as you would normally, by putting all ingredients in a bowl and mixing together, makes a lovely light cake. The praline didn't work very well so haven't tried that since.
Did try and make a football pitch (by adding green food colouring to the cheese mix and smothering all over cake) for a birthday cake but think I used too much food colouring we were all bouncing off the walls for days but fab cake all the same.

lizdevereau's picture

Thought I would make additional comments to above. Yes, receipe is baffling; although have made this several times. I just cream sugar & butter, mix in eggs, flour, milk and blitzed nuts. I seems to come out ok, although cake sponge is very thin. I would increase flour quantity to either 200-250g to get a thicker sponge.

faggy_no_oats's picture

I am also baffled by this recipe, but want to try it!

barbrogers's picture

I step 1. you mixed everything toether then in step 2. you mixed nuts with flour sugar then adde3d eggs baking pwd & milk??
Did you mean to just blitz butter & sugar in step 1. ??????