Meyer lemon yogurt and pistachio cake

Friday, March 4, 2016

We love cakes at our house but not those sugar laden cakes. I tend to focus on flavor instead of sweetness when it comes to desserts. I first made this cake a few years ago when our Meyer lemon tree was bearing lots of fruits but it caught the citrus greening disease and was finally retired this year. I was really bummed about our lemon tree but my friend Gail came to the rescue and gave me many pounds of Meyer lemons over the past few months. 

When your friend gives you lemons, there’s nothing to do but to bake a lot of cakes and make a lot of ice cream and sorbet. This will be the first Meyer lemon dessert I’m sharing with you. If you don’t have Meyer lemons, regular Eureka lemons will taste just as good. 

This cake has a nice lemon flavor and makes the perfect afternoon treat!  We've been guilty of eating it for breakfast and after dinner with a scoop of vanilla ice cream too! Enjoy!

Meyer lemon, yogurt, and pistachio cake
1 ½ cup of all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3 organic eggs
¾ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of Greek yogurt
½ cup of olive oil
¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp of unsalted pistachios, chopped

Meyer lemon syrup
¼ cup of sugar
2 tbsps water
2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
2 small Meyer lemons, thinly sliced

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, and zest until well combined and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. In a stand mixture, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on high speed while gradually adding in the sugar until the volume doubles and becomes thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.

5. Decrease the speed to slow and whisk in the yogurt mixture until well combined.

6. Add the flour mixture in two batches and mix until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

7. Pour the batter in a 10x4.5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. (If you don't have a rectangular cake pan, a round cake pan will suffice.)

8. Top the batter with chopped pistachios.

9. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Check on the cake 30 minutes into baking and if the top starts to brown too much, place a piece of foil loosely over the top. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes.

10. To make the syrup, add the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.

11. Decrease the heat to low and add in the lemon slices and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

12. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

13. With the cake still in the pan, take a skewer and pierce the top all over, to about three-quarters of its depth.

14. Drizzle the syrup all over the cake and arrange the reserved lemon slices on top.

15. When ready to serve, slice each piece to about half an inch. 

16. The cake is best eaten immediately but will keep for 5 days in an airtight container or up to 1 month if frozen.


  1. Vy: beautiful and tasty as always ... Gail, your Meyer Lemon connection🍋

  2. Will a wisk attachment to my emersion blender work in place of the stand mixer? Recipe looks wonderful!

    1. hi Genny! The whisk attachment should work but make sure the volume of the eggs doubles. I have the speed on my stand mixer at 8 when I'm whisking the eggs and sugar. You might have to whisk for a bit longer than 5 minutes. Hope you like it!

  3. Do you put the pistachios in the cake batter or just on top when finished baking? And if when finished baking, before or after drizzling syrup?

    1. Hi Michelle! I put the pistachios just on top of the batter before it goes into the oven. If you like pistachios a lot, you can add in two more tablespoons into the batter in addition to the two tablespoons that go on top of the batter. After it's done, the drizzle syrup and lemon slices go on top of the cake.