Belinda Jeffery

Pistachio & Lime Syrup Cake With Pomegranate Seed

This is such a lovely, simple cake, and one that I make again and again at this time of year when our lime tree is laden with fruit. It’s surprisingly light, tangy and just so eye-catching with its beautiful pistachio and pomegranate topping and pale-green hue.

Just a note about the pistachios for the cake batter – to grind them, I pulse them in the food processor with a tablespoon of flour from the recipe, as the flour helps prevent them becoming oily and forming a paste. Nonetheless, you do have to be watchful as they can go from being perfectly chopped to pasty in the blink of an eye.

  • Serves 6-8

  • Cake

  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g pistachios, finely ground
  • Finely grated zest of 3 large limes
  • 120g almond meal
  • 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds, to decorate
  • Softly whipped cream or Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
  • Pistachio and lime syrup
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) strained fresh lime juice (from about 3 large limes)
  • 90g pistachios, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 170C. Butter a 22-24cm round cake tin, line the base with buttered baking paper then dust the tin with flour. (I use a torte tin that I’ve had for years to make this – it has slightly sloping sides and measures 24cm across the top and 22cm across the base.)

Tip the flour, baking powder, ground pistachios, lime zest and almond meal into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk them together with a balloon whisk for a minute or so, then set the bowl aside.

Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand-held electric beater) and beat them on medium speed for about 4 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture looks creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be absorbed before adding the next. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled after adding the last egg – it will come together again when you add the dry ingredients.) Tip in the flour mixture and mix everything together on low speed just until it is combined – be careful not to over-mix it, or the cake may be a bit tough. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer it to a wire rack and leave it to cool a little in the tin.

When the cake is lukewarm, make the syrup. To do this, put the sugar and lime juice into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chopped pistachios, increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.

Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and peel away the baking paper. Slowly spoon the hot pistachio and lime syrup evenly over the top, then leave the cake to cool completely. Just before serving, scatter it with pomegranate seeds. Serve with softly whipped cream or yoghurt.