Little pistachio cakes

Little pistachio cakes

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 15 mins plus cooling


Makes 12
These nutty little cupcakes, topped with cream cheese icing make a pretty addition to any buffet dessert or afternoon tea spread

Nutrition and extra info

  • cakes only

Nutrition: per cake

  • kcal444
  • fat33g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars24g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 175g lightly salted butter, really soft, plus extra for greasing
  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 140g pistachios, plus a few, chopped, for scattering
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

For the icing

  • 290g tub full-fat cream cheese
  • 50g lightly salted butter, softened
  • 100g icing sugar


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease a 12-hole silicone muffin or friand mould, then dust with a little flour, and tip out the excess (a metal tray will work too, but line with muffin cases, as the mixture may stick). Put the pistachios in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped but not greasy. Add the remaining cake ingredients and blend again into a creamy mixture. Use 2 spoons to fill each hole of your tray 2/3 full, place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 15 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the mould for 10 mins, then run a knife around the edge of each cake and turn out onto a wire rack.

  2. Meanwhile, make the icing. Using an electric hand whisk, blend 3 tbsp of the cream cheese with the butter until smooth, then add the remaining cream cheese and icing sugar. Whizz again until creamy, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, and chill until ready to use.

  3. When the cakes are cool, pipe spikes of icing on top of each one, then sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Can be made ahead – store the un-iced cakes in a sealed container for up to 3 days and chill the icing for 2 days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Jun, 2020
Cakes are delicious but there is definitely something wrong with the icing recipe. It was so runny even after being in the fridge for 2 days!
Cookiecaron's picture
3rd Nov, 2019
Lovely light sponge and so tasty. Took 25 minutes to cook and I changed the icing to 125g cream cheese, 100g icing sugar, 1tsp fresh lime juice. Beat until thick and then pipe. Easy and very delicious.
16th Aug, 2018
Divine taste!!!! Very easy recipe, 100% success!
Minoo's picture
14th Mar, 2017
We loved these! I also found that 15 minutes wasn't long enough, but 23 minutes did the trick. Didn't have any problems with it being greasy - that might have been because they processed the nuts for too long. It's so simple as it's all done in a food mixer and I had no trouble fitting it in my large Magimix bowl, but you'd definitely not be able to fit it in a mini chopper. As for the icing, I'd no problems with that either. My tips to avoid runny icing with a recipe like this is to ensure you buy full fat cream cheese (low fat contains too much water = runny) and make sure it's cold out the fridge. When you first mix it, it will look too soft but turn the electric whisk up to high and keep whisking - it'll magically firm up as more air is added.
4th Sep, 2016
followed the recipe exactly and they turned out greasy with more cake left on the paper than the actual cake. Really disappointed
Gabby k
31st May, 2016
I found the icing did not pipe well at all, it was very runny, I ended up making a buttercream to mix it with, but the cakes were moist and lovely.
5th Aug, 2015
I (stupidly) managed to forget to put the butter into these and they STILL tasted nice! Very nutty flavour which is lovely :) I also halved the recipe and it worked fine.
20th Mar, 2015
I agree with the other person who commented on the baking time for these cakes as they were nowhere near cooked after 15 minutes. I kept lengthening the time and took them out after 25 minutes so I hope they are edible for my afternoon tea. A similar recipe on this website for pistachio cupcakes quotes 22-25 minutes. Also I found that the amount of mixture was too much for my food processor and had to finish it off in my food mixer.
15th Mar, 2015
These taste fantastic but 15 mins wasn't nearly long enough in the oven. I had to bake them for 30 mins. Are the timings correct here?
5th Sep, 2016
is the 75 g of flour correct? I made these and they sank and not a good texture
4th Sep, 2016
in this recipe should there have been 175g plain flour? Mine turned out very greasy and took 25 mins to cook - not at all pleasant
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