Lemon Pistachio Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

5/5 - (1 vote)

I read a great looking recipe in a Costco Connections magazine. I immediately knew I wanted to make it. The recipe was for a Lemon Pistachio Cake with Mascarpone Frosting. I had on hand all the ingredients. However I did make a couple of minor changes.

Firstly I swapped out sour cream to use crème fraîche instead. Of course option, instead of sour cream, would be natural yoghurt.

Secondly, I didn’t have cake flour, as listed in the recipe. But that wasn’t a problem since it is easy to create a good substitute. Basically I measured out the same amount of plain flour, instead of cake flour, and then removed 3 tablespoons of it. I then added into the plain flour 3 tablespoons of cornflour. When the two were mixed together they create a good substitute for cake flour.

The important ingredients in this cake, though, are the pistachios and lemon. They are what gives the flavour. What a flavour it is too. Such a great combination.

Adding a rich and creamy mascarpone frosting, also flavoured with lemon, then completes a great cake. But I didn’t stop there. As an optional extra I decided to pipe a little pistachio cream on the top as well. Giving an even richer treat.

I used, as suggested in the original recipe, an 8 inch/20cm square cake pan. But the same recipe will work perfectly in a 9 inch/23cm round cake pan. So that is an option for anyone who doesn’t have the square pan.

Although the recipe calls for finely chopped pistachios if ground pistachios are available in your area they would be fine too.

My Bake

My cake baked well and looked so appetising even without the frosting. But, of course, I knew it would be so much better with the frosting. That was very easy to make too. Then it just had to be spread over the top of the cake. I, as I mentioned earlier, then piped on some pistachio cream. That is not readily available though. So another option is to scatter on some chopped pistachios.

My cake really tasted so good. It had a soft and light texture. The sweet and creamy frosting was wonderful too. When combined the cake and frosting make a great dessert.

Lemon Pistachio Cake with Mascarpone Frosting – Video

Another great cake is Almond & Coconut Cake.

Lemon Pistachio Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Cakes, DessertsDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Cake
  • 110g(3/4 cup) shelled pistachios

  • 200g(1 1/3 cups) cake flour – see note below

  • 56g(1/4 cup) crème fraîche ( or sour cream/natural yoghurt)

  • 80ml(1/3 cup) milk

  • 113g(1 stick) softened unsalted butter

  • 200g(1 cup) caster sugar

  • 3 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 4g(1 tsp) baking powder

  • 1g(1/4 tsp) baking soda

  • 3g(1/2 tsp) salt

  • 5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract

  • grated zest from 2 lemons

  • Frosting
  • 175g(3/4 cup) mascarpone

  • 95g(3/4 cup) icing sugar

  • 15ml (1 tbsp) double cream

  • 5ml(1 tsp) lemon juice

  • grated zest from one lemon

  • 56g(1/4 cup) pistachio cream – optional


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C/350F.
  • Grease and line an 8 inch20cm square cake pan(or a 9 inch/23cm round cake pan).
  • Place the pistachios into a processor with the lemon zest and 2 tbsp of the sugar and process until quite finely ground.
  • Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt into the flour and mix to combine.
  • Put in the pistachio mixture too and mix again to combine. Set the bowl aside.
  • Place the milk, crème fraîche and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy( you can use a hand mixer, or do it all manually too).
  • Add the eggs, one and a time, and mix until fully combined.
  • Add the flour, in 3 additions, alternating with two additions of the milk liquid. Mix gently each time until just combined. (so the order is 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour),
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread across the base, levelling the top.
  • Bake the cake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then take it out of the pan and leave it to cool, completely, on a wire rack.
  • Place the mascarpone, lemon juice, lemon zest, icing sugar and double cream into a bowl and cream them together, until fully combined. Don’t over-mix as the mascarpone may curdle.
  • Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, levelling on the top.
  • If desired pipe some pistachio butter on the top of the frosting.
  • Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving.


  • Plain flour can be used instead of cake flour. Or, to make your own cake flour, measure out the plain flour and then remove 3 tablespoons of it and replace with 3 tablespoons of cornflour and mix well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *