Pistachio Cardamom Rose Loaf (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Nadia Cakes, dairy free, Desserts, gluten free, snack, Sweet Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian 21 Comments

Pistachio Cardamom Rose Loaf (Vegan & Gluten-free)

A deliciously nutty pistachio loaf flavoured with aromatic cardamom and topped with a silky pink rose flavoured frosting. Decorated with chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds to add a pretty pop of colour contrast.

A couple of days ago I posted a pistachio cardamom thumbprint cookie recipe and it made me realise how much I love that flavour combination. As you may be able to tell this loaf is inspired by Middle Eastern flavours. Pistachios, cardamom, rose and pomegranate are all essential ingredients in Middle Eastern cooking and especially desserts. Think baklava meats Turkish delight. This is what this cake tastes like to me. And I’m a huge fan of both baklava AND Turkish delight!

I absolutely love sweet, dense loaves. they’re probably my favourite variety of cake. I need my cakes to be rich and moist and loaf cakes are exactly that! The absolute perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea.

This would make the perfect Mother’s Day treat. Not only because the frosting is pretty pink, but the tempting aromatic cardamom and floral rose flavouring make for a thoughtful edible treat.

This pistachio cardamom rose loaf is both vegan and gluten-free. Made up of ground pistachios, ground oats, a bit of gluten-free flour and sweetened with some maple syrup. I used coconut yoghurt instead of oil as a way to add lots of moisture whilst trying to make it lighter.


I used cashews as the base for the frosting and added a bit of beetroot powder to add that beautiful vibrant pink colour. If you can’t get hold of beetroot powder you can always use pink food colouring. 

Pistachio Cardamom Rose Loaf (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Pistachio Cardamom Rose Loaf (Vegan & Gluten-free)

For the cake
1 cup (125g) ground pistachios – unsalted raw pistachios ground up in the food processor
2/3 cup (70g) oat flour – plain rolled oats ground into a flour in the food processor. Use gluten-free if necessary
1/4 cup (40g) gluten-free plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup (120ml) coconut yoghurt
1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup

For the frosting
1 cup (150g) cashews
1/4 cup (60ml) milk of choice – use more if necessary 
3-4 tbsp maple syrup – depending on how sweet you want it
2 tsp beetroot powder. Or you can use a couple of drops of pink food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 tsp rose water
To decorate: chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds

Preheat your oven to 180ºC /160ºC fan/350ºF
Mix the ground pistachios, oat flour, gf flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in a large bowl. Add the yoghurt and maple syrup and mix well to combine. 
Transfer the batter into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper. I used a 22×12 cm loaf tin.
Bake for 35-40 minutes and leave to cool completely.
To make the frosting – simply add all the frosting ingredients into a blender/food processor and blend until smooth.
Once the cake has cooled down, spread with the frosting and decorate with chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

Pistachio Cardamom Rose Loaf (Vegan & Gluten-free)

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Comments 21

  1. I didn’t try to make it yet but I’m quite sure that it’s gona be so successful and yummy. Thank you so much Nadia for the recipe

  2. Hi Nadia. What can l use to replace the gluten free plain flour? We r not gluten free butvwe don’t use white flour ot refind sugar. So can l use whole wheat white flour? Or any other flour that you know would make a good substitute.
    Thank you for great yummy recipes!

  3. Looks like an exquisite work of art! Pistachio and rose probably has to be the best combination that I have yet to try! The slices of this loaf just look so soft, moist, and sweet. Definitely something I have to try very soon!

  4. That looks absolutely beautiful – the colours are just so inviting! I never use rose in cooking but I know I should try and be more adventurous!! I’ll look forward to giving this a whirl soon 🙂

  5. This looks incredible! Do you think I could double the recipe and make it in two 9″ cake pans to make a cake? What do you think?

  6. This was FANTASTIC! It’s like something a really good Middle Eastern or Indian restaurant would serve (if they would ever make vegan desserts!). I’m so glad I splurged and bought pistachios and beet powder (amazing how much color it gives!). The cake is moist and delicious. So flavorful—it truly satisfies my CC’s (cardamom cravings). And pretty to look at. Nadia, I can’t thank you enough. There are (happily) lots of vegan recipes online, but this is truly unique.

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  7. Hi Nadia, I cannot have oats. What can I replace these with please? Hopefully something as it looks delicious. Thank you

  8. Ooooo, this looks cool!!I’ve had baklava before, but now I am totally interested! I’ve actually been wanting to try my hand at baklava meets turkish delight version so this gives me the perfect reason for experimenting. Thanks so much for sharing!
    I have a thing or two for pistachios.

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      I haven’t tried making this recipe with granulated sugar, so I’m not 100% sure how it would turn out. You would need to increase the quantities of the liquid ingredients. If you can, I would stick to a liquid sweetener like honey, golden syrup, rice syrup, etc.

  9. Hi Nadia, I’m hoping to make this recipe in the coming week. I was wondering how you would recommend storing the leftover cake? Is it best kept in the fridge or at room temperature? Also, how many days does it keep lovely and moist for? Thank you

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      Hi Jess 🙂 You can store it at room temperature for a day or two as long as it’s in an air-tight container, but if you want to keep it any longer I would suggested storing it in the fridge.

  10. I tried the recipe & turned out great. Thank you Nadia for sharing this amazing recipe. Do you think I can use Greek yoghurt as I am not vegan.

  11. It is utterly delicious. I made it per recipe and would not change a thing. Its moist not overly sweet and yet just that touch of cardamon and rose come through. I highly reccommend this recipe.

  12. Im going to try this but use freeze dried raspberry powder for the icing. Love you for sharing such yummy healthy treats

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