Pistachio, courgette & lemon cake

Pistachio, courgette & lemon cake

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(23 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 35 mins - 40 mins


Cuts into 15 squares
Big on flavour but light on texture, this easy bake is just as good packed into a tin for a picnic or served with Greek yogurt for dessert

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per square

  • kcal377
  • fat19g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs45g
  • sugars31g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 175g shelled pistachios
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 200g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 280g plain flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 140g Greek-style, full-fat yogurt (buy a big pot and keep the rest to serve alongside)



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

  • zest and juice 3 lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 140g coarsely grated courgette



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon curd (optional)


  1. Put 150g of the pistachios and the sugar in a food processor and whizz until the nuts are very finely ground.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, grease a 20 x 30cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Tip the pistachio sugar into a big mixing bowl with the butter, flour, baking powder and bicarb, eggs, yogurt and the zest and juice from 2 of the lemons. Beat with an electric whisk until smooth and combined.

  3. Stir in the courgette until everything is well mixed, then scrape into the prepared tin. Bake for 35-40 mins until the cake is risen and golden, and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.

  4. When the cake has fully cooled, remove from the tin and peel off the baking parchment. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, and gradually stir in enough lemon juice to get a runny-ish consistency. If you run out of juice, carry on mixing with water. Drizzle thickly over the cake, and repeat with lemon curd, if you like. Roughly chop the remaining pistachios and scatter over the icing, along with the remaining lemon zest. Leave to set for 10 mins, then cut into squares and serving with Greek yogurt. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight tin.

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Comments, questions and tips

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9th Jun, 2020
This cake is insanely delicious! I've never used courgettes in baking before but couldn't resist the idea of a lemon and pistachio cake. Very easy to put together, the sponge was light and moist and the icing and lemon curd atop produced a beautiful tang. Can't wait to share this one!
27th Mar, 2019
Got a lot of compliments for this cake. However, I feel that letting it cool in the pan made the bottom a bit soggy. I would let it cool for a bit in the pan then, upend onto a wire rack next time.
Jersey Josie
8th Sep, 2018
Delicious! I skipped the icing and served mine with Greek yogurt swirled with lemon curd - went down a treat.
Frantic Flapjack
3rd Jul, 2018
I used the mixture to make cupcakes but I think this was a mistake and they shrank away from the cases as they cooked and didn't look very tidy when they came out of the oven. Tasted good though. I left out the lemon curd. If I made again, I would use the larger tin and cut into squares.
11th Sep, 2017
Great cake to make and eat. I didn't have the correct sized tin so made a deeper cake in a 20cm tin which took 50 mins. Has become my wife's favourite cake, maybe equal to a sticky lemon and ginger cake which is also on this site.
ewuska75's picture
9th Jun, 2017
Great cake and super easy too! I made it into cupcakes as I can't be bothered to wait 40min for my cake and cupcakes only took 15 in the oven... Also replaced greek yogurt with soya one - next time will use either coconut oil or veggie butter to make it vegan!
13th Oct, 2016
I made this cake to take into work and it went down really well with my colleagues. The recipe is really good, I think the addition of yoghurt keeps it moist. I used Stork instead of butter to make it a tad healthier. I froze the cake for a week, and defrosted it the night before I needed it and then iced and decorated it. I used good quality lemon curd which was worth it. This recipe worked really well and tasted great - I would recommend it.
5th Sep, 2016
I have also made these as cupcakes but used the full amount, couldn't be faffed with halving everything so just baked the 24 cakes and then froze 12 (un-iced) Deliciously light and zesty, very pleased with them and will definitely bake again.
1st May, 2016
I made this as cupcakes. Half the ingredients make about 12 cupcakes, and I used the same decoration. Baked at 170 fan for about 25 minutes. Really positive comments all round, light, tasty and not too sweet....definitely a keeper.
3rd Sep, 2015
Really easy to make, moist and delicious. Have made it twice now and has gone down a storm each time. I too would recommend using the lemon curd as well as the icing on the top.


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