Chocolate Pistachio Cake & “Sugar High” Giveaway!

Cake, Chocolate | October 18, 2018 | By

Hey guys! I’ve got something exciting to share with everyone today! Actually two exciting somethings if you include the cake, and we ARE including the cake.

Chocolate Pistachio Cake 1

Speaking of cake, this is a great one. It’s a spin on my classic Chocolate Pound Cake! This version is full of chopped pistachios, and drizzled with a sweet vanilla icing to top it off.

Chocolate Pistachio Cake 2 Chocolate Pistachio Cake 3

So starting with the cake, this is a basic pound cake batter. I use dark chocolate cocoa powder to really drive home the flavor, and sour cream keeps the cake moist and tender. If you haven’t used instant espresso powder before, now is a good time to start. I actually just always have some in my pantry for recipes just like this one- it’s a super easy way to help bring out the flavor of your chocolate dish. Don’t worry- it doesn’t make things taste like coffee when used sparingly!

Chocolate Pistachio Cake 7 Chocolate Pistachio Cake 5

Pistachios and chocolate are an easy combination, it’s a great flavor choice! The end result isn’t too sweet, but it’s got a ton of beautiful flavors that will keep you coming back for more! Get the recipe below, and I really hope you guys like this one, it’s one of my favorites!!

Chocolate Pistachio Cake 6

Now onto the giveaway! I’m so excited to be offering four prizes today! I’m working with Rodelle Inc. and Breckenridge Distillery to bring you guys some serious goodies! I LOVE these brands and the products they provide, and I actually used products from both companies in the making of Sugar High! Rodelle makes some of my absolute favorite vanilla extract- seriously I always have some in my pantry! And Breckenridge distillery makes my favorite bourbon! It’s my go-to for baking because the flavors really shine through well. If you’ve ever seen a recipe on my website that included whiskey for a baked good, I used Breckenridge!

I’ll be choosing 4 winners to receive a signed copy of my new high-altitude baking book Sugar High. Additionally, two of those winner will be receiving a goodie bag from Rodelle with a bottle of vanilla extract, a bottle of almond extract, a generous container of their fantastic cocoa powder, and a container of their cinnamon sticks, all wrapped in a Rodelle canvas bag!


The other two winners will be receiving tons of goodies from Breckenridge Distillery! This includes a t-shirt, a water bottle, a tin mug, a beanie, and a drink koozie!


GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED, THANK YOU!! All you have to do is comment below with your favorite way to use whiskey or vanilla extract in the kitchen! The giveaway will run until October 25th at 12:00pm mountain time, and the winners will be selected at random. You must be a resident of the United States to enter.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more information on future giveaways! And check out Rodelle and Breckenridge Distillery on social as well- these are seriously great brands!

Chocolate Pistachio Cake

Servings 10 slices


  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and sour cream, and beat until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, espresso powder, salt, and cocoa powder. 

  3. Add the flour mixture and milk alternating into the egg mixture, beating well between each addition, until completely combined. Fold in the pistachios. Spread the batter into your prepared pan. 

  4. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before icing. 

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the top of your cake before slicing and serving. Enjoy!



  1. Leave a Reply

    Nola Surmanek
    October 18, 2018

    I love vanilla in all my baking and whiskey in my glass while I am baking 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Pat Downs
      October 20, 2018

      I love using vanilla in my homemade granola's that I make. I also have put a hint of whiskey in some of the batches! It is also good over french toast with bananas and pecans!

  2. Leave a Reply

    October 18, 2018

    I like caramelizing bananas in whiskey and pouring the mixture over pancakes! Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors, it really stands out in buttercream!

    • Leave a Reply

      October 26, 2018

      Hi Jeffrey! You're a winner for one of the Breckenridge Distillery packs! Send me an email at!!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Alysa weiss
    October 18, 2018

    I love using vanilla in crema brûlée! And whiskey makes the best sauces!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Robin Chesser
    October 18, 2018

    One of my favorite ways to utilize vanilla extract is in my French crullers both in the dough and glaze.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Sean S
    October 18, 2018

    I love using Rodelle Vanilla in my family's chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's honestly the best cookie in the world. I could eat them every day

  6. Leave a Reply

    October 18, 2018

    I like to add a little vanilla extract to my french toast "batter".

  7. Leave a Reply

    Mary Chandran
    October 19, 2018

    I love adding vanilla or whiskey while mixing whipping cream to make a delicious and boozy topping to dessert.

  8. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    I use a splash of Rodelle Vanilla in all of my fruit pie fillings!!

