I don’t bake many cakes.  I’m always happy to eat them, but the thought of frosting a triple-tiered cake stresses me out.  It’s probably for the best that we don’t have these treats around the house, as will power has never been one of my strengths.  There are no calories in a sliver or in a finger swipe of icing, right?
Breakfast breads are the cakes I so fondly remember from my childhood… banana bread or a sour cream coffee cake were made often, prepared for Sunday brunch or a quick afternoon snack.  I don’t make them quite as frequently as my mom does, but I do get the urge from time to time.  They don’t last long, either.  I’ll cut the majority for Eric to take to work, give a few pieces to friends, and save the rest for us to enjoy for a few days.
When asked to create a recipe for the KitchenAid blog, The Kitchenthusiast, I knew a coffee cake was in order. Baking a cake with pistachios has been on my list for a long time (years, in fact), so I used it as an opportunity to play around with what I believed would be the perfect pairing: pistachios and sour cream coffee cake.  And this guy (and his taste-tester husband) were not at all disappointed.
Disclaimer: While I was compensated for this post, all opinions here are my own.
  • September 27, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen - I have a serious love for ALL things pistachio! This coffee cake looks amazing…hopping over to get the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    Ali @ Inspiralized - Beautiful pictures – looks delicious. This helps me transition from pistacchio-flavored frozen yogurt to a more mature pistacchio-centric food haha.ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - I am with ya on the whole frosting a triple-tiered cake thing!! I can barely frost cupcakes 😛 This cake is definitely more my style. Looks great!ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    Denise - Oh, I have been craving coffee cake lately, maybe it is the chilly weather. Your version is definitely right up my alley with pistachios and sour cream is the bonus!ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    Tieghan - Oh I love pistachios! Just post pistachio cream pasta yesterday, but I can totally do another pistachio meal now! This looks incredible!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2013 - 4:17 am

    The view from Great Island - I adore pistachios, they are so under appreciated! ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2013 - 7:25 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] pistachio sour cream coffee cake. omgomgomg you know my current obsession with […]ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    Eileen - This cake sounds SO good, which says something, because I am not much of a cake lover. Let’s just say I am 100% with you on the no icing. But lots of intense pistachio flavor plus sour cream tang? Yes please!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    Averie @ Averie Cooks - The cake looks so soft and fluffy and like you, I am not one for piping 3-tier cakes. Eeek, no! I love a quickbread that doubles as a cake :) Totally same page as you. Beautiful cake, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Currently Crushing On. | pinmeplease - […] pistachio sour cream coffee cake. omgomgomg you know my current obsession with […]ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2013 - 9:48 am

    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl - Beautiful photos, as always. And frankly I’m glad it’s not bright green. 😉ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2013 - 6:11 pm

    Monet - Delicious Brian! You know I’m a sucker for pistachios…and this cake looks so moist. Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a happy Sunday!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2013 - 2:53 am

    Diane {Created by Diane} - oh I’m loving by this cake. Pistachios are so delicious and your cake looks great!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2013 - 11:41 am

    Jeanette's Healthy Living - I love the idea of using pistachios in a cake – naturally beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Cara - How did you know I’ve been dreaming of pistachio cakes? Next time you’re in New York I’ll introduce you to my favorite one (it’ll be my second favorite after I try this though).ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2013 - 1:11 pm

    Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel - This looks so amazing. I love anything with that almond/pistachio flavor… I’m drooling over this!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2013 - 9:17 pm

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - I’m with you, I’ve never been the multiple layer cake type but more of the rustic and rough around the edges afternoon snack cake kind and a pistachio one sounds fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2013 - 1:35 am

    Alison Lewis - you had me at “pistachio”ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Andrew Frishman - Mnnn… I Loves me some coffee cake, especially when it’s delicious.

    ¿Como se dice pistachio en español?ReplyCancel

  • October 2, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Bev @ Bev Cooks - FABEEEEEWWLUSH.ReplyCancel

  • October 5, 2013 - 6:51 am

    Lail | With A Spin - Love pistachio in cakes and this one is a keeper with no pudding and real pistachio. Yumm!ReplyCancel

  • October 7, 2013 - 11:52 am

    Lora @cakeduchess - I adore baking with pistachios. You should bake more cakes b/c this one is quite lovely! Gorgeous, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • October 7, 2013 - 11:12 pm

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - How incredibly convenient that I happen to have a whole bag of pistachios in my pantry just begging for some inspiration. Can’t wait to give this cake a try!ReplyCancel

