Annika Eats

Pistachio Marble Cake

1 Batter and 2 Flavors. This cake is fragrant and tender to the crumb. Gleaming with the green pistachio swirls. The cardamom powder adds a mild hint of familiarity but the rose water icing brings the cake together with a floral note. 

Eid is round the corner and with celebrations beginning in the kitchen things have kickstarted. I pass my neighbors house and get a variety of the most delicious aroma. With grand festivities in full swing, it is only timely for me to share this extraordinary cake with you. Now, when I say extraordinary I mean glamorous with a drop dead gorgeous green aiding to the pistachios in the cake that adds a natural color and fruity element. The flavors of cardamom and rose water highlight the occasion and make for a very flavorful cake. It is a great gesture to make this for your family or friends and share the joy. It packs well and is not a fussy traveler either. 

The cake starts of on the right foot with butter, sugar and eggs that are beaten into a light and fluffy cloud like mixture. After which the mixture is divided into half, you could get out the scales and weigh this out but I eye ball it. Just make sure the mixture looks even in both bowls. It is important that you get all the ingredients out before hand to ensure the eggs and butter whip up well and this will happen only if they are at room temperature. Once it has been divided, you will add the pistachio powder and yogurt into one half and the flour and yogurt into the other half. At this point, mix the batters well and get your tin ready. By ready I mean oiled and floured to ensure no sticking. This cake makes large one so if you feel you want to use a smaller tin, follow the instructions mentioned below. Bake the cake and once it is out of the oven soak with a little of the lime syrup. This helps with the texture of the cake and adds a tangy flavor. Only once the cake is cooled can the rose water icing be poured on it. 

There are a few pressure points to keep in mind while making this cake to ensure it turns out like art. They are as follows:

Beating butter: The butter must be beaten well until pale. After which the sugar should be added and beat again until lighter in color. Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the sides of the bowl, beat again until fluffy and smooth. 

Mixing dry ingredients: When adding the pistachio powder and yogurt into the egg mixture it is important to beat the batter well until no lumps or dry pockets but do not over mix, this will make the cake dense once baked. Same goes with the plain flour and yogurt in the other half of the egg mixture. 

Lining tin: If you are using a bundt tin like I did you want to brush the tin liberally with soft butter. After which, add flour and dust the entire tin with it. Turn it upside down over the sink and tap out the excess flour. If you are using a regular round/square/rectangle/ loaf tin you can oil it and add a piece of baking paper at the bottom. 

Marble Effect: The key to getting a marble effect in your cake is to not over mix the batters together. I like to alternate the batter in spoonfuls around the cake tin and keep layering over each other, you can have a look at that here. Once all the batter has been added into the tin, using a knife or the back of a spoon swirl the batters together clock wise making circles. 

Baking: This cake is best when baked as it creates a deep brown color on the outside and yummy crust on the top. I would recommend to keep an eye on the cake once its reaching the baking time as you do not want to over bake this cake. It is very tender and light but if over baked it can taste very dry. 

Now that we have discussed the pressure points let us focus on the ingredients, substitutes and baking options on how to make this cake:

Butter – you need butter to make this cake. If you are using salted butter don’t add extra salt. You cannot use oil or margarine here as it is a pound cake and you need the butter to make this cake taste the way it does. You can use vegan butter to make this cake, I have tried with an coconut butter, olive butte and sunflower seed butter which all work fine. 

Sugar – CAKE: Any white sugar works with the cake but I like using castor as it dissolves well into the butter while beating. Avoid using any brown sugar here as the white sugar adds a clean flavor. SYRUP: Any white sugar works here, it is a small amount but it just needs to be dissolved into the liquid well. GLAZE: You cannot substitute any sugar here. You need icing sugar which is also powdered sugar or confectioners sugar.

Egg – this cake tastes yummy with eggs in it but if you were to substitute the eggs I would recommend using flaxseed eggs (1 Flax egg is 1 tbsp Flaxseed powder mixed with 2 tbsp water until its a glue like mixture). The cake also works well with yogurt, 1 egg = 35gm yogurt, keep in mind if you are using yogurt in place of the eggs you must substitute the yogurt in the cake batter for milk. 

Flour – I have used all purpose flour but you can use gluten free flour mix, almond flour, cake flour, spelt flour and self raising flour. 

Pistachio powder – it is essentially pistachios that have been blended until it forms a powder. You can buy this or make it at home like I did. If your pistachio powder is more brown than green you won’t get that green color. You can add a blob of green food gel if you like. If you don’t want to use pistachios, don’t make this cake, lol. 

Yogurt – the yogurt has to be plain and not flavored. In saying this if you are using yogurt in place of the eggs in this recipe ensure to swap the yogurt for milk, again plain milk. 

