Pistachio & Lemon Cake
I am so excited about sharing this cake recipe with you guys! It is absolutely delicious!
This cake is moist, dense, full of zesty lemon flavour and topped with crunchy pistachios and a lemon glaze. If you like lemon then you will love this cake.
I used my Orange, Almond & Pistachio cake (which always receives rave reviews from you guys) as inspiration for the base of this recipe.
3 lemons are boiled in water for an hour until they are completely soft and then the center of the lemon is scooped out and pureed in a blender. Adding the pureed lemon to the cake batter gives the cake a much richer lemon flavour then you would get by using just lemon juice or zest.
I think that this Pistachio and Lemon Cake has the perfect balance of tart and sweet, so you could just as easily eat it for breakfast as you could for afternoon tea or dessert. It also freezes really well, and it a great cake to have stashed in your freezer to bring out when you need something to serve to guests.
This really does not taste like a “healthy” cake, so whether you are following a grain free diet, or just looking for something to serve to friends, this Paleo Pistachio and Lemon Cake is for you.
Here are a few other dessert recipes that you might enjoy!
- Lemon Layered Cake with Strawberry Filling and Ombre Icing
- Pumpkin Mug Cake
- Carrot Cake Mug Cake
- Upside Down Banana Bread in a Skillet
- Lemon & Mixed Berry Cupcakes
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Pistachio & Lemon Cake
- 3 lemons
- 1 cup ground pistachios (approx 1 1/4 cup whole pistachios)
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup toasted pistachios roughly chopped
- Rinse the lemons and place them in a pot. Cover with water and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. After 1 hour remove the lemons from the pot, cut them in half to remove the seeds and use a spoon to scoop out the inner flesh into a blender. Blend until the lemons have formed a puree
- Place the pistachios in a food processor and grind until there are no chunky pieces and everything has ground down to a fine powder.
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease a loose bottom 9 inch cake pan
- In a bowl combine the pureed lemon, eggs, honey, ground pistachios, almond flour, vanilla extract and baking soda. Pour into the greased cake pan
- Bake for 1 hour. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with tinfoil. The cake will be done once a toothpick inserted into the top comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, in a small pot combine the ingredients for the lemon glaze and heat until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and then sprinkle with chopped pistachios
Couple of typos? You say “1 cup ground pistachios (approx 3/4 cup whole pistachios)” Might that be the other way round? The pistachios will get smaller in volume after grinding?
The less important one is “The cake will be done once a cake inserted into the top comes out clean.” where I’m sure you mean skewer not cake.
Going to try this out some time I think, will let you know how it works out for us (it’s husband who’s the cook as sadly I don’t have the stamina for cooking).
Thank you so much for pointing that out Maggie! I was in such a rush to get the recipe posted I completely missed those! All corrected now. Let me know if your husband makes the cake, I would love to hear how it goes!
I found some pistachios that are shelled and “roasted and salted.” I wasn’t sure if they would work because they are pre-salted. What did you use?
You could use them for the chopped pistachios on top of the cake but I recommend using raw pistachios for the ground ones baked into the cake.
would this work this coconut sugar instead of honey?
It would make the cake dryer so I would recomend increasing the amount of lemon juice or coconut oil.
FYI- I tried this with LIMES and DO NOT RECOMMEND IT! Cooking the whole limes did not eliminate the bitterness and it gave the whole cake a strange aftertaste.
Oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear it was a disaster! Thanks for the warning! Will definitely be sticking to lemons for this one!
Made this today and followed recipe.. I did use large lemons.. tried a piece that was still a bit warm and it is bitter… I will chill and try again but thinking it’s not that great to add peel of lemon in recipe… disappointed! I added all the honey.. I will post again after I taste when chilled..
Still bitter.. had to throw away ..
I am so sorry to hear that! Did you remove the seeds from the lemon? Those can be very bitter. I am going to remake the recipe today without the peel and see if it makes a big difference in the consistency of the cake. I will update the recipe if it is ok because it definitely shouldn’t be bitter.
