Cherry Pistachio Cake

Dame Cathy Sloman

Every year when I first start spotting cherries in the shops, I feel the need to bake this luscious cake from the wonderful people at Honey & Co. I first discovered it at Ballymaloe and now it’s a regular in my repertoire.

That little teaspoon of mahleb (from the ground stone of the St Lucie cherry), with its slightly bitter almond flavour, gives the cake an extra intensity.

Cherries are best but, of course, you can try this with other seasonal fruit.

Serve with lashings of whipped cream, crème fraïche or vanilla ice cream.


120g caster sugar – save 20g for the topping

90g light brown sugar

180g ground almonds

80g pistachios

45g desiccated coconut

50g self raising flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp ground mahleb

150g butter 

3 eggs 

300g cherries


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4.

Grease a 22cm round cake tin and line it with baking parchment.

Grind 30g of the pistachios in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.

Mix 100g caster sugar, the light brown sugar, ground almonds, ground pistachios, desiccated coconut, self raising flour, salt and mahleb in a large mixing bowl.  

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add to the dry ingredients and combine.

Add the eggs, mix everything well, spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. 

Remove the stones from the cherries, with a cherry stoner or by hand – do this over the cake tin, so that any juice drips onto the cake.  

Scatter the cherries over the cake.

Roughly chop the remaining 50g of pistachios and sprinkle over the cake with the remaining 20g of caster sugar.  

Bake for 45-50 minutes, then turn the cake around and bake for a further five minutes – the cake should be golden brown. 

Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then gently remove by running a knife around the edges.  

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