Cardamom-Pistachio Cake with Saffron Cream


IMG_4477Happy birthday to my dear husband!

Would you be able to believe that he is the only Taurian in our household living with three Ariens? Odd one out:) I wanted to bake a cake different from the usual suspects for this wonderful husband and devoted father!




Kulfi is an Indian ice cream made with pistachios,cardamom and saffron. I have captured those flavors into a cake made with ground pistachios and cardamon. Saffron is steeped in the cream, to extract the gorgeous color and flavor!

The cake comes together easily in a food processor. No need to get out your heavy duty stand up mixer. You will need 5 whole minutes to make sure that pistachios and cardamoms are very finely ground. All you have to do is switch on, set a timer and may be sip a hot cup of tea and browse through your phone during that time. Transfer the ground flour into  a bowl , add all wet ingredients into the same processor (don’t bother cleaning , please), let run for 2 minutes, add the ground flour and let run  for 1 minute. Pour into cake pan and bake. No creaming butter/sifting dry ingredients/ whipping eggs…

Saffron adds a lovely shade of yellow to the whipped cream. If you like your frosting on a yellower side then simply increase the saffron. More saffron adds more color and not to mention more $. It is indeed the most expensive spice in the world.

If you prefer to have just two layers then feel free to do so. Cut the cake in half horizontally, spread half saffron cream, top with  other cake layer and spread remaining cream decoratively.

IMG_4511Cardamom-Pistachio Cake with Saffron Cream

Cardamom-Pistachio Cake:


1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cardamoms

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup plain yogurt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.Set aside.

Add first 6 ingredients (pistachios through cardamoms)  into a food processor. Process for 5 minutes until very finely ground. Empty contents into a bowl and set aside.

Add next 5 ingredients (oil through yogurt) into the same food processor and process for 2 minutes. Add the ground flour mixture into the food processor along with the wet ingredients and process for 1 minute.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 32-36 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes clean. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cool.

Saffron Cream


1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 large pinches saffron

1/4 cup sugar


Measure 1/4 cream into a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 40-50 seconds until very hot( make sure it doesn’t boil over) . Stir in saffron and let cool completely. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Can be made up to a day ahead.

Place all ingredients (saffron cream, remaining 1 1/4 cups cream and sugar) into a large bowl. Beat with a hand held electric beater until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cake

Chopped pistachios , for garnish

lemon rind, for garnish

Cut cake into 3 layers horizontally with a serrated knife. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, spread 1 cup saffron cream with an offset spatula. Place second cake layer followed by 1 cup cream and then top with the third layer . Spread remaining cream on top, garnish with chopped pistachios and lemon rind. Store cake in refrigerator until serving time.

Makes one 8-inch layer cake



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  1. Wonderful cake! It’s a hit in our household and with relatives. I have made it three times in one month. Thank you for the recipe.

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