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Flourless Pistachio Cake Recipe

Flourless Pistachio Cake Recipe

4.5 Stars (40 Voters)
Quick, easy and delicious flourless pistachio cake. If you are looking for a good gluten free cake and you also like pistachios, this cake is for you.

Flourless pistachio cake

Flourless pistachio cake

If you follow me for long enough, you know how much I love pistachio desserts. There's something undeniably captivating about their vibrant green hue and rich, nutty flavor that never fails to inspire creativity in my kitchen. For me, pistachios aren't just a snack; they're a passion, a culinary adventure waiting to unfold. So, when it comes to crafting desserts, it's no surprise that I often find myself reaching for these delightful little nuts.

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How to make flourless pistachio cake


To make this flourless pistachio cake, start by preheating your oven and prepping your baking pan with parchment paper and a light grease coating. Then, either grind shelled pistachios into a flour-like texture or grab pre-ground pistachios for ease. In a big mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until they're fluffy and pale. Add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and a hint of lemon zest for a add a nice kick to the cake. Carefully fold in the ground pistachios until everything's mixed well. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks, adding a pinch of salt for stability. Gradually blend the whipped egg whites into the pistachio batter, being careful not to overmix. Finally, pour the batter into your prepared pan, sprinkle with chopped pistachios, and bake until it's golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let the cake cool before digging in and savoring the nutty goodness of your flourless pistachio masterpiece.

Ingredients for flourless pistachio cake

flourless pistachio cake

The ingredient list for this delicious flourless pistachio cake is short. All you need is:

  • Eggs: The eggs provide structure and stability to the cake. The yolks add richness and moisture, while the whipped egg whites contribute to the cake's light and airy texture.
  • Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cake and also helps to aerate the egg yolks when beaten together, resulting in a lighter texture.
  • Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil adds moisture to the cake, helping to keep it tender. It also enhances the texture and helps with the overall consistency of the batter.
  • Lemon zest: Lemon zest adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the cake, complementing the nuttiness of the pistachios and adding complexity to the taste profile.
  • Ground pistachios: Ground pistachios are the star ingredient of the cake, providing flavor, texture, and structure. They also contribute to the cake's green color and nutty aroma.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the cake and adds a subtle sweetness that complements the pistachios.
  • Chopped pistachios: Chopped pistachios are used as a garnish on top of the cake, adding visual appeal and a crunchy texture.

Can I use almond flour instead of ground pistachios?

While almond flour may work as a substitution, it will significantly alter the flavor and texture of the cake. Almond flour has a milder flavor compared to the distinct nuttiness of pistachios, and it may result in a denser cake. If you're open to experimenting, you can try almond flour, but keep in mind that the final product will differ from the original pistachio cake.

How do I know when the egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks?

Egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks when they hold their shape and form sharp, pointed peaks when the beaters are lifted. You can test this by turning off the mixer and lifting the beaters. If the peaks hold their shape without collapsing, they are stiff peaks.

What equipment do I need to make pistachio cake?

To make flourless pistachio cake, you don't need any special equipment; you probably already have most of the tools needed in your kitchen. Here is a short list of what you'll need:

If you want to upgrade your kitchen arsenal, read my article about 10 highly recommended baking tools.

Can I substitute another oil for vegetable oil?

Yes, you can substitute other neutral oils like canola oil or light olive oil for vegetable oil. However, keep in mind that different oils may impart slight flavor differences to the cake.

Can I use a different size pan if I don't have an 8-inch round pan?

You can use a different size pan, but be aware that it will affect the baking time and possibly the thickness of the cake. Adjust the baking time accordingly and keep an eye on the cake as it bakes to prevent overcooking or undercooking. To adapt the recipe for different pan sizes:

  • 9-inch (23cm) round pan: You may need to increase the ingredient quantities by about 40-50%, depending on the desired thickness of the cake.
  • 9-inch square pan: Similarly, you may need to increase the ingredient quantities by about 60-70% to accommodate the larger pan size.
  • 8-inch square pan: You may need to increase the ingredient quantities by about 15%.

Can I add other flavors, like cardamom or rosewater, to the cake?

Absolutely! Adding flavors like cardamom or rosewater can complement the pistachio flavor beautifully. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste, keeping in mind that these flavors can be quite potent.