  • October 23, 2013 - 9:17 pm

    Shaina - This cake is full of all of my favorite things. I adore sour cream cakes, and the vibrant hue from the pistachios is calling to me.ReplyCancel

  • January 17, 2014 - 4:33 am

    Zahra Tiwana - I made this and it was a hit with my mother in law and my co workers!ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2014 - 6:03 pm

    Taujna Shiffel - I had a recipe for a Pistachio Cake, it was Delicious!! Unfortunately, I’ve lost it. This cake sounds like it’s going to be great!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2013 - 7:04 pm

    Liren - Brian, that pork belly looks so ridiculously good, it should be outlawed. My golly. What a delicious collaboration, and beautifully photographed.ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Dan from Platter Talk - How fortunate for a community to offer an event like Spotted Tiger! i wish I was there for this, thanks for this great post.ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2013 - 7:31 pm

    Monet - Everyone looks so hip and dapper. You can tell I’ve been living in Colorado…I miss the big city! Thank you for sharing. Wish I could dine at this lovely establishment!ReplyCancel

  • September 24, 2013 - 3:39 am

    Rochelle - All that delicious looking food and great atmosphere makes me hungry, thirsty and wish that I could go visit!ReplyCancel

  • September 24, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    Greg Henry - I thought tigers had stripes! Delicious photos. GREGReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2013 - 10:47 am

    Sandy Coughlin - Those cocktails are such a work of art! Beautiful photos.ReplyCancel

  • March 7, 2014 - 10:04 am

    Raul - This post made me wish I was there to enjoy it all.ReplyCancel

I’ve had some unsuccessful attempts at making ice cream. I blame myself for the majority of these failures (if one can refer to them as such… can something that has cream and sugar in it be bad?).  My mistake has always been that I’ve made ice cream in the middle of summer. Now, that might make perfect sense to you folks, but when you keep your apartment at 76 degrees on a balmy day, well, things aren’t likely to freeze very easily. I think my ice cream maker was having issues too. So, between those two things, the stuff wasn’t turning out the way I’d hoped.

Anyway, I decided recently that I’m not giving up. Nope. In fact, I want to start making ice cream on a regular basis. Maybe not every week, but once or twice a month (I think it might be time to get back into that gym routine).  I may not post every success on here, but given how good this turned out, I thought it’d be wrong to keep it to myself. Despite my obsession with Jeni’s Ice Cream and her beautiful book (which, shockingly, has sat on my book shelf, virtually untouched for two years.  Well, let me tell you, that book has now found a permanent place in our kitchen.

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  • September 18, 2013 - 12:33 am

    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom - Making ice cream on a regular basis sounds like a brilliant idea to me. . it’s the only way to get inventive, delicious and beautiful ice cream like this. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 4:09 am

    Belinda @themoonblushbaker - I have only got my ice cream maker recently too. In australia it is almost impossible to make ice cream in the middle of the day, so I was always have to stay up to 2am churning ice cream if I want it!
    Jeni’s recipe for ice cream always comes out so creamy and does not melt as quickly (bonus).
    I would never now that you had failures when I look at this delicious ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 7:31 am

    Jamie @lifelovelemons - Brian, This looks amazing!!! One of the best flavor combinations is fig and balsamic, in my opinion! I need need need to get an ice cream maker!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 7:43 am

    Dan from Platter Talk - Thank you for not giving up! Ice cream is an indisbutable downfall of mine, I have learned to accept. I love this twist on flavors – so creative and fresh!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 9:02 am

    Tieghan - I need figs in my life!! Please send me some! LOL! This ice cream is gorgeous and I LOVE the flavor combos!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 10:49 am

    steph@stephsbitebybite - This ice cream is screaming my name!! And I’m just loving the pink tinge :)ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 11:11 am

    dixya| food, pleasure, and health - this is one of the most delicious combination..ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    Kasey - This is one of my favorites from her book which, by the way, I use WAY more than I ever thought I’d use an ice cream book. This is just beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen - Such a great flavor combination going on here, and it’s prime time for figs right now! I adore Jeni’s book….by far my favorite go-to ice cream bases!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I’m so happy you didn’t give up and came up with this! LOVE this flavour!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2013 - 11:15 pm

    Sarah | The Sugar Hit - Oh, deliciousness. This looks heavenly.ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 12:10 am

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. - I think I just died! What a heavenly flavor combo!ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 3:02 am

    Irina @ wandercrush - OH what a beautiful combination of flavours… I can’t imagine a better bowl of goodbye-summer ice cream. The first time I had balsamic paired with fruit was only a few summers ago, and I don’t know where it had been all my life. Now I can try it in an ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 8:53 am

    Jenny @ BAKE - I love the flavour combo of this ice cream it sounds really fun! and these photos are gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 12:25 pm
  • September 19, 2013 - 12:39 pm
  • September 19, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    Andrew Frishman - MMnnnn… Higos con vinagre!