Flavorings – VANILLA: this works well in the yellow cake batter. I used extract you can use any form you get your hands on. CARDAMOM POWDER: this adds a fragrant note in the green pistachio batter. LIME: this is to cut the sweetness and adds little tangy flavor to the cake. ROSE WATER: it is added in the glaze and adds a floral flavor. 

While the below mentioned guideline is tried and tested it is important to understand that every bundt tin varies in volume based on the shape and brand. It is good to look on the box or cover of the tin to know its volume capacity. Also, baking capacity and bake-able capacity are two different things. We never fill our tins to the brim as they will grow/expand once baked hence we leave that 1/4th amount of space ensuring enough room to rise upon baking. These are just points to keep in mind while baking to ensure there is no over flow while baking. Ovens and temperatures vary on the brand hence the best way to know your cake is done is with a tooth pick inserted into the center and if it comes out clean, we are in business. 

Baking – this cake is best when baked but you can steam it over the stove with or without water. Follow the instructions below for a clear guideline based on how you choose to bake this cake. 



Baking Time (Oven)

Steaming Time (Dry)

Steaming Time (Wet)

Bundt Tin

10/12 cups – 2.4 litres – 10 inch 

180℃ for 35 mins

I don’t recommend 

I don’t recommend 

Bundt Tin

6/8 cups – 1.2 litres – 5/6 inch

180℃ for 28 mins

I don’t recommend 

I don’t recommend 

Round Tin

9 inch

180℃ for 35 mins

40-45 mins

50 mins

Square Tin

9 inch

180℃ for 30 mins

38-40 mins

45 mins

Rectangle Tin

11 x 7 inch

180℃ for 28 mins

35-38 mins

45 mins

Loaf Tin

9×5 inch

160℃ for 42-45 mins

I don’t recommend 

I don’t recommend 

Once the cake is baked, the syrup has been added and the glaze has been poured it is important to store it well as it will dry out otherwise. If the cake is cut into slices I like wrapping each slice in cling film and then in foil before placing in an air tight container. Ideally I wouldn’t recommend the cake being stored for more than 3 days, if you are living with the AC then no need to place it in the fridge but if it is very humid and hot then transfer to the fridge and let it come to room temperature before eating. Enough talk about this cake, lets make it. Happy baking & Eid Mubarak Ninjas!

Pistachio Marble Cake

1 Batter and 2 Flavors. This cake is fragrant and tender to the crumb. Gleaming with the green pistachio swirls. The cardamom powder adds a mild hint of familiarity but the rose water icing brings the cake together with a floral note.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Brunch, Cake, Celebration, Dessert, Party, Sweet tooth, tea time
Cuisine American, Indian, Middle Eastern
Servings 6 people


  • 2 Large Mixing Bowls
  • 1 Medium bowl
  • Electric beater
  • Tablespoon
  • Small sauce pot
  • Brush
  • Bundt tin
  • Wire rack


Cake -

  • 150 gm butter
  • 150 gm castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Yellow batter:
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 170 gm flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 65 gm yogurt
  • Green Batter:
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 180 gm pistachio powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 65 gm yogurt

Syrup -

  • 3 Limes zest & juice
  • 50 ml water
  • 10 gm sugar

Glaze -

  • 250 gm Icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Rose water

Garnish -

  • Pistachio powder
  • Pistachios toasted and sliced
  • Rose petals


  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line your bundt tin. Brush it with soft butter and then dust with flour. Tap out the excess.
  • Beat the butter until pale. Add the sugar and beat again until lighter in color.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Scraping down the sides. Beat until fluffy and smooth.
  • Divide the mixture into two bowls. Into one bowl add the yellow batter ingredients and beat until combined. Into the other bowl add the green batter ingredients and beat until lump free and combined.
  • Start adding spoonfuls of each batter into the tin, alternating as you go. Have a look at this for reference. Continue until all the batter has been added into the tin. Using the back of a spoon or knife, create semi circle swirls clock wise through the batter.
  • Bake at 180℃ for 30-35 mins until risen, golden on the top and tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is baked, wait for 10 mins, remove from the tin and place on a wire rack. Make the syrup now as it doesn’t take much time to come together. Place the lime juice, water and sugar in a sauce pot and heat on low until the sugar dissolved, take off the heat and add the lime zest.
  • Brush the syrup over the cake gently, allowing the cake to soak up the liquid.
  • Mix the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and once the cake is cooled drizzle over the top and let it drip down.
  • Slice and enjoy!


  • Be patient and beat the butter, sugar and eggs well. This is the only time you get to incorporate air into the batter.
  • If you do not let the cake cool it might break when you try to remove it from the tin.
  • Brush the cake with the syrup while it is still warm as the cake will soak up the syrup better.
  • When making the drizzle, if it is too runny add more icing sugar, if it is too dry add a little more liquid.
  • Cake slices better with a bread knife but a good sharp knife works

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