Recipe Review: Cardamom Pistachio Carrot Cake

Baking has been a source of comfort for me during the times of quarantine. I stumbled upon this recipe from Bon Appetit and I had so many shelled pistachios sitting in the pantry from God knows when so I figured why not give it a try! And let me tell you, I was not disappointed, this cake was delicious and I can’t wait to try it again. Keep reading below for my thoughts!


  • Vegetable oil (for pan)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup (130 g) raw pistachios
  • 1 cup (packed; 200 g) dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup carrot juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Link to recipe here.  

What I liked 

  • Learning some new techniques! Browning butter, toasting nuts in butter, making a glaze, the importance of not stirring I love picking up new techniques that I can maybe use elsewhere. 
  • I also liked that it called for cardamom, a spice that I always keep on hand but don’t use often enough.

Any substitutions 

I didn’t have carrot juice or feel like making any so I used the last of my orange juice. I also didn’t have enough butter so I did 1 stick and ¼ cup of oil. 

Next time

  • I will buy unshelled pistachios, while it was semi cathartic to shell all the pistachios myself I don’t think I’ll want to spend that much time on that task next time around.  
  • I definitely need to watch the pistachios with a closer eye, I followed everything to the timer and in reality, I should have stopped toasting them right after I started to smell them all nice and toasty.  
  • I would have liked the pistachios to have provided more texture in the cake, aka more CRUNCH! I wonder if it has anything to do with the cooking in butter or chopping. Going to have to play around with those. 
  • Going to try different glazes, I am thinking of sugar or chocolate, something fun.
  • I would like to have a food processor to grate the carrots because that was not cute, especially since I had baby carrots on hand. 

Will I make it again?

In short, YES! It was so good, even better the next day.  

Have you made a cake like this before?