Pistachio & Cardamom Lemon Drizzle Cake
This is not your regular classic lemon drizzle cake, it’s a step up! Fluffy, and infused with a light lemony flavor balanced with a crunchy nuttiness, this Pistachio & Cardamom Lemon Drizzle Cake is the perfect cake to impress your friends with this spring! Dairy-free, egg-free and vegan, it can be enjoyed as a dessert or even as a sweet breakfast.
Why Pistachios are so great in baking
Classic and easy to find, pistachios can be folded into breads, muffins, cupcakes or sprinkled on top of cheesecakes or tarts. This super versatile nut provides a crunch, yet offers a rich buttery flavor as well. If you want to add a pop of color to your baking, pistachios are your best bet for nuts, as only pistachios have that vibrant green color that can make even the simplest desserts seem decorous. Like many nuts, pistachios can also be used whole, slivered, or ground into a flour or even butter.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Pistachios
Many people know that nuts provide us with a good source of healthy fats. But did you know that pistachios have other health benefits as well? Here are the top 5 health benefits of pistachios:
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation and slow down the damage caused to cells by free-radicals. If left to their own devices, free-radicals can cause cell mutations that could lead to cancer and so it is essential to consume as many antioxidants as possible to keep them at bay. Pistachios are one of the best nut-sources of antioxidants, because their antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin, are very accessible in the stomach and are more likely to be absorbed during digestion.
Packed with Nutrients
Although they may be small, pistachios, like most nuts, are nutrient powerhouses, packing a whole lot of goodness into their small bodies. High in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, pistachios are one of the healthiest nuts that there are, which is why they have been a staple in the diets of millions of people for centuries.
A Good Source of Protein
If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or simply watching your protein intake, then you’ll be happy to know that approximately 20% of a pistachios compound weight is made up of protein and they also have more essential amino acids than any other nut.
A diet high in fiber offers many different health benefits. Pistachios are particularly rich in fiber with only one serving containing roughly 3 grams of fiber! Eating a fiber-rich diet can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion and help keep you feeling full longer.
Several studies have found that eating pistachios regularly can help to lower your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Pistachios have also been found to be very effective at lowering blood pressure, with a review of 21 blood pressure studies finding that eating pistachios could reduce the upper limit of blood pressure by 1.82 mm/Hg and the lower limit by 0.8 mm/Hg.
What is Cardamom?
If you’ve eaten authentic Indian pilau rice, or enjoy cooking Arabic, Swedish, or Middle Eastern cuisine, then the chances are that you have come across cardamom before. Sometimes spelled cardamon rather than cardamom, this fragrant spice comes in both whole, seed, and ground form, each imparting a slightly different strength of flavor into your dishes.
Whole cardamom pods are the seed pods from the Elettaria cardamomum or Amomum cardamomum plant, which are both members of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. These spindle-shaped pods can be used in their own right but also contain dozens of tiny seeds that can be used whole or ground.
What does cardamom taste like?
Cardamom has a strong, sweet, pungent flavor and aroma, with hints of lemon and mint. Black cardamom has a smoky note and a cooling menthol one as well.
How to cook with cardamom?
Cardamom is a fairly versatile spice and can be used in many different kinds of cuisines and dishes. Where you will find cardamom most frequently is its use in a variety of Indian and Indian-inspired dishes, including curries, spiced rice, and chai. Indian spice blends such as garam masala also feature cardamom. You'll also find cardamom adds warmth and depth to baked goods such as cookies, bread pudding, and even cheesecake.
How to store cardamom?
It is best to store cardamom in an airtight container, ideally placed in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight - in most kitchens, a jar inside of a cupboard will more than suffice.
Is cardamom good for you?
Aside from being a delicious ingredient, cardamom has also been used for many centuries for its health-giving properties and still features prominently in Ayurvedic medicine to this very day. Both true green cardamom and black cardamom are used in Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion, support oral health, remove excess water, and help the respiratory system. On top of its perceived health benefits in Ayurvedic medicine, there have been several scientifically proven health benefits associated with it, as well. These include lowering blood pressure, antibiotic properties, lowering blood sugar levels and even some anti-cancer effects.
How can I store this pistachio lemon cake?
This cake can be stored at room temperature wrapped loosely in foil or plastic wrap. It also freezes well, wrapped in foil and plastic wrap, for up to 2 months.
Sweets, Baked Goods, Vegan Dessert
A fluffy, light vegan cake infused with lemony and pistachio deliciousness that's perfect for spring!
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
8 cardamom pods
80g peeled pistachios, plus extra for decorating
1/3 cup vegetable oil
200ml plant-based milk
1 cup icing sugar
rose petals, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a loaf pan on all sides with parchment paper.
Grind the pistachios in a pestle and mortar until fine or add them to a food processor and process until a crumb-like consistency form.
Remove the shell off the cardamoms and grind the seeds. Add the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, 3/4 cup caster sugar, and the pistachio and cardamom seeds to a large mixing bowl and stir.
Add the zest and juice of one lemon, plant-based milk, and oil to the bowl and stir gently until fully combined. Avoid overmixing. Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once the cake is ready, use the toothpick to prick holes in the top of the cake. Then combine the juice of 1 lemon with the remaining 1/4 cup of caster sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this sugar syrup all over the cake, making sure it goes into the pricked holes. Let the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then remove it from the pan and leave it to cool completely.
To finish, stir the icing sugar with 2-3 tbsp of juice from the remaining lemon until you have a thick but runny consistency. Once the cake has cooled, pour the icing all over so that it runs down the sides.
Sprinkle chopped pistachio and rose petals all over the top.
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