Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Raspberry and pistachio cake trifle

Prep time 1-2 hours
Cook time 1-2 hours
Serves 6-8
Dietary Vegetarian
From James Martin: Home Comforts
This posh trifle by James Martin combines homemade cake, pistachio nuts, kirsch and lashings of cream… Heaven.


  1. For the custard, gently heat the milk, cream, vanilla pods and vanilla seeds in a saucepan.

  2. In a bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until pale and creamy.

  3. When the milk mixture is just about to boil, pour it onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously until all of the liquid has been incorporated. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, whisking all the time, until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

  4. Strain the custard into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

  5. Meanwhile, for the pistachio sponge, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Grease a 23cm/9in springform cake tin with a little melted butter, dust the insides with flour, then line the base with a circle of baking parchment.

  6. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for 4-5 minutes, or until pale, thick and creamy. Whisk in the pistachio paste and mix for a further minute, until completely incorporated.

  7. Quickly but carefully, fold the flour and melted butter into the mixture. Pour the cake batter into the prepated tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through. (The cake is cooked through when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.) Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and set aside until competely cool.

  8. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend 300g/10½oz of the raspberries to a purée with two tablespoons of cold water. Set aside.

  9. Toast the flaked almonds for a few seconds in a small, dry frying pan set over a medium heat. When they start to brown, tip them onto a plate to stop them from cooking further.

  10. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  11. Cut the cooled pistachio cake into 2cm/1in-thick slices.

  12. To assemble the trifle, arrange a layer of sponge pieces in the bottom of a large glass serving bowl. Drizzle over a little kirsch, then spread over some of the raspberry purée and sprinkle a handful of raspberries on top. Pour over a little of the cold custard. Repeat the layering process until all of the ingredients have been used up.

  13. To finish, top the trifle with the whipped cream and sprinkle over the extra raspberries, the flaked almonds and the chopped pistachios. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.


For the custard

  • 250ml/9fl oz full-fat milk
  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways, seeds scraped out using a sharp knife
  • 110g/3¾oz caster sugar
  • 6 free-range egg yolks

For the pistachio sponge

  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g/6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 25g/1oz pistachio paste (available online or from specialist retailers)

For the trifle

  • 900g/2lb fresh raspberries, plus extra to serve
  • 25g/1oz flaked almonds
  • 500ml/1lb 2oz double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 125ml/4fl oz kirsch
  • 40g/1½oz shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Shopping List

Raspberry and pistachio cake trifle

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled


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