Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake

This pistachio and olive oil cake is the perfect way to end a weekend brunch with friends. Serve it with a fresh cup of earl gray tea and you will be remembered from here until eternity for your cooking prowess. This cake also pairs really well with the traditional foods of Hanukkah. More on that below.

I’ve been doing this recipe for a while, so here’s a short little video I made way back when that will walk you through the recipe. Or you can just skip on down below to a printable copy, whichever way suits your fancy.


A couple of weeks ago I got a call from a client. It was time to do her annual Hanukkah dinner. I’m not Jewish myself, but I’ve studied the holiday and I feel like I can pull off a Hanukkah buffet without embarrassing myself. Having this particular cake in my repertoire is one of the reasons I can say that with confidence (my latkes don’t hurt my chances, either).

The good thing about cooking for the same clients year after year is that you learn from your mistakes. So this year, when I made her pistachio and olive oil cake, I made one for myself too. Because last year, I was walking out the door backwards gazing longingly in the direction of this cake as the leftovers sat on the cake tier, calling my name ever so soft and sweetly.

Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake

Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake

Rate this recipe
Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake


yield: 1 individual 10” cake (sometimes I like to double the recipe and bake in 3 individual 8” cake pans for a more glamorous presentation.
  • ⅔ cup pistachios + ½ cup for garnish
  • 1 tbs finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • For the Lemon Glaze:
  • ⅔ cup King Arthur gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ and butter/flour a 10-inch round cake pan.
  • In a food processor, chop the ⅔rds cup of pistachios for about a minute until it’s consistency is a little courser than your almond flour. The other half cup of pistachios just needs to be roughly chopped to sprinkle over the top of the finished cake.
  • Beat the butter with the sugar in a stand mixer at medium speed until it's the texture of moist sand, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions and scraping down the sides.
  • Fold in the ground nuts, flour and salt, mixing just enough to combine.
  • Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the olive oil in a thin stream. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the cake for 20 minutes, then rotate and cook for 20 more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake cool for 30 minutes. While it’s cooling mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar for the glaze. The mixture should be thick, yet spreadable.
  • Place the cake on a plate and frost with the lemon glaze. Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve. The cake will keep for several days in an airtight cake holder.
  • I would definitely suggest serving it with a fresh cup of earl gray or coffee for a perfect mid-day pick me up.

Nutrition information

I'd love to know what you think of this post. Please leave a comment below.