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Pistachio Lover’s Pound Cake

Unfailingly for the past 15 years, a tremendously big bag of Bazzini pistachios, sent by one of my husband’s clients, has arrived at our door every holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining—I love pistachios. Making your way through five pounds can prove dangerous, though. By early February, I find myself dispensing pistachios to friends, neighbors, and basically anyone who stops by. In order to spread the love and use up the pistachios, I created this Pistachio Pound Cake. Dense and savory with a nutty flavor, it satisfies any pistachio lover’s craving.–Rebecca Miller Ffrench

LC 'Tis Better to Give Than to Receive Note

Considering that ’tis better to give than to receive, it may not be a bad thing that this recipe results in a pound cake of ample proportions. So go ahead, gift away. Just bear in mind that slices of the obscenely rich loaf disappear quickly. While it may be divine to share, we consider it smart to set aside a slice or two for yourself first. Trust us.

Pistachio Pound Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • For the pistachio pound cake
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup ground pistachios
  • For the glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup crushed pistachios

Directions

  • Make the pistachio pound cake
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the 2 long sides of the pan. Butter the pan and parchment.
  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and honey on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • 3. Add the flour and the milk to the creamed egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat on medium-high for about 20 seconds between additions, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the pistachios and beat on low just until combined.
  • 4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is cracked on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Take a peek at the cake after around 45 minutes and if it’s beginning to brown quite a lot, cover the cake with aluminum foil to prevent the top from becoming too brown.
  • 5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then either grab the parchment overhang and carefully unmold the loaf or invert the loaf onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment and slide it under the wire rack. Let the loaf cool completely.
  • Make the glaze
  • 6. While the cake cools, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, honey, and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
    If you prefer a simple, runny glaze, heat just until the mixture is combined.
    If you prefer a sticky, candylike glaze, cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook, still stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the glaze from the heat.
  • 7. Slowly spoon the warm glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in between spoonfuls. Some of the glaze will inevitably run down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios over the cake and let it cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving.
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