Pistachio and Raspberry Cakes

with brown butter and vanilla

On Saturday, we celebrated a very good friend’s birthday. She has a particular penchant for pistachio, so I adapted my financier recipe to make these little pistachio and raspberry versions. I used a muffin tin, but you could also make these in traditional oblong financier moulds. These are really little more than a couple of mouthfuls, perfect at the end of a long meal to enjoy with your coffee. The bright pink and green colours together also seem very spring-like to me, with this burst of warm weather sending all the blossom into flower.

I push one or two raspberries into the batter for each cake (roughly 50g of raspberries), but then serve them with fresh raspberries as well. However, feel free to up the raspberry content if you want more emphasis on the flavour.

You can make your own finely ground pistachios by blitzing unsalted pistachios in a blender. You need to regularly stop the blender and check the texture, as it will very quickly go beyond the flour stage and turn into nut butter if left for too long.

Makes 12 small cakes.


  • 150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 55g soft cake and pastry flour (or plain flour)
  • 50g finely ground pistachios
  • 50g coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 25g finely ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of powdered vanilla bean
  • 50g raspberries (plus extra to serve - roughly another 50g)
  • icing sugar, to dust


Preheat your oven to 190°C and grease your non-stick muffin tin.

Melt your butter in a small pan over a medium heat until it starts to foam and froth. Once the butter starts to separate into a yellow liquid and golden brown solids, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Use an electric hand whisk to beat the egg whites, caster sugar, flour, finely ground pistachios and almonds, roughly 30g of the coarsely chopped pistachios (keeping the rest back to decorate), baking powder, and ground vanilla.  Gradually add the melted butter, beating until the mixture becomes fluffy. Place the batter in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes – this will get rid of any bubbles.

Fill each mould three-quarters of the way full with the batter, and push the raspberries into the top. Scatter your remaining chopped pistachios over to decorate. Place in the oven and bake for 14-18 minutes, until cooked through with the tops springy to the touch. Leave them to cool and set in the moulds for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar, and serve with fresh raspberries.

They will keep for up to three days in an airtight container, stored in a cool, dry place.