This herby pistachio cake is not exactly the cake you want to bring in for the classroom birthday party, but I have found that it’s the perfect “bridge” dessert for entertaining families. It’s not too cakey and gooey for the grown-ups, but it’s sweet and buttery enough for the kids. And the hint of cardamom makes it sophisticated without intimidating.
But if the kids are still skeptical, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
3/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13- by 9-inch cake pan and dust pan with some flour. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Pulse to mix.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternate adding pistachio flour and milk in batches, mixing at low speed until just combined.
Spread batter in cake pan and bake about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around sides of cake, slice, and serve.