Three layers of Pistachio and Lime Cake, sandwiched with a lime buttercream, and topped with summer berries. A pretty, "semi-naked" summer celebration cake.
Pistachio and Lime Cake with Summer Berries
You might have guessed already that I like pistachios. I think they make a great addition to cakes and bakes, turning what could otherwise be a fairly dull, plain cake into one that is rather special. At Easter I made a pretty Pistachio and Lemon Cake which I decorated with Crystallised Flowers. Because these flavours worked so well together, I decided to create a variation on them with this cake. This time I have used fewer pistachios and not chopped them so finely. The result is a lighter texture with some delicious nutty chunks with the added bonus that you don't need a food processor to make it.
I love buttercream, it is so easy to make and adding some lime juice gives it a light citrus tang which complements this cake. Much as I like it though, you can easily have too much. So I haven't gone overboard with it using about two thirds to sandwich the cakes together. The rest was then spread in a thin layer on top and an even thinner layer around the edge to give the cake a fashionable, semi-naked finish. Which means you can still see the layers of the cake through the outer frosting.
You don't need anything else between the layers but, if you are feeling generous, you could add a layer of summer fruit jam to accentuate the berry flavour of the cake. Alternatively, some lime curd would also make a nice addition. This recipe for lime curd is from Only Crumbs Remain my other website if you fancy making your own.
I think summer berries go so well with lime, which is why to give this cake a lovely summery feel I topped the cake with berries. They look pretty too. The harvest of summer berries from the allotment is tailing off now so I used a mixture of raspberries from the allotment with some strawberries and blue berries from the market. To complete the decoration I added a few more whole pistachio nuts and sprinkled them on top. Finally, a light dusting of icing sugar and the cake is complete.
Now all you need to do is enjoy. It is lovely as a special treat with afternoon tea but also goes pretty well with a glass of fizz making it a great summer celebration cake. Go on, spoil yourself.
Pistachio and Lime Layer Cake
for the cake
- 450 g butter
- 450 g golden caster sugar
- 8 free range eggs
- 500 g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 150 g pistachio nuts roughly chopped
- 2 limes
for the lime buttercream
- 225 g butter
- 450 g icing sugar
- 1½ tbsp lime juice
- selection of fresh summer berries
- few pistachio nuts
- icing sugar to dust
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (170℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of 3 x 23 cm (9in) shallow cake tins.
- Beat the butter and caster sugar together until very pale and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time adding 1 tbsp of flour with each of the last two eggs to prevent them from curdling.
- Sift the remaining flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add the pistachios and the juice and zest of two limes. then carefully fold in until the mixture is well combined.
- Divide equally between the three tins and bake for 30 minutes or until springy to the touch.
- Allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the butter cream
- Beat the butter until pale, then add the icing sugar a third at a time and beat until combined. Add the lime juice and beat until very fluffy.
- Spread about one third of the butter cream over one of the sponge layers. Place the next one on top and repeat with another third of the icing and the third sponge.
- Use the remaining butter cream to coat the top and sides of the cake. Pile some berries on top of the cake and sprinkle with a few pistachio nuts. Dust with icing sugar and serve
- Place a shallow roasting tin in the base of the oven and fill with 2cm (1in) hot water before baking the cakes. This helps to keep the cakes moist while they cook.
- If you do not have three cake tins or enough space in the oven to cook three at once, the mixture can stand while one batch cooks. Remove the cake from the tin, reline and grease the cake tin and bake the remaining cake layer as quickly as possible so that the mixture does not sit for too long.
- Nutrition calculations does not include the fruit and nuts on top.