My friend Jeanine from Love & Lemons makes the prettiest cookbooks. They’re bright, delicious, happy, and so well designed. Like a magazine and cookbook all in one. Even Kev, not the cook of the family, got lost in her new book, Love & Lemons Every Day. Maybe not as lost as he got in her Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake after work, where he hacked into this tiny work of art with a dull metal spatula. “Gimme that spatula, Kev.” I followed suit.
Jeanine is known for her uncomplicated vegetable-forward, often dairy-free, sometimes gluten-free, dinner recipes made from familiar, every day ingredients. She’s now known around our house for this Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake shared over an afternoon tea party with Hal, her friend, and some lukewarm tea that spent the last half of its life sprawled across the tiny table and floor. You know how 5-year-old tea parties go. Don’t worry, the slices of cake and the seconds were spared. Read: devoured.
This simple lemony, pistachio cake has me rethinking cake recipe composition altogether. Stirred together in a bowl without a mixer, with plenty of eggs and lemon zest, a little olive oil, and a good amount of raw pistachios blitzed into a flour, it is so unfussy and so moist. (Sorry if you hate that word. Is dewey better? No. Moist will have to do.) I’m also smitten with the idea of pistachio flour. I sprinkled it like fairy dust across the top of the cake. Across my bowl of oatmeal the next morning and on top of my pasta the next night.
Kev and Hal agree, this recipe landed firmly in the keeper category. Also bookmarked: well, the whole book, which Jeanine gives a huge sneak peek at here. PS—I’m giving away a copy of her book over on Instagram! Head this way to enter.
To Jeanine (and Jack, too), I hope you’re so proud of this thick, beautiful encyclopedia of recipes. It’s so stunning and so delicious!
Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake
Reprinted from Love & Lemons Every Day by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2019, Jeanine Donofrio
- 1 cup shelled raw pistachios*
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 c. almond milk
- 3/4 c. pure cane sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. chopped pistachios, for garnish
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 to 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray 2 (6-inch) mini cake pans or 1 loaf pan.
Process the pistachios in a blender to produce a coarse meal or flour. Measure 1 cup of pistachio flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 cup of pistachio flour, the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, almond milk, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk vigorously until frothy. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes for mini cakes and 45 minutes for a loaf. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice as needed to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Drizzle over the cooled cake and garnish with the chopped pistachios.
*Can be substituted for 1 cup almond flour.
My notes: I pulled the cakes out at the 30 minute mark as my oven tends to run a little warm. I went with a thicker glaze to top the cakes since I didn't have cute cake molds like Jeanine. To do so, I made a 1.5 recipe of the glaze, thickening it with a bit of heavy cream, eyeballing the consistency until it was thick but spreadable.
PS—I bought just the amount of raw pistachios needed for this recipe in the bulk section of our grocery store. Read more on how to do that here.