Pistachio Baklava Cake
Updated: Mar 17
This intensely pistachio cake combines a tender, moist pistachio meal cake sandwiched between layers of buttery, flaky pistachio-filled phyllo, and soaked with an orange-honey syrup. The chewy cake contrasts perfectly with the crispy phyllo, and the earthiness of the pistachios balances the sweetness of the syrup for a beautiful, vibrant cake that’s bursting with texture and flavor.
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup whole pistachios, roasted and salted
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
8 Tbsp salted butter, melted
32 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
⅔ cup ground pistachios, roasted and salted
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup honey
¾ cup water
Juice of 1 large orange (about 4 Tbsp)
1 cup ground pistachios, roasted and salted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of two 6x2-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour both pans, tapping out any excess flour.
In a food processor, combine the panko, pistachios, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and pulse until the pistachios are finely ground.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pale. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the pistachio mixture until incorporated, being sure not to overmix.
Evenly divide the batter into the prepared pans, being careful not to deflate the batter. Bake the cakes for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the cakes are baking, make the syrup.
Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and place on a wire rack. Brush the tops and sides of the cake with the syrup and allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, water, and orange juice over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Then reduce the heat to medium low and boil for another 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.
Brush two 6x2-inch round cake pans with melted butter.
Unroll the sheets of phyllo dough and lay on a flat surface. Cut out 32 8-inch circles.
Place one circle of phyllo in the bottom of one buttered cake pan, folding in the edges so it fits in the pan. Bush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Layer with another phyllo circle, and brush with more melted butter. Continue layering and brushing until you have 8 phyllo layers. On top of the eighth buttered phyllo sheet, evenly scatter ⅓ cup of ground pistachios. Then layer 8 more sheets of phyllo on top of the pistachio layer, brushing each phyllo sheet with melted butter. Repeat this process with the second pan.
Place both pans of baklava in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top. Remove the pans from the oven and immediately drizzle ¼ cup of the syrup into each pan. Allow the baklava to cool completely in the pans. Once cooled, place one hand against the top of the baklava and one hand on the bottom of the cake pan, and flip the pans upside-down to remove the baklava.
Place one layer of cake on a serving plate, cake stand, or cardboard cake circle and brush the top with syrup. Place a layer of baklava on top of the cake layer, and brush the top of the baklava with syrup. Add the second layer of cake on top of the baklava layer, and brush the top with syrup. Place the second layer of baklava on top of the second cake layer, and brush the top with syrup.
Brush the sides of the cake with syrup, and use your hand to press ground pistachios onto the sides of the cake layers. Sprinkle ground pistachios on top of the cake.