The pistachio cake recipe I use is one of those strange abuses of a cake mix, involving pistachio instant pudding and 7up. Lots of people like it, but I don’t find it reliable.
Along the way, however, I discovered a substitute for pistachios. Well, not a substitute, a way to get them for baking. Sunkist Dry Roasted Pistachios, salted in the shell. You remove the shells, and soak the nuts and skins in water for a brief time (around an hour seems to work.) The brown skins will then be easy to squeeze or peel off, then dry the nutmeats (I just set them aside on a paper towel on a cookie sheet, and shake them every once in a while.) I then grind up a quarter-cup or so in my coffee/spice grinder and use them as an addition to the pudding cake.
I’d start by adding some ground pistachios (say a quarter of a cup) to Rose’s White Velvet Cake, and see how that turned out.
Abuse-a-cake recipe (I think it’s from All Recipe, but I’m not sure.)
Recipe: (makes a large Bundt or 2 9” layers or a 9x13 or a 12” round.)
Preheat oven to 350 (325 for 12” round). Prepare pans, grease & flour or Baker’s Joy, paper liners if cake is to be removed, a rose nail or aluminum cone in center of 12” round.
1 box Duncan Hines Deluxe White Cake mix
1 box Jello Instant Pistachio pudding
3/4 cup oil
1 Cup 7up
2 tablespoons ground pistachio (take Sunkist Dry Roasted & salted pistachios, remove the shells, soak in water for a couple of hours, peel off the skins, dry, then grind in spice/coffee grinder.)
Put mix, pudding, and pistachio in the mixer and start on low. Add eggs, oil, and 7up and blend for thirty seconds. Increase speed to medium or “cake mix” and beat for two minutes. Pour into pan, level with spatula, bake about 40-45 minutes, (50-55 for the 12” round.) When done, cool in pan 10-15 minutes, invert, peel off paper, invert, and let cool.
2 sticks unsalted butter, 65 F, each cut into 8 slices
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, 65 F, each cut into 8 cubes
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
large pinch salt.
Put sugar in bowl, start mixer on medium-low, cream in the butter by tossing slices in one at a time. When all of the butter has been added, increase speed to medium. The butter and sugar will eventually cream, the signal to start adding the cubes of cream cheese, one at a time. Add the salt and vanilla.