This gooey and delicious pistachio butter cake combines the best of pistachio pudding with the best of pistachio cake to yield a molten, buttery rich butter cake with nutty pistachio throughout. Just two bowls and only a whisk, we’re using simple ingredients to create the most moist and tender pistachio cake with an overflow of lush pistachio butter topping!

sliced vegan pistachio butter cake

An unbelievably vegan butter cake- made with pistachios!

Have you ever heard of a gooey butter cake? It’s a classic, rich and “buttery” cake with a soft cake base and gooey cream cheese topping baked on top. Basically heaven.

This pistachio butter cake is a beautiful twist on that classic. I was actually heavily inspired by Butternut Bakery’s gooey lemon butter cake, and thought, what would be another delicious flavor to try this concept with?

And make it vegan, egg free, and dairy free, no less!

Yes, this gooey pistachio butter cake is deliciously rich, nutty, and sweet, yet is made entirely without eggs and no dairy. And you’d absolutely never be able to tell 😉

If you love pistachio cake and pudding, then you’re going to love this pistachio butter cake. It’s as easy as my one bowl small vegan chocolate cake and as deliciously decadent as cheesecake. And when you slice into it, you just get warm puddles of perfectly set pistachio butter topping atop a tender and moist, soft pistachio cake. It’s my new version of heaven on a plate, and you’re going to love it!!

slice of gooey pistachio butter cake with bite taken out

What you need to make this recipe:

  • Flour: I just used all purpose flour here, but this cake will also work with King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour. That’s my favorite to bake with when baking gluten free. I use a tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot starch to help with the grittiness.
  • Cornstarch: This will go into our gooey pistachio butter topping. Instead of eggs, which is normally used to set a gooey butter cake, we’re using cornstarch- my favorite custard egg replacement to use! You can also swap in arrowroot starch.
  • Sugar & powdered sugar: Make sure you use a vegan-certified sugar, like Florida Crystals Sugar. The sugar will be used in our pistachio cake base, and the powdered sugar in our ooey gooey butter topping.
  • Vegan butter: I like Om Sweet Om Dairy Free Butter, Miyoko’s butter, or Violife.
  • Dairy free yogurt: I love using Forager Project unsweetened cashew milk yogurt. The plain or the vanilla will work here. You can also swap in their dairy free sour cream.
  • Pistachios & pistachio butter: We’ll ground some of the pistachios into a flour, but you’ll also need pistachio butter. It’s easiest to purchase this, however, pistachio butter is quite expensive. I list a recipe in the recipe card for making pistachio butter at home (what I do). You’ll need to make it separately from grinding the pistachios into a flour. I also recommend you make MORE than the recommended amount for the recipe so that it really blends into a nice pistachio butter.
  • Baking powder & soda
  • Vegan cream cheese: I like using Tofutti vegan cream cheese or Kite Hill.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract

Components of a pistachio butter cake:

As mentioned above, there are two components to this deliciously gooey pistachio butter cake: the pistachio cake and the pistachio butter topping (more like a pistachio pudding!).

I recommend making the pistachio butter topping first, then make the cake. Here’s what you’ll do:

The gooey pistachio butter:

  1. You can use either a whisk or a hand mixer to make the pistachio butter filling. I found I could just use a whisk, but for some cream cheese brands, it might be easier to use a hand mixer. Cream the vegan cream cheese, dairy free yogurt, and pistachio butter together until combined and smooth.
  2. Then add in the cornstarch, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix again just until combined.
  3. Finally add in the powdered sugar in two intervals of 1 cup each, whisking between each increment to combine the powdered sugar into the mixture. Stop once it’s a smooth and gooey consistency.
pistachio butter topping

That’s it! Now set this aside, and you’re ready to move onto the pistachio butter cake base!

Easy one bowl pistachio cake:

  1. Start by whisking together all of the wet ingredients: sugar, vegan butter, dairy free yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  2. Then add in the remaining ingredients: flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, and baking soda. You’ll notice there’s no salt added to this recipe. This is because the pistachios are already salted.
  3. Whisk just until combined. Now you’re ready to assemble your pistachio butter cake!
pistachio cake batter

Assembling the pistachio butter cake:

This part is so simple!