  9. Leave a Reply

    Virginia Campbell
    October 19, 2018

    Wonderful giveaway!!!! I often times double the amount of vanilla called for in recipes featuring chocolate–the vanilla enhances the flavor of the chocolate, I also like to add a splash of vanilla to my hot chocolate!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Jill H
    October 19, 2018

    I use vanilla in all !y baking and to my frenc H toast batter and sometimes over my coffee when I brew it.

  11. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    I use more vanilla than called for in my baking recipes to offset the evaporation that happens at high altitude.

    • Leave a Reply

      October 26, 2018

      Hi Ginger! You're a winner of one of the packs from Breckenridge Distillery! Send me an email at!

  12. Leave a Reply

    Heather Fahey
    October 19, 2018

    I’ve been just a little obsessed with No Bake cookies since I was a kid. I’ve had that recipe memorized since I was twelve.. It’s a surprise I’m not a diabetic. Vanilla adds a layer of flavor to no-bake cookies that just brings everything together making them dangerously addictive. Bourbon is a great additional flavor…for me to drink while I make cookies 🙂

  13. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    I like using vanilla in all of my holiday cookie baking and goodies.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Adriana Snell
    October 19, 2018

    I like bread pudding made with vanilla, walnuts and raisins topped with whiskey sauce. Homemade vanilla ice cream on top!

  15. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    I use a double dose of vanilla in nearly every baked good I make! My favorite is Rodelle’s vanilla paste. So good.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Susie D
    October 19, 2018

    I use a lot of vanilla in french toast, pancakes, or dutch babies. I had a big bottle but ran out and haven't replaced it because it's so expensive right now. I had to buy an imitation blend from the grocery store brand called vanilla butter nut. It's pretty good but not the real thing.

  17. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    I love using whiskey is anything chocolate!! Yummy pairing.

  18. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    Vanilla always makes it into my pancakes 🥞 would love to learn how to use whiskey other than as a drink!

  19. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    Love using a heavy dose of vanilla in my cream pie fillings to give it that extra bit of ‘yum’ in every bite.

  20. Leave a Reply

    October 19, 2018

    I love to add a splash of whiskey to my glaze for sweet potatoes and carrots

  21. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline z
    October 19, 2018

    I love using vanilla in shortbread cookies, the flaovor is so simple but really shines through. Recently made a whiskey apple cider drink for fall that was delicious as well.

  22. Leave a Reply

    Diane Engles
    October 19, 2018

    I love to splash some bourbon in banana pancake batter and chocolate bourbon pecan pie is a must a Thanksgiving.

  23. Leave a Reply

    Sandy Zimmer
    October 20, 2018

    90% of my baking I use vanilla extract, I don't think I've ever used bourbon baking/cooking. There are some great ideas from fellow entries!

  24. Leave a Reply

    Michelle J.
    October 21, 2018

    I don't use whiskey, but I love to use vanilla to make cakes!

  25. Leave a Reply

    October 21, 2018

    Congrats on you book! My favorite thing to cook with whiskey is sweet potatoes – so decadent !

  26. Leave a Reply

    October 22, 2018

    We have never cooked using whiskey. We have some cooking wines that we use occasionally. For vanilla, we use it primarily for cookies. Oatmeal scotchies are my favorite, especially this time of year.

  27. Leave a Reply

    October 23, 2018

    I think that whiskey is a great addition to pies–peach, apple, pecan!

  28. Leave a Reply

    October 24, 2018

    I always add vanilla to my homemade waffle batter. The recipe doesn't call for it but it adds so much to the flavor! I like to add whiskey to caramel sauce…goes great on ice cream, cheesecake, and gingerbread cake.

  29. Leave a Reply

    October 25, 2018

    Vanilla whiskey old fashions all day errr day.

  30. Leave a Reply

    October 25, 2018

    I like using vanilla in cakes.

    • Leave a Reply

      October 26, 2018

      Hi Manda! You're a winner of one of the prizes from Rodelle! Send me an email at!

  31. Leave a Reply

    Sally Whiteneck
    October 25, 2018

    I love using vanilla extract in homemade vanilla ice cream. Nothing highlights great vanilla flavor better than a frozen sweet mixture of cream, eggs and sugar!

    • Leave a Reply

      October 26, 2018

      Hi Sally! You won one of the prizes from Rodelle!! Send me an email at!!

  32. Leave a Reply

    Stephanie S
    October 25, 2018

    I love adding vanilla to my pancakes! Congrats on the book!

  33. Leave a Reply

    October 26, 2018

    Baking adventures in high altitude require a strong cocktail at the ready! We love one that combines two of our favorite things-whiskey for my husband + vanilla bean for me = Vanilla Old Fashioned! After a couple, we don’t care as much when the cake sinks. Definitely need this beautiful AND helpful cookbook in my collection! Thank you, Nicole for all your hard work putting this together. Your tasters were very lucky indeed!

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