Pistachio Cake

I had always judged those poor souls with cracked phone screens harshly, but the other week I became one of those people. I was jogging—holding my phone in my hand—when tragedy struck: I dropped my phone on a bit of uneven pavement. My husband went into tech-EMT-mode by stabilizing the situation and rushing my poor baby off to the surgeons at Samsung. I’ve been using an old phone while I await its return- please bear with me on the poor photo quality in the meantime! Just squint your eyes, tilt your head to the right and things will be OK!

Sometimes I like to suppress my knowledge of the unsustainable way that pistachios are produced and enjoy a few of these green nuts (technically seeds). This pistachio loaf from Molly Yeh’s* new book Molly on the Range is the stuff of dreams… and almost worth the desertification of California!

*(behind the blog My Name is Yeh, which I also mentioned in my last blog post)

I’ve fallen so deeply in love with this cake that I now have ambitions to always have some on hand for the rest of my life. This cake even gained the approval of our weight-lifting friend who almost always turns down dessert.



We buy roasted and salted pistachios from Costco, so I shelled every single one (only half of the shells are shown above), and then rinsed them under water to remove excess salt (the recipe calls for unsalted pistachios).


Cake Drip Frosting


A perfectly moist cross between cake and quick-bread, the flavor of this nutty loaf-cake is complemented by a tangy lemon-glaze which also provides some attractive drip-action.

Here is a version of the recipe in my style of shorthand with a few ingredient adaptations.

Recipe: Pistachio Cake

Adapted from the new book Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh


1.5 cups unsalted roasted pistachios

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup coarse-ground almond flour

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1.5 cups sugar

4 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper (mine was about 9×6″).

Food processor –> Grind pistachios to a fine crumb. Move 1.5 cups to a large bowl (the remainder will be topping).

Mix salt, flour, ground almonds, and ground 1.5 cups ground pistachios together.

Stand mixer + paddle attachment –> cream butter and sugar.

  • Add eggs (one at a time), lemon zest, and extract.
  • Add dry ingredients slowly.
  • Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.

Bake 45 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.

  • Cool in pan 10 minutes, then complete cooling on a rack.

Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar, then glaze cake. Top with remaining pistachio bits.




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