Lemon Pistachio Cake. Photo by Erin Feinblatt.

Lemon Pistachio Cake


Makes 9 servings

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup pistachio meal flour*
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup pistachio oil**
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (preferably local, free-range)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Neilsen-Massey lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • Juice one small lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup shelled, chopped unsalted pistachios
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes

Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan. Preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk the flour, pistachio meal, baking powder, cardamom and salt together and set aside. Using an electric stand mixer, cream the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the lemon extract and beat until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35–40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Meanwhile, whisk together the zest and juice of the lemon with the powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over the hot cake when it comes out of the oven and then sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and a pinch of sea salt flakes, and press down lightly over the surface.

* Pistachio meal flour is available from Santa Barbara Pistachio or you can make it by grinding up raw, shelled pistachio nuts in a blender or coffee grinder until fine. You can also use a food processor, but keep an eye on it, if you run it too long it will become a paste.

** If you can’t get ahold of pistachio oil, you can substitute grapeseed oil.

Categories Desserts
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