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Pistachio Cardamom Cake with Lemon Pomegranate Buttercream



Ground pistachios are used in place of flour, providing a cake seasoned with warming spices and a sweet-tart filling, naturally colored with pomegranate juice. This is definitely not your Bubby’s dessert!   

Note: Cardamom is considered kitniyot for Ashkenazim, and is therefore not consumed on Passover.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 12Servings


Pistachio Cardamom Cake

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups + heaping ½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, ground
  • 1 ½ to a scant 2 teaspoons ground cardamom, or the seeds of 12 pods, ground
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Lemon Pomegranate Buttercream

  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 3 cups confectionar's sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons nondairy milk


Pistachio Cardamom Cake Instructions: 

1. Preheat your oven to 390°F. Line the bases of two 8” cake pans with parchment, and/or spray them with cooking spray.

2. Whisk in your eggs and sugar.

3. Gradually fold in ground nuts, cardamom, baking powder, oil, lemon juice, and zest. Don’t overmix.

4. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let cool 15-20 minutes before removing from pan.

Lemon Pomegranate Buttercream Instructions:

1. Pour one cup of pomegranate juice to a pan, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 -1/2 a cup. (If you cannot find kosher for Passover pomegranate juice, feel free to sub for cranberry, or cut a pomegranate in half and remove the seeds. Crush 1/3-1/2 of the seeds and pass through a sieve to extract the juice.)

2. Beat margarine on high speed until fluffy and white, about 2 minutes.

3. Stir in sugar and beat in pomegranate juice and milk.

To assemble:

Layer cake, buttercream, cake, buttercream. Garnish with pomegranate seeds before servin and optional- crushed pistachios.