orange and pistachio cake (cake pesteh o porteghal)

orange and pistachio cake

one-bowl, quick and easy cake with only 5 major ingredients

prep: 10'
bake: 50'
8 large slices

Some time ago, with a number of guests on their way and no plan for dessert, I hastily baked this take on a butter cake. Adding a little Persian zing to the batter elevated it to a new level: doused in orange syrup and topped with orange zest and pistachio nuts, this impromptu dessert was a massive hit - and it has been my go-to last-minute dessert ever since.

ingredients for the cake

  • 225g (1 and 3⁄4 cups) plain flour
  • juice and zest of an orange - approximately 60ml (4 tbsp)
  • 5g (1 and 1⁄4 tsp) baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g (1 cup and 2 tbsp) caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt

ingredients for the syrup

  • juice and rind of 4 oranges approximately 250ml (1 cup) orange juice
  • 60g (1⁄2 cup) chopped pistachios
  • 125ml (1⁄2 cup) water
  • 150g (3⁄4 cup) caster sugar


  • grease or line a 23 cm (9 inch) cake tin
  • preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F
  • for the sponge, pour all the ingredients into a large bowl
  • beat for 4 minutes using an electric mixer
  • transfer into the tin
  • bake for 50 minutes or until it springs back to the touch and is lightly golden
  • to make the syrup, cut thin pieces of orange peel using an orange zester or a knife
  • try to cut it so as to have as little pith as possible, as this will impart a bitter flavour
  • boil the rinds for two minutes and strain
  • soak in cold water for 5 minutes
  • strain a second time and reserve
  • on a medium heat, simmer the sugar, orange juice and water for 5 minutes
  • turn off the heat
  • add the rind and the crushed pistachio nuts
  • set aside to cool
  • while the cake is hot and still in the tin, pour the cooled syrup on top, placing it in a dish to make sure the syrup doesn’t leak
  • set aside for 30 minutes for the syrup to soak in

  order catering

If you wish to organise a casual luncheon, a business gathering or a joyfull wedding in Belgium or The Netherlands, please take a look at the catering options and contact me to see how we can turn your event into a memorable happening.

  private dining

Have me cook for you in your own kitchen, preparing your chosen dishes. And if you feel like it, join me whilst cooking. Read more about private dining.

  my cookbook

All 50 recipes in my cookbook have 5 major ingredients, carefully chosen to respect the original dishes on which they are based. You can easily order my cookbook online or come pick it up. Participants to a workshop get a €5 discount.

  join a workshop

Join others and learn how to cook and bake a four-course Persian meal. Or make it private. All workshops are held in Belgium or The Netherlands and participants get a €5 discount on my cookbook.

  my recipes

You can find many recipes on the website. Most recipes use Persian cooking essentials like indigenous herbs, spices, nuts and fruits. You can also find 50 recipes in my cookbook.

  discover Iran

Many cities in Iran are on the UNESCO heritage list. Read some culinary travel stories on how I experience my country or learn more about its culture and history.


Iran has so many indigenous spices and other typical products that you can buy with me in any quantity.

  food photography

My professional approach of food photography makes your recipes and food products shine in cookbooks, product packaging, online use, catalog or menus.

  updates & contact

Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn to view my latest updates. In case of any questions or reservations please do not hesitate contacting me.
get my cookbook

purchase the book now for €18 + €5 delivery and have it delivered within 2 working days

discover shop

several imported Persian products like indigenous spices and carpets can be purchased


follow me

join me on social media and stay up to date, engage with other food lovers and share your opinion