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Pistachio Cake with Lemon Glaze – Fistikli, limonlu kek

Pistachio & almond cake with a lemon glaze

Pistachio & almond cake with a lemon glaze

This delicious cake is originally from the River Cafe cookbook, and the authors run the wonderful Italian restaurant, River Cafe in London. The cake combines my favorite ingredients; pistachio, lemon, vanilla bean and almonds, which are commonly used in Turkish cooking too. It is a wonderfully rich cake, a real treat with tea or coffee. 

prep time: 25 minutes bake time: 50 minutes

100 gr/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan, at room temperature
1 lemon, preferably Meyer lemon
1 vanilla bean
6 1/2oz/1 cup sugar
60gr/2oz slivered almonds
90gr/3oz shelled unsalted pistachios
4 large eggs, at room temperature
60gr/2oz all-purpose flour
50gr/1 3/4oz shelled unsalted pistachios
45gr/1 1/2oz sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F

Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with some butter and line bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

With a zester, grate the lemon peel (reserve lemon). With the tip of a sharp paring knife, split the vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the seeds. In a food processor, pulse the sugar with the peel and vanilla bean. Transfer to a bowl. In the same processor bowl, pulse the almonds and pistachios until finely ground, but do not let go to paste.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and lemon-vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides the bowl between each addition. Beat in the lemon-vanilla sugar, then with a spatula fold in the flour and the nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and shake to even it, but do not worry about smoothing the top. Bake until a skewer comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Set on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then loosen edges of cake with a kitchen knife and remove sides of pan. Invert cake and remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment paper, then invert right side up on a serving plate.

For glaze, squeeze juice from reserved lemon. Roughly chop pistachios by hand. In a very small pot, bring the lemon juice to a boil with the sugar and cook until syrupy. Stir in the pistachios and pour over the cake. Cut into wedges to serve.

Afiyet Olsun,


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9 Responses to Pistachio Cake with Lemon Glaze – Fistikli, limonlu kek

  1. Misbah May 9, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Misbah May 9, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    thats sounds very tasty. Congratulations with the 40´ies 🙂 I hope you had a blessed day.

  3. Ozlem's Turkish Table May 9, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Merhaba Misbah,

    Many thanks, I had a wonderful time:) The pistachio cake is rich but delightful, a real treat. And the vanilla bean is worth every penny!
    Best wishes,

  4. michele November 10, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    I have made this cake many times,minus the glaze . The original is a very light cake, so it is intersting to see how it is completely transformed by the addition of that glaze into a much richer dessert. I have also made it as a macadamia cake, subbing for the pistachios.

    • Ozlem Warren November 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Michele, I like the original light cake and once in a while, the glaze really adds another layer of flavor and turns into a delicious dessert – make it as a macadamia cake sounds lovely too!

  5. Turkey's For Life March 23, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    As you’re no doubt fully aware by now, neither of us has a sweet tooth…However! Ohh, this looks really tempting. Ellerine sağlık. 🙂

    • Ozlem Warren March 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Cok tesekkurler Turkey’s for Life! I don’t have a huge sweet tooth either, though once in a while, really enjoy a delicious treat like this one : )

  6. Sahra March 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Thank you for this great recipe. This cake must be very fragrant and extremely delicious!

    • Ozlem Warren March 26, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

      You’re very welcome Sahra; it is a rich & delicious cake, quite a treat!:)

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