Pistachio Pound Cake


The ultimate Southern sweet to have on hand or the ideal gift to give to a friend or neighbor, our Pistachio Pound Cake will leave you with plenty of requests for the recipe.

Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
1 loaf cake

While many pound cake recipes begin by creaming together butter and sugar, this pound cake follows a different method to make a pound cake that is more interesting with different textures and delicate flavors. To begin, pistachios are toasted in the oven and then finely ground in a food processor to yield a rich pistachio flavor as well as a delightfully crumbly texture. The pistachio's themselves become very soft within the pound cake and taste buttery against the backdrop of bright lemon zest and sweet almond extract. Once the pistachios are prepared, all of the dry ingredients are thrown together in a bowl before all of the wet ingredients are mixed in—making this a simple one-bowl recipe. After the pound cake comes out of the oven and cools, a vanilla glaze covers the surface of the cake and additional raw pistachios are chopped and sprinkled over top so they stick to the surface of the cake as the glaze dries. Additional lemon zest is also sprinkled on the surface, and the final result is a scrumptious loaf cake with plenty of texture coated in just the right amount of vanilla glaze. Make the cake in advance without glazing it, and you can wrap it in plastic wrap to store in the fridge for several days. The ultimate Southern sweet to have on hand or the ideal gift to give to a friend or neighbor, our Pistachio Pound Cake will leave you with plenty of requests for the recipe.

Pistachio Pound Cake Recipe
Micah A. Leal



  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp. raw hulled pistachios, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • Zest of 2 lemons, divided

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Make Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the inside of a standard-size loaf pan with vegetable oil. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon granulated sugar inside pan and turn pan to coat the inside with sugar. Set aside.

  2. Place 1 1/2 cups pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove and transfer to food processor. Process nuts until finely ground.

  3. Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add half of the lemon zest and stir to incorporate. Add sour cream, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir with a spoon until homogenous; it should be a thick and lumpy batter. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

  4. Make Glaze: Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. The frosting should fall from the spoon in a thick ribbon.

  5. Pour glaze on top of cake and use a spoon to spread the Glaze to the edges, allowing the excess to drip down the sides of the cake. Coarsely chop remaining 3 tablespoons raw pistachios and sprinkle on top of glaze. Sprinkle remaining lemon zest on top of glaze and pistachios.

Chef's Notes

Using the zest from Meyer lemons instead of conventional lemons adds a lighter and sweeter lemon flavor.

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