I absolutely LOVE lemon desserts. I can’t get enough lemon in general, actually. Nine times out of ten, actually maybe eight, (because chocolate) I’ll choose the lemon dessert. And when paired with my favorite nut?! Seriously in love.
I made this cake with spring and Easter in mind. It screams warmer weather and brunch to me. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that all my family comes in town for Easter weekend and that I love making a big brunch for everyone. There’s really nothing that makes me happier than brunch food, cocktails, and family. It’s just the best.
And just so we’re on the same page, cake is totally acceptable for brunch. Right?! Brunch is one of those meals where you can kinda get away with anything. And I love it.
This cake is similar to a pound cake, but not as rich. It’s lighter because of the lemon, and I used ground pistachios in the batter, which changes the texture a bit too. It’s dense, but light. If that makes any sense at all.
The glaze is super simple and made with just lemon zest, lemon juice, and powdered sugar. You can make it as thick or thin as you like, but I tend to lean toward the thicker end because I love when it hardens on the cake, rather than soaks into it. Makes it the perfect vessel for crushed pistachios!
Now this definitely isn’t one of the healthier recipes on my blog, but in my opinion, sometimes you just gotta bake with the real deal stuff. There’s really no substitution for real butter and sugar when it comes to cakes. It’s good for the soul. And it just tastes GOOD. For holidays and celebrations, you won’t see me baking with coconut oil and almond flour. But for everyday baking, absolutely.
If you can’t tell, I just really love this cake. Make it for your family for Easter or a springy brunch!
- For the CAKE:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup shelled pistachios + 2-3 tablespoons, finely chopped (for topping the cake)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of two lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2½ cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
- For the GLAZE:
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Generously butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan or liberally spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add pistachios to a food processor and blend until very fine, almost flour-like. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine.
- In a stand mixer, or using electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined.
- Next, add the Greek yogurt and beat until completely combined.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into bundt pan (it will be very thick), and smooth out with a rubber spatula. I like to bang the pan on the counter a couple times to settle the batter.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until cake is no longer jiggly and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack and let cool for another 10 minutes (don't lift the pan off of the cake yet). Once it has cooled for 10 minutes, gently lift the pan off of the cake.
- To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Pour glaze over the cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios!