How to Make a Middle Eastern Pistachio and Orange Cake

One of the best things to come from the Middle East is the delicious array of sweet treats. Many people enjoy desserts and snacks like baklava, basbousa, kunafeh, and halva, even outside the region. There is also a delectable array of cakes from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and other places that you can sample, and one of the most popular examples is the Middle Eastern Pistachio and Orange Cake.

The following describes what you need to create Pistachio and Orange Cake in your home that will serve ten people:


The Middle Eastern Pistachio and Orange Cake will require several ingredients for the cake itself, the syrup, and the pistachio ganache:

Cake Ingredients

The cake will require two large fresh oranges, six eggs, and one cup (250g) of caster sugar. You’ll also need to procure one cup of ground pistachio nuts and a teaspoon of baking powder.

Syrup Ingredients

When making the syrup, you will need one cup of caster sugar, one orange that you’ve juiced and zested, and four cardamom pods. You’ll also require one teaspoon of lemon juice and half a teaspoon of orange blossom water.

Pistachio Ganache Ingredients

To make the pistachio ganache, you’ll need one-third of a cup full of pistachio nuts, five ounces of dark chocolate, and three ounces of unsalted butter. You’ll also need a tablespoon of maple syrup.

It’s also possible to make the pistachio ganache with white chocolate; follow this step by step white chocolate ganache tutorial to find out how.

Creating the Cake

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and lining a cake tin with some parchment paper. Next, boil the oranges and simmer them at low heat for around two hours. Once cool, remove the seeds, chop the oranges and blend them (no need to remove the skin).

Afterwards, mix the eggs and sugar until you get a thick substance; add the pistachios and baking powder and mix again for a few more seconds. Next, add the oranges you put in the blender and mix once more for five seconds or so until everything is well-mixed.

You’ll then need to put the mixture in the cake tin and bake it for an hour in your oven. Remember to cover the cake during the last 15 minutes to prevent it from getting too dark. You can then remove the cake from the oven when done and leave it to cool inside the tin.

Heating the Pistachios

Set your oven to its lowest heat setting and spread the pistachios on a baking tray; bake them for around 20 minutes. When done, remove them from the oven and take off the skins using a tea towel.

Creating the Syrup

Once you’ve done that, boil the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for ten minutes before straining them.

Putting It All Together

Gently take the now-cooled cake out of the tin, pierce it all over and pour the syrup onto it. Next, chop the pistachios and put them in a heatproof bowl with the other ganache ingredients.

The bowl should get placed over a saucepan with a bit of simmering water and left in place until the butter and chocolate is no longer solid. Lastly, stir the ingredients and pour them on the top of your cake.

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