Almond and Pistachio Lemon Cake

posted in: recipe, vegetarian | 0

Almonds and pistachios give this cake nutty chew, and refreshing citrus notes of lemons do the rest of magic. 

It is soft , it is tender, and it is oh-so-juicy.

I am telling you, with this cake, “winter dessert” just got a new meaning.


At this moment, I have 5 (five!) draft posts waiting for me to finish and publish them.

But none of them standed a chance when I baked this cake the other day.

Luckily, as if I knew how delicious it would be, I wrote down ingredients, measures and everything else (hopefully *everything* 🙂


I bought 5 pounds of organic lemons with a hidden wish to make something delicious out of them. A cake that uses *whole* lemons was a natural decision.

I know Italians have a similar recipe using whole citrus fruit in cake, but they add polenta, which I didn’t want to use this time.

Therefore I opted for almonds, and added some pistachios, just to make it more interesting (and because they go so well with lemon!).

Of course, you can change the ratio of almonds and pistachios or make the cake only with almonds, or other nut (but I’d say almonds go best because they are neutral enough to make room for lemons to do their thing here).


This cake is soft, but not wet. However, I decided to soak it with lemon syrup to make it more enjoyable, and sweet.

Namely, I used rather small quantity of honey in the cake itself so it turned out pretty sour. I figured some lemon syrup (actually, some sugar syrup 😉 would fix that, and so it was.

If you don’t like syrup dripping out of the cake, feel free to omit it, but instead, add more honey (or other sweetener) to the batter.

Like 50% more.

Because, otherwise you might not like the lemonade taste of the cake. Trust me, because you are talking to someone who is cutting on sugar in every recipe and you can’t cut sugar in this one, for sure 🙂

So, next time life gives you (unwaxed, organic) lemons, you make…


ALMOND AND PISTACHIO LEMON CAKE {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Prep time: 15min (+40min inactive) > Baking time: 45min > Total time: 1h (plus inactive time 40min)

– yields: 8 slices –


4 smaller lemons (200g cooked and pureed)

100g ground almonds (almond flour will work nice as well!)

50g ground unsalted pistachios

25g coconut flour

10g tapioca starch

10g baking powder

1 tsp homemade vanilla sugar

100g honey (use mild flavored)

3 eggs (170g)

(for lemon syrup)

60g raw cane sugar

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup water

decoration (optional)

dried rose buds and whole unsalted pistachios





  1. Wash lemons in luke warm water, then place in a pot of cold water and wait for it to boil. Put the lid on and lower the flame then cook for about 40min (depends on the size of lemons, but you will see them shrink and get soft on touch). Drain and leave aside to cool.
  2. While your lemons are cooling, preheat the oven to 375F and prepare your 8-10 inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
  3. Combine almonds, pistachios, coconut flour and tapioca starch in a mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl, whisk eggs together with honey and vanilla sugar on medium speed, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Leave aside.
  5. Once the lemons are cooled, cut them in half and take out the seeds. Place them in blender (or in a bowl if using immersion blender) and blend until you get smooth lemon puree.
  6. Pour the eggs mixture in the blender (together with lemon puree), then pulse for a few times to combine.
  7. Pour in the mixture from the blender in a mixing bowl with flours and combine with just a few moves of your spatula.
  8. Pour the batter in a prepared cake tin and place in the oven.
  9. Bake it for 40-45 min, but make sure to check it after 35min because you do not want to dry it out.
  10. While the cake is baking, prepare lemon syrup.
  11. Place sugar and water in a small pot over low heat, stirring once in a while to get sugar melted. Once the sugar melts, bring to boil and simmer for 2 min then add lemon juice and simmer for another 2 min. Leave aside to cool then pour slowly over the entire cake.
  12. Let the syrup soak in the cake before serving it.



Cake keeps well in cold place (or fridge) for up to 5 days, just bring it to the room temperature at least 20 min before serving.

It goes lovely with a cup of hot tea. Enjoy it!






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