Mother’s Day Dessert Idea: Citrus-Scented Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cake

Food for Grownups

My mom has always had a sweet tooth. I luckily inherited this trait from her, among many other things, like my curls, my gait, my love of storytelling, my resourcefulness, my love of crafting. So many good things. I’m so thankful and am extremely excited to be taking her on a camping adventure soon, one of my goals that I’ve been working toward this year.

Many of us cook for our moms for Mother’s Day, or we end up handling most of the meal with a few helping hands. No matter what, a Mother’s Day table should be graceful, feminine, pretty, delicious, and full of the familiar laughter of our closest family and friends.

I tend to think of Mother’s Day as a great brunch opportunity. Bring in the quiche, the green chile egg casserole, the healthy corn frittata, the sparkling peach Bellinis.  Roll out the pressed linens, the fresh flowers, and tablescape decorations and make it an experience instead of just a meal. This is the perfect time to go the extra mile to make something extra special and to bestow upon the meal a sense of occasion that leaves guests feeling loved.

I’ve been on a bit of a pistachio kick (hello, pistachio ice cream!), so when I saw a recent recipe for a citrus, pistachio and chocolate chunk bundt cake, I knew I had to try it. I ended up changing the recipe quite a bit, so this is what I came up with. I can’t even tell you how good this smelled, or how good the batter tasted (shhhh), or how it got better day by day. A leftover slice with a cup of coffee in the morning might not be the smartest Weight Watchers choice but oh, did it bring me joy.

Here’s the recipe. It definitely has an Italian flare, and since I think I might have been Sophia Loren in another life, this really hit the spot. Ciao Bella!


Mother’s Day Dessert Idea: Citrus-Scented Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cake

  • Author: Marie Bostwick
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x


Serve with Peach Bellinis and fresh fruit. Would look pretty all dressed up with some fresh flowers arranged on the cake plate.



Butter to grease the Bundt pan (I used a combo of olive oil and butter here, followed by a bit of flour to coat)
2 cup white sugar
Finely grated zest from 2 oranges
Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
1 cup good quality olive oil
4 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped up tiny


Heat oven to 350°F. Butter the nonstick Bundt and dust with flour.

Place sugar in a large bowl, add zest. Stir with a whisk and inhale the delightful citrusy aromatherapy. Apparently it gives you energy.

Whisk in olive oil, wine, ricotta and eggs.

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Slowly stir in dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate and pistachios.

Scrape batter into the Bundt pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Let cool on rack for 20 minutes in pan, then hold your breath, say a prayer, and turn over, lifting the Bundt pan away from your masterpiece. Pat yourself on the back. That was the hard part.

Dust the top with powdered sugar. Pretend it’s fairy dust.

Slice and serve and send the leftovers home with your family and friends. This cake is great the first day and even better the second and third, as long as you keep it wrapped tightly with plastic wrap at room temperature.

  • Category: cakes

Keywords: pistachio, bundt cake, brunch



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