THE BEST Pistachio Cardamom Cake- vegan & oil free

Boy is this a special cake and perfect for the holidays. Using some of these top shelf ingredients really adds to the wow-factor here. Pistachios are rich and nutty while the cardamom has a strong flavor with a mixture of lemon, mint and smokiness. This combination is sure to turn some heads and everyone will be asking you for the recipe.

Pistachios have a special place in my heart. Growing up my mom would always make me her famous pistachio pudding cake for my birthday! Wow I love that cake. I could devour huge slices in a sitting sprinkled with a generous amount of powdered sugar. I also have a love for pistachio muffins from the grocery store. When I use to have a compulsive eating problem, I would go grocery shopping in the morning while my husband was still sleeping and get the groceries for the week but I would always pick up a pistachio muffin and eat it before getting home. Huge problem I know. I only recently told my husband about this muffin mania that use to happen and now he doesn’t let me live it down! It was a problem, I know, but I love pistachios! Now since going vegan I just enjoy snacking on the little guys and occasionally making an insanely good cake for special events.

Best part about this cake is that you can make the whole thing in a food processor! We will be making the pistachios into a flour-like consistency. I suggest buying your pistachios already shelled so you don’t spend an hour breaking those suckers apart like I did. Pretty sure I broke at least 3 nails in the process. Cardamom is a luxury spice in my opinion but a must for the holiday season as it is super special. If you’ve never used cardamom, it is a very strong, pungent spice that is super warming. It is perfect for the winter months. If you can’t get your hands on cardamom or don’t want to spend the $$$ you can certainly use equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg (even throw a little ground ginger in if you have for the kick). But if you do have it, I highly suggest using it as this cake is so much better with it. The combinations together are wonderful.

Now this recipe does use vegan butter. But let’s face it, most of my holiday recipes use butter because sometimes there isn’t much of a replacement. You can impress your non-vegan friends with this cake and by using vegan butter, most people won’t recognize that it is vegan and are shocked when I tell them it is. The recipe also calls for some kind of egg replacement. I use my trusted and loved Neat Egg. It has only two ingredients: chia seeds and chickpea powder. Mix those up with water and you get an instant egg! If you don’t have this on hand, you can totally substitute a flax egg or any other egg replacer you like I just don’t like waiting 5 minutes for the flax to gel up.

Okay, let’s get on to the recipe. This cake is one of my favorites and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


1 cup of shelled unsalted pistachios (1- 8oz bag)

¾ cup sugar

1 stick of earth balance butter (softened)

2 neat eggs (or flax eggs)

2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

¼ cup plant based milk (I used almond)

½ tsp almond extract

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¾ cup flour

1 tsp cardamom


In a food processor pulse your pistachios until they are extremely fine and resemble a meal or flour consistency. Don’t make nut butter! Next add in the sugar and butter and puree until smooth. Once smooth add in the neat eggs, apple sauce, milk and almond extract and pure. Once combined add in the dry ingredients and puree until just mixed. Do not over mix! Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle on some remaining chopped pistachios. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes. Check it with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean, if not, leave it for another 5-10 minutes. Everyone’s ovens are different! Once cooked through let cool for about 15 minutes then take out of the pan and let it continue to cool on a wire rack.

Slice this up and enjoy! Bring to a holiday party or gathering and everyone will love it, I promise.