I have never been one to really like cake, therefore never pushed myself to attempt actually baking one. Audrey’s first birthday motivated me to make the first attempt at a cake. It was something my mother and grandmother did when the children were little.
The one-year-old who loved Winnie-the-Pooh got a pretty sad looking Pooh cake. Another attempt failed and made me again promise to myself that I would just stick to buying cake. But hey, she could tell it was Pooh on the cake. That is a plus, right?
Only a few months later after I was volunteered to make dessert for Thanksgiving dinner did I come across this recipe for a Pistachio-Honey cake and think, “Well, you can’t buy that. I will have to make it!”
If you know me at all, you know that I don’t accept failure well. I will keep trying something until I can do it and do it well (or at least get a passing C grade).
I figured I would subject my family, once again, to the Arnold Cake Experiment. With exception to my mother always saying nice things, the rest of the crew are pretty tough judges - especially the children.
I hoped that with ingredients like cornbread, strawberries, pistachios, honey and mascarpone cheese, at least it would taste good (even if it was in pudding form). I am such a lover of not only pistachios, but the marriage of salty and sweet in foods.
The cake ended up not only tasting good, but looking good as well. The family gave it a grade A.
This was the perfect light, very moist and flavorful nightcap after a filling Thanksgiving dinner and made it nice to have something in addition to the traditional pie.
60 minutes | 12 servings
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, ground (food processor worked wonders for this)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, chilled, or cream cheese, softened
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons honey
1 pint strawberries, halved
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
In a mixing bowl or food processor, combine flour, cornmeal, ground pistachios, baking powder and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the honey and mix until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Slowly beat in eggs, one at a time. Add 3/4 of the flour mixture; mix just until combined. Mix in milk and remaining flour mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Insert a wooden toothpick in the center, and if it comes out clean, your cake is done.
Cool your cake for 5 minutes and then remove it from the pan.
While your cake is cooling, make the glaze: In a small saucepan, heat remaining 1/4 cup of honey and orange juice, whisking to combine. Poke holes on the top of the cake with a wooden toothpick and brush on glaze so it seeps through the holes and is absorbed into the cake. Cool cake completely.
For the topping: Right before serving, in a medium mixing bowl, whip mascarpone on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add cream and 2 tablespoons of honey; beat just to soft mounds.
Spoon topping on cake, add sliced strawberries, some more ground pistachios and drizzle just a bit more honey.
This recipe was adapted from Better Homes & Garden.