Lime and Pistachio Loaf Cake

Light and refreshing Lime and Pistachio Cake topped with cream cheese frosting and decorated with chopped pistachios and fresh lime zest!

Lime and pistachio cake

Reasons to love this Lime and Pistachio Cake

  • The sponge is buttery, light and fluffy.
  • Fresh lime zest and juice are infused into the sponge.
  • Sweet cream cheese frosting is spread on top and pairs beautifully with the zesty cake.
  • No fancy equipment needed for this recipe and it’s perfect if you’re short on time.
Lime and pistachio cake mixture

Recipe Overview and Top Tips for baking this Lime and Pistachio Cake

  1. Mix the lime and pistachio cake ingredients together. For a fluffy cake texture, I highly recommend using margarine instead of butter, this will also prevent the cake from doming.
  2. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Use the ‘toothpick test’ to check whether the cake is ready, it should come out crumb-free.
  3. Spoon over the lime drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over and let the lime drizzle sink into the sponge.
  4. Make the cream cheese frosting. Use full-fat cream cheese to make sure the frosting is thick and holds its shape.
  5. Decorate the cake. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cake, scatter chopped pistachios on top and zest a lime over the cake.

Ta-dah, your lime and pistachio cake is ready!

Cream cheese frosting

What size loaf tin to use

For this lime and pistachio cake recipe, you will need a 2lb loaf tin. The dimensions of the tin I used are 15.5cm width x 29cm length x 7.5cm depth. I’ve also shared a link to the exact baking tin below.

The best way to prepare a loaf tin: Unlike square baking tins, loaf tins can be a little tricky to prepare. I’ve found that the best way is to first lightly grease the tin all over with a little butter. Then cut a piece of greaseproof paper that is long enough to line the base and long sides of the tin, with enough hanging over the edges to help you lift the cake out. This way the loaf cake will have straight, neat edges and bake more evenly.

Equipment & ingredients used to make this recipe

Lime and pistachio cake

Lime and Pistachio Loaf Cake

Light and refreshing Lime and Pistachio Cake topped with cream cheese frosting and decorated with chopped pistachios and fresh lime zest!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10


Lime and pistachio cake

  • 250 g Margarine or unsalted butter I use Stork Original
  • 250 g Golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 large Eggs At room temperature
  • 250 g Self-raising flour
  • 1 Lime Zest and juice
  • 50 g Unsalted pistachios Chopped

Lime drizzle

  • 0.5 Lime Juice only
  • 50 g Golden caster sugar

Cream cheese frosting

  • 80 g Icing sugar
  • 40 g Unsalted butter Soft at room temperature
  • 40 g Full-fat Philidephia cream cheese Cold from the fridge


  • 10 g Unsalted pistachios Chopped
  • 1 Lime Zest only


Start by making the lime and pistachio cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Lightly butter a 2lb loaf tin (I used this one by Circulon) and line with greaseproof paper (see notes in the post above). Set aside for now.
  • In a large bowl, beat the margarine, golden caster sugar and vanilla extract together until creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Don't worry if the cake mixture curdles.
  • Add the remaining flour, and the zest and juice of the lime. Fold together until fully combined.
  • Fold through the chopped pistachios and spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin, smoothing it out the top.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes* until risen and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out free of crumbs.

Make the lime drizzle

  • Stir the lime juice and sugar together in a small bowl.
  • Whilst the cake is still warm, prick the top all over with a toothpick or skewer and spoon over the lime drizzle, allowing it to sink into the cake.
  • Leave the lime and pistachio cake to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth and pale in colour.
  • Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Gently fold the mixture until smooth and fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix, as the frosting can quickly become runny.

Decorate the cake

  • Spread the cream cheese frosting all over the top of the cake.
  • Bash up the pistachio nuts with a rolling pin and scatter on top. Zest the lime over the cake, slice and serve!


Store your Lime and Pistachio Cake in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Keyword Cake, Cream cheese frosting, Golden caster sugar, Lime, Pistachio

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