Lemon Pistachio Cake

Lemon Pistachio Cake

I made this dessert for Mother’s Day last weekend and it was a big hit. The cake is not overly sweet but is full of flavor and pairs well with the light, tangy mascarpone frosting. Sans frosting, it would serve as a nice sweetbread for breakfast or brunch. But, if you’ve never had mascarpone frosting, it is a magical delicacy you don’t want to miss out on. Enjoy!

Lemon Pistachio Cake

  • ¾ cup shelled roasted salted pistachios, plus more for topping

  • Zest of 2 lemons

  • 1 ½ cup cake flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ¼ tsp baking soda

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  • 1 stick salted butter, room temp

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ¾ tsp salt

  • 3 eggs

  • ¼ cup whole greek yogurt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp almond extract

  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream


Mascarpone Frosting

  • 12 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature

  • ½ cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 tsp lemon juice 



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

2. Place pistachios in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Do not grind them so long they become pistachio butter. Pour into a bowl with lemon zest, flour, baking soda, baking powder, combine and set aside. 

3. Whisk to combine yogurt, heavy cream, vanilla and almond extracts in a separate bowl and set aside. 

4. Beat butter, sugar and salt until well combined. Add eggs one at a time until uniform.

5. Beginning with the bowl of dry ingredients, alternate adding dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the butter mixture until all is combined. 

6. Pour batter into a greased cake pan and bake for 30-40 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry. 

7. Frost the cake and top with crushed pistachios. 


For the frosting: 

1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Be careful not to over mix as the frosting can curdle very quickly. 

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