Sweet, salty, tangy and super light. This raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate cake is the perfect showstopper dessert!
Raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate. Name a better trio. I’ll wait….
OH WAIT THERE ISN’T ONE. 😉 Basically I love this combo alottttt and turning them into a cake has been on my to-bake list for a longgg time. And with Easter coming up I thought it was perfect timing. I’m not sure what makes me feel like this cake is Eastery – maybe its just the bright green sponge…or maybe its just because its light and fresh. As much as I like the spicy warming bakes of Autumn and Winter. I do have a soft spot for the fresh fruity bakes of Spring and Summer.
Making a raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate cake
This is the perfect cake for a special occasion, small gathering or to be honest just for yourself if you really want cake! I’m not judging! The pistachio sponge is so light, slightly salty and super moreish. The white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, though a little more time consuming than regular American style, is so deliciously creamy and adds just the right amount of sweetness. And finally the fresh raspberries dotted through the buttercream adds such a delicious tartness. The perfect combination. Salty, sweet and tart.
How to make a pistachio sponge:
Pistachios are one of my absolute favourite nuts. It’s always my go-to ice cream flavour and if I see a pistachio sponge in a bakery I’m alwaysss gonna choose it. I love the saltiness they bring to a bake, which means you can pair them with a sweet buttercream and not worry about sweet overload!
Now, like baking with almonds, you will need to either buy ground pistachios or grind it yourself in a food processor. You won’t get the ground nuts as fine as flour, but you need to get it as fine as you can. This will help to mix evenly into the cake batter. Ground almonds are common fixtures in most supermarkets, but ground pistachios not so much. So I bought mine on Amazon – it does work out a little more expensive than shucking the nuts yourself and then grinding. But to be honest, in recipe testing I made this cake four times and I couldn’t face shucking that many nuts myself!!
Now you have your ground pistachios, the sponge is very simple:
- Cream the butter and sugar together until really light and fluffy.
- Whisk in the vanilla and eggs.
- Mix in the flour, ground pistachios and baking powder.
- Finally, stir in the milk.
That’s it! Super simple, and into the oven.
There is one more step I’ve missed out, but it is entirely optional. I’ve added a small blob of green food colouring into the sponge to enhance the pistachio colour. Pistachios aren’t actually that vibrant when baked, but I really wanted to have a strong contrast between the pistachio sponge and red raspberries. If you’re not as bothered about aesthetics though, you can definitely leave this out 😉
Onto the buttercream now!
How to make white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream:
Swiss meringue buttercream is my favourite buttercream to pair with cake. Although it is quite rich with a ton of butter, its also SO light and creamy. American style buttercream does have its place (and I have a lot of recipes that uses that style!), but sometimes it can just be too thick and sugary. I especially wanted to use swiss meringue buttercream, as the pistachio sponge is superrr light and I didn’t want it to be overpowered.
So how do we make it?! The meringue element can seem daunting at first, but I honestly think if you break down the steps and make sure you have everything weighed out and ready before you start. You’ll be absolutely fine, and will feel like a baking GENIUS when pillowy meringue clouds appear in your mixer 🙂
- First get everything ready – egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, vanilla found from the back of the cupboard, butter and white chocolate weighed.
- Now place the egg whites/sugar bowl over a large saucepan with a small amount of water, making sure the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water (this is your bain-marie). Keep the heat on medium-high, whisking intermittently until the mixture reaches 70C on a food thermometer. Then take off the heat and attach to your stand mixer.
- Whisk on high speed for around 10 minutes, until you have a gorgeously glossy meringue that has cooled to room temperature.
- Once your meringue is cooled and at stiff peaks, begin adding your butter. You need to add this around a tablespoon at a time. Add it too fast and your buttercream might turn soupy.
- Once all your butter has been added, melt the white chocolate and mix this in along with the vanilla.
And that’s it. A lot of swiss meringue buttercream making is just letting the mixer do the work. So definitely not as scary as it sounds!
