Lemon Honey Pistachio Cardamom Cake

A delectable variation on a Middle Eastern classic! This recipe is adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook. I’ve been making this for friends and bringing it to potlucks for years, and it is always a hit!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: cardamom, lemon, pistachio, semolina
Servings: 12


  • Saladmaster 9-inch pan


  • 1/2 c butter or butter substitute (I prefer Miyoko’s vegan butter)
  • 3/4 c sweetener (Try date sugar or coconut sugar, which are less refined than cane sugar.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c semolina  (I enjoy the texture of using couscous rather than semolina flour. If you are avoiding wheat try using fonio millet.)
  • 1/2 t cardamom
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted pistachios plus 12 whole pistachios
  • 1/2 c nonfat plain yogurt or yogurt substitute
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1 T lemon juice



  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cream butter and sugar, adding eggs (one at a time, beating after each), and vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, combine semolina, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt
  • Grind 1/2 c pistachios (big pieces ok) and add to dry ingredients
  • In alternating batches, add yogurt and dry ingredients to wet, blending well after each addition
  • Spread into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes (until knife inserted in center comes out clean


  • 5 minutes before cake is done, combine water, honey, lemon juice and peel in a saucepan and heat
  • Pour syrup over cake
  • Cut into squares or triangles, and place one pistachio on each piece


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