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.
Related: 7 Types Of Buttercream + Recipes
More Victorian Recipes
25 thoughts on “Victorian Pistachio Cake”
This cake interests me! I am a huge fan of almonds, and I do like pistachios. I am not sure if I would like it in a cake form, but this sounds so interesting! Pinned.
Thanks for pinning, Alexandra! 😀
This cake looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing such a detailed recipe.
The pistachio cake looks fabulous..it got a lovely texture and color.
Thanks so much, Lathiya! 😀
I am a sucker for old fashioned recipes and this looks stunning!! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday.
Thanks, Mollie! Glad you like it!
This cake looks so interesting and the colors are so bright! We just moved to Germany from the USA and so I definitely need to try baking this cake . Thanks for the inspiration. Coming over from Saturday Sharefest.
Thanks, Deanna! Let me know how you like it!
Not only is this beautiful, it looks and sounds so tasty! Thanks for sharing it at the What’s for Dinner party! Have a wonderful week.
Thanks, Helen! Have a wonderful week too!
What beautiful colors! It sounds yummy, too, but it would be just beautiful when serving it. I have three daughters and sometimes we have tea parties. This would be prefect for those! Pinned.
Thanks for pinning, Shannon!
Hi this is Kristina visiting from Snickerdoodle Create Bake. What beautiful colors! And how great that it’s naturally colored, without any food dye. Another bonus is there are only 5 ingredients and they are all real food!
Thank you so much, Kristina! 😀
This looks stunning! Fascinating about the translations of archaic measurements (ie, the “loth”), of course our US measurement system probably should be rendered archaic, too…
Thank you! 😀
It’s wonderful how you have revived this beautiful recipe, Lina! I was so interested to read the history behind it as well. Pinning! Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope you have a lovely weekend!
Thanks for pinning, April! 🙂
Is tha frosting on top or whipped cream?
It’s buttercream frosting – I’m posting the recipe in the next days! Stay tuned! 🙂