    I LOVES me some Figs!ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 10:11 pm

    DessertForTwo - This sounds like the only ice cream you’ll ever need for the summer-fall transition.

    I’m curious what the corn syrup does to the ice cream. I’ve got to try this. Thanks for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2013 - 9:08 am

    Lora @cakeduchess - I’ve been dreaming of great figs since we left Italy. They are very hard to find here. Your ice-cream is so pretty and so perfect for summer:)ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    Jeanette's Healthy Living - I love the combination of figs and balsamic vinegar although I’ve never had it in ice cream form – what a creative idea!ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    DeLallo Foods - Wow! Looks delicious! We love figs and balsamic–a perfect dessert!ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2013 - 4:00 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - I love the combination of fig and balsamic. Unfortunately, I haven’t found that many good figs this year!ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2013 - 7:53 am

    Joanne - I used to consider ice cream making to be a hit or miss kind of thing until I tried jeni’s technique. Amazing. Every time.

    Also. Figs. Yes.ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2013 - 9:16 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] fig and balsamic ice cream. probably the best thing i saw all […]ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    Deeba Rajpal - What an absolutely gorgeous combination Brain! I’m loving this!ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Currently Crushing On. | pinmeplease - […] fig and balsamic ice cream. probably the best thing i saw all […]ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2013 - 10:00 pm

    Coty and Mariah - Simply stunning! This looks unreal!ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2013 - 9:11 am

    Gail {A Stack of Dishes} - Thoroughly divine! Love the flavor combination. Thanks for this!ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2013 - 11:48 am

    Shiloh Barkley - Oh man this looks amazing!! Vinegar is definitely a food group in my house.ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    Jade - this sounds so amazing! i want to make this asap! beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - Mmm…this sounds spectacular!ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    Pinned with Love: September 2013 | Handmade Jade - […] Clipboards – by Liz @ Love Grows Wild 4. Fig & Balsamic Ice Cream – by Brian @ A Thought For Food 5. DIY Souvenir de Paris – by Imogene @ Simplette { diy in French w/ English page translation […]ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2013 - 1:29 am

    Kimberley - Figs and balsamic and cream, oh yes. I’ve had some ice cream fails too. If I leave the bowl in the freezer for, like, forevs, it seems to help the ice cream freeze better. :)ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2013 - 7:31 am

    Carolyn - boy I wish I could eat figs. You make them look so gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    Basil Ice Cream | Dreaming Pencils - […] 13-Dark Chocolate Chip Orange Olive Oil Ice Cream 14-Roasted Strawberry and Mascarpone Ice Cream 15-Fig and Balsamic Ice Cream 16-Fresh Fig Ice […]ReplyCancel

  • October 5, 2013 - 8:36 am

    Weekend Wrap-Up: Love Your Self | Floptimism - […] dipped in a rum-caramel sauce, and enrobed in homemade toasted marshmallow. That is what this is. Fig & Balsamic Ice Cream Fruit & Nut Pancakes Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste – My mom will be sorry I discovered […]ReplyCancel

  • October 5, 2013 - 6:09 pm

    Floptimism - I so rarely use figs, especially fresh ones, but I had to bookmark this recipe…the photographs are amazing and the recipe sounds delicious! I also featured it on my blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up today, and hope you’ll stop by to check it out. Thanks for such a beautiful post, and enjoy your weekend!


  • October 14, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    Mike Betts - Beautiful stuff Brian! I’d like to do a soup shoot…whatcha think
    (Currently listening to your Skinny Beet interview)ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2013 - 1:51 am

    Joanna Tham - I love eating figs but rarely used them in desserts. That’s because I really don’t quite know how to incorporate them yet. This post is truly inspiring and ice-cream is certainly perfect for the hot weather here, which happens to be all year round :). CheersReplyCancel

  • May 3, 2014 - 2:47 pm

    errol samuels - what a combination like the idea well put amazing art workReplyCancel

  • May 22, 2014 - 5:25 am

    Francesca - You’ve combined some of my favorite stuff here – balsamic, figs + ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2014 - 5:17 am
  • March 17, 2015 - 5:28 pm

    Fig and Balsamic Ice Cream - […] Adapted from: A Thought For Food […]ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2015 - 10:23 pm

    10 fig recipes you have to try | Interior Design Blogs - […] No 5. Fig and balsamic ice cream […]ReplyCancel