Pistachio, Lime and Rosewater Cake

I love pistachios. They always remind me of nibbles and drinks before Sunday lunches. Hours of shucking those incredibly hard shells to get to the wonderful green treats inside. I also love the colour of pistachios. That cool green; I aspire to own a pistachio green coloured AGA one day.

This is a lovely occasion cake. The sort of cake that wouldn’t look out of place on a wonderful tall cake plate. Cake plates are very of the moment. They seem to be for sale everywhere and I found this excellent little guide to making your own on the Guardian website, found here. I think you could use some beautiful colours to make a really inexpensive version.

It’s a really moist (ack! that word!), dense cake that lasts really well in a tin. The recipe comes from Rachel Allen originally and she suggests decorating the cake with rose petals, which would be incredibly beautiful, but I didn’t have any and the pistachios look lovely on the top of the cake too.

Breaking open those shells is quite fun when you fancy a nibble but when you’re making a large cake like the one below, you end up losing all of your nails and a little bit of your mind. I think you can buy shelled pistachios and I would seriously recommend doing this if you enjoy having fingernails!

China is the top pistachio consumer worldwide with annual consumption of 80,000 tons, while the United States consumes 45,000 tons. Russia (with consumption of 15,000 tons) and India (with consumption of 10,000 tons) are in the third and fourth places





Homemade Rosewater

Pistachio, Lime and Rosewater Cake

serves 8 and requires a 22cm springform tin

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 big tbsp or 50g of runny honey
  • 250ml natural yoghurt, unsweetened
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime


  • 150ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2tbsp rosewater


  • Rose petals, optional
  • 50g unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped,

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 22cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds and caster sugar and mix.

2.  Mix the eggs, honey, yoghurt, sunflower oil and lime zest together well in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry
ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients, bringing them together with a whisk until they are just combined.
Add some chopped pistachios to the mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes.

3.  While the cake is cooling, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, boil the water and sugar for about 5 minutes until it is reduced by
half. Add the lime juice and boil for a further 2 minutes, then cool and add the rosewater according to your taste.

4.  With a fine skewer, make holes on top of the warm cake and, with a tablespoon, spoon the syrup all over the top. Scatter the pistachios
over and leave to settle for 1 hour. You can then adorn with the rose petals if you wish!


the ground almonds


the dry goods


boiling the syrup


prior to poking with a skewer


the finished cake


I would serve with creme fraiche as it’s quite rich and maybe some fresh raspberries.



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