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5 from 2 votes

Apple Cake with Pistachios

This delicious apple cake is full of apples and crunchy pistachios. It's moist, tender and so easy to make. This cak is the perfect fall dessert and great for any occasion.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Cooling Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 318kcal


  • 1-3/4 cups (248 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (120 grams) toasted pistachios roughly chopped and divided
  • 3/4 cup (150) grams granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (125) grams light brown sugar, packed
  • 12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 large (150 grams) eggs
  • Lemon zest from one medium-sized lemon
  • 3 (700 grams) Granny Smith apples

Apricot Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons water


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Toast the pistachios for 8 minutes until the pistachios are just beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Roughly chop 1/2 cup (80 grams) of the toasted nuts
  • Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk for 30 seconds to combine the dry ingredients. Add the chopped pistachio nuts and whisk to combine.
  • Peel and chop two of the apples into 1/2-inch dice. You should have about 3 cups or 300 grams of chopped apples. For the third apple, peel it and then cut into quarters. Cut each quarter into 6 slices for a total of 24 slices. These slices will be used to decorate the top of the cake.
  • Place the white sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Zest the lemon directly onto the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar and break up any clumps in the brown sugar. Beat the sugar and butter on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until it looks fluffy and is lighter in color.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until the egg is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add half the flour-nut mixture and mix on low speed until the flour mixture is incorporated. Add all the buttermilk and mix on medium-low speed to incorporate. The batter will look a little curdled but that’s okay. Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed until incorporated. Any flour left on the sides of the bowl will be mixed in by hand.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the chopped apples all at once. Use a silicone spatula to mix in the chopped apples into the cake batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the batter. Arrange the sliced apples on top.
  • Bake cake in the oven 60-70 minutes until the center of the cake registers 200°F or a cake skewer comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
  • Remove the cake from the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the springform pan and then remove the sides. While the cake is still warm, warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan until it becomes running. Brush the top of the cake with the apricot jam and sprinkle with the remaining pistachio nuts.
  • All the cake to cool completely and then serve.

Apricot Glaze

  • While the cake is still slightly warm place the apricot jam and water in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook the jam just until it starts ot bubble.
  • Strain the jam in a fine-mesh strainer and use the liquid to brush the top of the cake. Sprinkle the top with the remaining pistachios.


  • Store the cake at room temperature in a covered container. Or store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 7 days. The cake will still be good after 7 days but it will start to dry out.


This cake is best with a tart apple like  Granny Smith or Fuji.  Make sure the apples are firm and crisp.  
Measure all the ingredients before starting.  This step ensures that you don't accidentally miss an ingredient.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg