Cakes and Cupcakes

Spiced Pistachio Coffee Cake

Ok I’m going to be honest, this recipe has been sitting in my collection for more than 2 weeks now and I am just getting to writing it. Is anyone else hitting that mid-spring no motivation feeling?? Just me, ok. The good news is the weather is supposed to be almost all 70’s this week and I’m all for it. The bad news is I’m kicking myself for not posting this recipe earlier because you definitely would have made this 3x by now, it’s that good. Moist, full of spice, and in my opinion the perfect way to start any breakfast.

Coffee cakes, single layers, anything that you can just mix in one bowl, bake, and be done, is the best ever! No icing, no decorating, no fancy, no time-consuming, just mix and bake. Seriously the best ever, and this is just that!

Spring has sprung and vibrant flavors and colors are on the top of my list. Don’t get me wrong, I love warm and cozy flavors, but fresh and bright desserts just make me so excited for summer. Not to mention, they are so pretty and elegant to look at.

If you’re wondering like me why coffee cake is called coffee cake if there is no coffee in it, here’s the answer:

Coffee cake is a tender breakfast treat that is best served with coffee or tea, not actually filled with coffee. Boom! Mind blown.

why is this the best way to start a morning?

There’s always the option of eggs, sausage, pancakes… but why choose those when you can have coffee cake? It’s seriously not much more work and it’s a better way to elevate any morning. The salty pistachios and the sweet crumble make the perfect combo!

Holla holla for all the sweet and salty lovers out there!! If you ask me, this is the best.

Now it may be lacking in a little protein, but it’s well worth it.

goods you need

  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • eggs
  • sour cream/yogurt
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground cardamom
  • salt
  • pistachios
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 mixer
  • Tube pan
  • Spatula
  • Food Processor

tips for making the best coffee cake

What are the first words you think of when you think of the words coffee cake? Moist? Dense? Flavorful? Dry? Tender? Glaze or powdered sugar?

For me, sometimes my thoughts immediately go to dry and crumbly, but let me tell you this is not it. It’s dense, buttery, and moist. Not to mention, its ribboned with a pistachio sugar swirl and topped with a crispy nutty streusel.

The most important parts of the coffee cake to keep in mind are:

  • Mixing – Whatever you do, don’t over mix the batter! The secret to a perfect coffee cake is mixing it until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined. If you keep going for a while, you are going to end up with a dry and crumbly coffee cake. Gross!
  • Measuring – Make sure you are always using the right ingredients and measuring them correctly. Dry ingredients are the most common ones to measure incorrectly.
  • Getting that strong pistachio flavor – Nobody wants a pistachio coffee cake that is only somewhat nutty. We’re here for the nuts, duh. We’re adding those pistachios in the sugar swirl and the streusel! Extra nutty flavor!
  • Sour Cream – For this recipe, I used sour cream or yogurt. This will help make the cake extra dense and moist because of the acidity in the sour cream/yogurt. If you are using yogurt, make sure it’s full fat. In my opinion, it’s best to stick to sour cream, but either will work.

adding your streusel and crumble

Once you have easily mixed together the batter, it’s time to layer, which is basically the best part.

In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and spices until combined.

Pour half of the batter into the greased tube pan. It’s easy to dump too much batter into the pan initially so beware of that. Sprinkle all of your sugar mixture on top of the batter.

In a food processor, add your pistachios, spices, flour, and sugar. Pulse until combined. I left a few small chunks of pistachios instead of completely obliterating them.

Next, add in the butter chunks and pulse until just combined.

Now, here’s the secret. Add a little bit of your streusel on top of the sugar swirl so it will bake inside. Pour the remaining batter on top and add the rest of the streusel on top covering it completely.

Bake! Keep an eye on it in the oven so that the streusel doesn’t get too brown. If it does, cover it with foil and poke holes so air can still get inside.

equipment to use

Now, this recipe uses a tube pan, which is basically a bundt, but flat on all sides, but there are substitutes. Instead you can use a springform pan, 8″ circle cake pan, or a deep loaf dish.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can just throw the ingredients in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. You might want to double bag this just incase the bag tears.

For your batter you can use a stand or hand mixer. Both will do the same work, it just depends on how much work you want to do.

baking and cooling the coffee cake

After all that work it’s time to take it out of the oven and just give yourself a facial over those steaming rays. While you’re at it, make sure to get a big whiff of those spicy, warm, and nutty scents.

After baking, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove. Most tube pans have a removable bottom so you can just push up from the bottom. If you don’t, then you can try and flip it out.

Once it’s out of the pan, place it on your favorite serving board, dust with a little powdered sugar, and slice right away!

storing and serving

As soon as you’re done eating, immediately cover with a cake stand, plastic, or cut it up and place it in a Tupperware.

The coffee cake will be the freshest up to 5 days. (If it makes it that long 😉)

This is a great little treat to have on the go for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack. You know I’ll be eating it anytime of the day!

changing it up

Even though this is a spiced pistachio coffee cake, you could still add a bunch of flavors or spices to it. Here are a few ideas:

  • chai spice
  • nutmeg
  • orange
  • dried fruit (if you’re into that sort of thing)
  • lemon

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Did you make this recipe? Let me know below or on Instagram @tuesday.treats or use #tuesdaytreats2016. I love seeing your creations!

Spiced Pistachio Coffee Cake

Recipe by Gillian VolzCourse: Cakes and CupcakesCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


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This spiced pistachio coffee cake is the ultimate breakfast treat. It’s dense, moist, ribboned with sugar swirls, and buttery streusel. Perfect for spring!


  • Coffee Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cardamom

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 1/3 cup sour cream (yogurt works too)

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup butter (12 tbsp), softened

  • Spiced Sugar Swirl
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • Pistachio Streusel
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, shelled

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed


  • Pistachio Streusel
  • Grease a tube pan with non-stick spray or butter. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  • In a food processor, add your pistachios, flour, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon. Pulse until just chopped. You still want a few small pieces of nuts. Add in your cubed butter and pulse until just combined. Set aside.
  • Spiced Sugar Swirl
  • Whisk together your brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
  • Coffee Cake
  • Cream butter until smooth. Next, add in your sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy. Then, continue to add in your eggs and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
  • Alternately add the flour and sour cream to the egg mixture mixing on low in between. Mix until just combined, then stop!
  • Pour half of the batter into the pan. Evenly sprinkle all of your sugar swirl onto the batter. Sprinkle a tiny bit of the streusel on there as well.
  • Add the remaining batter on top and smooth out. Add the rest of the streusel on top of the batter to fully coat the top.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown. If your coffee cake starts to get too brown while baking, cover with foil and poke holes in it so air can still get in.
  • Once baked, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the bottom. Serve!

Recipe Video


  • Be careful not to over mix the batter otherwise it will be very dry and crumbly.
  • Since this batter is on the thicker side, make sure your pan is greased heavily.

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