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Pistachio Olive Oil Cake with Fig Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

November 26, 2010

Wow, that title is descriptive, isn’t it?  This cake sounded irresistible to me, and it smelled even better while it was baking.  I’m not the

pistachio fig cake

biggest fig fan in the world, but I love olive oil cakes and pistachios and thought it sounded like the perfect adult birthday cake.  The cake itself, without the figs or frosting, would be wonderful on it’s own.  You could event spread a different kind of preserves in the middle, if you wish.  I think apricot would be great.  This recipe comes from Ming Thompson, via Design Sponge.


Fig Compote Filling
1 1/2 c whole dried figs (I was short and used more like 3/4 cups, which was plenty for me)
1.5 cups water
the juice of one orange (about 1/3 cup)
a couple dashes of salt
2 T honey

Chop figs into small chunks, about the size of peanuts.  Cook in a saucepan with water, juice, and salt until figs are soft and water is evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Add honey and cook for a minute more.  Let cool.

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake

1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 8×8 inch baking pan with olive oil.

Place pistachios in food processor.  Pulse until the texture of small gravel; remove about half.  Pulse the rest until the texture of coarse sand.

In a bowl, combine finely ground pistachios, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir until well combined.  Add oil and milk.  Beat with an electric mixer until blended.  Add eggs and lemon juice and beat until mixed.  Stir in the coarsely ground pistachios.

Pour batter into greased pan.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown, and inserted knife comes out clean.  Let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese
2 c confectioners’ sugar

Mash ingredients together until roughly combined.  Beat with an electric mixer on high until creamy and well-combined.


After cake is cool, slice in half horizontally with a serrated knife.  Spoon filling evenly onto bottom layer, replace top layer, and frost with cream cheese frosting (it will make more than you need).  Top with additional figs and pistachios.

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