I am going to try and make a petit gateau with a pistachio joconde layer, however I am not a big fan of almonds. Is there anything I can use that would act as a decent replacement for the ground almonds?

Original recipe is a Mary Berry recipe on the BBC good food site:

For the joconde sponge

  • 3 free-range eggs whites
  • 15g/½oz caster sugar
  • 100g/3½oz ground almonds
  • 100g/3½oz icing sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 30g/1oz plain four, sifted
  • 30g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
  • It would help if you posted the recipe and method.
    – GdD
    Apr 22, 2016 at 11:32
  • Maybe I just don't understand some of the terms you're using, but where do pistachios enter the picture?
    – Marti
    Apr 22, 2016 at 15:52
  • @Marti has a good point. I think I've found the original recipe and (i) there aren't any pistachios - what do you plan to do with them? (ii) The introduction to the recipe implies that almonds are crucial so you'd need to find something broadly similar under a different name (as I suggested in my answer).
    – Chris H
    Apr 22, 2016 at 16:35
  • Perhaps the OP wants to replace the almonds with pistachio?
    – Catija
    Apr 22, 2016 at 17:22
  • 1
    When the OP says "pistachio joconde", I automatically imagine a joconde with a pistachio flavored filling. Using them as the replacement, especially given the wording of that question, sounds highly unlikely.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:42

2 Answers 2


I suggest looking for a recipe without almonds rather than substituting a major ingredient. If you can't find one without almonds, you may have to track down a similar cake recipe under a different name.

I'm sure it would be possible to find another ground nut that would work, but it would take some experimenting because the texture and water/fat content of different nuts varies significantly. Almonds in banking often end up softer than other nuts.

In some parts of Europe, ground hazelnuts are quite common as bulk ingredients in baking, so you may be able to find a recipe based on those with a comparable result. Or you could try the pistachios you mention as a main ingredient, but as I suggested, the texture may suffer.

  • I doubt the OP will find a joconde recipe with something else, as it is a quite specific cake and it is supposed to be made with almonds. If the hazelnuts don't work as a direct substitution, they'll have to simply use some other cake type for the cake layer, probably a simple sheet cake.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 25, 2016 at 8:39
  • @rumtscho I think you're right. After writing the answer I did a bit of googling. Rather than changing the answer I posted the results as a comment under the question in the hopes of more clarity.
    – Chris H
    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:38
  • On revisiting I think I've found something: A hazelnut (and flour) sponge roll which should have the desired flexibility. There are other hazelnut sponges out there but this was the first I found that could be rolled, as many of the joconde recipes call for.
    – Chris H
    Apr 25, 2016 at 14:51

You can try grinding some cashews with a tiny pinch of brown sugar and even smaller pinch of vanilla bean seeds, then roasting them a few minutes in a hot oven, but you'd probably have to make 10 attempts at that to come close to the subtle sweet / nutty taste of almonds. And, cashews are oily. But if you don't like almonds, making other stuff taste more like almonds seems counterproductive.

I think a better idea would be to consider cooking out a glug of nutty Scotch in a bit of thinned out semi-sweet corn syrup, and seeing if that works (just cool it, and pour it over the sponge). A dash of booze in a petit gateau is not at all unheard of; some places put that in the spotlight of their dessert cart.

In short, you're going to need to deviate from that recipe quite a bit; it's not going to be a simple substitution.

  • Thinking about it, a dessert wine like a ruby Port instead of Scotch might also work, but that's getting way away from the posted recipe, and you'd really need to thoroughly cook it out.
    – user293
    Apr 22, 2016 at 18:40
  • I think the OP is after losing the almond flavour but keeping the effect on the texture. The sponge is ~1/3 almond by weight.
    – Chris H
    Apr 25, 2016 at 14:44

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