I love this incredibly moist pistachio cake made with a few ingredients—just pistachios, eggs, and sugar, plus some almond extract and a pinch of salt. Dorie Greenspan has a Simple Almond Cake in her cookbook, Baking Chez Moi, that my aunt has been making for years, and every time I eat it with her, I say I am going to re-create it with pistachios. I am so glad I finally did, because it’s even better than I imagined! I made my own pistachio flour by toasting the raw nuts and throwing them into a food processor. Surprisingly, almond extract really brings out the flavor of the pistachios here.


  • 2 cups raw shelled pistachios

    WNK_Skinny Taste Book Cover SkinnyTaste Simple Gina Homolka
  • Flour or gluten-free flour, for dusting

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

  • 2⁄3 cup raw sugar

  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoons almond extract

  • Powdered sugar (optional), for dusting


Adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.

Spread the pistachios on a sheet pan and bake until the pistachios smell nutty and are lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Set the pistachios aside to cool completely. Leave the oven on but increase the temperature to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, then line with a round of parchment paper and dust with flour (use gluten-free all-purpose flour blend to keep the cake gluten-free).

Transfer the cooled pistachios to a food processor and pulse until finely ground to a texture of coarse sugar or cornmeal, which will take about 1 minute total. If you see any pistachio bits starting to clump together around the bottom edge of the processor bowl, stop pulsing and scrape and stir the nuts to evenly distribute them before continuing. Don’t overprocess or you will make nut butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and all but 2 tablespoons of the raw sugar until the yolks become thick and pale in color, about 1 minute. Whisk in the almond extract and a pinch of kosher salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites on medium speed until they become opaque, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons raw sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue to beat the egg whites until they hold medium peaks, about 2 minutes.

With a flexible rubber spatula, mix the egg yolks so the sugar that has settled on the bottom is mixed well, then stir in about one-quarter of the beaten egg whites. Scrape the remaining egg whites over the yolks and add half of the pistachio flour. Partially fold into the yolks, gently. While the mixture still has a few streaks of white le­ft, add the remaining pistachio flour and gently fold in until you have a uniform batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake the cake until the top is golden and springy to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edges of the cake pan.

Invert the cake pan onto the rack, remove the sides and bottom, and peel away the parchment paper. Turn the cake right side up and allow to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and cut into 12 slices.

Skinnytaste Simple Copyright © 2023 by Gina Homolka. Photographs copyright © 2023 by Eva Kolenko. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House. 

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