Made this today and was a little disappointed. Although it’s not super bitter, it’s missing the lemon taste I wanted and thought was going to get. I boiled the lemons for an hour and when I cut them upon they had turned to mush inside, so it was a little hard to get all the seeds out, but I inspected the pulp closely and had no seeds left.
The cake also didn’t rise as high, but maybe my pan had a bigger diameter than yours. I think this could be nice as a loaf as well, it would just have to be in the oven a little longer.
I’m going to make a lemon whipped cream to go with this just to counterbalance the bitterness and also have more lemon flavor. Although I love pistachios, they seemed a little lost in the recipe and I didn’t quite get their lovely flavor…
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I made it yesterday, used half the amount of ingredients, baked in a 7 inch springform. I made sure my lemons were well pureed (so I added eggs to the blender so it’s easier to blend; added the honey in the blender too as it has already crystallized). Soft moist cake. Couldn’t tell there was pistachio flour (maybe can sub for a cheaper nut flour), but overall it was very tasty. Certainly not the usual tartness with lemon curd, or a butter lemon loaf. Thanks for the recipe.
Im so happy to hear that you like the cake! Thats a great idea to add the honey and eggs to the blender, I’m sure it made the cake much lighter. Thanks for the feedback Elaine!
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Hi, I would love to make this cake for my dad’s bday, as he loves pistachios. I was wondering if I could substitute honey for stevia or monkfruit sugar. How could I calculate the equivalent amount?
I haven’t tried so I can’t say for sure but I would try 1/4 cup monkfruit sugar and then taste the batter and adjust depending on how sweet you would like it.
Made this for my son’s birthday cake and had to sit through endless jokes about the overall bitterness and overkill of lemon. Pistachio flavour was lost completely and the cake reminded me of dishwashing liquid! Very disappointing…
There is no coconut oil in the cake recipe only in the icing. I just made the cake and it was extremely dry, my instinct was it was missing fat. I haven’t tasted it yet.
Hi, Is it possible to substitute maple syrup for the honey? Thanks!
Yes definitely! In any of my recipes you can use maple syrup in place of honey
Thanks for sharing Carmen, I love the recipe!
Thanks for the comment! So happy you liked it!
My friend made this for me since I can’t eat gluten and dairy. Fabulous! Moist, beautiful texture and lovely lemon. I ate two pieces and plan to have more for breakfast! Thank you for a great recipe that no one would ever guess was gluten and dairy free.
Would this work with quinoa flour instead of almond?
Unfortunately I havent tried it so I can’t confirm whether it would work out. Sorry!
Just took cake out of oven and the edges are burned. The recipe says two hours to bake. I had in for 40 minutes, good thing I checked. Expensive recipe to toss in trash.
It says to bake for 1 hour, not 2.
I must be missing something, but I don’t see what size pan this cake is for. Would you please advise? Thank you so much.
So I made this for my in-laws Anniversary. I was disappointed because like others said it was bitter. I thought when I read their reviews that maybe they had done something wrong, but I think it comes down to cooking the lemons. Perhaps if I had added them raw it would have been good.
I love everything else about the cake, the texture and nuttiness, but the bitterness overpowered the cake. I also think the drizzle is what gives the cake it’s moistness, so don’t leave that out. Even though I didn’t like the taste of the glaze alone, it married well with the cake.
We ended up drizzling chocolate sauce on the cake just to make it edible.
Unfortunately a really disappointing receipe. No taste at all!
I made this today, and really loved it. Will post on Instagram!
Just reading through this post made my mouth water. Trying this over the weekend.
Hi – thanks for this recipe, really great moist lemony nutty cake.
After boiling the lemons, I pulped the inner flesh & removed the seeds. I did not use the skin of the lemon & it was Fantastic & family loved it.
Really disappointed in this recipe. The cake was over cooked and dry. Not ideal and a big waste of ingredients 😔
HUGE WASTE OF INGREDIENTS! I made this cake today but the taste was really off and bitter. I made sooo many gluten free lemon cake before, but this one was nothing close to any cake you every tasted. Sorry to say but had to throw away the whole cake 🙁