This naturally green Victorian pistachio cake is an old German recipe from the 1860s!
You need 5 ingredients for the Victorian pistachio cake: pistachios, almonds, a lot of eggs, sugar and some flour. The cake is basically a pistachio marzipan sponge cake. The Victorian recipe says to make the pistachio marzipan first: pistachios, blanched almonds and some of the eggs were pounded in a mortar until they form a paste. But today, you can just use a food processor or blender to make the pistachio marzipan!
I found the pistachio cake recipe in an old German cookbook: It was published in 1863 in Stuttgart. In the Victorian era, Stuttgart was the capital of the kingdom of Württemberg.
I’ve translated the recipe and converted the measurements. Because it’s an old recipe, the measurements weren’t in gram but in loth. Loth (or lot) is an old unit of weight. 1 loth was approximately 15 gram in the 1860s in Württemberg. More about the problem of converting old German recipe measurements here: Medieval Nürnberger Lebkuchen Recipe
1860s Pistachio Cake
Scroll down for the adapted recipe.
- 12 loth pistachios
- 4 loth blanched almonds
- 14 eggs
- 18 loth sugar
- 4 loth flour
- 1/2 pound pistachios
- 1/2 pound blanched almonds
- 16 eggs
- 1 pound sugar
- 6 loth breadcrumbs
Both recipes were published in Kochbuch Oder Theoretisch-Praktische Anweisung Zur Bürgerlichen Und Feineren Kochkunst in 1863. Here’s a link to the original German recipe.
Victorian Pistachio Cake
I adapted the first recipe which uses flour instead of breadcrumbs.
- 120 g (1 1/5 cup) chopped pistachios
- 40 g (1/4 cup) blanched almonds
- 9 eggs (3 eggs + 6 egg yolks + 6 egg whites)
- 180 g (a bit less than 1 cup) sugar
- 40 g (1/3 cup) flour
Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C) and line a springform pan with baking paper.
Grind pistachios and blanched almonds in a food processor until they turn into a paste.
Beat 6 egg whites until stiff.
Combine sugar, 3 eggs, 6 egg yolks and the pistachio-almond paste in a medium-sized bowl and mix until fluffy. Fold in the egg whites and flour. Then pour the batter into the springform pan.
Bake the Victorian pistachio cake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
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