We celebrated my mother’s birthday over the weekend at a fun and festive Greek restaurant: Alexander The Great Greek.
It’s family owned and operated with great food, live music, and a belly dancer!
I decided to make my mom’s birthday cake this year but wanted a Greek twist to it. I researched particular flavors and came up with pistachio and apricot.
This cake was super moist and had the exact flavor of a really good pistachio gelato!
Pan Notes: I used three round pans; the bottom pan was a 9 inch round and the top two pans were 8.5 inch rounds. I used the 9 inch round as the base of the cake.
Assembly Notes: If you need to stabilize your cake to transport you can use straws. Cut them to the appropriate size and stick them in the center. This will secure the cake.
Icing the Cake: Assemble your layers on a cake stand or plate. Cut strips of parchment paper and place them around the base of the cake. This helps to keep the icing off of the cake stand or plate. When you are done icing the cake, remove the parchment and you will have a nice clean finish at the bottom.
- 2 Cups of Sifted All Purpose Flour (I like to use Farino Tipo 00 – An Italian Flour, note: you can also use Cake Flour)
- 2 Cups of Sugar
- 1 Stick of Butter
- 3/4 Cup of dried apricots diced up (I used my food processor to chop them into tiny pieces)
- 1 Cup of chopped Pistachios + 3/4 cup to sprinkle on the iced cake and in between the iced layers
- 5 Egg Whites (beat until stiff peaks)
- 5 Egg Yolks
- 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
- 1 Cup of Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Three 8 oz Containers of White Chocolate Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup of Whipping Cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of Powdered Sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. If your oven browns quickly then take it down 15 to 20 degrees. Grease and flour three round cake pans
- Cream butter with sugar and add vanilla
- Next add 5 separated egg yolks and 1/2 cup of olive oil – mix and beat until fluffy
- In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients: Sifted flour and the baking soda
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk (about 1/4 cup at a time)
- Next mix in 1 Cup of Pistachios and 3/4 cup of the Apricots
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until you have stiff peaks
- With a spatula, gently fold your egg whites into the batter by making the figure 8 pattern
- Spoon the batter into your three pans and make them as even as you can. Bake until light brown, which should be about 30 minutes (use a toothpick in the center and make sure no batter is on the stick)
- When the cake layers are finished baking let them cool before you take them out of the pans.
- Once the layers are cool, place them on parchment paper and use a brush to dust off the crumbs (easier to ice).
- Now for the Icing: Cream with a hand blender the three containers of White Chocolate Cream Cheese + 1/4 of powdered sugar + 1/2 cup of whipping cream (a little at a time) until you have it all mixed together.
- After the icing is mixed, start to assemble the cake by taking one of the layers of cake and making it your base. Stick strips of parchment paper around the bottom of the cake
- Ice the top of it and add the next layer of cake and ice the top of it, to then add your final layer of cake
- Now start to ice the sides and the top of the cake until covered.
- Use chopped pistachios to decorate the top and sides
- Refrigerate the cake until you are going to slice and serve!