Pistachio and Lime Cake Recipe

(894 ratings)

Pistachio and lime cake photo
Pistachio and lime cake photo
(Image credit: The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook)


  • 300g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Grated zest of 3 limes, plus the juice of 2
  • 50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped

For the lime syrup:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2tbsp caster sugar

For the lime curd:

  • 60g butter, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 170g caster sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 3 limes

For the frosting & decoration:

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 200g full-fat cream cheese,from the fridge
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 75g good-quality dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids)
  • 125g pistachio nuts, chopped a few unsprayed rose petals (optional)

You will need:

  • Three 20cm round sandwich tins


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/fan 170ºC/gas mark 5. Grease and line the three sandwich tins

  2. Beat the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the final egg to help prevent curdling

  3. Fold in the remaining flour and the baking powder until thoroughly combined. Add the lime zest and juice and the finely chopped pistachio nuts and mix until well combined

  4. Divide the mixture between the tins, spreading it evenly. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tins to cool slightly

  5. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the lime juice and sugar into a pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and leave to cool

  6. While the sponges are still warm turn them out of their tins on to a wire rack, then carefully spoon the lime syrup over the top of each one– you may not need all the syrup. Leave the cakes to cool completely

  7. Put all the ingredients for the lime curd in a small, heavy-based pan and heat gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon – don’t let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. When it has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon quite thickly, strain through a sieve into a bowl. Cover and leave to cool

  8. To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix until combined. Add the lime zest, then sift in the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy

  9. For the decoration, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl, then pour it on to a piece of baking parchment and spread it out with a palette knife so it is about 3mm thick. Scatter over some of the chopped pistachios and leave to cool and set

  10. To assemble the cake, place one of the cooled cakes on a plate, spread with a third of the frosting, then cover with a generous layer of the lime curd. Add a sprinkling of the remaining chopped pistachio nuts. Place a second cake on top of this and repeat the layers (saving some pistachios for the top). Place the final cake on top and cover with the remaining frosting

  11. Break the pistachio-studded chocolate into rough shards and arrange round the edge of the top of the cake, then scatter the remaining pistachios among them

  12. Decorate the centre with a few rose petals, if you like