Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting

18th April 2017

After what feels like a long break, I finally started baking again. Right now, I’m in Canada on holiday, but just before going away I baked this amazing Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting. Whenever I make cake, I let my husband take the leftovers to office, but not this turmeric cake. We ate it all by ourselves!

Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting

I was inspired to make turmeric cake after tasting the one Juliet Oscar Yankee made for Creating for Good‘s fundraising event last month. I adapted the recipe slightly: I reduced the amount of flour, eggs and sugar; I added pistachios to the sponge; I used Icelandic Skyr both in the cake and for the frosting.

Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting

Isey Skyr is a cultured dairy product unique to Iceland. If you’ve never heard of it or tried it before, it is similar to yoghurt, but quite different in taste and texture.

Isey Skyr is authentic Icelandic skyr. As the name suggests, it is produced in Iceland using local milk and a special process to ensure the valuable whey proteins are kept.

Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting

Icelandic people have been eating skyr for centuries and they swear by it as the secret to their good health. That’s because skyr is made with high quality milk and water and without any use of pesticides.

It is very high in protein, gluten free and virtually fat free. The texture is thick, smooth and creamy. I love replacing butter frosting on cakes with plain skyr: it’s a healthier, but delicious alternative!

Overall this is a fairly sweet cake, although the Icelandic Skyr makes it less so, adding a touch of sour taste.

Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting

The other main ingredient of this cake is turmeric. Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family which grows in the forests of southern Asia and is used a lot in Asian cuisines. The turmeric spice is also used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for a variety of disorders, like indigestion and cold and also to cleanse wounds.

I had never heard of turmeric before meeting my husband, but now I use it regularly when cooking Indian recipes. This was the first time I used turmeric in cakes and I was really impressed. It infuses the cake sponge with a rich flavour and a beautiful bright yellow colour.

As turmeric and Icelandic Skyr are so good for health, I’m happy to eat this cake regularly! ;)

Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting


For the cake

  • 180g butter, softened
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 150g Isey Skyr (natural or vanilla)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 50g pistachios, roughly chopped

To serve

  • Isey skyr
  • pistachios, ground


Heat the oven to 180C and line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper.

Start by creaming the butter and the sugar together until it becomes pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the Icelandic skyr and the vanilla extract. Mix well for a few minutes.

Sift the flour, baking powder and turmeric together, mix together and fold into the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly and add a bit of milk to loosen up if the consistency is too stiff.

Pour the mixture into a 2lb bread loaf cake tin and spread out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out on to a wire rack to cool.

Serve with a dollop of Isey skyr sweetened with icing sugar and ground pistachios.

Turmeric and Pistachio Cake with Icelandic Skyr Frosting

Isey Skyr is sold in Waitrose stores all over the UK. Find out where to buy it hereFor more Skyr cake recipes, see here: Skyr Cheesecake with Honey Roasted Figs and Orange and Polenta Cake with Skyr Icing

Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Isey Skyr. All opinions are my own.

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