Lemon, Pistachio and Millet Cakes

The one thing I am really enjoying about eating gluten-free is all the new grains and flours I get to experiment with. I have actually been baking much more now than I did before. Everyday, we try something new. I am running out of space in my pantry for all the flours and new ingredients I have been baking with. It was only a couple of years ago when my friend Jill was asking me to start baking more allergen-free desserts. I suppose I should have listened better.

I have made these lemon, pistachio and millet cakes about a dozen times now. I am not exaggerating. They are moist, light, full of citrus flavor and the crumb is amazing with all the green pistachios in there. I cannot get enough of them and I try to keep some in the freezer for those times that we have a cake craving or need a treat to pack for the day.

My parents are coming tonight and I saved some of these for them for tomorrow morning. Breakfast is our favorite meal of the day when my mom and I seat down and enjoy every morsel. I think she will be pleased with these.

I also wanted to share with you a little interview I did with Kate Manchester for Edible Radio last week. I was very nervous and I think it shows. I always get nervous speaking in public, even if it’s over the phone. You can listen to the full interview here.

Gluten Free Lemon, Pistachio and Millet Cakes

Makes about 14 regular size cupcakes plus 20 mini tea cakes

115 grams butter
180 grams sugar
Zest 2 lemons
2 eggs
80 grams yogurt
80 grams millet flour
70 grams pistachio meal
30 grams sweet rice flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light. Add the eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl well. Add the yogurt and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add all the dry ingredients and mix until it comes together.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake cups or pipe into mini tea cake pan. Bake at 350F until done.

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106 Responses to “Lemon, Pistachio and Millet Cakes”

  1. What gorgeous photos! What an original and elicious sounding recipe. My husband and I treat children with autism, who are often on gluten-free diets. I’m going to add a link to your site on our business site. These parents are always looking for more resources for cooking gluten-free.

  2. Cookin’ Canuck- wonderful! You should check out my friend Jill’s blog. She is a mother of a 10 year old boy with autism Connor, who has seen huge progress with diet, ABA and Dr Amy Yasko’s protocol. She is the one that turned me into allergen-free baking. She’s amazing. Thank you!

  3. Natalie says:

    These look simply amazing. I’m attempting a more gluten-free life style and it’s great to read about all of the different flours you are using! Also, your photography is beautiful and very inspirational! Thank-You!

  4. Erin Swing says:

    What a great flavor combination! Millet was quick to become one of my favorite flours to bake with: mild, sweet, cereal flavor with a great yellow color. Sweet/Glutinous rice four is another one of my favorites. Tell us more about the buttercream frosting….

  5. Sari says:

    I love this recipe Aran. I’ve never tried to bake GF yet as most of GF flours are quite difficult to get. However, this recipe’s ingredients should be easily available I think. And I so much love pistachios. It’s my favourite ice-cream flavour :) Have a great time with your parents!

  6. I love how you make something as unsexy-sounding as millet look gorgeous and glamorous! :) Love the wrought-iron chair as well.

    I’m a big pistachio-lover too, wish they weren’t so expensive! If I’m not careful I can munch through a whole bag at a time…

  7. Curra says:

    Fantásticas fotos y delicada y riquísima receta.
    Buen día

  8. Divina Pe says:

    The photos are gorgeous and the muffins are irresistible most especially they are gluten-free which are really helpful for a lot of people who have allergies of some sort.

  9. Yummy! These look so good! I’d eat them for dessert!

    I love your gluten free baking recipes. They’re so inspiring.

  10. m says:

    That first picture is gorgeous! And I’m sure your parents will love them; they look so delicious!

  11. MeetaK says:

    it takes time for good things to develop – and this sure looks good. i have dabbled in gluten free baking but probably not as much as i should. i enjoy millet as a grain and often make risotto with it but need to bake with millet flour more often. gorgeous!

  12. Erin- the buttercream is a simple swiss buttercream recipe flavored with lemon zest and lemon juice.

    Thank you everyone. Try it for sure!

    • Tessa says:

      Hi- I wonder if you can help me. I have made the lemon , pistachio & millet muffins and they have a strange sort of ‘uncookedness’ about them. I tested with a skewer, am a very experienced baker, and found that they weren’t done when they looked pretty well done on top, so gave them longer in the oven with foil on top to prevent burning.
      Is the heavy (ish) sponge just due to the flours used, do you think? I used large eggs- perhaps that could have contributed to this? I am fairly new to gluten-free baking, so maybe it is just a symptom of this!

      • Aran says:

        Hmmm… not sure what it could have been. They are definitely cake inside. Where did you bake them? In a muffin pan, paper cups,… The eggs are large in my recipe too so that shouldn’t be an issue. It could be the types of flours you used. Did you scale by weight or used cups?

