Recipe by: Christine Lee

Makes: 1 x 8 inch layer or 2 x 6 inch layers

Source: Delia Smith



  • 50g shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 115g spreadable butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder, (if necessary, dilute with 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk)


  • 1 slightly rounded dessertspoon instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 level tablespoon demerara sugar
  • 25ml boiling water

Filling and Topping

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 rounded dessertspoon instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
  • 1–2 tablespoons milk
  • 50g shelled unsalted pistachios
  • A few drops of red food colouring (or any other colour or none at all)


  • Preheat oven to 170° C.
  • Sift the flour, cardamom powder and baking powder into a mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy,
  • Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  • Add the instant espresso and beat until just incorporated.
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated .
  • Fold the chopped nuts into the mixture with a tablespoon. Divide the mixture between two
    6-inch round prepared tins, level off using the back of a tablespoon and bake near the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove them from the oven but leave them in their tins. Prick them all over with a skewer while they are still hot and sprinkle the syrup as evenly as possible over each one, leaving them to soak up the liquid as they cool in their tins.
  • When they are absolutely cold, remove cakes from the tins. Then spread half the filling mixture over the first cake. Then slide the other cake carefully on top, and spread with the other half of the mixture. To finish, scatter the roasted pistachios all over just before serving.


  • Place the coffee powder, cardamom powder and sugar in a heatproof bowl, then measure the boiling water into it and whisk for about one minute until the coffee and sugar have dissolved.

Filling and topping:

  • Whisk all the ingredients except the pistachios together in another bowl. Top over the cake and garnish with pistachios and any other topping you wish. Examples: White chocolate chards, macarons.

Download PDF version here: coffee-cardamom-cake-christine-lee