How to Choose Pistachio Paste for a Cake
On the left, the paste is entirely natural. On the right, it contains additives.
Many people enjoy pistachio desserts, such as cakes, ice cream, and other sweets. The key ingredient that defines their taste and color is pistachio paste, which comes in two varieties: natural or with additives.

Despite sharing a name, the taste difference between the two is vast. The picture on the left displays completely natural paste—simply roasted and ground pistachios. Also known as 'pistachio butter' commonly found in healthy food stores.

Natural pistachio paste:
  • Contains minimal additives, usually a small amount of vegetable oil or sugar, devoid of colorings, flavorings, or other additives.
  • It offers a paler taste and less vibrant hue, which might seem less 'pistachio-like' or less intense to some consumers.
  • Natural paste is twice as expensive as the paste shown on the right.
Take note of the deep and beautiful color of 100% natural pistachio paste in the image below."

Now let's examine pistachio paste with additives.

  • It contains only about 30% pistachios. The ingredients include flavorings, 2-3 colorants, an emulsifier, vegetable oil, and even flour or dry milk.
  • It's cheaper and is commonly found in pastry shops, typically labeled as 'dessert pistachio paste.' Its primary taste comes from an almond flavoring, which is an essential part of its composition.
  • The taste is strongly pronounced, and it's cost-effective.

Below is a photo displaying an example of pistachio paste with colorants and flavorings in the ingredients.

Our article's conclusion?

Everything stated above doesn't imply that pistachio paste with additives is bad, wrong, or harmful. It has a richer flavor, a vibrant almond aroma, and many customers prefer cakes made with it.

We've uploaded examples in the photos below so you can decide for yourself which cake you prefer.

Left: The cake was prepared using pistachio paste with additives. Right: Using the natural pistachio paste.
Left: The cake was made with pistachio paste with additives. Right: With the natural pistachio paste.