Momofuku Milk Bar Pistachio Layer Cake
The Momofuku milk bar pistachio layer cake is filled with layers of dense and decadent pistachio cake, light lemon curd, rich pistachio frosting, and buttery milk crumbs. It is truly a masterpiece!
Yield: 1 6-inch layer cake
For the pistachio layer cake
  • 1 recipe of pistachio cake (below)
  • 65 g (1/3 cup) pistachio oil
  • 1 recipe for lemon curd (below)
  • 1 recipe for milk crumb (below)
  • 1 recipe for pistachio frosting (below)
For the pistachio cake
  • 190 g (2/3 cup) pistachio paste
  • 75 g (3 tbsp) glucose or corn syrup
  • 6 egg whites
  • 280 g (1¾ cups) confectioner's sugar
  • 110 g (1¼ cups) almond flour
  • 75 g (1/2 cup) pistachio oil
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 160 g (1 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
For the lemon curd
  • 3 lemons
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • 115 g (8 tbsp) butter, cold
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
For the milk crumb
  • ¾ cup milk powder, divided
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 oz white chocolate, melted
For the pistachio frosting
  • 115 g (8 tbsp) butter, room temperature
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) confectioner's sugar
  • 230 g (3/4 cup) pistachio paste
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
For the pistachio cake
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the pistachio paste and the glucose. Beat on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after every 2-3 egg whites.
  3. Add in the confectioner's sugar and almond flour. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Slowly stream in the pistachio oil and the heavy cream with the mixer running on low speed. Mix for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes or until super smooth.
  6. Spray a quarter sheet pan with Pam baking spray and then line it with parchment paper. Spread the cake batter in an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until it is golden on the outside and starting to pull away from the sides of the pans.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
For the lemon curd
  1. Zest the sides of the lemons using a microplane. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and save ⅓ cup (80 g) of it.
  2. Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in the eggs and blend on low speed until bright yellow. Transfer to a medium pot and clean the blender out.
  3. Bloom the gelatin by soaking the gelatin sheet in a small bowl of cold water for 2 minutes. Gently squeeze out any excess water before using.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the lemon mixture over low heat, whisking constantly. Once it boils, return it to the blender along with the bloomed gelatin, butter, and salt. Blend until thick and super smooth.
  5. Pour the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve and into a heatproof container. Place in the fridge and allow to cool completely.
For the milk crumb
  1. Heat oven to 250F.
  2. Combine ½ cup of the milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir int he melted butter until the mixture starts to form small clusters.Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Crumble the larger crumbs so that all of them are less than ½-inch in size. Place in a medium bowl and toss with the remaining milk powder. Pour the white chocolate over the mixture and toss to combine.
For the pistachio frosting
  1. Combine the butter and confectioner's sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the pistachio paste and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds and then increase to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Use immediately.
To assemble
  1. Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment that was on the bottom of the cake. Use a 6-inch cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake. These will be the top two layers. The remaining cake scraps will come together to form the bottom layer of the cake.
  2. Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a half sheet pan lined with clean parchment paper. Line the inside of the cake ring with 1 strip of acetate (3 inches wide and 20 inches long).
  3. Place the cake scraps inside the ring and use the back of your hand to pack them in as much as possible into a flat, even layer. Brush with half of the pistachio oil.
  4. Spread half of the lemon curd over the top of the cake using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with a third of the milk crumbs, pressing them down with the back of your hand to set them in place.
  5. Top with a third of the pistachio frosting, spreading as evenly as possible over the crumbs.
  6. For the second layer, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the first strip, overlapping the two acetate strips by about ¼ inch.
  7. Set a round of the cake on top of the frosting. Brush with the remaining pistachio oil. Repeat the layering with the lemon curd, milk crumbs, and pistachio frosting.
  8. Place the remaining cake round over the frosting. Cover the cake with the remaining pistachio frosting. Sprinkle with the remaining milk crumbs.
  9. Place in the freezer or refrigerator and chill for 12 hours or up to 2 weeks in the freezer.
  10. At least 3 hours before you are ready to serve it, remove from the freezer and pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate and allow to defrost for at least 3 hours.
  11. Slice and serve.
Recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at