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Vegan Pistachio Cake with Lemon and Cardamom

This vegan pistachio cake is seriously as good as it looks! Full of nutty flavours from the pistachio kernels teamed up with zesty lemon and aromatic cardamom – topped with a thick and zesty lemon glaze and crunchy pistachios – a true loaf cake dream come true!

I have loved pistachio flavours ever since I can remember! As a kid I was actually obsessed with pistachio ice cream, it was my all-time favourite during regular ice cream shop visits. Adding pistachio flavours to cake is something that I only just started doing at an adult age – but believe me, when I tell you, I’ve been just as obsessed with pistachio in cake as I have been with pistachio in ice cream! There’s a wonderful nutty creaminess about pistachio nuts, that simply hits the right spot – and this is also true with this Vegan Pistachio Cake with Lemon and Cardamom!

What you’ll need to make Vegan Pistachio Cake

Ingredients

  • plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • golden caster sugar
  • baking powder
  • fine sea salt: any fine salt will be fine!
  • vanilla powder: alternatively, use 2 tsp vanilla extract and add it to the wet ingredients
  • cardamom powder: also called ‘ground cardamom’
  • pistachio kernels: for this recipe, they should be roughly ground
  • chickpea water: the liquid of 1 unsalted 400g-tin chickpeas (aquafaba), whipped into stiff peaks
  • fresh lemon juice
  • fresh lemon zest
  • rapeseed oil: any other heat resistant, flavour-neutral oil will be fine
  • coconut yogurt
  • apple cider vinegar

For the glaze:

  • powdered sugar
  • fresh lemon juice
  • vanilla extract (optional)
  • soya milk (optional)

Equipment

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • an electric hand whisk
  • a loaf tin

How to make pistachio cake

Preparation

Start by preheating the oven. For this vegan pistachio cake, we’re baking at 180°C (356°F). 

Dry Ingredients

For this recipe, we’re using 2 separate mixing bowls. Start by combining your dry ingredients, plain flour (all purpose), baking powder, caster sugar, pistachio, salt, vanilla powder and cardamom powder, in one bowl. I like to use a whisk to quickly combine the ingredients, but you can also use a simple spoon or spatula. If you’re using vanilla extract instead of vanilla powder, then add it to the wet ingredients. 

Wet Ingredients

In a second bowl, first, add the chickpea water (aquafaba) and use an electric hand mixer to whip it up until it forms stiff peaks. This should usually take 4-5 minutes. Once the stiff peaks are formed, mix in the rest of the wet ingredients: lemon juice, lemon zest, rapeseed oil, coconut yoghurt and apple cider vinegar. Mix until well combined (2-3 minutes).

Combining the batter

Slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet mix and continue to blend with the hand mixer until all ingredients are combined into a smooth batter. 

Transfer the batter into a lined loaf tin. I used a regular bread loaf tin on this occasion, but feel free to use a different shape if you prefer. However, please be aware that the baking time may vary in a different shape – so I can only recommend experimenting with the baking time if you’re opting for a different cake shape. 

Baking Time

Smooth out the top with a spatula and then transfer the loaf tin to the fully preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Important cool down time

Once baked, remove the pistachio cake from the oven and allow for it to cool for at least 45 minutes before you remove it from the loaf tin and slice it – during this time, the baking process slowly continues inside the loaf and it ensures your cake is baked and soft all the way through! 

Adding the glaze

When the cake is cooled down, you can add your glaze or any other decoration you like! I find glaze is always such a personal thing, some like it super thin and runny, others (like myself) want it to be super thick and firm – so I recommend going with what you like most! For my glaze, I’ve used 300g powdered sugar and sprinkled in the juice of 1/2 lemon and about 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. To get my glaze so shiny bright, I mix these ingredients and add small amounts of soya milk until my glaze has a thick, but runny texture without any lumps. That way my glaze isn’t see-through!

Once the glaze is added, you can also add some crunchy pistachios on top for an extra crunch – at least that’s what I like on this vegan pistachio cake! 

This recipe is:

  • 100% vegan
  • full of nutty flavours
  • zesty
  • full of flavour
  • addictive
  • seriously delicious! 
  • perfect for your next afternoon tea or birthday celebration!
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Vegan Pistachio Cake with Lemon and Cardamom

  • Author: romylondonuk
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan pistachio cake is as good as it looks! Full of nutty flavours from the pistachio kernels teamed up with zesty lemon and aromatic cardamom – topped with a thick and zesty lemon glaze – a true loaf cake dream come true!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 250g plain flour
  • 180g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 100g roughly ground pistachio kernels
  • Water of 1 unsalted 400g-tin chickpeas (aquafaba), whipped into stiff peaks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 130 ml rapeseed oil
  • 120 ml coconut yogurt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

For the glaze:

  • powdered sugar
  • lemon juice
  • vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. In a large bowl combine the plain flour, golden caster sugar, baking powder, sea salt, vanilla powder, cardamom powder, and roughly ground pistachio kernels.
  3. In the meantime, whip up your aquafaba with an electric whisk until it forms stiff peaks, then combine the aquafaba with the lemon juice, zest, rapeseed oil, coconut yogurt and apple cider vinegar in a separate bowl.
  4. Slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the aquafaba mix and fold them in with a spatula until you get a smooth batter.
  5. Transfer the batter to a greased and lined loaf tin and bake at 180°C (356°F) in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Once a toothpick comes out clean, remove the pistachio loaf cake from the oven and set it aside to cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing.

Keywords: pistachio cake, vegan pistachio cake, lemon pistachio loaf, loaf cake, vegan cake, vegan lemon cake, lemon cardamom cake

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