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Pistachio Lemon Olive Oil Cake

  • Author: Molly
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This Pistachio Lemon Olive Oil Cake is impossibly moist and tender and filled with bright flavor. It comes together simply and tastes as decadent and rich as any other higher maintenance dessert. Nutty, buttery, and with the perfect lemon tang!



For the Cake:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • ¾ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • Zest of 1 lemon (roughly 1 tablespoon)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (roughly 3 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For Serving:

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Additional pistachios, chopped
  • Lemon slices
  • Fresh berries


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally spray a 9-inch springform pan (see Notes) with nonstick spray.
  2. Place the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground – be careful not to go too far or you’ll end up with pistachio butter.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and buttermilk. Whisk in the sugar.
  4. Measure out 1 cup of the ground pistachios and add to a second bowl (reserve the rest for serving). Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until everything is just combined. Resist the urge to overmix (this results in a dry, dense cake).
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle (insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs, the cake is done).
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan and then carefully run a knife around the edges and release the springform sides. Transfer to a serving plate.

For Serving:

  1. Whisk together the lemon juice and zest and powdered sugar until a thick but pourable glaze forms.
  2. Pour the glaze over the cake, as liberally as you want.
  3. Garnish with chopped pistachios, lemon slices, and fresh berries – all optional!
  4. Slice and serve!


I like to use a springform pan for easy release and presentation, but this cake should also work in a 9-inch regular cake pan or even an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: dessert

Keywords: pistachio olive oil cake, pistachio lemon olive oil cake, lemon olive oil cake, pistachio cake