I’m taking this moment to better appreciate the pound cake.
I feel like pound cakes have gotten a bad rap in both the past and present. They can be pretty basic, pretty blah in the flavor department and some are as heavy and dense as a brick. Ever tried a dried-out slice of pound cake? Would not recommend. (Even ice cream on top won’t help save it, as I know from experience.)
But this gluten free pistachio pound cake is the pound cake outlier. It’s dense, yes, but incredibly moist and full of flavor. There are three iterations of pistachios in the cake — a ground-up paste beaten in with the butter, chopped nuts folded into the batter and a few more scattered across the top. The thick, smooth icing on top is, well, just the icing on a cake that can otherwise stand out all on its own.
So let’s set aside our pound cake prejudices and dig into a slice of this goodness.
What also makes this pound cake unique is the fact that it’s gluten free, thanks to Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. Hands down, this is the best gluten free flour I’ve ever used. It performs beautifully, almost exactly like regular flour, and in the case of this pound cake it gives the crumb a little bit of extra delicateness. No one who has tried this cake could tell it was gluten free — they just wanted another slice.
Of course, that includes me, who is dangerously close to finishing off the loaf on her own right about now. It’s just sitting there in the fridge begging to be eaten. Can you blame me? I mean, to finish it would just help clean out the fridge a bit, amiright. I need that space… for more pound cake.
Actually, SIDE NOTE: The fridge does need to get cleaned out before Friday because we are getting new countertops and a sink in our kitchen! If you follow me on Snapchat (stephmwise), you may recall me talking about our kitchen renovation, oh, like six months ago. Yep. Ahem. Well, I’m happy to say the reno is back in full swing as of this weekend. The only downside is that we won’t have plumbing all weekend, which may halt any cooking/baking. Or I may have to wash dishes in the bathtub. Oy. In any case, I’ll try my best to document the installation on Friday on Snapchat (the contractors are going to LOVE ME), so follow along if you like!
So now I have an excuse to eat all the pound cake. Though to be honest, I wouldn’t have needed an excuse in the first place — just a sincere love of the underrated pound cake, pistachio-style. And I definitely have that.
Maybe I should save a slice for the contractors. Maybe half a slice.
- 1 cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ cup powdered sugar, divided
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour*; line loaf pan with parchment paper. Spray parchment with baking spray with flour.
- In food processor, grind ½ cup chopped pistachios to a paste. Add to large bowl or bowl of stand mixer; add butter and cream cheese to bowl. Beat with electric hand mixer or beater blade of stand mixer on medium speed until mixture is smooth.
- Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and salt; stir until just combined. Fold in remaining ½ cup chopped pistachios. Pour and spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake 1 hour 35 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then carefully lift loaf from pan using parchment paper and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make icing: In small bowl, whisk ½ cup powdered sugar, heavy cream and lemon juice until smooth. Whisk in just enough remaining powdered sugar until icing is smooth and thick. Spoon evenly over top of cooled loaf (you may not use all of the icing). Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Let icing set completely before slicing loaf.
- *NOTE: Alternatively, you can spray the loaf pan with cooking spray, then dust with flour, tapping out excess.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Bob’s Red Mill for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.