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Orange Honey Pistachio Tea Cake for a Holiday Treat

Fresh orange juice, zest, softened butter and honey come together with pistachio nuts to make a delicious citrusy and not too sweet Orange Honey pistachio cake perfect for breakfast or tea
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Tea
Cuisine: American, british
Keyword: Orange Cake, Orange Honey, Tea Cake
Servings: 1 9" x 5" Loaf or 23 cm by 13 cm
Author: Sujata Shukla


  • 3 ¼ cups Indian Maida or All purpose flour /400 gms
  • ½ teaspoon Baking soda
  • 2 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Softened Unsalted Butter /30 gms / ¼ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons Honey 1 cup + 2 teaspoons/250 ml
  • 1 egg room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest or finely grated orange rind
  • ¾ cup orange juice / 180 ml/ freshly squeezed and no added sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts /125 gm/ chopped


  • Preheat the Oven to 170 C or 325 F. My oven heats up quite fast, so I light it up after I prepare the ingredients as below, and before I begin to mix the batter for the cake.

To Prepare The Ingredients

  • Keep the butter out ahead of time so that it becomes soft by the time you begin to prepare the batter.
    Wash, dry and zest the orange. Cut into two and squeeze out orange juice, removing any seeds. Small amounts of orange flesh in the juice are ok, but remove any large pieces.
    Slice the shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts. Run them briefly in the food processor or nut grinder, but only just enough to break them into pieces, not grind to a powder. The prep time in this recipe card does not take into account slicing the nuts by hand. If you are slicing them manually with a knife, please add at least 10 minutes to the preparation time above.
    Break the egg and beat it lightly with a fork or a whisk, just enough for the yolk and white to combine.

To Mix the Cake Batter for Orange Honey Pistachio Cake

  • Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
    Line the bottom and sides of a 9" x 5" (23 cm x 13 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper, letting an inch of the paper jutting out on all sides. If the paper requires it, grease the inside. The kind I used did not require to be greased.
  • Cream the butter until soft, using an electric mixer if required. I beat it by hand as it was already quite soft.
    Add the honey and stir it in till it mixes into the butter.
    Stir the beaten egg and add, mixing into honey butter until it blends in completely.
    Add the orange zest and again stir it in completely.
  • Fold the flour in stages. First fold in about ⅓ of the flour into the wet ingredients, add about ⅓ of the orange juice (¼ cup at a time) and mix it in till all the flour is wet and the ingredients are nicely blended.
    Repeat this twice using ⅓ of the flour and the orange juice for each batch that you mix.
    Add the chopped pistachio nuts and stir them in well. As there are plenty of these, they will not all sink to the bottom of the cake while baking but will be spread all over the batter. If you wish though, you could lightly flour the nuts before adding to the batter and stirring to make sure they are distributed.

To Bake the Honey Orange Pistachio Tea Cake

  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
    Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
    Remove from the oven and leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.
    Turn it out to cool on a wire rack. Slice once it is totally cool.