It’s always a good measure for how good a dessert recipe is by how quickly I demand Betsy take it to work. It’s a direct relationship: The faster I insist she takes it out of the house, the better the recipe.

I had this Pistachio Coffee Cake packed up and ready to go for her before it even cooled completely otherwise I was concerned I would consume it all in some sort of self-loathing coffee cake binge.

I pretty heavily adapted this recipe from a Bon Appetit recipe this month. The original had hazelnuts which are more expensive, and less delicious (IMHO) than pistachios and bittersweet chocolate which is also not as delicious as dark chocolate. So I made the simple substitutions replacing good things with better things.

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Coffee Cake

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Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 9 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Pistachio Coffee Cake is a simple to make breakfast or brunch treat. Layers of chocolate and pistachio between a delicious, not too sweet, coffee cake.



  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8×8 baking dish.
  • Stir together pistachios, chocolate, ¼ cup sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. Also whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and remaining sugar. Then mix in vanilla and eggs, one at a time.
  • Mix in ⅓ of the dry ingredients, followed by ½ of the yogurt, another ⅓ of the dry stuff, the rest of the yogurt, and the last of the dry ingredients. Mix until the batter is just combined.
  • Spoon half of the batter in to the buttered baking dish and top with half of the chocolate and pistachio mixture. Top with last of the batter and finish the cake by topping it with the rest of the pistachio mixture.
  • Bake cake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes once it has baked and then slice and serve!


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Breads, Breakfast & Brunch

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Pistachio Coffee Cake

Tasty Topping

Any coffee cake worth its coffee will have some sort of crumb layer, preferably on top and in the middle. This Pistachio Coffee Cake is no exception. Just roughly chop the pistachios and chocolate and stir them together with 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.

Just be sure that when you are adding this to the cake later, you get down deep in the bowl to get some of the sugar and cinnamon and not all chocolate and pistachios.

Good stuff - Pistachio Coffee Cake
Good stuff.

Besides that delicious mix, the batter is all you need to make this Pistachio Coffee Cake happen.

Batter Mixin’

This is a pretty straightforward cake batter to make.

Stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl so it’s ready to go. Then cream together the butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a large mixing bowl.

I used a hand mixer for this, but you could use a stand mixer also.

Just cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy and then mix in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Classic steps.
Classic steps.

Once that is mixed well, add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/2 of the yogurt, followed by another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, the last of the yogurt, and the last of the dry ingredients.

Mixing them in in that order (dry-wet-dry-wet-dry) makes sure everything is combined evenly.

A few steps later - Pistachio Coffee Cake batter
A few steps later…

Baking the Pistachio Coffee Cake

When you’re ready to bake the coffee cake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly butter an 8×8 baking dish and spoon in half of your cake batter. Then top it with half of the chocolate and pistachio mixture. Again, make sure to get plenty of the sugar and cinnamon mixture as well.

Layer one - Pistachio Coffee Cake
Layer one…

Then spoon the last half of the batter over the layer and top it with the rest of the tasty mixture.

You can tell that this is going to be good.

Ready for some heat - Pistachio Coffee Cake
Ready for some heat.

Bake this pan of awesomeness for 40-45 minutes until it’s nicely browned. It will also puff up nicely which is a good thing.

Puffed nicely! Pistachio Coffee Cake from Macheesmo
Puffed nicely!

Let this thing cool for at least 10-15 minutes until you cut into it and start chowing down.

Big slice of Pistachio Coffee Cake ~ Macheesmo
Big slice.

It’s a really thick coffee cake, but is actually very light and fluffy. The pieces of pistachio and dark chocolate are intense and give some good flavor and texture to the cake.

I really like recipes like this Pistachio Coffee Cake that are simple but speckled with some flashy add-ins.

It’s starting to get very fallish in Denver (it actually snowed yesterday) and there’s not much better than a bit slice of this and some warm coffee.