Pistachio Brown Butter Cake + Video
Well okay. Exciting stuff I’ve got for you today! Because this is the the first cake recipe on the blog that contains brown butter. And pistachios. I’ve never posted a cake before with either one. Crazy!!!!
You know what else I’ve never posted? A video tutorial for this pistachio brown butter cake. Here we are:
Or, watch it on YouTube.
If you’re aware of my brown butter love fest/addiction/obsession/infatuation, you’ll know how especially odd it is that I’ve never posted a brown butter cake before.
But it gets worse. Because not only have I not posted a brown butter cake before, this is actually the first cake ever that I’ve made with brown butter. What can I say? I have erred.
Now, don’t get me wrong - I’ve made cookies (thousands and thousands, literally) with brown butter. And bars with brown butter. But for some reason, I’ve never baked a cake with brown butter.
Until now. And this cake, this brown butter pistachio cake, lemme tell you - it’s coming in HOTTTTTTTTT. Literally. Figuratively. All the ‘lys.
Brown butter is magical, because by simply melting butter an extra couple minutes to the point where amber specks appear in it and it stars emitting a nutty aroma, you get a whole new world of flavor.
A flavor that is caramely and hazelnutty and butterscotchy and rich and deep and insanely tasty.
And not only does this pistachio cake batter get browned butter swirled into it. The glaze for this cake gets lotsa browned butter as well. For double the brown butter flavor. It’s almost too much. In the best way.
And the pistachios. Use roasted and salted ones. Because roasted + salted = more toasty, nutty, salty flavor. Which is awesome in this sweet, tender, moist cake.
What you’re going to do with those roasted, salted pistachios is grind them up until they’re sandy. And mix them into the batter. Those ground pistachios add so much nuttiness and depth to the cake. They are delights.
You’re also gonna chop some more roasted, salted pistachios up for sprinkling over the cake once it’s glazed. Because it’ll make the cake more beautiful plus more textured plus more delicious.
Both granulated sugar and brown sugar are used in this brown butter pistachio cake, for the ultimate balance of rich flavor, light texture, and moistness.
Oh, and there’s honey too. The honey adds a fruity undertone and an extra level of tenderness to the cake. It also helps this cake stay soft for like a full week.
And the glaze. Don’t worry- you don’t have to brown butter again for the glaze. You’re simply going to reserve some of the original butter you browned and use it for the glaze. And mix that reserved brown butter with cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla and milk and confectioners sugar to create literally one of the most flavorful glazes I’ve ever tasted.
Because guess what else I’m going to admit now? I’ve also never made a glaze with brown butter before. SMH.
And if you thought this cake couldn’t get more flavor-bombed, think again. Because aside from the caramely, rich brown butter and roasted, salted pistachios and fruity honey, there’s also cinnamon and nutmeg involved.
Sweet and spiced and salted and brown buttery and glazed. This cake knows what’s up.
I’m thinking a fat slice of this moist, tender, fluffy, rich, sweet, nutty, caramely pistachio brown butter cake, along with either a steaming hot coffee or a glass of ice cold milk, every day for the rest of the summer.
Pistachio Brown Butter Cake
Yield: 9” cake/8-10 servings
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
1/2 cup shelled, roasted + salted pistachios
1 1/2 cups packed flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown butter (set aside from before)
Pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners sugar
-Chopped pistachios, for garnishing
2. In a light-colored (so you can observe the browning) skillet, brown the butter: chop up butter and place into skillet over a medium flame. First, the butter will melt. Once butter melts, it will foam and bubble. Make sure to stir the butter periodically with a rubber spatula. After a few minutes, the bubbling will subside and golden specks will appear on the bottom of the pan and the butter will start smelling nutty. This means your butter is browned! Warning: butter should have golden/amber specks, not completely brown ones. If the butter is too browned, your cake may have a burnt/bitter taste. (See above for video tutorial.)
3. Remove skillet from flame right away and pour the browned butter into a small bowl. Make sure to scrape in all the browned specks from the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.
4. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until sandy. Add ground pistachios to a large bowl and stir with the flour, sugars, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. Remove 2 tablespoons of the browned butter to reserve for the glaze and pour the rest into the dry ingredients, along with the eggs, vanilla extract, milk, and honey. Mix until just combined.
6. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bang pan against countertop a few times to remove air bubbles. Bake for about 30 minutes, until cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool a bit before releasing from pan. Let cool completely before glazing.
7. Glaze: Whisk the reserved brown butter (re-melt if necessary) with the rest of the glaze ingredients until a thick yet pourable consistency forms. Pour over center of cooled cake, allowing glaze to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Adapted from Tutti Dolci