A beautiful and easy cake to prepare, its colors and flavors are reminiscent of Arab influence in Sicily.  I like to serve it on my hand painted Franco Mari plates.  I lugged them back in my carry on from Siena, Italy.

Raisin Pistachio Cake

2/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup Marsala
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 cups unbleached flour, plus more to coat the baking pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten well
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F

In a small bowl, plump the raisins in the Marsala for at least 10 minutes.  Generously butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan; dust with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, the sugar, ground pistachios, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Melt 5 tablespoons butter over low heat.  combine it in a small bowl with the milk and eggs.  Drain the raisins, combining the remaining Marsala with the liquid ingredients.  Mix the raisins with a little of the flour mixture.

Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture, and mix briefly but thoroughly with a plastic spatula.  Add the raisins and mix just until well distributed.  Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack and, while the cake is still warm dust it with confectioners' sugar.

Serve with zabaglione or whipped sweetened cream.  The cake can also stand on it's own and is especially good with a cup of cardamom coffee.

A friend of mine recently moved to Sicily.
I should have made this cake for her
she left.  She was here for a few months - stayed with me 
off and on.
I'll make it again the next time she comes to visit - see how it stacks up.
Everything tastes better 
in Italy.

It has been too hot to do much of anything except hang out at the 
water park with my little sugar boy.

We have such fun

Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman
Recipes: The Zenchilada


  1. That looks divine. I'd have to eat it for dessert, breakfast, snack until it was gone.

    1. Thanks Donna - and yes, therein lies the problem, as I have zero willpower. Anytime I bake something, I have to pack it up and send it off to work with my husband.

  2. You two must be a sight at the water park..Your little Sugar Boy♥ Love that name..

    and the plates..and the cake.
    It looks like a delicacy..I hear you re lugging back;)
    Sweet thought that you wished your friend could have tatsed it.
    Wasn't Siena absolutely amazing?

    1. I just couldn't get enough of Siena. The light there is amazing.
      Sugar Boy has taught me how to be a kid again. It is so rewarding to be a Nana, don't you think?

  3. Beautiful......I love this recipe...and of course the images!

  4. It is the most rewarding .
    Very differenet than being a mom...
    You can just love..♥ Less responsibilities day in day out..compared to when you are parenting..
    You two must turn heads.
    I don't know where my comment had gone..came to see if you had posted something new and saw that my Aug comment never made it..so here I am.

  5. Lovely images! I love the recipe. I have to try that!

  6. Happy Holidays:) How is your darling boy?


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