Pistachio Cake with Lemon, Cardamom, and Rose Water

By • February 1, 2015 90 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe was adapted slightly from Julie Powell, who adapted it from Nigel Slater, who published it in his book "The Kitchen Diaries." Sarah Jampel

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Serves 10 to 12

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup finely ground salted pistachios
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons cardamom, depending on your preference
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  1. Butter an 8- or 9-inch round baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the ground pistachios and almond meal and mix to combine. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and rose water and mix well.
  4. Whisk the flour and cardamom together in a small bowl. (If you have used unsalted pistachios, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt at this stage.) Then use a rubber spatula to gently fold this dry mixture into the wet butter and egg mixture. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Transfer the mixture into the prepared cake pan, spread it out evenly, then bake for 40 minutes. Tent the top of the cake with aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the sides are starting to brown, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, and the cake is no longer wet-looking or sticky. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the icing, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar. Pour this over the cooled cake, then wait for at least 30 minutes for the icing to set before slicing and serving.

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