Pistachio and pomegranate cake


Pistachio and pomegranate cake

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Looking for birthday cake recipes? This pistachio and pomegranate cake is perfect for special occasions.

The rich red pomegranate juice is a great natural dye – perfect for colouring icing a pretty shade of pink.


For the sponge

  • 100 g pistachio kernels
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150g sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g natural yoghurt
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the yoghurt icing

  • ½ a pomegranate
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 50 g natural yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan).

Whizz pistachios to a fine powder in a blender.

Put caster sugar and oil in a large bowl or standing mixer bowl, then mix together with an electric hand whisk for 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the yoghurt, then add the flour, baking powder, salt and ground pistachios and gently fold them in. Spoon the batter into the tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.

When the cake is cool, place the pomegranate skin side up in your hand with your fingers spread out. Hold the pomegranate just inside a big bowl before hitting the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon. The seeds will fall through the gaps between your fingers.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then add the yoghurt and mix well to get a thick pouring consistency. Pour on top of the cooled cake, gently guiding it down the sides. Once the icing has stopped dripping, take the pomegranate juice and dot several drops along the top of the cake.

Drag a skewer or toothpick in a figure-of-eight pattern through the drips of pomegranate, swirling it all around the cake. Stick the pomegranate seeds to the side of the cake when the icing has stopped dripping. If it’s difficult to make them stick, chill the cake for 10 minutes in the fridge first.

Recipe and images by Rachel Khoo

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