This Lemon Pistachio Cake is made with Meyer lemons and topped with toasted pistachios and drizzled with a Lemony Glaze-a happy, cheerful little cake to help brighten up this winter weekend.

Meyer Lemon Loaf 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 Lemon Pistachio Cake – a tangy sweet treat for the senses.  It’s topped with a tart lemony glaze and sprinkled with toasted pistachios, and couldn’t be any more delicious!

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

How to make Meyer Lemon Pistachio Cake

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

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

lemon loaf cake

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then gradually add to combine.

Meyer lemon loaf

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

Once combined, place in a greased 9-inch 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 lemon glaze.

lemon loaf cake

After the cake has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake. While it’s still slick, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, so they stick.

It’s easiest to do this over a cooling rack placed over a sheet 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

Ways to Serve Lemon Cake

  • As morning bread for a special brunch.
  • With afternoon tea.
  • As a dessert after dinner!
Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Toasted Pistachios and Lemony Glaze. The perfect balance between tart and sweet. #lemonloaf

This would also make a sweet hostess gift, or would 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.

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

Let us know what you think of the lemon cake- rate it in the comments below!

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Meyer lemon loaf cake with pistachios and lemon glaze

Meyer Lemon Pistachio Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 18 reviews
  • Author: Tonia Schemmel
  • Prep Time: 70
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: cake, baked,
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Northwest
  • Diet: Vegetarian


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


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup butter, (4 ounces) at room temperature or sightly softened
  • 3/4 cup1 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
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • ————
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional)

Lemony Glaze Recipe

½ cup ​​​​roasted pistachios,  chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan 
  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. Add the yogurt and lemon juice, and mix to combine. 
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and spices in a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Add a third of the flour mixture, mix, a third more, mix and add the last third.   
  7. Pour batter into the greased pan, smoothing the top.  
  8. 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) until internal temp reaches 200F  and a toothpick comes out clean. 
  9. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan (use a knife to loosen edges) and allow it to cool on rack for another 20 minutes before adding glaze.
  10. Make the Lemon Glaze Recipe
  11. Once the cake has cooled, 20-30 minutes, drizzle with the lemon glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios (while still wet, so they stick to the cake).
  12. Store cake on the counter for 3-5 days, lightly covered.


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.



  • Serving Size: 1 inch slice
  • Calories: 378
  • Sugar: 36.9 g
  • Sodium: 194.5 mg
  • Fat: 15.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.5 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 83.4 mg

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  1. Hi Ladies, excited to try this. I am going to my daughters today and want to bring this for my son in law who loves lemon desserts. Could I use olive oil instead of butter do you think? I have read it makes for a more moist baking result. Do you think that is true? Thanks for your help!

      1. I made it tonight and ended up using butter. I made it exactly as written, in a 9″x5″ loaf pan, and it took 50 minutes in my convection oven. It was delicious and moist. Everyone really enjoyed it. Thank you for another great recipe!

  2. Love this recipe, although it came out a bit too dry when my husband made it the first time. We will reduce the baking time a bit next time, but it was still delicious. Question: the ingredient list has baking powder, but both powder and soda are in the baking directions. Should we add in baking soda and how much? Thank you, Sylvia–as always.

    1. Thanks for catching that Carole! I adjusted the instructions. An instant-read thermometer really helps with making sure the cake doesn’t over bake.

  3. I have made many of these style of cakes.. but NEVER …have I enjoyed one as much as this recipe. 5/5 and every occasion I am asked to take a desert .. this is the one MOST asked for.
    Great job To you and your TEAM..
    Doug Ross

  4. Haven’t made the recipe yet but I can tell it will be fantastic! For lemon lovers, this is heaven. I am a diabetic so I’ll have to make it for my family and settle for watching their joy. Please consider making a diabetic-friendly version. Thank you!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

    1. Wondering what kind of gluten free flour you used for this lemon cake. My friend in gluten free and I would like to make it for her. Thank you.

  9. 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

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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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