Chocolate and Pistachio Layer Cake

Edit: Hey all! I decided to update this blog post seeing as it is one of the more popular recipes on this blog. I first published this in 2014 so I thought I would come back to it and maybe improve it. And look! New photos! I think I might try to do more photo updates to some of my other posts too... We'll see.
This cake is better too. Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, ganache, and pistachio mousseline. Almost the same but I've found some better recipes in the past four years so I decided to use those instead. Making it more sophisticated but keeping it simple. Might I add, the pistachio mousseline? To die for. Anyways, enjoy!

Chocolate and Pistachio Layer Cake

Makes one, 6" (two layer) cake


1 1/2 cups                 a.p flour
1 1/2 cups                 sugar
2/3 cups                    cocoa
2 tsp                          baking soda
1 tsp                          baking powder
1 tsp                          salt
2 eggs
1 tsp                          vanilla
1 cup                         buttermilk
2/3 cup                      coffee
1/2 cup                     vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 6" pans with butter. Line the bottom of the tins with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper as well. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. In a small bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Divide the batter among the two pans. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes. They are done when a skewer inserted in comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before turning out into wire racks (take the parchment off the bottoms!) Evenly cut the domed tops off the cakes. Set aside.

Pistachio Mousseline

1 egg white
1/6 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup pistachio praline paste (I used this recipe but replaced the hazelnuts with unsalted pistachios)
1/4 cup whipped cream

Over a double boiler, place the egg white, sugar and salt. Whisk constantly until it reaches 155 degrees. Take off the heat and whisk with an electric beater until stiff peaks form and it is cool to the touch. Add the unsalted butter and whip until smooth. Beat in the pistachio praline and finish by folding in the whipped cream.
Set aside until ready to assemble the cake.

Chocolate Buttercream

1/2 cup                 unsalted butter, softened
1 cup                    icing sugar
1 tsp                     vanilla
2 oz                      semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp                   whipping cream

Over a double boiler melt the chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl beat the butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add the slightly cooled chocolate and vanilla, beat until fully incorporated. Add the whipping cream. Beat.

To assemble the cake, place your first layer on your plate. Place the pistachio mousseline on top and spread evenly. Add the next layer and place your cake in the fridge for 15 minutes before the outside coating.
Once cooled spread a very thin layer of buttercream around the whole cake. For this cake look I stopped here. This is a "semi-naked cake", but if you prefer a regular cake just spread a thicker layer of chocolate buttercream along the outside of the cake. Once you're happy with how it looks, pop it in the fridge to firm up.


3 ounces                     semi sweet chocolate
2 tbsp                          whipping cream

Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan let the whipping cream sit on medium heat, whisking it to make sure it doesn't boil over. Bring it to a simmer before pouring over your chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes before whisking it all together to form a smooth, glossy ganache. If it is too thick, add more hot whipping cream. Pour into a squeeze bottle so you can easily achieve the "dripping" effect

Take your cake out of the fridge and place the ganache around the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Finish the cake off by sprinkling on a few chopped pistachios. Enjoy!

It was fun to come back to this old recipe and see how much I have learned in four years. What was I thinking before?
Who knows, maybe I'll come back to this post again in the future and improve it some more. Until then!

Elanne Boake


  1. Hey Elanne,
    The cake looks great and I am sure it will taste great too. Chocolate and pistachio are 2 of my favourites. Keep it up.

  2. This is a wonderful recipe, pintrest brought me here. Keep it up!

  3. Can I substitute store bought pistachio paste for home-made. It would save me a step. If so, how much should I use? Thanks! - Jennifer

    1. Sorry to get back to you late! You can substitute store bought for homemade! I always just make my own because I don't have any.
      As i made this recipe a few years ago, I sadly do not remember how much to use. Try a couple tbsp, taste and and add more if necessary!

  4. Beautiful product. Clear instructions. Looking forward to more of your offerings. Enjoy your summer.


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