Wicked Green Fairy Cake

by @EmmaDaltonWine

This recipe, created for the “Cakes for Cocktails” event held by the Putney Bake Club, is an adaptation of my basic pistachio cake mix. Not only does it include absinthe, but it also incorporates some of the herbs and spices which are used as absinthe botanicals.

Credit is also due to Daniel Lebovitz, in whose book The Sweet Life in Paris I first encountered the idea of adding absinthe to a cake.

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 min for cupcakes or 40 min for 24cm cake
Servings: 1 single layer 24cm cake or 12-15 cupcakes


1.5 tsp anise seeds
0.25 tsp fennel seeds
0.25 tsp dill seeds
0.25 tsp coriander root
200 g self-raising flour
100 g pistachios
1.5 tsp baking powder
125 g unsalted butter
225 g caster sugar
2 md eggs
45 ml semi-skimmed milk
60 ml La Fée absinthe
1 orange
2 pink grapefruit

75 g butter
150 g icing sugar
1 tsp La Fée absinthe
0.25 ts Dr Oetker’s green food colouring


  1. Heat oven to 175°C.
  2. Grease and line 24cm loaf tin, else arrange silicone mini bundt / cupcake cases in a baking tray.
  3. Very finely grate coriander root. Finely grind spices. Roughly grind nuts.
  4. Beat butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Add eggs. Beat again.
  5. In a second bowl, mix coriander root, spices, pistachios, flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry mix to wet. Mix well.
  6. Zest citrus fruits. Juice citrus fruits, straining collected juice to remove pulp. Add zest and juice to bowl with milk and absinthe. Mix well.
  7. The batter should be smooth, but not very runny. If the batter is too stiff, add extra milk. If it is too liquid, add a little flour.
  8. Bake 30 mins for cupcakes or 40 mins for single cake. Cool in tin on rack.
  9. Once completely cool, remove cake from tin, combine buttercream ingredients and decorate cake.

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