185g unsalted butter, softened
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 eggs
185g self-raising flour
60g ground pistachios
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
150ml full-cream milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons rosewater
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
60g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon rosewater
50g baked rhubarb (see recipe), roughly chopped, plus extra to serve (optional)
BAKED RHUBARB makes 350g
350g rhubarb, cut into 5cm lengths (approximately one bunch)
4 tablespoons caster sugar
juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2½ tablespoons strawberry jam

This cake, with its glorious pastel green and pink colourway, combines a few of my favourite things – pistachios, rhubarb and a little hint of rose. While best eaten on the day it is made, this cake keeps happily in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two – just return to room temperature before serving.

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1.Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced.
2.Grease a 20cm round tin thoroughly with butter and line the base with baking paper.
3.In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
4.Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5.Place the flour, pistachios, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together.
6.Add half to the creamed butter, stirring gently, before adding half the milk and the rosewater.
7.Once incorporated, follow with the remaining dry ingredients, then the remaining milk, stirring gently until just combined.
8.Spoon the batter into the tin, smoothing the top and tapping the tin gently on the bench a few times to remove any air bubbles.
9.Bake in the oven for 45–55 minutes or until the cake is golden and cooked through.
10.Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so, before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
11.When the cake is cool, make the rhubarb buttercream.
12.Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth.
13.Add the butter and vanilla and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.
14.Mix in the icing sugar and rosewater before adding the baked rhubarb and gently folding it through.
15.To serve, place the pistachio cake on a serving platter, top with the rhubarb buttercream and smooth it over the cake.
16.Serve with extra baked rhubarb, if you like.
18.Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced.
19.Place the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and vanilla in a medium baking dish and toss to coat.
20.Arrange in a single layer and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
21.Remove the rhubarb from the oven and spoon the strawberry jam on top.
22.Toss gently to evenly coat the rhubarb, then return to the oven for 5–10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender but still holds its shape. Allow to cool in the dish.
23.Store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within a few days.

Images and text
from The Plain Cake
Appreciation Society
by Tilly Pamment,
photography by Tilly
Pamment. Murdoch
Books, RRP $45.