Amarena Cherry and Pistachio Cake



  • CAKE
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of one large lemon
  • 2 1/2 ounces natural pistachios
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • Garnish:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Alkermes liqueur (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups amarena cherries, pureed


  1. For the cake, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a jellyroll pan and set aside. Dust a clean kitchen towel with confectioners' sugar and set aside.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the butter. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Sprinkle the flour mixture a little at a time over the egg whites and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula.
  4. Fold the egg white batter into the egg yolk batter, along with the lemon zest.
  5. Spread the batter on the jellyroll pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or just until the top and edges are nicely browned and the cake springs back when touched with your finger.
  6. Turn the pan over onto the towel lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Starting at the short end of the cake, roll it up gently in the towel and let cool.
  7. For the pistachio cream filling, grind the nuts and 1/2 cup of the sugar until powdery in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle.
  8. In a saucepan off the heat, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until the mixture is lemon colored; then beat in the flour. Slowly stir in the milk. Cook the mixture over medium high heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the pistachio and sugar mixture.
  9. Transfer the pistachio cream to a bowl and cover the top with a piece of buttered wax paper. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  10. Line a 2-quart bowl with plastic wrap, allowing excess to hang over the edges of the bowl.
  11. Unroll the cake and spread it with the amarena cherry filling; then carefully spread a thin layer of the pistachio cream over the cherry filling. Reroll the cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  12. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into 1/2-inch slices. Place a few slices in the bottom of the bowl and cover with a layer of pastry cream. Add another layer of cake, positioning the layers against the inside walls of the bowl and add more pastry cream. Be sure to put a few pieces of cake in the center as you layer filling and cake. The top layer should be cake. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  13. In a bowl, whip the cream with the Alkermes and the sugar until stiff.
  14. Turn the bowl over to unmold the cake onto a decorative serving dish. Remove the plastic wrap and discard.
  15. Fit a large pastry bag with a #2 star tip. Fill the bag with the whipped cream and pipe a decorative border around the base of the cake and at the top if desired. Cut into wedges to serve.

This recipe was featured on Season 10 - Episode 1008.

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what is the amount of baking powder mentioned in the directions but not in the ingredients list?


Love your show. The recipes are great. My family is from the Mt.Casino area( immigrated to Detroit then Los Angeles) and I was taught at an early age to cook. Your recipes are just like home..I love some of the new variations. VERY DELICIOUS….

mary ann esposito


That is a mistake in the ingredient list; just scratch the baking powder.


My mom and I watch your show and both cook many of your recipes. You are a great inspiration to cook the Sicilian recipes that my great grandparents brought here. I was born and raised in Rochester and now live in your hometown of Buffalo. Thank you for the culinary inspiration that has helped bring me closer to my Sicilian and Italian roots.

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