Sweet Pistachio Perfection: Aunt Sassy Cake

I can't believe that it took me more than two years to get to the Baked Explorations Aunt Sassy Cake, a pistachio cake with honey-vanilla buttercream. While almond is my absolute favorite flavor, I also love pistachios. The recipe headnote describes the cake as "a dream cake, the kind you will make once every now and then but remember often." An office birthday finally presented the perfect opportunity to make this cake. (In my previous post I mentioned that the Sunday Night Cake was the last cake recipe in the cookbook I had yet to try. That's true; the Aunt Sassy Cake was the penultimate cake recipe I made from Baked Explorations and I just happened to write my post about the Sunday Night Cake first.)

The pistachio cake recipe is a variation of the same base recipe used in the Lemon Drop Cake and the Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Buttercream. You beat butter and shortening, add in sugar and vanilla, mix in an egg, and alternately add in the dry ingredients (cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground pistachios, and chopped pistachios) and ice water. Finally, you fold in three egg whites that have been beaten with cream of tartar to soft peaks. You divide the batter between three 8-inch cake pans and bake.

The frosting is also a variation of the standard Baked cooked buttercream. You cook flour, sugar, milk, and flour until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, and then transfer it to a mixing bowl and beat it until cool. You incorporate softened butter, beat it until light and fluffy, and mix in vanilla and honey.

I didn't have enough frosting to pipe on any decorative borders, so I had to settle for chopped pistachio garnish on the top and around the bottom edge of the cake. The cake is wonderfully tender and moist, and it cut beautifully and cleanly. This cake is outstanding. It's got a terrific pistachio flavor, a wonderful pistachio crunch, and while the buttercream is definitely sweet, it totally works with the cake.

Every layer cake I've ever made from the guys at Baked has been fantastic. I'm so glad that this cake continues that perfect and delicious track record!

Recipe: "Aunt Sassy Cake" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

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Louise said…
Your cake looks beautiful. I think the pistachio finish is perfect. Some people complain about too much frosting and push the trim aside. They won't do that with this cake. :-)
Anonymous said…
Looks great! I also made it back in late December or early January, and have been waiting for an event when I can make it again. YUM!