        • Tessa says:

          Hi- thank you for replying! I baked in standard cupcake liners (not English ‘fairy cake’ liners which are a bit smaller) and used the recipe absolutely as you have written it (grams not cups and identical ingredients).
          I will have another try, though as despite their slightly soggy middle, the flavour is delicious! I will experiment with using mini cupcake cases as well this time…

  13. These pictures are gorgeous and the recipe sounds amazing. My mother-in-law eats basically gluten free and I’m always looking for something new to make her when she comes over. I’ll have to try this.

  14. poonam!! says:

    They look lovely!! Must try them soon :)

  15. That combination is interesting and surely delicious! They look fantastic and so tempting!



  16. Daniella says:

    Your food styling is amazing! Seriously, you could make any food look great!

  17. Oh, these are so pretty, just perfect for a visit with your Mom. :-) Well done on your interview! You were so brave to do it, even when you felt nervous. :-)

  18. Leesa says:

    I cannot get over just HOW incredibly beautiful your photos are.. It’s like looking at still life art… Just exquisite! I’m sooooo thankful for you and your talent – in both cooking/baking and photography!

    Leesa : )

  19. Johanna says:

    They look wonderful… I really have to try them sometime! And your pictures are always so light and beautiful!

  20. So glad you posted these! I have been following the trial runs via your Twitter. I’m going to attempt to vegan-ize them by using a flax mixture for the eggs and a mild oil for the butter. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  21. Melmo says:

    wow. wonderful pictures! these look so so delicious. Have to try them as well.

  22. I think I need to purchase a scale so I can try these. They look delicious.

  23. Seanna Lea says:

    I really want to make these (or something similar). I love all things lemon!

  24. Beautiful photography – very inspiring!

  25. kate funk says:

    They look delicious!! Good work!

  26. emily says:

    Yum! Love the spring green color the pistachios give and citrus cakes are my favorite.

    Thanks for sharing!

  27. Juliana says:

    Great interview! You don’t sound nervous at all. Love the recipe, too.

  28. Judith says:

    Aran, I listened to your interview – very interesting, and I was also impressed by the warmth of your interviewer. You did great, the only thing that was noticeable about you being nervous was a certain tension in your voice, and I think I only noticed that because you mentioned it! Two things that stood out for me – no accent (I’ve lived in Spain for donkey’s years and I still have a guiri accent), and your mention that you’re thinking of going dairy-free (shock horror, I’m already in withdrawal of all the lovely things you do with dairy on here).

    Well done!
    xxx Judith

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ahora te pongo voz!! suenas un pelin nerviosa pero lo has hecho muy bien.Te estas haciendo famosa!!!,j,j
    Otra receta rica para probar. Tengo q encontrar “rennet” para hacer el petit suisse..lo venderan en la farmacia?Beso Carmen ZH

  30. Anonymous says:

    Que es xanthan gum? se puede hacer sin eso? Carmen Zh

  31. oh Aran–these look wonderful!! and I bet you could substitute almonds for the pistachios too!!

    (but the best thing about them is that you get as much frosting as cake!!!!)

  32. Kate says:

    What did you frost them with? I like frosting…

  33. Anonymous says:

    Why do your cupcakes have a sunken center?

  34. Kate- that is Swiss buttercream flavored with lemon.

    Carmen- xanthan gum es un aditivo que se utiliza mucho en la cocina sin gluten porque imita mucho la textura y el cuerpo que el gluten anade a pasteles, panes, etc. no se como se llama en castellano.

    Judith- i have lived in the US for almost 12 years but i have been speaking english since the age of 9. thank you.

    thank you!

  35. Anonymous- these are not regular cupcakes with the dome. they just stay flat which works great for cupcakes as it leaves a flat surface for the icing. but they are very light and not dense at all. try them and let me know what you think.


  36. laura says:

    I love this recipe, but I am both Gluten Free and Dairy Free. Do you recommend a subsitute option for the yogurt? Or would soy yogurt do the same. Thank you!

  37. Laura- I use the dairy and soy free shortening by Spectrum and for yogurt I use coconut yogurt (plain) or you can use soy but I try staying away from soy. it should work fine. try it and let me know!

  38. Wow, absolutely beautiful! I especially like the little teacakes! What moulds did you use? I’ve got these little cannelés moulds, but yours seem even smaller – very cute!

  39. May Brady says:

    I’m loving the gluten free!! I’ve been GF for nearly 5 years and it does get a little tiring using the same old cookbooks, thanks so much for splashing a bit of variety out there for us!


  40. jacqui says:

    Your photo’s are beautiful as usual, love that chair! I haven’t done much gluten free baking, but I love trying new grains. I think I will have to try these. Do you think it’s possible to grind your own whole millet in a food processor to make millet flour?

