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Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time:  40 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 452
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

This yogurt-olive oil cake with a thin layer of lemony buttercream begs to be made even on a random Wednesday night for an afternoon treat.

There’s No Resisting This Rich Yet Delicate Olive Oil Cake.

How is it possible to make a cake that’s rich and dense and light and fluffy all at the same time? Two magical ingredients: yogurt and olive oil. Both give fat—i.e. moisture galore— and lots of flavor to the this tender, lovely pistachio cake. Making cake with olive oil instead of butter is common in places like Italy where olive oil is traditionally made. And as for yogurt? Well, we’ve actually talked before about how much we love to bake with yogurt! Baking with yogurt (like in these oat scones) is a pretty terrific way of adding not just moisture but also fluffiness to your baked goods, because the acidity of the yogurt reacts with the chemical leaveners (in this case, baking powder) to add a little extra lift to your finished cake.

ingredients laid out for Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream eggs, sugar
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream on a pink cake stand

Pistachio Cake With Lemon Frosting: Tastes Even Better Than It Sounds

Despite its elegant demeanor, this pistachio-flecked olive oil cake slathered with lemon buttercream is as easy as can be. . In fact, if you’ve ever made a quick bread (like zucchini, banana or pumpkin) before, you can count yourself an olive oil cake expert. Here’s what you’ll need to make this pistachio cake recipe.

  • Cake flour (a slightly finer flour than AP flour. Look for it in a box in the baking aisle.)
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cardamom
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Eggs (a lot of them)
  • Lemon zest
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream on a cake stand with flowers

How To Make Greek Yogurt Cake

This simple pistachio cake recipe is easy to make and stunning enough to serve as the centerpiece for a baby shower, bridal shower or even Mother’s Day. After you’ve gathered your ingredients, you’ll need to prep your equipment. Here are the simple steps to make the best pistachio-olive oil cake recipe ever:

  1. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Take the time to do this thoroughly up front, so you don’t have any stuck-cake debacles right at the end.
  2. Pulse pistachios, flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt a few times in food processor, them mix that pistachio goodness with sugar, olive oil, vanilla, eggs, yogurt, lemon zest.
  3. Pour the batter into the cake pans, and bake!
  4. Whip up the lemon buttercream frosting recipe!
  5. Cool—all the way!—the cakes, then frost, and assemble! And ta da! You made a cake.
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream with a plate and 2 forks

Tools You’ll Need:

More Irresistible Desserts

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream with a slice taken out
Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

Are you a Yogurt Cake Lover Now?

If you made this pistachio cake from scratch, we want to see your handiwork! Be sure to snap a photo of it and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper or #themodernproper.

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time:  40 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 452

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 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

Method

  1. Arrange oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the 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.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories452
  • Protein8 g
  • Carbohydrates54 g
  • Total Fat24 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol96 mg
  • sodium304 mg
  • Total Sugars34 g

Yogurt and Olive Oil Pistachio Cake With Lemon Buttercream

Questions & Reviews

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  • Madison Visto

    Hi! Making this for the holiday and trying to figure out if I can make it ahead. Any recommendations for prep or could I make this the day before?

    Definitely ok to make the day before. Hope you enjoy Madison!

  • Christine Wozniak

    How much fat did your greek yogurt have?

    We used regular greek yogurt, not the low fat/non fat type. Hope you enjoy Christine!

  • Tara Sarikonda Rao

    do you have to maybe serve it with some ice cream on the side because my brother and mom and Me are making this and I am just not sure because this is my first time making this with them. We bake all the time but I do not know about this. I did ask one of my crushes on instagram to see if they made it so I guess I will find out.

    Hi Tara, there is no need to have to serve it with ice cream but you are welcome to if you like ice cream with your cake.

  • Julia

    Hi. Would this cake work baked in a Bundt pan? Thanks. Made it before and it’s dreamy!

    Thanks, glad you like it! We haven't tried it in a bundt pan but we imagine it would work fine. It will take longer to bake than if doing 3 8-inch rounds. Probably closer to 50 minutes. Just make sure a wooden skewer comes out clean before removing it from the oven.

  • Jenn

    This was incredible! The flavor combination was amazing!

    Thank you Jenn, we are so happy you loved it!