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a slice of lemon pistachio cake on a cream scalloped plate

Lemon Pistachio Cake

Tara Kringlen
This slightly dense but still light, moist lemon pistachio cake is flavored with ground pistachios, fresh lemon juice and fragrant olive oil. Use a high-quality olive oil and you'll be rewarded with a subtle but nuanced flavor of fruity olive oil. This is an easy, no-mixer-required cake that has an elegant feel to it. The cake can stand on its own, but is extra delicious served with some very lightly sweetened whipped cream on top.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 48 mins
Total Time 1 hr 3 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 12 slices
Calories 493 kcal


  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup finely ground pistachios (a heaping ½ cup shelled whole pistachios)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice from about 1 ½ lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, buttermilk, olive oil and vanilla until combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined without over mixing.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan. Once cooled, run a sharp knife around the edges and then remove the ring of the springform pan. Either top the cake with the whipped cream or serve it on the side. Top with more lemon zest and pistachios if desired.

Whipped Cream

  • Place the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat until medium peaks form.


  • To make your own buttermilk, measure one tablespoon of vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill it to the top with whole or 2% milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to start to curdle before using.
Adapted from Food 52


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 493kcal
Keyword easy cake, olive oil cake, one layer cake
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