pistachio crusted chocolate cake

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday! Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we celebrated her 21st with a power hour…

The GS and I got to babysit Alice last night while mom and dad went out to dinner. She’s such a little angel.


We had a party on Saturday to celebrate, too, which is when I made this cake. (Cake > 60 shots of Keystone light.) VIP guests included Annie (aka @thesoupersunday), our sister Morgan all the way from Austin, my MIL, and Louise’s BFF Josie Drew.


While browsing for cake ideas I stumbled across a photo of a cake covered in pistachios. I think it was like vegan AND gluten free so I had no interest in the recipe, but I was very into the presentation. Naturally I turned to my girl Joy for a foolproof chocolate cake recipe, and then I added some Nutella to chocolate buttercream to take it over the top. I’ll never make plain old chocolate frosting again.

for the cake (adapted from Joy the Baker)

2 cups flour

2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened baking powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup milk (I used oat milk)

1/2 cup canola oil (or any neutral oil)

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup black coffee (I used cold brew)

for the frosting

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup Nutella

1/4-1/3 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Sift to fully combine.


In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and coffee. Beat together until smooth. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with butter and cocoa powder- the cakes will slide right out!


Split the batter between the two, and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until the middle doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pan. Precision baking folks. (Except that my pans aren’t cake pans at all so I had to trim the edges so that they would stack- it works!)

Allow the cakes to cool completely. At some point during that time, make the frosting. Beat all the ingredients together. Start with about 1/4 cup milk, and add more if it’s too thick.

Frost the top of one of the cakes, then pop the other one on top and frost the whole thing. Chop up some pistachios and throw them all over the top. Chill in the refrigerator until serving!


I’m not the best cake froster but I think the pistachios save me here. Plus everyone said the frosting was the best part, so it’s probably a blessing that I put it on thick.


Making sure I posted this in time for you to make it for St. Patricks’ Day!!


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