How to stack a layer cake
The final step in this cake, is actually assembling it all together! If you have a cake turntable this will come in very handy here, but its not essential. You’ll want to trim your cakes slightly so they’re exactly the same size, get your buttercream into a piping bag and halve all your raspberries.
From there its as simple as placing one sponge down, piping on buttercream and topping with raspberries. Then repeating the process until you get to the top sponge. At this point you need to crumb coat the cake – this means to cover the entire cake (tops and sides) in a thin layer of buttercream and then place in the fridge for around 20minutes. This will make it much easier to spread the remaining buttercream smoothly onto the cake without dragging cake crumbs into it. As I decided to make this cake with Easter in mind, I reserved some of the buttercream and piped little Easter eggs all over the cake. Though, you could do anything you like here or just keep it plain! Totally up to you.
Make sure your butter is at room temperature before using, this will help to incorporate with the other ingredients. Also make sure you are creaming your butter and sugar for at least 3-5minutes until light and fluffy. This will help to incorporate air into the batter and keep your sponge light.
This could be because your butter was added when the meringue was still too warm. Make sure to only begin adding the butter when the outside of the bowl is at room temperature. To save a soupy buttercream – place the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes and then whip again.
No. You can absolutely make swiss meringue buttercream with a hand-held electric whisk, though it may give you arm ache and you will need to multi-task a bit! I’ve done it, and its definitely possible. I wouldn’t advise doing this with a manual whisk however, it would just take absolutely FOREVER.
I really hope you like this raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate cake as much as I did!
Here’s the full recipe:
Raspberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate Cake
- 225 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 225 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 175 g plain flour
- 75 g ground pistachios
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 75 ml milk whole or semi-skimmed
- green food colouring optional
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 150 ml egg whites approx. 3 large eggs
- 250 g caster sugar
- 450 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g white chocolate
- green food colouring optional
- 1 punnet of raspberries
- For the sponge: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Then grease and line two 8x10in cake tins and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand whisk cream together the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
- Whisk in the vanilla and eggs until just combined. Then whisk in the flour, ground pistachios and baking powder until just combined. Finally, add the milk (and a small blob of green food colouring if desired) and whisk again until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake tins, and bake for 25 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave for 10 minutes in the tin and then remove and place onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the buttercream: Place the egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and cook over a bain-marie. Whisk intermittently until the mixture reaches 70C on a food thermometer. Then take off the heat and fit to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on a high speed for around 10 minutes until you have a glossy and thick meringue, that has cooled to room temperature.
- Then swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment, and with the mixer running on a medium speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Once all the butter has been encoporated, mix on a high speed for a few minutes more.
- Finally, melt the white chocolate and mix into the buttercream along with the vanilla.
- To assemble: Place all but 130g of the buttercream into a piping bag and cut off the end to create a medium sized hole. Colour 70g of the remaining buttercream with a little green food colouring, then place into a piping bag and cut off the end to create a small hole. Finally, place the remaining 30g buttercream into a piping bag and cut off the end to create a small hole. Then halve your raspberries in half and set everything aside.
- Trim the edges of your sponges so they are all the same size, then cut each sponge in half widthways (so you end up with four sponges approx. 4x5in). Then place one sponge onto a cake board or serving platter and pipe a little buttercream on top, smoothing with a palette knife or spoon. Then place 1/3 of the halved raspberries on top, pipe a few blobs of buttercream on top of this to help stick. Then place your next sponge layer on top and press down gently. Repeat this process for the next two sponge layers, until you are left with the final sponge layer to place on top. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake, using a palette knife or cake scraper to get this even. Then place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
- Once the crumb coat is chilled, remove from the fridge and spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Again, using a palette knife or cake scraper to keep this even. Finally, using the green buttercream pipe small oval shapes to create 'easter eggs' all over the cake. Finish with the white buttercream to create zigzag lines on the easter eggs.