Simple and Delicious Honey Pistachio Loaf Cake

Get ready to fall in love with my new loukoumades-inspired Honey Pistachio Cake, made with tender honey cake and a delicious honey glaze.

Loaf cake sliced on a plate.

Greece-Inspired Cake

Ryan and I recently returned home from a 10-day trip to Greece. With every trip I take, I’m always looking for cake inspiration. The most delicious dessert we ate while abroad was called loukoumades. We tried several versions – some stuffed with cream fillings and some simply topped with a honey glaze.

What are loukoumades? Loukoumades are bite-sized donuts, which are deep fried and covered in a hot honey syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon and garnished with nuts.

Loukoumades on a plate
Image from Sift n’ Whisk Blog

After sampling about a half dozen flavors, I knew I wanted to make a cake inspired by the traditional loukoumades: the sweet honey donut with the honey syrup and pistachios.

I loved the simplicity of this loukoumade and it also reminded me of baklava, another well-known Greek dessert.

A honey loaf cake on a plate.

Honey Pistachio Loaf Cake

This Honey Pistachio Loaf Cake is a tender and fluffy honey cake with a honey syrup and pistachios. It’s incredibly easy to make and requires ingredients likely already in your pantry:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Baking powder
  • Cake flour
  • Salt
  • Pistachios
  • Cinnamon
Sliced loaf cake on a plate.

What size loaf pan should I use?

I used a 9″ x 5″ Fat Daddio Bread Pan for my loaf cake. If possibly, try to use a pan around this size in order to have a similar bake time as the recipe calls for. If your pan is slightly smaller, your bake time will be slightly longer.

What if I don’t have pistachios?

The nut topping for this cake can be made with any nut of your choice. I use pistachios, but also recommend pecans. Both of these nuts are traditionally used in loukoumades and baklava.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this loaf cake ahead of time. Once the loaf cake is finished cooling, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. Before serving, allow the cake to return to room temperature and cover with the glaze and topping.

A slice of cake on a plate.

Loaf cake sliced on a plate.

Honey Pistachio Loaf Cake

5 from 5 votes
Honey butter cake layers topped with a honey glazed and pistachios.

Ingredients
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 (150 g) cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoons (4 g)  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (57.5 g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2) gvanilla

FOR THE GLAZE and TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28.4 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (12.5 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) pistachios, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (2.7 g) cinnamon

Instructions
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray your loaf pan (I used a 9" x 5" pan) with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to come up the sides of the pan. Spray again. Set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, honey and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue to beat the butter mixture for a couple more minutes. We're looking for the mixture to be smooth, lighter in color, and slightly bigger in volume.
  • With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

FOR THE SAUCE

  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the honey, butter and brown sugar. Heat the ingredients for about 45-60 seconds. Stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, combine the pistachios and cinnamon.
  • Cover the loaf cake with the honey sauce and sprinkle with pistachio mixture.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword baklava cake, honey, honey pistachio cake, loaf cake, Pistachio

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Comments

  1. Hi Courtney! I just wanted to make sure that I am preparing my ingredients correctly. Does the buttermilk in the cake need to be room temp like in your other cakes? I dont see that specified.

    I cant wait to make this!! 😋

  2. Hi Courtney. I want to make this and am adding ingredients to my shopping cart. I see a few options for pistachios. What did you use please? Roasted? Salted? Natural? Thanks! Looks good, can’t wait to try it.

  3. 5 stars
    Hey Courtney!!!
    You have the best cake recipes ever. Any celebrations all I need to do is search your cake recipes.You are the best. S’more cake is fabulous. Still many to try out.
    For this recipe it says cake flour and I am not able to find it here in UAE. Can I use self raising flour or DIY cake flour??

    1. You can do this

      For one cup of AP flour, take out two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons cornstarch. Then sift the mixture at least two times… a couple more would be great. You need to get the mixture as fine as possible, so don’t skip this step. This also helps to mix in the cornstarch really well.

  4. 5 stars
    Hey Courtney,
    I would like to know if I can substitute cake flour with self raising flour or All purpose flour?