How to tell when your pistachio butter cake is done:

If you’ve ever made a vegan cheesecake, then you know that it’s slightly trickier to determine when a vegan cheesecake is done versus a regular cheesecake. The same holds true with a butter cake.

Because cornstarch and vegan cream cheese when combined and heated creates a really gooey texture, it’s tricky for beginners to know when the cornstarch has actually kicked in and is actively thickening the mixture.

To tell when your pistachio butter cake is done: Look for a thin film or skin that forms on the top of your pistachio butter cake. You’ll also notice that the cream cheese topping has puffed up slightly, and it will be lightly golden brown around the edges of the cake.

That’s the perfect sign that your pistachio butter cake is ready to be removed and chilled.

sliced vegan pistachio butter cake

The most essential part: setting the pistachio butter cake:

Like a typical gooey butter cake, this vegan pistachio butter cake needs time to set and cool before serving. You actually don’t need to set this one in the fridge (however, if you’re concerned about the setting of your vegan cream cheese, you absolutely can! Pop it into the fridge for 1-2 hours after it cools at room temperature for 30 minutes).

I recommend cooling this pistachio butter cake at room temperature for 3-4 hours. After about 30 minutes, I place a piece of parchment paper over it to cover the top of the cake while it continues to set at room temperature.

I’ve had a lot of success with this method as I’ve tested this recipe. However, because vegan ingredients can vary so much between

slice of pistachio butter cake on a plate

Storage & reheating:

Any leftover slices you can store in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to a week! When serving again, simply let the slices come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before enjoying.

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Ooey Gooey Vegan Pistachio Butter Cake pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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sliced vegan pistachio butter cake

Ooey Gooey Vegan Pistachio Butter Cake

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This gooey and delicious pistachio butter cake combines the best of pistachio pudding with the best of pistachio cake to yield a molten, buttery rich butter cake with nutty pistachio throughout. Just two bowls and only a whisk, we’re using simple ingredients to create the most moist and tender pistachio cake with an overflow of lush pistachio butter topping!


Ingredients

Scale

Pistachio Butter Topping:

  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) pistachio butter*
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp (50 g) cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups (260 g) powdered sugar

Pistachio Cake:

  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s or Flora Plant butter), melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 1/8 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cups (97 g) whole shelled salted pistachios, ground to a flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour (or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup crushed pistachios, for topping

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and line an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the edges. Measure out all ingredients. Make sure the pistachios are ground into a flour.
  2. Make the pistachio butter topping first: In a large bowl with a hand mixer or a whisk, cream together the vegan cream cheese, yogurt, and pistachio butter. Add in the cornstarch, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and whisk together until combined. Then add in the powdered sugar in two intervals of 1 cup, whisking to combine between each interval. Once you reach a consistent gooey texture, set the bowl aside.
  3. Make the pistachio cake batter: In a large bowl with a whisk, whisk together the sugar, melted vegan butter, dairy free yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Add in the first measurements of ground pistachios, the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk just until combined.
  4. Assemble the butter cake: Pour the cake batter into the springform pan, and spread the batter to the edges of the pan. Then pour the pistachio butter topping on top and gently push the cream cheese mixture to the edges of the pan.
  5. Bake: Place the springform pan into the oven to bake. If you’re baking with an 8″ pan, you’ll need 50-55 minutes. If you’re baking with a 9″ pan, you’ll need 40-45 minutes. Bake until a slight skin forms on top of the cream cheese mixture, and the edges of the mixture are lightly golden brown. The middle will still be wiggly.
  6. Cool: Allow the cake to cool and set at room temperature for 3-4 hours, or covered overnight at room temperature.
  7. When ready to serve: Carefully and GENTLY run a butter knife along the edges of the cake to release it from the pan. Then remove the walls of the pan, and plate your pistachio butter cake. Top with more crushed pistachios, slice, and serve!

Notes

Gluten free: I recommend using King Arthur measure-for-measure gluten-free flour. It’s the best GF flour blend I’ve tried!

Pistachio butter: You can make your own pistachio butter by using this recipe. Store bought I’ve found is quite expensive. If you’re making your own, please make MORE than the requested amount for this recipe. This is because it’ll be much easier to get a smoother pistachio butter at home when you’re making a larger amount.

See blog post for all tips and tricks! Or write your questions in the comments section 🙂