Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Toasted Pistachios and a Lemony Glaze, a happy cheerful little lemon cake to help brighten the weekend -the perfect balance of sweet and tart. For a vegan version try this Vegan Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake 

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Toasted Pistachios and Lemony Glaze. The perfect balance between tart and sweet. #lemonloaf

Meyer Lemons are everywhere right now and we’ve been using them in everything while we still can. My friend Tonia came for a visit last week and she created this Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake recipe for us – a tangy sweet treat for the senses.  It’s topped with a tart lemony glaze and sprinkled with toasted pistachios.

Meyer Lemon Loaf with Toasted Pistachios and Lemony Glaze. The perfect balance between tart and sweet. #lemonloaf

It starts with creaming the sugar and butter together, until light, fluffy and pale, then add the eggs one by one, the vanilla and lemon zest.

If you can’t find Meyer lemons, feel free to use regular lemons!

lemon loaf cake

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Meyer lemon loaf

For a little intrigue, add cardamom and ginger which pair well with the pistachios.

Mix some Meyer lemon juice with yogurt in a small bowl. Then you’ll add a third of the flour mixture to the batter, along with half of the lemony yogurt, mix to combine, repeating this then incorporating the last of the flour.

Once combined, place in a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until puffed, golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

While it’s cooling make the simple glaze using powdered sugar and lemon juice.

lemon loaf cake

Spoon two layers of glaze over top of the lemon loaf, letting it set up 10 -15 minutes before spooning on the second coat. While its still slick, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, so they stick.

It’s easiest to do this over a cooling rack placed over an edged pan with a piece of parchment, so you can collect the surplus glaze and reapply it.

Meyer lemon loaf cake with pistachios and lemon glaze

 

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Toasted Pistachios and Lemony Glaze. The perfect balance between tart and sweet. #lemonloaf

I will be upfront with you, I rarely bake sweet things like this, but it was such a special treat having this here- getting to nibble on it in the afternoons with our tea or as a sweet treat after dinner.

Such a cheerful little cake to have sitting on the counter.

It didn’t last very long…

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Toasted Pistachios and Lemony Glaze. The perfect balance between tart and sweet. #lemonloaf

This Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Pistachios would make a sweet and pretty hostess gift, or would a be a nice cheering up gift for someone who could use a little extra love this weekend. And it is perfectly reasonable if that someone is you. xoxo

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

PS: If you are looking for a vegan alternative – try this Vegan Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake , or for a lighter lemony dessert, this Lemon Cloud Pie is divine!

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Meyer lemon loaf cake with pistachios and lemon glaze

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Pistachios

  • Author: Tonia Schemmel
  • Prep Time: 70
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Category: cake, baked,
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Northwest

Description

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Toasted Pistachios and Lemony Glaze. The perfect balance between tart and sweet. Prep Time includes 40 minutes cooling time.


Ingredients

Scale
  •  3/4 cup unsalted butter, (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) room temperature or sightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3​​​​ eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 firm Meyer lemons (2-3 tablespoons ​​​meyer lemon zest) or use regular lemons see notes
  • ———
  • 1/3 cup ​​​​meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plain ​​​​yogurt
  • ————
  • 1 ½ cups (190 grams)​​ all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ​​​baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon ​​​baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ​​​salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional)

Lemony Glaze

  • 1 cup ​​​​powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ​​​meyer lemon juice

½ cup ​​​​roasted pistachios,  chopped


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Butter and flour (or use parchment) a loaf pan (8 ½ by 4 ½)
  3. Cream butter and sugar in a stand or handheld mixer until pale, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time mixing until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla and  meyer lemon zest. 
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and spices in medium sized bowl.
  6. In a separate little bowl, mix together lemon juice and yogurt.
  7. Add a third of the flour mixture and half of the lemon yogurt to the egg/butter batter, incorporating gently. Repeat, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.   
  8. Scoop batter into greased/floured pan, smoothing the top.  
  9. Bake for 50 to 70 minutes.  (This may seem like a big time range but it all depends on the pan you choose, your oven and the elevation your at)
  10. Test cake in the center until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan (use a knive to loosen edges) and allow it to cool on rack for another 30 minutes before adding glaze. while cooling make the Glaze.

 MAKE GLAZE: Whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar for the glaze taking care to smooth out any lumps.  Place a tray or parchment paper under the rack.  Spoon ½ of glaze over cake.  Let sit 10 minutes  and add the remaining glaze for a second coat. 

Sprinkle with chopped pistachios (while still wet, so they stick).  After it’s dry and set, cover lightly in beeswax wrap or plastic wrap to it keep moist. Ok to store on kitchen counter.


Notes

Choose meyer lemons that are firm rather than soft, for easier zesting. I used 3 tablespoons meyer lemon zest for extra lemon flavor. If using regular lemons, you will only need 2 tablespoons.

If you can’t find Meyer lemons, feel free to use regular lemons or try subbing in a little orange zest/juice with the lemons to mimic that Meyer lemon taste.

I strongly encourage weighing flour.  It can make all the difference.

