Rasmalai Pistachio Cake
Inspired by a popular Indian dessert, Rasmalai, this cake is the sunshine you’ve been looking for. Tender cardamom and pistachio flavors get dressed up with its secret ingredient frosting and a dusting of rose petals. Unique, easy, and oh so memorable. Bake along and watch the compliments roll in.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
For the cake soak
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 pinch turmeric
For the cake
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ¼ c (260g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated white sugar
- ¾ cups vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup finely chopped pistachios (use a food processor or chop by hand)
For the rosewater frosting
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta, room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (260g) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon rosewater
- Make the cake soak. In a small sauce pan, combine the whole milk, sugar, pinch of turmeric, and the cardamom pods. Heat over medium until hot and the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Prep your pan. Generously butter a 9×13” cake pan, and preheat your oven to 350º.
- Make the batter. Combine the whole milk, apple cider vinegar, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside. After a couple minutes the milk should begin to curdle. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder, cardamom, turmeric, and salt. Set aside. Using a stand mixer or by hand, mix the sugar and vegetable oil until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated and airy, about 30 seconds. Add about one third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Pour in half of the milk mixture and continue to mix. Continue mixing, alternating the flour and the milk mixtures like this, ending with the last third of the flour mixture. Scrape the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is fully mixed. Fold in the chopped pistachios.
- Bake. Pour the batter into your buttered cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake should spring back when pressed.
- Soak the cake. Once the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the edge and turn it out onto your serving dish. Remove the cardamom pods from the cake soak and brush the soak onto the cake. Be careful not to add too much of the soak or the cake will be soggy.
- Drain the ricotta. Drape two layers of cheesecloth over a large bowl. Wrap one cup of the ricotta in the cheesecloth. Squeeze the ricotta to drain as much liquid as you can. Repeat with the other cup of ricotta.
- Make the frosting. Put the softened butter in a food processor. Mix on low speed until creamy. Add the drained ricotta and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally to make sure it’s fully incorporated. Add the powdered sugar and mix. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the rosewater and the heavy cream. If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of heavy cream.
- Frost the cake. Frost the cake with the rosewater ricotta, decorate with more chopped pistachios and rose petals if desired.