Pistachio, almond and lemon cake

pistachio lemon cakeThis is without a doubt a special occasion gluten-free cake. More fussy to make than my usual 5 minute wonders (it’s more expensive too), but I’m sharing this recipe today because I made this cake at the Spring workshop and now I have requests! Don’t pass this by because you’re not gluten free, you’ll adore this sticky, tangy, nutty cake regardless.

300g, soft butter
240g sugar
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 large lemon (Lisbon or YenBen are best)
110g of ground nuts. Use fresh ground pistachios or macadamias or walnuts (just whizz in your food processor)
110g ground almonds.
40g cornflour

Preheat the oven to 180
Grease and flour a 20cm tin
Cream the butter and sugar
Add eggs one at a time
Add salt, vanilla, zest
Fold through the ground nuts and cornflour a third at a time
Pour the batter into the tin and cook for an hour or more until golden and a skewer comes away clean when poked into the centre
Rest in the tin for 5 minutes while you make the syrup.

Make the Syrup

40g pistachios (shell and roast yourself or buy roasted)
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon (Lisbon or YenBen are best)
50g sugar

Roll the roasted pistachios inside a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Chop roughly.
Mix the zest and nuts together.
Bring the lemon juice and sugar to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes until slightly syrupy. Stir in the nuts and zest. Put the cake on a plate and spoon syrup evenly over the cake.

Store in an airtight container and it’ll be delicious for up to 5 days.


  1. Hi I love your website. I tried to make the pistachio almond cake today but it refused to cook and stayed extremely oily. Perhaps it was my wonky baking, but I did just want to query the amount of butter? 300g is quite a lot.

    Anyway no need to reply I just thought I would bring this to your attention in case there is a misprint in the recipe.


    • Thanks for your note Nicki.
      I just hate it when the baking doesn’t work – wasting all those good ingredients!
      It is indeed 300g of butter, alot I know but this is a special occassion cake! A few things could have gone wrong – perhaps instead of softening the butter you melted it? Softened butter means to just yield to touch – I leave mine out for about an hour before using. Or perhaps the opposite is true your butter was still hard when you creamed it. Or perhaps you didn’t cream the butter and sugar enough? It should increase in volume, be very pale and light and fluffy.
      I’m so sad this cake didn’t work out for you – it really is one of the best.
      kind regards