This Lemon Pistachio Loaf Pairs Delightfully With an Afternoon Cup of Tea

A recipe excerpt for lemon pistachio loaf cake from the new cookbook Don’t Worry, Just Cook, by Canadian culinary icon Bonnie Stern and daughter Anna Rupert

The last time we were in Tel Aviv, we were staying around the corner from Eats Cafeteria on Shenkin Street. Their food was very casual but also beautiful and delicious, with many vegan choices and truly wonderful gluten-free desserts, of which their lemon pistachio loaf was our favorite. Anna and I enjoyed it on far too many occasions. When we got home, we came up with this recipe, which based on our collective memory we believe is close.

Lemon Pistachio Loaf

Serves: 8 to 10


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup finely ground pistachios (see note at bottom)
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Glaze and Topping

  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp pistachios, ground, chopped, or slivered


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 5 × 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. Stir in the ground pistachios. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until light, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition just until combined. Add the lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40 to
    50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean or an instant-read thermometer registers between 185°F and 195°F when inserted into the center. Let the cake cool completely or partially glaze when warm as described below.
  4. To glaze the cake, combine the icing sugar with 2 Tbsp lemon juice. If it’s not a drizzling consistency, add a little more lemon juice. Brush some over the warm cake when it comes out of the oven and drizzle some overtop of the loaf when it has cooled. Or drizzle when cool with as much as you like. Sprinkle with pistachios.

Note: I generally use roasted nuts for cooking because they add much more flavor than raw nuts. When I buy nuts, I usually buy more than I need, roast them, and then keep them in the freezer to have on hand.

To roast, spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350°F oven on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove one and taste to see if it’s ready (they should be lightly browned with a deeper flavor), and watch carefully, as they can burn easily. Cool and use, or freeze. An exception to this is hazelnuts: once they’re out of the oven and cooled, rub them in a clean tea towel to remove the skins (don’t worry if some skin remains). Pine nuts and coconut chips should be roasted for only 4 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned—watch closely as both burn easily.

We are so lucky now that many nuts (almonds and hazelnuts especially) can be bought ground (often called almond flour and hazelnut flour respectively). You can also grind the nuts yourself. If you want a roasted flavor, use roasted nuts. Be careful when grinding: If you grind too many nuts at one time, or grind them for too long, they can turn into nut butter, which is delicious but will not work as flour when baking! If you use an electric grinder, depending on its size, grind about 1/4 cup at a time. In a food processor, grind about 1 cup at a time. With either method, always pulse on/off rather than letting the motor run continuously.

Don't Worry, Just Cook by Bonnie Stern

Excerpted from Don’t Worry, Just Cook by Bonnie Stern. Copyright © 2022 Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd. and Anna Rupert. Photography © 2022 Tyler Anderson with additional photos by Mark Rupert and Anna Rupert. Food styling by Olga Truchan. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Next: Learn All About Bonnie Stern’s New Cookbook, “Don’t Worry, Just Cook”

Originally Published in Best Health Canada