This Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting was my entry for this year’s Lancewood CakeOff contest. The recipe for the Lemon Ricotta Cake has been posted on the blog before and it is truly a delicious gluten free cake and has been a very popular recipe since it first appeared.

Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting

But I wanted to make it even more special and decided to make a toasted pistachio frosting. It is rich and decadent but I belong to the school of thought that when it comes to cake you either go big or eat a salad. But in saying that, I realised afterwards that making it as a double layer cake is just too much so the recipe below is for a one layer cake with frosting and not the two layers you see in the images. Friends of mine who tasted the two layer extravaganza disagreed completely so if you want to go big, double the recipe for both the batter and frosting.

Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting

With all the richness coming from the nuts and icing sugar in the frosting you need to use the most fragrant lemons you can find so I would suggest finding some organic ones at the market. Somehow lemon zest from supermarket lemons doesn’t seem to be that sharp anymore.

Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting

The frosting has rich undertones of caramel and that comes from one of my favourite finds of the year. Natura Sugar’s Demerara Icing Sugar. This natural sugar is unrefined and has not had the molasses taken out and the slightly off white colour adds to the beautiful sandy golden brown colour of the frosting that is so fitting for the pistachios.

Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. Cake recipe adapted from Cakelets and Doilies


Lemon Ricotta Cake with Toasted Pistachio Frosting


  • Cake:
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 240g almond meal
  • 300g ricotta
  • Frosting:
  • 130g icing sugar (I used Natura Demerara Icing Sugar)
  • 50g butter at room temperature
  • 70g cream cheese
  • 70g pistachio nuts, shelled
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of half a lemon
  • good pinch of salt


  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C and line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Place 100g of the castor sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor and blitz until finely ground.
  3. Then beat the butter, vanilla and sugar/zest mix together for about 10 minutes until pale and creamy.
  4. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating the mixture well after each egg yolk is added.
  5. Add the almond meal and beat to combine and then fold the ricotta through the almond mixture.
  6. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form.
  7. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Mix a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the egg white mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked and firm to the touch
  10. Allow to cool completely in the cake tin before removing
  11. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C and place the pistachios on a baking sheet
  12. Toast the nuts for about 5 – 7 minutes until fragrant (be careful not to burn)
  13. Remove from the oven and let it cool down
  14. Once cool, blitz in a food processor until you have chopped nuts of various textures
  15. Beat the butter and icing sugar until fluffy
  16. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, zest and salt and beat until well combined
  17. Stir in about 50g of the pistachios
  18. Spread the frosting liberally on top of the cooled cake a sprinkle with the remaining pistachio nuts
  19. Cake recipe adapted from Cakelets and Doilies
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A few more of my favourite baking recipes :

Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


Chocolate Tahini Cake

Chocolate Tahini Cake With Nutella & Sour Cream


Basque Burnt Cheesecake


Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Pink Lady® Apple Galettes with Spelt Crusts and Tahini Butterscotch Sauce
One Pot Chicken and Rice with Chorizo



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