  41. Jacqui- I have neve done it but I have a friend who blew her flour flours at home. I will have to ask her what kind of grinder she uses. I have a feeling they are not as fine as the bought ones though…

  42. I am with you when it comes to the new opportunities brought by new GF flours. I have started cooking and baking with GF flours so as to introduce new flavors and textures to my children early. I will definitively try this recipe out.

  43. Jennie says:

    Aran, you have once again taken my breath way with the food styling. That chair makes me want to weep with happiness. Where did you get the berry boxes with the blue trim? I would love to have some for myself if they’re easily had.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  44. Jennie- those are vintage berry boxes I found actually. I love them too.

    Thank you very much!

  45. Thanks for the info while I’m still catching up with gluten-free food in Tokyo! And the spring hue on your photos lifts me up. Happy time with your family :)

  46. whisk-kid says:

    These photos are just… Wow. They’re so gorgeous; especially the first one. Not that that’s much a surprise coming from you!

    I have some lovely lemons sitting on a cake pedestal to my right… Perhaps this is their fate? Thanks for sharing the recipe – it sounds delicious!

  47. Tora says:

    These sound delicious. Pistachio and lemons are two of my all time favorite flavours, I should really give these a try.

  48. just amazing!!! i love the cupcakes but the photos are just excelent!!! hugs

  49. great interview! you didn’t sound nervous at all. funny you’re the second blogger this week i listened guest speak on an online radio (Matt Wright in Seattle).

    Yeesh you are such a celebrity now! awards, magazines, radios; guess you’ll have to get an agent to deal with all the fans ;)

  50. Francesca says:

    You don’t sound nervous at all, and it’s lovely to hear your voice! This recipe sounds wonderful, and I’m sure your parents loved it. Do you think I could try it without the xanthan gum, or is there a substitute for it?

  51. enila says:

    Magnifique, j’adore la première photo, ça change des autres compositions (bien que toutes les photos soient top aussi) J’attends d’en voir plus dans ce style !!

  52. Francesca- guar gum is another one that is often times used. you could omit it but it might lack a bit of the air and sponge that xanthan gum gives it. i did make it without it and sunk a bit more but it was still delicious. almost more like a financier texture. Hope you try it.

    Thank you!

  53. Ely says:

    that wonderful recipe and your photos make me dream …. are wonderful excuse my English but use a translator, hello Ely

  54. These might be your most lovely, ethereal photos yet. The chair is inspire! How do you come up with such beautiful and creative uses of props? Also, for the little muffins with the scalloped edges, did you use cannelle molds (they look kind of like it)? Or do you have lovely little muffin cups like that?

  55. It was so fun to hear your voice and listen to your interview. I treasure the day I first “met” you via blogging. So much fun.

    I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free grains, too. I’m almost ready to make the jump to be completely gluten-free. (I feel so much better when I don’t eat wheat.)

    Anyway, the cupcakes sound wonderful and I can’t wait to try them.


  56. itzi says:

    Me temo que la receta no la llegare a probar, porque soy un desastre en la cocina. Pero me ha encantado escucharte!!


  57. Fiveandspice- those little cakes I baked in a tea cake mold that has assorted shapes but you can definitely use a cannele mold. As for the styling… not sure really. It’s just something that comes out. I am inspired by the things around me, images in magazines… so many things. Thank you I appreciate it.

    Itzi- tia… animate!!!!

  58. La Galette says:

    I have just started following your blog and it’s incredibly obvious to me why you were nominated for a food photography award; your photos are incredible! I’m enjoying the recipes too and look forward to trying a few. ~B

  59. Nagore says:

    Esan zure abizena ondo idazteko…. jejeje

    Asko gustatu zait elkarrizketa!!

    ondo segi! ;)


  60. PMP says:

    These look amazing, and not to mention Delish! I can’t wait to try them out.

  61. Sirocco says:

    You really have a talent for styling! Love the chair, the bottles, the apron … everything is perfect. That buttercream frosting looks mouthwatering by the way!

  62. your photos are absolutely breathtaking! I’m a first time visitor and will be subscribing to your feed.

  63. Bridget says:

    Thank you for posting the recipe. I have been dreaming about it ever since you posted about the quinoa pudding! I can’t wait to make them!

  64. Pia Jane says:

    this is a wonderful interview aran! Now I know how to pronounce your last name too ;-). It’s so wonderful to hear your voice and listen to you talk about your work. px

  65. pity says:

    Acabo de escuchar tu entrevista, y de verdad que estabas supernatural, buen trabajo! (yo hubiera sido un flan acustico!) cual es la web de food potography que mencionas?

    deliciosos tus pastelitos, y excelentes las fotos, besos desde londres

  66. Jamie says:

    Beautiful cupcakes! Who doesn’t love lemon and pistachio? Perfect perfect! And gorgeous pictures! I love the tiny cupcakes you made in the cannelé molds.

