Pistachio-Cardamom Loaf Cake

1 9-inch loaf

1 hour 10 minutes 15 minutes active

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We got the best results from grinding the nuts until they were nearly as fine as flour but still had some texture. If you can’t find unsalted pistachios, reduce the salt in the recipe by half. We preferred the clean taste of regular olive oil to butter, but vegetable oil also worked. If you prefer a stronger flavor, use extra-virgin olive oil. Cooling the cake was essential to maintaining the thick consistency of the glaze.


9-inch loaf


Don’t skip toasting the pistachios. The differences in flavor and texture were significant between raw and toasted. Toast the nuts at 300ºF until they’re quite fragrant and begin to darken, 10 to 15 minutes.

1 hour 10 minutes

15 minutes active


  • 198

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 2

    teaspoons grated orange zest, plus ¼ cup orange juice (about 1 orange)


George W.

I made this cake last night and my wife and I thought it was absolutely wonderful. The cardamom, yogurt, and pistachio flavors with the sugar and orange makes the perfect blend of sweet and savory. It was also a fantastic breakfast with dark roast coffee.

Myrna A.

Can’t wait to try this. I am gluten free though- can I sub almond flour for the flour?

Katie V.

I haven’t made this yet but thought maybe spelt flour would be a better gluten free option.

Krysta G.

I made this using a gluten free all purpose blend (recipe from a website) but I think it would turn out just fine using a store bought brand as well. No adjustment to cook time either, 55 minutes was perfect for mine.

Miriam A.

I don’t have a good processor. Can I use a vita mix and a hand blender?

Tara G.

I made this tonight, with one substitution. I didn't have yogurt, so I used sour cream. A-ma-ZING! Really lovely.

Scott P.

This cake recipe exceeded all expectations. The perfect level of sweetness with subtle notes of orange and cardamom.

Krysta G.

Made this tonight using a gluten free flour mix (one from a website but I think any all-purpose store bought gluten free mix would be fine). Full disclosure: I also omitted the orange zest and used milk instead of the juice. It turned out perfect and delicious! Very moist, nice texture. Since gluten free starches and flours don't mask sweetness as much as wheat flour, it is plenty sweet enough so I omitted the icing. Maybe it's not as pretty without that drizzle holding nuggets of pistachios, but once you taste a piece it doesn't matter at all! Some of my pistachios didn't quite grind as fine and I didn't notice until I was folding but actually those little pieces add a nice textural interest that I really liked. Will definitely add to my recipe box.