Pistachio Rose Water Pound Cake

This easy pound cake recipe blends classic American baking with the flavours of the Middle East.

This rich but delicately flavoured cake pairs beautifully with a hot cup of tea, or with a cup of thick spiced Turkish coffee. The recipe makes two full size loaves, so you may want to reduce by half – or simply gift the other one to a friend.

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4 from 1 vote

Pistachio Rose Water Pound Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Resting Time2 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Middle Eastern
Keyword: cake, pistachio, pound cake, rose, rose water, rosewater
Author: The Elegant Economist


For the Pistachio Cake:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup whole milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp pistachio extract can be substituted with almond extract, but reduce to ½ tsp
  • ¼ tsp natural green food colouring optional, for colour if desired
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios raw and unsalted shelled

For the Rose Water Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk water can be substituted here, if needed
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped pistachios for garnish, optional
  • ½ tsp crushed dried rose petals for garnish, optional


For the Pistachio Pound Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Grease a 10" bundt tin, two standard loaf tins, or four mini loaf tins.
  • Measure your flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl – whisk to combine and set aside.
  • In your stand mixer bowl, add your butter and sugar and beat until combined. Add the pistachio extract to the mixture and natural food colouring if desired. Then add the buttermilk, and eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Slowly add your flour mixture until just combined, then add the chopped pistachios. Do not over-mix.
  • Bake in the 325° oven for 90 minutes (bundt tin), 60-65 minutes (loaf tin), or 45-50 minutes (mini loaf tin). Allow to cool for at least two hours on a baking rack before icing.

For the Rose Water Icing:

  • Mix the confectioners sugar, milk, and rose water until blended and a thick but pourable consistency.
  • Once cake has cooled, pour the icing over the cake, garnish with chopped pistachios and crushed rose petals and serve.


This makes enough cake for either one full ring / bundt pan, two standard loaf tins, or four miniature loaf tins (as shown in my photo). The recipe can easily be halved if only one loaf is desired, or make the full recipe and give one to a friend!
Be sure to use raw, unsalted shelled pistachios. Dried rose petals can be found at your local Middle Eastern supermarket, and are nice to have – but not essential to the recipe. Pistachio extract often proves hard to come by, so if you use almond extract instead be sure to reduce the quantity as almond extract has a very strong flavour.
May 8, 2019


1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Taslima Begum

    September 21, 2020

    4 stars
    I made this cake as a gift for my sister and it was a hit!! It’s got very delicate flavours which is great and it’s not too heavy. It does yield A LOT of batter so would definitely recommend halving the recipe.

    I topped mine with some turkish delight pieces as well as chopped pistachios to dress it up a bit more as it was a present.


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