Ain’t I a lucky girl? Just before my husband’s birthday and our first Dubai Food Blogger’s picnic I make this incredible cake and realize: this is one you can impress with. The flavor combination of pistachios, rosewater and lemon is something typically Arabic. The cake itself is universal, and so versatile when it comes to the styling.

My husband is usually the guinea pig for my baking adventures. He had this cake before, so it will not be utterly new to him on his birthday. On the other hand, who wants to be a guinea pig on his birthday. But for the first time ever, I will make a birthday cake myself. To make it impressive enough to be a birthday cake, I will make it a layer cake with the cream cheese frosting between and on top the layers. I know it will be good.

One day after the birthday, I am attending a potluck of Dubai food bloggers. We have been meeting for more than six months, usually doing a monthly meet-up with something food-related: attending cooking classes, visiting Arabic sweets factories, checking out hole-in-the-wall fish restaurants at the beach, etc. Our group is ever-growing and this time we will just sit down, eat, chat and get to know each other. I cannot keep this cake from them. I am sure I get lots of brownie points when I bring this. And I want the brownie points from my husband too.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel, finely grated
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup palm sugar
1 tablespoon rosewater

1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

1/2 cup cream cheese
3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped

Serves 6-8
Preheat oven to 175C/375F. Line bottom of 8 inch spring form or flan form with parchment paper and/or lightly grease the sides with olive oil.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel. Set aside. In another bowl, combine yogurt with sugar. Stir in olive oil and rosewater. Add wet and to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in chopped pistachios. Pour batter into prepared spring form. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before taking out of the spring form.

Just before serving the cake, whip together the cream cheese and honey/agave. With a spatula, spread evenly over the top and sides of the cooled cake. Then sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Ready to serve.


  1. The name of the cake and the cake itself is too good. I loved the fact that its wholewheat and eggless, so surely gng to try this great recipe of urs !

  2. Hi Anja, I just posted a pistachio cake too! I will definitely try your recipe, I love rose water and I think it would be great in a cake like this. Thank you for sharing yet another healthy and delicious treat.

  3. Anja, I bought some rose water some time ago to try out in a recipe, this would be perfect! Thank you. Thanks also for the book you kindly lent me, it’s a great read.

  4. Oh Anja….I’m so glad you’re bringing this cake….right up my alley 🙂 i’m thinking of bring a cake too….just can’t decide which one!

  5. Right,I’m off to start a food blog!!

  6. Such a lovely pistachio cake! Love the addition of rosewater 🙂

  7. i am so glad i’m a subscriber…i just bought some rose water AND pistachios…didn’t know what to do with them…now i do…thanks

  8. i love this website!! made walnut prune truffles tonight. remind me of slices of walnut and prune log that i bought at trader joe’s. these are fresh and much tastier though!

  9. I can attest to sampling this at the picnic and loving it! Indeed, you DO get a ton of brownie points for getting this! (I’m still guarding the leftover slice in my fridge with my life!)

  10. I love the idea of making a cake with a flavor of pistachio. What I like about this ingredient is that it contains good nutrients. Pistachio is rich in Antioxidant that makes your immune system stronger.

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