Can I make this cake ahead of time and freeze it?

pistachio cake recipe

Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it. Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Can I omit the lemon zest if I don't have any?

Yes, you can omit the lemon zest if you don't have any on hand. While the lemon zest adds a subtle citrusy flavor, the cake will still be delicious without it. Also, you can use orange zest instead.

How long will this cake stay fresh if stored at room temperature?

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2-3 days if wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container. After that, it's best to refrigerate any leftovers to maintain freshness.

Can I add a glaze or frosting to this cake?

Yes, you can add a glaze or frosting to the cake if desired. A simple glaze made with powdered sugar and lemon juice or a cream cheese frosting would pair nicely with the flavors of the pistachio cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding any frosting or glaze.

How to store flourless pistachio cake?

pistachio cake recipe

  1. Cool Completely: Allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature before storing it. This helps prevent condensation from forming inside the storage container, which can make the cake soggy.
  2. Wrap Well: Once cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap to seal in moisture and prevent it from drying out. Ensure the plastic wrap covers the entire surface of the cake.
  3. Place in an Airtight Container: Transfer the wrapped cake to an airtight container or cake keeper to further protect it from air and humidity. Alternatively, you can use a cake dome if you have one large enough to accommodate the cake.
  4. Refrigerate or Store at Room Temperature: Depending on the climate and the ingredients used, you can store the cake at room temperature for up to 2-3 days if it's well wrapped and in a cool, dry place. If you need to store it for longer or if the room is warm, refrigerate the cake for up to a week. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.
  5. Freezing (Optional): If you need to store the cake for an extended period, consider freezing it. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Label the package with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Other gluten-free dessert recipes

Gluten-free desserts are a tasty option for folks who can't have gluten or those looking for healthier treats. There's a variety to choose from, like flourless almond cake and flourless chocolate cake, which are rich and satisfying without any flour. Tahini fudge and pavlova are sweet and yummy options, while meringue kisses offers a crunchy bite almond cookies are soft and chewy. Swedish almond cake is comforting with its almond flavor, and gluten-free brownies are perfect for chocolate lovers. These desserts show that going gluten-free doesn't mean missing out on delicious sweets.

Other pistachio desserts you might like

pistachio dessert recipes

If you like me, a true pistachio lover, you must try these pistachio dessert recipes. From pistachio cheesecakes to rich pistachio ice cream, here you'll find your new obsession. You can even make homemade pistachio paste by yourself.

40 Minutes
10 Minutes

  • 4 Eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Sugar + 2 tablespoons (25g)
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 150g ground pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Chopped pistachios


  1. Preheat oven to 340F (170C). Line a bottom of 8-inch (20cm) round pan with parchment paper and grease the bottom and sides.
  2. Place peeled pistachio in a powerful blender and blend into flour. Set aside. Note: you can use store-bought ground pistachios.
  3. In a large bowl beat egg yolks with sugar on high speed, until thick, smooth and pale. Add oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Beat until incorporated.
  4. Add ground pistachios and fold until incorporated. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl beat egg whites with pinch of salt. Beat until foamy, then gradually add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gradually fold the egg whites into egg yolk mixture, 1-2 tablespoons at the time. Fold just until combined after each addition, do not over fold.
  7. Pour the batter to the prepared pan, sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, release from the pan and let cool completely.

  • A

    Hey what can be substitute for sugar I'm diabetic .

  • A

    Hey what can be substitute for sugar I'm diabetic .

  • G

    I can’t wait to try this! 🙏🏼😍

  • The Cooking Foodie logo
    The Cooking Foodie

    Let me know if you try it.

  • B

    Huge success, thank you chef!

  • The Cooking Foodie logo
    David Davidov

    Glad to hear that you liked it

  • A

    Second time making this cake. Add to my recipe notebook, very delicious 😋

  • The Cooking Foodie logo
    The Cooking Foodie

    Glad you liked it :)

  • M

    I was skeptical about this recipe, but it actually works. You couldn't guess that this cake is flourless. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  • C

    I may have missed this but how many grams of whole pistachios does it take to get the ground amount needed for this recipe? I have whole but not ground nuts and would grind myself but with the cost of pistachios I don’t want to grind more than needed. Thanks!

  • The Cooking Foodie logo
    The Cooking Foodie

    Approximately the same amount + little bit more. I would say about 160-170 grams.


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