This vibrant pea and pistachio cake is frosted with tangy cream cheese frosting and topped with buttercream roses for a beautiful, naturally green spring cake.
This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe clarifications as of April 2020.
Green Pea Pistachio Cake
This cake was inspired by an English pea cake dessert Amy had at Rose’s Luxury a few years ago, served with a mint curd with sweetened buttermilk, pea shoots, pistachios, and violets. She took that concept and turned it into this beautiful layer cake. (Amy is (a former Baked contributor – this is her cake)
At the restaurant, the cake was a plated dessert but this is a layer cake perfect for any celebration. The pistachio component has been added to the dry ingredients on this cake and in place of a buttermilk curd, buttermilk has been incorporated right into the batter.
The cream cheese frosting adds freshness and bit of kick to this cake, balancing out the sweet and rich layers. It’s not necessary, but a bit of lemon zest in the frosting adds even more brightness.
This is a special cake, beautiful for any events – think spring holiday celebrations, weddings and showers, anything where you want a pretty cake. Easy enough to make at home, though.
What in this cake?
- Fresh or frozen peas
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Unsalted pistachios
- Baking powder
Plus the cream cheese, whipping cream, and icing sugar for the cream cheese icing.
How to make a green velvet cake
Because yes, this is pretty much a green velvet cake, and we’re loving it. Naturally coloured! The prettiest cake ever made! Coat it in cream cheese icing!
You might be surprised by how simple this recipe actually is. If it’s your very first time making a layer cake, then no, it might not look exactly like the pictures – but layer cakes are easy to make.
First, you’ll need three 6-inch (15cm) cake tins to make the cake as pictured. You can use two standard cake tins, but of course then the layers won’t be as high. If you want to do that the baking time will change slightly so keep an eye on your cakes.
Cooked peas are blended with the buttermilk, then mixed into the creamed butter, sugar, and egg mixture along with vanilla. The (mixed) dry ingredients are stirred into the pea mixture – don’t over mix – then divided into the prepared tins and baked. You need about 25 minutes for the cakes to bake.
Cool completely, then make the icing and decorate!
Decorating the cake
Decorate this cake however you like! This would look beautiful with just the whipped cream frosting — the vibrant green colour of the cake is a decorative element itself. Adding some edible flowers or pea shoots would be an elegant touch.
This is technically, almost, a naked cake. Here’s a guide on how to make a naked cake.
If you want to pipe buttercream flowers like the cake above, check out our guide on how to pipe a buttercream rose with a step-by-step photo tutorial. If you’re thinking about a different look, you might find this post on choosing piping tips helpful.
More Beautiful Layer Cakes
If you make this recipe, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram! We love to feel like we’re in the kitchen with you.
Sweet Pea and Pistachio Cake
- 3 6-inch cake pans
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Digital scale
- Medium sized pot
- Blender or stick blender
- Hand or stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Wire rack
Pea and Pistachio Cake
- 2 ¼ cups peas, fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsalted pistachios, grounded
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 9.7 oz cream cheese, 275 grams, room temperature
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- PEA AND PISTACHIO CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans. Set aside.
- In a medium size pot, boil the peas for a few minutes until soft. Once the peas are soft, drain the peas and run the peas under cold water until they are no longer hot.
- Transfer peas into a blender. Add buttermilk. Purée mixture until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Combine flour, ground pistachio, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the cooled pea purée. Add vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 25 – 27 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Cool cakes for 15 minutes in the tins and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Pour whipping cream into bowl of standing mixer.
- With the whisk attachment whisk the whipping cream until it becomes fluffy and forms stiff peaks.
- Transfer whipped cream into a different bowl.
- With a paddle attachment on your mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
- In the same bowl, gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Keep whipped cream cheese frosting chilled until ready to use.