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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


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


  •  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


  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.


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.


  • 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

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