Rosewater Frosted Pistachio and Orange Cake

Updated: Feb 27

This cake was the favourite at my Middle Eastern supper club. I cannot lay claim to the recipe. I nicked it from Nigel Slater.



Rosewater Frosted Pistachio and Orange Cake

Adapted from Nigel Slater

250g butter at room temperature

250g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

100g shelled pistachio nuts, finely ground

100g ground almonds

zest and juice of a large orange

1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds*

1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey Rosewater **

60g plain flour


for the icing:

juice from 1/2 a lemon

100g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 160C fan and line the bottom of a non-stick 22cm tin with greaseproof paper, having lightly greased the tin (if you use a loose-bottom tin use one piece of greeseproof which goes up the sides otherwise it will leak).


Cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition. Place the mixture in a large bowl and fold in the ground pistachios, ground almonds, orange zest and cardamom. Mix in the orange juice and rosewater then fold in the flour.


Put the mixture into your cake tin and bake until well risen and golden brown. A skewer, stuck into the centre, will come out clean without any wet cake mixture on it. Leave the cake in its tin to cool.

When the cake is cool, sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and mix together with the lemon juice – you want quite a thick texture. Cover the cake with icing and decorate – crystallised rose petals, coloured sugar or chopped pistachios would all look lovely.


* You can buy cardamom seeds from a good Asian supermarket. Try Spiceways on Kingston Road, SW19


**Massey Rosewater is very good but also strong so I have adapted the recipe to allow for this. If you use another make you will probably need more.

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