I’ve had an unopen bottle of rose water in my pantry for a while now. It stared at me every time I turned on my pantry light. I love the idea of rose water, but frankly the bottle intimidated me. How would I use it? Why would I use it? Would it taste like perfume? I don’t want to eat perfume. Recently, I saw a wedding cake made with pistachio and rose water. I thought those two ingredients sounded so pretty together so I decided to give old rosey a try. I used a little bit of rose water in the buttercream–a little goes a long way– and was pleasantly surprised. It was lovely. The rose water gives the sweet buttercream just a hint of a floral flavor.
The pistachio cake recipe is from the famed Brooklyn bakery Baked. They make this cake with a honey buttercream. You can find that recipe here. Their pistachio cake is a bit crumbly, tastes like sweet pistachios, and is so delicious.
I used my cousin Missy’s buttercream recipe. She knows a thing or two about baking, and is known for her beautiful cakes. I love her buttercream recipe. It’s creamy, sweet and has a big vanilla flavor. She recommends using Penzeys Double Strength Vanilla Extract. You can order it here. She also uses a pinch of salt in the buttercream. Did you know that a little salt in dessert enhances the sweet flavors by suppressing bitter ones? That’s a fun fact you can use to impress your friends. You’re welcome!
I decorated the cake using a star tip for the top spiral-like flower, and bottom border. I used a circular tip, number 12, for the top border. You can check out my post How To Frost A Cake here.
- 1 cup (99 g) unsalted Pistachios, shelled
- 2 and 1/2 cups (283 g) Cake Flour
- 3/4 cups (94 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 TBS Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 8 TBS (1 stick or 113 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (96 g) Vegetable Shortening
- 1 and 3/4 cups (348 g) Sugar, divided
- 1 TBS Vanilla Extract
- 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cup Iced-cold Water
- 3 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. Cream Of Tartar
- 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks or 336 g) Unalted Butter, softened
- 6 cups (679 g) Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 2 TBS Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. Rose Water
- 5 to 6 TBS Milk
- Food coloring
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Spread pistachios on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes, until lightly toasted. Let cool.
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with butter or cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper and dust pans with flour, tapping out excess.
- In a food processor, pulse 1 cup pistachios until chopped; remove 2 tablespoons and set aside in a medium bowl. Process remaining pistachios just until finely ground to a powder. Sift cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into the bowl with the 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios. Stir in pistachio powder.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, scraping bowl, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. With mixer on low speed, beat in eggs one at a time until well blended. Beat in flour mixture, in 3 additions, alternating with the cold water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until blended, scraping bowl; then beat batter 15 more seconds. Scrape batter into a large bowl.
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment (and a clean bowl), beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. With mixer on medium-high speed, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat just until soft peaks form; do not over beat. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold whites into batter just until no white streaks remain. Divide batter between prepared pans and gently spread evenly. Stagger pans on oven racks so pans are not directly above one another. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire racks and let cool 20 minutes. Run a knife around sides and turn cakes out onto racks. Remove parchment paper. Flip cakes again and let cool completely.
- In a bowl fitted to a standing mixture, beat all ingredients on low until they begin to blend together. Raise the speed to medium and beat until perfectly smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread top with 1 cup of buttercream. Place second layer on top of the buttercream. Spread top and sides with about 3/4 cup of buttercream to create the crumb coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Frost with remaining buttercream, reserving a little with which to decorate. Once frosted refrigerate for 15 minutes. Decorate as desired.
- Electric mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
- Food processor
- Baking sheet
- Two 9-inch round cake pans
- Off-set spatula
- Parchment paper
- Piping bags with decorating tips