Pistachio Pound Cake

This pistachio pound cake with a confectioners sugar glaze is a dense, moist, nutty pound cake with a tight crumb that will satisfy any and all pistachio lovers. And it makes an ample amount so you’ll have plenty to share. Although beware, it disappears quickly.

A pistachio lover's pound cake on a wooden cutting board with a mesh bag of pistachios beside it.

Trust us when we say that it’s not a bad thing that this pistachio pound cake results in cake of generous proportions. And so while the ample amount of rich and nutty cake made by this recipe reminds that ’tis better to give than to receive (or maybe just as good to give as to receive), we’re also reminded by how quickly the slices disappear that it’s smart to set aside a slice or two for yourself first. Originally published September 8, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Pistachio Pound Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 10 to 12
5/5 - 5 reviews
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  • For the pistachio pound cake
  • For the glaze


Make the pistachio pound cake

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the 2 long sides of the pan. Butter the pan and parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and honey on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour and the milk to the creamed egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat on medium-high for about 20 seconds between additions, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the pistachios and beat on low just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is cracked on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Take a peek at the cake after around 45 minutes and if it’s beginning to brown quite a lot, cover the cake with aluminum foil to prevent the top from becoming too brown.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then either grab the parchment overhang and carefully unmold the loaf or invert the loaf onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment and slide it under the wire rack. Let the loaf cool completely.

Make the glaze

While the cake cools, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, honey, and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
If you prefer a simple, runny glaze, heat just until the mixture is combined.
If you prefer a sticky, candylike glaze, cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook, still stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the glaze from the heat.

Slowly spoon the warm glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in between spoonfuls. Some of the glaze will inevitably run down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios over the cake and let it cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I’m nuts about this pound cake. The texture was perfect for a pound cake and it looks really beautiful when it’s topped with the green nuts. I love the sticky glaze and the crunch of crushed pistachios. I will say, however, that this recipe takes quite a bit of time. The preparation is simple enough, but waiting for the cake to cool, then glazing it, and then waiting for it to cool again requires a few hours. As such, this isn’t a last-minute dessert and takes a bit of planning ahead. It’s also worth noting that it only took an hour for my cake to brown and fully cook. But if you have the time and love pistachios, this is definitely the cake for you!

I’ll admit up front that I didn’t glaze the pound cake. Forgive me, but some of us try to save any extra calories for an end-of-day glass of wine. The cake itself was delicious. I love how much flavor the honey brings to this recipe—I’m pretty astounded by it, actually. This pound cake would be a great dinner party dessert served with a cheese plate and paired with figs and honey. Can you see it? I totally can!


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  1. As a mostly “clean” eater, desserts are often afterthoughts. I make exceptions for few things and one is pound cake! My fiancé made this one for me and it’s so delicious! It’s salty and sweet, dense but still not dry. The crunchy pistachios rounded it all out just perfectly! I’ll keep requesting this recipe until he stops making it. Life is about balance, right?!

  2. Chiming in on St. Patrick’s Day. Although not an Irish recipe, I’ve made this cake a couple of times to add another green thing to the table to celebrate the day. It disappeared so quickly, as if watching a time lapse video!

  3. I have access to pistachio extract. Should I simply replace the almond extract with it or use some of both?

      1. Thank you! I used it when I made your pistachio shortbread cookies instead of almond extract and the cookies were delicious. So now I will use it for this cake.

          1. The finished pistachio pound cake with glaze. It had a more pronounced pistachio flavor due to the pistachio extract.

            A long pistachio pound cake, with one slice cut, all on an oval silver platter

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