Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing

This is one of those cakes that gives a little wow factor and what a lovely birthday cake it makes. You can substitute the sugar for agave syrup and although I really like the addition of the mascarpone icing it does taste great without it as the grated courgette gives it a moist bake. This bake had it’s issues as I managed to get some marks from the wire cooling rack on the top of the cake as I didn’t do what I usually do and add a clean tea towel first! 

Another one of my weekend bakes inspired by the free from bakes on the GBBO and I have been really pleased that the girls in particular liked this bake, as they really don’t like courgette at all. It’s the one vegetable that they both dislike so it was good to bake this without them knowing my secret ingredient, and once they had tasted a slice they were amazed when I let them in on the secret, and even more amazed that they liked it!  

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing


  • 110g shelled pistachios
  • 4 eggs
  • 160g light muscovado sugar
  • 250g topped, tailed and peeled, finely grated courgette
  • 110g white rice flour
  • 65g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For The Icing

  • 250ml double cream
  • 225g mascarpone cheese 
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 180g dark chocolate 
  • 35g of pistachios to decorate
  • Silver edible balls to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4 and grease and line two 18 cm tins with baking paper.
  • Add the pistachios to a food processor and blitz to a fine powder.
  • Combine the eggs and sugar together into a food mixer and whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Fold in the grated courgette followed by the ground pistachio, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and the salt.
  • Combine all the ingredients together until it is thoroughly mixed.
  • Divide the mixture into the two cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool before icing.
  • You can transfer to the fridge once cooled to ensure the cakes are cold when you ice them.

To Make The Icing

  • Add the cream and dark chocolate to a small pan and heat gently until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Switch the heat off once at this stage and mix thoroughly, it will be thick and smooth depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  • In a food mixer beat the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  • Slowly add the chocolate ganache to the mascarpone and icing sugar mixture and slowly beat until combined.
  • Once the icing is ready add some of the icing to sandwich the two cakes together, and spread with a palette knife. Sprinkle on the pistachios.
  • Pipe the top of the cake with a star nozzle, you can also pipe around the bottom of the cake to decorate. Finally add some of the reserved pistachios on the top of the cake and  decorate with silver edible balls and serve.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cake With Mascarpone Chocolate Icing

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  1. September 9, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    Yummy cannot find these anywhere 🙁

  2. September 10, 2015 / 9:48 am

    This looks delicious! My sister in law doen't eat gluten and I try not to as I have Crohn's so this would be a great dessert for us to enjoy as we usually pass on them at family get-togethers!

    • September 18, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Thank you Tracy, do let me know how you get on as it's a great recipe for gluten intolerances. 🙂

  3. September 11, 2015 / 3:59 pm

    That looks great! I'm not very good with how things look as I'm a little clumsy but who cares as long as they taste great (apart from Mary Berry)?

    • September 18, 2015 / 6:16 pm

      Thank you Dianne, at the end of the day I don't worry too much as I know my family will end up eating it anyway! 🙂

  4. September 17, 2015 / 7:14 am

    It's so hard to believe this is gluten free – it looks so moist!

    • September 18, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      It's a tasty recipe Rebecca and I love that it is packed with courgette to keep it really moist, a great recipe to have if you or someone you know has a gluten intolerance.

  5. September 24, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    oh wow that looks amazing, this is on my to-do list

  6. October 6, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    Wow what a fabulous recipe! Shall definitely have to try to make myself. Shall 'pin' to try later this month;)

  7. October 28, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    Oh my! Just look at that masterpiece!

  8. April 18, 2016 / 4:38 am

    I've never heard of pistachio cake before. Even better, a gluten free one. I bet it tastes divine.

  9. Kim Styles
    June 21, 2016 / 5:10 pm

    pistachios are my favourite nut -this sounds and looks very very yummy