  67. Dajda says:

    Thank you for the lovely photos. Enjoy the time with your parents!

  68. What a great interview Aran – you didn’t sound nervous at all. Glad to know a little more about the person behind this fabulous and inspiring blog!!

  69. Dajda says:

    I’ve come back because I’ve just listened to the interview and it was such a great thing to hear your voice. It was interesting to listen to you talk about your blog and cooking and baking – thank you!

  70. Liz says:

    Everything is always so beautiful here. It’s nice knowing you don’t have to sacrifice texture and taste to eat gluten free. I have a friend who needs to eat gluten free and because I’m not used to it, it’s always a little bit of a challenge figuring out what to prepare. I’m looking forward to trying out these recipes.

  71. Just listened to your interview on the other tab and was checking out the recipes talked about there! You are just so modest saying you are still ‘green’ about photography:). Congrats!

  72. Austin says:

    Lovely recipe but I have a question about the sweet rice flour, is sweet rice flour the same as glutinous rice flour used it mochi? Is this the only name for it? Also could teff flour be subsitute for millet flour? Thank you!

  73. Austin- yes, it is. in the US, as far as i know, it is always called sweet rice flour. you can certainly use teff but it will be a slightly different flavor and color. try it and let me know. thanks!

  74. ChichaJo says:

    Not only do these little cakes look lovely, they sound delicious too! You are inspiring me to seek out different kinds of flour!

  75. Thank you so much for all these amazing gluten-free recipes lately! I, too, am going gluten free to see if it’s what my body needs. I love postachios so these sound great!

  76. these look absolutely delightful and i’m positive they taste as good as they look.:D

  77. Shop says:

    WOW I love the photos especially the one with the chair in the background!

  78. Alexandra says:

    These look/sound so good! You’ve really sparked my interest in gluten-free baking, and I’d love to make these for an upcoming event. Where did you find the pistachio meal? Thanks for the admission about public speaking jitters, I feel the same way and it’s always comforting to know I’m not the only one! I thought the interview was great.

  79. Alexandra- you can get it online or specialty shops or you can grind your own. make sure it is fine enough though, so after grinding sift through a sifter and weigh the meal after. Does that make sense? Thanks!

  80. The photos this time, well all times really, but this time in particular are truly a delight. I feel as though I would like to settle in for a little picnic with you and those cakes! (Lots of frosting, please.)

  81. i know you from flickr :)) this cake looks very delious :)) and now i am very hungry. ;)

  82. veron says:

    Love the chair as a prop! Everything looks fantastic, Aran!

  83. These pictures… speechless, they literally take my breath away!
    (and I’m pretty sure so do the cupcakes!!).
    Bisous from Versailles, Chantal

  84. magda says:

    These look absolutely amazing! And gluten-free! Great!

  85. Valentina says:

    Dear Aran, what a beautiful post. I have also listened to your interview. It was lovely to hear your voice – it gives the blog a different dimension. I am loving this gluten free phase. I have been experiencing with it myself and as usual your blog inspires me.

  86. sinnlighet says:

    I have need to make a Swedish footprints behind me.

    Your blog is soooo lovely and soooo wonderful and gives me energy!


  87. Your pictures are just so beautiful. We just couldn’t take our eyes off of your pictures, each and every single post you make. And reading you describing the pistachios in these cake makes it even more mouth watering.

  88. Anita says:

    Me ha gustado mucho la entrevista y tener la oportunidad de ponerte voz :)
    Podrías decirme, por favor, el nombre del blog que comentas cuando comenzaste a aprender fotografía? Still life qué más?
    Y toda mi admiración una vez más por el maravilloso trabajo que haces.

  89. Anita- se trata de Still Life With http://www.stilllifewith.com

    Thank you all!

  90. Elizabeth says:

    Aran, you sounded great on the radio! Congrats girl!

  91. Deeba PAB says:

    Gorgeous food styling, and amazing sounding muffins. Have fun with your parents here Aran. Congrats on the interview … you are simply the best!!

  92. Shari says:

    Gorgeous photography! Lovely, romantic food styling!! Love it!

  93. tunde1 says:

    Interesting !! Funny thing is that i always considered millet as animal feed as my mom feeds her chicken or used to make pap from home. i never thought of using millet in cakes before. I would have to try on my next cake making adventure.

  94. I don’t even know what to say… these sound and look so fantastic!

  95. Sini says:

    What an interesting interview! What was the address of the food photography blog?

    Nice recipe and wonderful pictures.

  96. OMG what beautiful pictures – can’t wait to find the recipes.

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