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Pistachio & pink grapefruit cake

This cake is gluten and dairy free. It makes a great dessert cake but is equally good with your morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea. I think of it as quite a sophisticated cake. Not sure why but I think its because the grapefruit and virgin olive oil flavours mean that it is definitely not a taste that children would appreciate.


  • 150 g unsalted pistachios
  • zest of 1 and 1/2 pink grapefruits
  • Juice of 1/2 pink grapefruit
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 50g polenta
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 10 g shelled salted pistachios (about 20), roughly chopped, to serve


Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Whizz the unsalted pistachios in a food processor until fairly finely ground. Finely grate the zest of the grapefruits and add this and the sugar to the processor, whizz briefly to combine, then stir in the polenta, baking powder, cardamom and a pinch of salt.

Whisk together the eggs and oil and stir these into the dry ingredients. Scrape into the tin. Put into the oven and turn it to 180C (200C non-fan) — trust me, you don’t need to preheat it for this one. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until set on top.

Towards the end of the cooking time, juice the half grapefruit and heat this, together with the honey, in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then take off the heat. Put the cake, still in its tin, onto a plate with a rim and pour over the syrup, a little at a time, adding more once each lot has been absorbed. Leave to cool, then turn out and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios

One reply on “Pistachio & pink grapefruit cake”

I don’t think you sold this cake enough in your description – it is delicious!!! The moistest cake you will ever eat. I’ve had three slices today – I love it!!

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