pistachio olive oil cake recipe

Today I'm making pistachio olive oil cake with fig compote fulling & cream cheese frosting. Quite the name, isn't it? I made this cake (pictured above) for my sister's birthday and it is a new favorite. It's sweet, a bit savory and even better for breakfast.

My favorite part is that you can taste the olive oil. Mmmm. I hope you'll try it! It's not exactly inexpensive, but so very worth the ingredients and that's what makes it special!

Recipe by Ming Thompson of Ming Makes Cupcakes with a few edits by myself)

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake

1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8×8 inch baking pan with olive oil. (I doubled the recipe in the picture shown here)

Place pistachios in food processor. Pulse until the texture of small gravel; remove about half. Pulse the rest until the texture of coarse sand.

In a bowl, combine finely ground pistachios, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir until well combined. Add oil and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs and lemon juice and beat until mixed. Stir in the coarsely ground pistachios.

Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown, and inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool.

Fig Compote Filling
1.5 cups whole dried figs
1.5 cups water
the juice of one orange (about 1/3 cup)
a couple dashes of salt
2 T honey

Chop figs into small chunks, about the size of peanuts. Cook in a saucepan with water, juice, and salt until figs are soft and water is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Add honey and cook for a minute more. Let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar

Mash ingredients together until roughly combined. Beat with an electric mixer on high until creamy and well-combined. (this makes a LOT of frosting, I suggest making about 2/3rds)


After cake is cool, slice in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Spoon filling evenly onto bottom layer, replace top layer, and frost with cream cheese frosting. Top with additional figs and pistachios. (my cake was too soft to cut, so I simply piled the figs and frosting on top)

[photos by sarah fritzler]


  1. This is your best post yet! I love the photography and that cake is just amazing! I can't wait to eat it!

  2. Hey! :) When you say that you doubled the cake batter recipe, did you still use an 8x8 pan to bake it in? Did you only double the batter? I'm not usually one to try new recipes from blogs often, but this cake has me so intrigued! I can't stop thinking about it, so I think a Saturday morning baking experiment is in order.


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