Last Updated on May 26, 2016 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
I volleyed back and forth between calling this a pistachio-raspberry cake and calling it a buckle. Fresh raspberries are nestled into the cake batter creating the signature dimpled surface of the latter – but I think of a buckle as a more casual, thrown-together dessert. And while I adore a warm, cozy berry buckle (with ice cream, please!), I felt this was just a bit too special to be placed in the same category as homey cobblers, crumbles and crisps.
And now that I’ve opened that door, if you’re wondering about the difference between these summery fruit desserts (I know at least one of you is!), a buckle is a cake baked with fresh fruit on top creating a “buckled” surface, a cobbler has a pie-like fruit base baked with a biscuit topping, a crisp is similar but with an oat-and-streusel topping, a crumble is the same as a crisp, minus the oats, and a brown betty is like a crumble, but with buttery breadcrumbs instead of a flour-based topping. Yum.
Cake or buckle, call it what you will, this dessert is golden, buttery perfection bursting with juicy raspberries. Ground pistachios make for the most tender crumb, also adding a wonderful, sweet nuttiness and just a hint of pale green.
And also, it’s just so pretty! The shades of raspberry and pistachio are so beautiful together, don’t you think?I couldn’t stop taking photos. I had to edit out half the images I originally had in this post because there were more pictures than text.
This post has kindly been sponsored by Driscoll’s. I buy their raspberries (and strawberries, blackberries and blueberries) regularly – they’re high quality, beautiful berries, available at their peak year-round. I typically choose the organic ones, and I use them regularly to use in baking and desserts, breakfast-ing, and snacking.
What I learned about Driscoll’s since partnering with them (and I’m just sharing out of genuine interest!) is that they are a family-owned company, the world’s leading provider of organic berries, and they’ve been in berry farming for more than 100 years. They now work with independent farmers in lots of different growing regions so that they can offer lovely, in-season berries all year, but it all started with a California-based family strawberry farm. And the founder’s own great-grandson is still farming strawberries four generations later. I love that family story.
When choosing your pistachios, go for roasted, unsalted and still in the shell. The ones that are roasted out of their shell (while they require less shelling effort for you) are too dark brown and not as sweet. If you can only find salted (or that’s what you have on hand), that’s fine, just rinse them well and pat dry with paper towels. You also have the option to swap them out for almonds.
To serve the cake, dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar (if desired, not necessary), and top with some chopped pistachios. Like a buckle, It’s best served with a spoon, and dolloped with a pillow of softly whipped cream.
Driscoll’s website is a great resource for berry lovers. Check out their raspberry recipes – the gorgeous, two-toned Raspberry-Lime Popsicles are going on my summer to-make list. The White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars (a couple pages in) are going to happen ASAP, too. (Hmm, maybe even for a friend’s BBQ this weekend.)
They’re also having a Summer Sweepstakes with four prizes of $100 each in Driscoll’s berries (awarded as a $100 Visa pre-paid card) for your summer pie-making and picnicking pleasure. There are no entry tasks required, so you should definitely get your name in there.
Thank you wholeheartedly, dear readers, for supporting the generous, thoughtfully-selected sponsors who keep the Foodess kitchen running! xo
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar divided use
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup unsalted roasted pistachios shelled, plus more for topping
- ¾ cup + 1 tbsp 3.7 oz all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 packages 6 oz or 1 1/4 cups each Driscoll's raspberries, divided use
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9"x 2" round cake pan.
- In a blender or food processor, process pistachios until finely ground and fluffy (but not past that point or you might make butter!). Transfer to a bowl and whisk in flour, baking powder and salt.
- Beat butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a standing mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, pausing once to scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in almond extract. With mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture, beating only until combined.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently fold in one package of the raspberries. Spread the batter into prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly. Drop a handful of remaining raspberries on top of the batter, then keep the rest for serving. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake in centre of the oven for 40-50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown and springy to touch when pressed gently in the centre.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. To serve, dust with confectioners' sugar (optional) and sprinkle with a few chopped pistachios. Spoon into bowls and serve with whipped cream and reserved fresh raspberries.