Pistachio Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting

This is insanely delicious. The double tier is absolutely unnecessary, and neither is the lemon cream frosting, but I felt compelled. Honestly, it is a bit too much, but it is so good. The last time I posted about this was in 2014. A good recipe is eternal.

After tasting the one at Brooklyn Larder, I have been looking for a lemon pistachio cake recipe, which I dreamt about for weeks on end.  This one is just as good—pistachios and lemons are some of my favorite ingredients. The recipe below is for one cake. I made it twice instead of doubling the recipe, but I am sure it would be fine if doubled.

  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp unsalted butter – room temperature.
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs – room temperature
  • 2 cups grounded pistachios (I toasted them and then crushed whole pistachios in a Cuisinart)
  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

Heat the oven to 350—line and grease a 2- 10″ round cake pan. You really do need this size.

Cream the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and eggs ( one at a time and beating well after each putting in each egg ).  Scrape the sides sufficiently, and then add the grounded pistachios, almond meal, flour, and baking powder on a low speed.  Mix until just incorporated.

Put into the cake pan and bake for about an hour (until the tester comes out clean). No more than an hour because you want the cake to be moist.

Lemon Butter Cream Filling:

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 8 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • Pinch kosher salt

Beat the butter for about two minutes until really creamy. Add the rest until fully incorporated. You should be able to spread this on the cake; if it is too thick, add some more cream.

If you make just one cake, cut the frosting in half. I put crushed pistachios in between the layers and on top.

As an option, make the glaze below and pour it over the cake when warm.

  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.  Simmer the pistachios, sugar, and lemon juice together until the pistachios are entirely coated.

When cooled, flip the cake out of the pan, and dribble the glaze over the top. Use a flat icing utensil to spread the glaze over the top.

Either way, this cake is delicious!