Glaze: Sift powdered sugar before adding lemon juice for easier mixing. The glaze is thin to get the extra boost from the meyer lemon.  I found applying twice can get more on the cake.

FYI We tested this with olive oil– and it was so-so, not great. Also tested using 1/2 cup butter and two eggs, flavor and texture wers good, but did not mound, so more of a flat loaf – which I thought was fine.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¾ inch wide slice
  • Calories: 377
  • Sugar: 32.9 g
  • Sodium: 172.9 mg
  • Fat: 18.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 5.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 86.5 mg

Keywords: lemon loaf, Meyer lemon loaf, Meyer lemon loaf cake, best lemon loaf recipe, lemon pistachio cake, pistachio cake

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Comments

  1. Really tasty and cheerful as you said too… Definitely a keeper for Meyer season.

    By the way, I just happen to love lemon, especially Meyers, so I used a super fine zester and doubled the amount of zest the recipe called for. I balanced out the bit of extra dry ingredient from the zest increase with two teaspoons extra lemon juiced mixed with the yogurt and the cake came out perfectly moist with a deliciously distinct Meyer Lemon flavor.

    The cardamom and ginger were such imaginative additions and the pistachios—Yum!

    Thank you for sharing this, Sylvia and Tonia.

  2. I regret that we found this Lemon Loaf to be too mild in lemon flavor for our taste preference. Perhaps I might make it for us with a regular lemon which is sharper and tangier than the more gentle orange enhanced flavor of a Meyer. This may be our personal preference. Also, ours was dry but I am fighting 5000′ altitude which can moderately effect bakery outcomes. The look was spot on and we might try to fiddle with it on our own. Much thanks for all the great recipes we’ve loved over the years. Best website for anything delicious. Thanks, Sylvia.

    1. Shoot- I’m sorry Tracy- yes Meyer lemon is less sour, but not sure why it would get dry- it is quite a moist loaf, generally.

  3. I made this for the Super Bowl party. It came together easily and was absolutely delicious. The Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter than regular ones so the flavor is very mellow. I made it in a standard loaf pan and it was done in 50 minutes in my convection oven. It actually looked just like your picture!! I missed adding the cardamom and ginger at the correct time, but stirred them into batter at the end and it was fine. So delicious! Thanks for another perfect recipe!

  4. Lovely flavours. I made with gluten free flour and the same with the icing sugar and it still worked out beautifully.

  5. I have a small but fruitful meyer lemon tree. I only had to use one for the recipe. This bread was so good. In stead of using the lemon drizzle I had some homemade lemon curd….. that put it over the edge. Thanks for the recipe:) Teri

  6. I made this for the first time today. It’s so delicious! I made a double batch so I had enough to go around to my coworkers. I didn’t, honestly, measure the lemon zest; I just used the zest of all EIGHT Meyer lemons, and it was wonderful! I did add a little extra powdered sugar to the icing so it would be thicker and not soak into the cake. Toward the end of baking, I had to tent the cake with foil as it was getting a tad dark around the edges. I may use a wider/shallower pan instead of bread pans next time so I can reduce baking time. My birthday is coming up this weekend, and I just might make this again for myself! Thanks for the amazing recipe 🙂

  7. Hi Sylvia, I made this loaf yesterday and it came out perfect!! I did not have yogurt so used sour cream and was delicious and moist, will make again!

  8. I’m absolutely not a baker and this turned out amazing! I only had 2 Meyer lemons, and subbed regular lemons for the rest. Will definitely be making this again, it was delicious!

  9. Fabulous! Made it last Sunday and again today! I would like the glaze to be thicker, like your photo, so I’ll try a little less lemon juice.

  10. I actually haven’t made this yet, but I was wondering if you think I could put the batter in a donut pan and glaze it like a donut? Any tips you have for that would be appreciated.

  11. It’s really good. I made it today. I used duck eggs and added a little shredded coconut to the flour mixture. I will definitely be making this again! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hi Sylvia! This recipe is freaking delicious 😋 I had to make some adjustments (used coconut oil instead of butter), but it turned out phenomenal. It’s absolutely worth to save it. Thanks!

  13. Hi Sylvia! Your Meyer Lemon Cake Loaf is freaking delicious! I had to make some adjustments (I’m lactose intolerant – used coconut oil, instead of butter) but turned out excellent. Absolutely worth to save! 😋 Thanks

  14. Want to make this is smaller loaf pans.
    Temperature, time adjustments necessary?
    And will it freeze well?

    1. I think this should be fine. Maybe lower heat to 325F and make sure to check sooner, like at 25-30 minutes. It should freeze just fine!

  15. Hi Sylvia – I’m just about to make this for a friend and noticed that there is an error in the quantities – the recipe says 190 ounces of flour (which is nearly 12 pounds!). It should be 190g or 7oz. Looks delicious though, can’t wait to try it.

  16. Can I use einkorn flour instead of AP flour in this lemon loaf cake? If so, what is the measurement using einkorn flour instead?

    1. If you are using an all-purpose einkorn (not whole grain einkorn) you should be able to use the same amount as regular flour. I havent tried this but this is my best guess.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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