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Lime yoghurt and pistachio cake

Updated: Tue, 15 November, 2022

Lime yoghurt pistachio cake with lime and rosewater syrup drizzled all over it: I swear there isn't a better cake made with yoghurt. Or lime. Or pistachios.

lime yoghurt and pistachio cake

Yoghurt cakes – child’s play

Yoghurt cakes are simply gorgeous: they have the lightness of crumb that makes you feel like you're eating something super healthy and not at all calorific. In that way they are treacherous because it's so difficult to refuse another slice. And another.

The oil used in the batter instead of butter makes it super-tender, so when you add a lime drizzle seeping into the cake crumb into the equation, you get a gloriously dewy and soft product.

Yoghurt cakes are also famously easy. This particular example is what I call a bucket cake: you just throw everything into a bowl and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon.

It is not surprising that French children first learn to bake a simple yoghurt cake at the pre-school age. It’s popular because it’s easy and fun and involves measuring out the other ingredients using the yoghurt pot so you don’t have to be able to read the scales or even count terribly well. That’s gâteau au yaourt for you, voilà!

I’ve always thought French education system was superior.

yoghurt cake with pistachios and lime drizzle

M-word cake

Apart from being a yoghurt cake it is also a drizzle cake. That means it’s saturated with syrup and to help it penetrate the crumb, it’s helpful to jab it with a thin skewer all over, so the syrup seeps through.

The syrup need not be very syrupy. Do not worry too much about reducing it to thicken – it just must make the cake WET.

I used to boil it down far too much in the past until I saw my former boss and a baker extraordinaire slosh about a pint of lemony sugary water on her lemon cake, tilting the tin this way and that way to let it soak in better. And the result was astonishing. She didn’t even bother with jabbing holes in it with a skewer!

And so this lime yoghurt cake can be said to thoroughly embody the characteristic described by the m-word I simply detest (I am not alone in it) and try very hard to replace with 'wet' or 'dewy'.

lime drizzle yoghurt cake

How to make the cake batter

The recipe is Rachel Allen’s from ‘Bake’.

The hardest part is lining the cake tin completely and thoroughly with parchment. Since the cake is going to be saturated with syrup after baking, you want to avoid any leakage. Most good tins are batter-tight but watery liquid might well get away.

The cake itself is a five minute job without a mixer: dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ones in another. Combine the two, add the chopped pistachios and scrape everything into the tin.

Baking takes about fifty minutes and when the cake is out, cook the drizzling preparation. Don’t cook the syrup for too long, as I warned above: five minutes is all it takes. With the lime juice and rose water it will smell and taste divine.

baking and drizzling cake

The pistachios are in theory optional but they add huge value, as well as pretty touch of green.

Rose water is a must as it gives the drizzling syrup incredible flavour, just don’t overdo it as various brands come in various strength of the essence.

And if you can get hold of some sugared rose petals to sprinkle on top of the cake with pistachios, it will be a work of art. It will certainly look far more elaborate, intricate and skilful than it really is.

And much more sophisticated than a French toddler could ever manage.

The cake will keep up to three days in the kitchen, covered, plus another two if stored in the fridge.

lime and rosewater cake with pistachios

More yoghurt cake recipes

Easy chocolate cake with yoghurt, honey and shaved chocolate. The batter is ready in about three minutes and the cake is almost healthy as it contains not much fat and not much sugar.

Italian yoghurt cake or torta allo yogurt, also known as torta 7 vasetti. Simple but genius: use the yoghurt pot to measure all the other ingredients.

Strawberry yoghurt cake with fresh strawberry icing, baked in a Bundt tin. It’s tender and buttery like the best pound cake, with fragrant fresh strawberries giving it a pink hue.

yoghurt lime rosewater and pistachio cake

More pistachio recipes

Sicilian pistachio cookies, Italian pistachio macaron cookie recipe. These are delicious, meltaway cookies made with egg white and without butter.

Pistachio morning buns with the crunch of pistachios and the fragrance of cardamom are one of the nicest ways to greet the day.

Pistachio lemon shortbread bars. NY Times recipe for nutty shortcrust base and tangy lemon curd topping filled with more pistachios.

rose lime and yoghurt cake with pistachios

Lime yoghurt and pistachio cake

Servings: 14-16Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • For the cake:
  • 225g (134 cups) plain flour
  • 212 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 75g (34 cup) ground almonds
  • 100g (12 cup) caster sugar
  • 50g (12 cup) raw pistachios, chopped
  • zest grated from 2 limes
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g (2 tbsp.) honey
  • 250ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt
  • 150ml (23 cup) vegetable oil
  • For the syrup:
  • 150ml (23 cup) water
  • 100g (12 cup) caster sugar
  • juice squeezed from 2 limes
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • preserved rose petals, to decorate (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line a round 23cm (9in) tin with parchment, making sure it comes up above the rim – otherwise the syrup drizzle might leak out if the tin has a loose bottom.

2. Mix the flour, the baking powder, salt, ground almonds, sugar, zest and half the chopped pistachios in a bowl. In a separate bowl or jug beat together the eggs, honey, yoghurt and oil. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk together until just combined. 

3. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Keep it in the tin and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

4. Prepare the syrup: boil the water and sugar for 5 minutes, then add the lime juice and boil for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat and add the rose water.

5. Jab the cake in the tin all over with a skewer. Spoon the syrup over the surface.

6. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios and preserved rose petals over the top, then sift some caster sugar over it.

Originally published: Tue, 25 November, 2014

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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