There’s something about a homemade dessert.
There’s something about a cake, made from scratch. Joy and delight mark this cake as different than boughten cake from the store.
First, for the baker. Putting ingredients together and scraping down the bowl may not feel like much. But then, the timer dings, and you open the oven door. The cake has magically risen, oh so beautifully! The wafting aroma calls to all the people in the house. And as you pull out the cake in all its gloriousness, there’s a moment of transcendence. You’ve created something out of nothing. Meaning out of raw materials. Culture in a singular moment.
The pleasure of creation cannot be contained, for such is the felicitous nature of a homemade cake. A warm, freshly baked cake begs to be shared. This hospitality extends until everyone’s seated and talking, face-to-face.
With a slice of cake and coffee in hand, people feel more genial and friendly. The conversation ebbs and flows, shifting from the mundane to the significant. And as stories are shared and relationships deepen, you realize — the cake was just the starting point, the beginning. Who knew that a handful of ingredients could lead to such fullness and beauty? That life could be found in the roundness of a cake, waiting to be shared?
Connection and belonging, community and acceptance. All shared in a slice of cake. The collective grace found in the contours of a 9-inch cake pan knows no bounds.
A simple, modern cake that's mixed in one bowl. Not too sweet. A dense yet tender crumb. Fragrant cardamom to up the sophistication factor. A generous studding of pistachios on top. Plus, an optional glaze for those who need a little more sweetness.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup full fat sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp if pistachios are unsalted
- 1 cup ground roasted and salted pistachios about 4 ounces, *see note below
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios about 2 ounces, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 Tbsp roasted salted pistachios, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Butter a 9inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Add eggs to a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add olive oil and sour cream/yogurt and whisk again. If the edges look slightly curdled, that’s ok. Just keep mixing and it will disappear into a smooth batter. Add sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and mix again.
At this point, switch from a whisk to a plastic spatula. Add the ground pistachios and gently fold into the batter. Make sure the batter is well combined.
Pour into the cake pan. Level the top so that it’s nice and even. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios over the top.
Bake at 350F/175C oven for 35-45 minutes. The cake should be done when the top is golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached. Make sure not to over bake the cake, as this will result in an overly dry crumb.
Cool for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the sides of the cake pan and invert onto a platter. This is an important step if you want a crisp, crackly crust. Serve warm with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
Alternately, make a glaze. Combine 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp of milk in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon glaze over cake. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp roasted, salted, chopped pistachios over the top.
*Note: I used a food processor to pulse shelled, roasted pistachios to a finely ground, crumbly mixture. Be careful not to over process, as you don’t want pistachio nut butter. The resulting texture should be fine but still somewhat coarse. If there are a few large chunks, that’s ok.