Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream
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Two years ago due to an unfortunate turn of events in the job market, we (Natalie & Holly) found ourselves living in the same city. We had been friends for many years, but never had we experienced the luxury of such close proximity. At first we regularly met up for playdates, spending rainy afternoons cross legged on the floor with our then four little children. Those playdates soon turned into casual pop-overs for family dinners. And once we started spending time in each others kitchens, we knew food would be the foundation of our friendship.

So there it was, a friendship that was going places, all rooted in a deep love for all things food. In or out, we didn’t care. Sure, we talked about life, motherhood, marriage, the good stuff, but it always came back to swapping a good recipe or restaurant recommendation. It didn’t even surprise us to have found common ground in having once hosted dinner clubs, just as we weren’t shocked when our party planning skills were alarmingly similar. Through these shared stories of budding friendship, we were happy to discover that we had both put in hours heading up various church teams involving food and event planning and also the various “bring them a meal” teams we had joined for new babies and surgery recoveries. But you know what our favorites was? What we got the most excited about? All the baby showers and weddings we’ve been a part. Too many to count!

It just feels good to be needed, to feel like we can serve in such a fun capacity. And now we find our patience and skills grow with each new endeavor. Just like this blog. We’ve been having fun, plugging along, learning new techniques and discovering what works for us. Included in the list of new and exciting things is collaboration. Why wouldn’t we love it? Working with people, pulling up our sleeves and being put to good use? That’s right up our alley.

We have some fun collaborations on our Modern Proper calendar. An ice cream party, a potential bridal shower and three more women’s brunches.

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

Recently we met a group of like minded creative mamas via a facebook thread. How great is social media? The group is Pursuit Community. It is a collective group of photographers bloggers and creative souls.

We partnered up with them for a wedding photoshoot not to long ago. They set the scene beautifully complete with a bride and groom, beautiful flowers, vintage chairs and a wedding cake. That’s where we come in! The day was every photographers dream come true. A bride who is not really a bride. Time to chat and laugh with others while capturing the perfect shot for their portfolios. And a piece of cake to boot.

This cake turned out good. Really good. You might not be getting married anytime soon. And if you are, you probably aren’t making your own cake. But, there is always Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…and the rest of the days that are great for celebrating. So, make this cake. You’ll thank us.

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream


1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
2 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain greek yogurt
6 large eggs
4 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter
3-4 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Arrange oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter paper, then dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse pistachios until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, olive oil, vanilla, eggs, yogurt, and lemon zest. Once everything is well incorporated mix in the dry ingredients.
  4. Spread batter evenly into the three pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes.
  5. For the frosting, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using an electric or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy.
  6. Once cakes have cooled, run a knife around cake to loosen in from pan and invert it onto a rack. Remove paper. Using a long, preferably serrated knife, level out the tops of each cake. This will ensure your cake is even once frosted.
  7. Divide the buttercream frosting into thirds. Place one cake layer on desired cake stand or plate. Lift edges up slightly and place a few pieces of paper towel, wax or parchment paper underneath it. This will protect your plate or stand from getting smeared with frosting.
  8. Spread a third of the frosting on cake. Repeat with 2nd layer. Once you have placed the third layer on the cake, use the last of the frosting to form a very thin layer on the top and sides of cake.
  9. Remove parchment paper.