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Sponge Cake with Studded Pistachios

Sponge Cake with Studded PistachiosDrizzled with orange syrup, or topped with orange buttercream frosting, these small cakes make such delicious gifts, you'll want to keep them for yourself.

Recipe Ingredients:

6 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar - divided use
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 1/4 cups all-cups flour
1/4 cup natural California pistachios, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Orange Syrup:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon orange peel

1/2 cup natural California pistachios, chopped

Cooking Directions:

  1. Beat egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar; continue beating until stiff but not dry. Set aside.
  2. Beat yolks about 3 minutes or until very thick and light in color. Add remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until thick. Add orange juice and peel; blend until smooth.
  3. Thoroughly combine flour, finely chopped pistachios and salt; gently fold into egg yolk mixture until well-blended.
  4. Fold yolk mixture into beaten whites. Pour into 6 (5 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4-inch) ungreased pans; cut through batter with spatula to remove air bubbles.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 325°F (160°C) for 25 to 35 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pans on wire racks; cool completely.
  6. To remove cakes, loosen around edges of pans with knife.
  7. Pour Orange Syrup over cakes; allow to sit until syrup is absorbed.
  8. Orange Syrup: Combine sugar, water and orange peel; bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Makes 1 cup syrup.
  9. Garnish tops of cakes with chopped pistachios.

Makes 6 small loaves.

Variation: Orange Buttercream Icing can be substituted for Orange Syrup. Combine 3 cups powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons softened butter, 5 tablespoons half-and-half or milk and 1 teaspoon grated orange peel. Spread about 1/4 cup over top and sides of each cake. Garnish with chopped natural California pistachios. Makes 1 3/4 cups icing.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of the California Pistachio Board.