brown butter pistachio tea cakes

In May, I took a French pastry baking class at Sur La Table. I’ll share more about the experience in an upcoming post, but for now, I want to tell you about the platter of pistachio and brown butter financiers we were welcomed with upon arrival. Fragrant with pistachio and seemingly light and tender with crisp edges, I was instantly smitten. Those little French cakes are the inspiration behind these plush and golden brown butter pistachio tea cakes!

Brown Butter Pistachio Tea Cakes

Flavored with nutty brown butter, toasted pistachios, and warming cinnamon, each slice is lovely with tea (and makes a fine breakfast, too!). Topped with a cinnamon-brown butter drizzle, it’s no wonder I fell for these flavors at first bite.

Brown Butter Pistachio Tea Cakes

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Brown Butter Pistachio Tea Cakes

Brown Butter Pistachio Tea Cakes



  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp honey


  • 1 Tbsp brown butter (reserved from above)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place a baking sheet in oven; spray 3 mini (5 3/4″ x 3 3/4″) loaf pans with nonstick spray. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour brown butter into a glass measuring cup and let cool slightly.
  2. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, then whisk together ground pistachios, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Set aside 1 tablespoon brown butter for the glaze; pour remaining brown butter into a medium bowl and whisk in eggs, buttermilk, and honey. Add to flour mixture and fold in until combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans and smooth with an offset spatula; tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles. Place pans on preheated baking sheet and bake for 32 to 33 minutes, until edges are golden, cakes spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
  4. Remove cakes from oven and cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans and cool completely. For the glaze, melt reserved brown butter in a small glass bowl. Whisk in cinnamon, salt, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cakes and let set before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.


  • Calories: 145
  • Carbohydrates: 23

Keywords: Brown Butter, Pistachio, Tea Cake

Brown Butter Pistachio Tea Cakes

More pistachio recipes you’ll love:

Meyer Lemon-Pistachio Tartlets
Brown Butter Pistachio Madeleines

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  1. Although these look like they’d be lovely with tea, I’m afraid I might not nibble lady-likely if they were presented before me. And I definitely wouldn’t stop at one slice 🙂

  2. Hi Laura!

    I love tea cakes, especially little cakes that use nut meals/flours. These are so adorable and a must make for me! I saw that French baking class at Sur la table and have been wanting to take another class there.

    You could be teaching a class there with all the beautiful and delicious recipes you have here on Tutti Dolici! 🙂

  3. When I read this recipe I thought it sounded nice and I went straight into my kitchen to make these cakes. I do have a habit of playing around and changing recipes but this time I made them as is. I was disappointed – there was little flavour in the cake but it was saved by the drizzle which added some flavour. I found them to have a dry texture as well. So, for me, this recipe is not a keeper.

  4. I am also very fond of pairing a touch of nutmeg with cinnamon, they dance well together! Adding these warming spices of fall to the tea cake with browned butter and pistachios would indeed make a wonderful start to any day!