*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Prepare 3- nine or eight inch round cake pans. To ensure proper removal from pan cut 3 parchment rounds by placing a cake pan on parchment paper. Draw a circle around bottom edge and cut using scissors. Repeat twice.
- Place a parchment cutout into each cake pan and brush paper and sides with melted butter or spray with baking spray. Sprinkle evenly with flour and shake out excess, set aside.
- Separate eggs, make certain that egg whites do not obtain any traces of egg yolks. Set aside.
- In a food processor or blender place half of flour and 2/3 cup dry pistachios. Blend until pistachios are chopped very fine but not to a flour like powder. (You can cut using a knife.) Remove from blender and add remaining flour and baking soda. Stir well together.
- Mix butter until light and fluffy, add one yolk at a time waiting for previous added yolk to be completely mixed in before adding next. Add vanilla and salt.
- Add one fourth of flour mixture and mix until combined. Add a third of buttermilk and mix until smooth. Scrape bowl well. Continue with one fourth of flour and alternating with buttermilk. Repeat until all done.
- In a separate bowl whip egg whites until stiff. Fold gently into the above.
- Divide cake batter into prepared pans and place in oven.
- Bake cakes approximately 37 minutes or until center bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes. Turn upside down on parchment paper or paper towels which have been evenly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely.
- Remove parchment paper from one cake round and place cake on a serving platter. Frost surface with approximately 1/3 inch cream cheese frosting.
- Remove parchment paper from second layer and place onto frosted cake round. Frost once again with cream cheese frosting. Remove parchment paper from third layer and place onto frosted cake round.
- Spread an even coat of cream cheese frosting on the surface.
- Set aside most perfect pistachios aside for decoration. Chop remaining pistachios and press on the side of the cake. Decorate the surface.
NOTE: If you desire a green cake batter, consider adding 2 tablespoons of chlorophyll to the cake batter, found in the natural food section of well-stocked grocery stores.