Pistachio Apricot Cake

If a German apricot cake (Aprikosenkuchen) and a Sicilian pistachio cake did the tango, this jammy cake with creamy White Chocolate Ganache and fluffy pistachio frosting would be the result.

Pistachio Apricot Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups (167 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons (6.25 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole buttermilk
  • ½ cup (80 grams) chopped fresh apricots
  • ¾ cup (240 grams) Apricot Jam (recipe follows), divided
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • Pistachio Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • White Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
  • Candied Apricots (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a tall-sided 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together apricots, ¼ cup (80 grams) Apricot Jam, and lemon juice. Gently fold apricot mixture into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Spread about ¾ cup Pistachio Buttercream onto one cake layer. Using a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 1M round tip, pipe about ½ cup Pistachio Buttercream in a circle around edge of frosted cake layer. Spoon remaining ½ cup (160 grams) Apricot Jam onto cake layer, and top with remaining cake layer. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  7. Spread remaining Pistachio Buttercream on top and sides of cake. Pour White Chocolate Ganache over top of cake. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Top with Candied Apricots. Serve at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Apricot Jam
Makes about 2 cups
  • 3 cups (480 grams) chopped fresh apricots
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (1 gram) lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, 20 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for 1 hour before transferring to a clean jar. Jam will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Pistachio Buttercream
Makes about 4½ cups
  • 1 cup (142 grams) shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) olive oil
  • 3 cups (360 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place pistachios and oil; pulse until a thick paste forms, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pistachio paste, confectioners’ sugar, butter, and milk at medium-low speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

White Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 1½ cups
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) white chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream
  1. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute; whisk until smooth. Let cool until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Candied Apricots
Makes 1 cup
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) water
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) honey
  • 1 cup (128 grams) sliced dried apricots
  1. In a small saucepan, bring ⅓ cup (80 grams) water, sugar, lemon juice, and honey to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in apricots. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until apricots are coated in a thick glaze, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread apricots on prepared pan, and let cool until tacky. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.


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