Cakes & CookiesDavid Scott AllenDessertProvencal RecipesTaste

Lemon-Frosted Pistachio Cake for Dessert

Over the years, we have hosted and attended many dinner parties. Usually, it’s a delightful occasion to visit with friends over a meal. Occasionally there is a theme like a milestone birthday or anniversary or a holiday. However, a dinner party based around the song “I never promised you a rose garden” well, that was a first. The task? To bringing a course for the meal that related to our interpretation of the song.

My contribution was this delicious Lemon-Frosted Pistachio Cake, a recipe by food writer and chef Nigel Slater.

Lemon-Frosted Pistachio Cake

Lemon-Frosted Pistachio Cake

The recipe for this delicious dessert is from The New York Times and is the creation of British chef Nigel Slater.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine English
Servings 12 people


  • 8 oz Butter
  • 1 cup (125 g) + 1 tbsp Superfine Sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (125 g) Unsalted Pistachios finely ground
  • 1 cup (125 g) Blanched Almonds finely ground
  • 1 Orange for juice and finely grated zest
  • 1 tsp Rosewater *
  • 1/2 cup (62 g) + 1 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Whole Shelled Unsalted Pistachios for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line the bottom of an 8-inch nonstick cake pan with parchment paper.
  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and superfine sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, then add the ground pistachios and almonds.
  • Add the orange juice, orange zest and rosewater, and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour; do not overmix.
  • Scoop the mixture into the cake pan, and bake until the top is firm and a light golden brown, about 40 minutes.
  • Lightly cover the top of the cake with foil and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry, about 10 minutes more.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for several minutes, then remove and cool on a rack.
  • When the cake is cool, mix the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl, and pour over the cake.
  • While the frosting is still soft, sprinkle with the whole shelled pistachios. Allow the icing to set for 30 minutes before serving.
Keyword Almonds, Cakes, Citrus, Dessert, Pistachios
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!


    January 14, 2020 at 6:45 pm — Reply

    The cake I want for my birthday

    • January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm — Reply

      That cake would be delicious for your birthday, or any other reasonable excuse! Enjoy.

    • January 14, 2020 at 9:14 pm — Reply

      Or for no good reason at all! I’m making it this Sunday because it is Sunday.

      • January 15, 2020 at 8:01 am — Reply

        Exactly, no excuse needed to make and eat cake. Have a great day!

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