If you’re a coffee drinker, I think you’ll swoon over one of these cakes with your coffee. (But yes, they are wonderful paired with a cup of tea as well!) These golden-colored beauties have a soft crumb that’s subtly sweet, tender, and moist, and they’re faintly scented of pistachio, citrus, and vanilla. Thanks to their lovely rich yellow color from both cornmeal and pistachio oil, they make a pretty afternoon snack or breakfast treat along with some fresh fruit.
The “Sicilian” part of the name for this recipe comes from the fact that I used my Fiori di Sicilia-Inspired Syrup to sweeten these cakes. Remember, Fiori di Sicilia (or “Flowers of Sicily”) is a floral vanilla-citrus essence used to make lovely treats like Panettone. The flavors also work wonders with cornmeal in these lovely muffins.
I know pistachio oil is an uncommon ingredient, but when I spotted a bottle of it in my pantry (which was leftover from making Pistachio + Rosemary White Pizza), I couldn’t help but use it here. If you don’t have pistachio oil, you can either use extra virgin olive oil or neutral-flavored oil (like canola) along with 1 teaspoon pistachio, almond, or hazelnut extract.
Take a look through the ingredient list and you’ll notice that these cakes are much healthier than a typical dessert cake – they’re actually more like muffins. Heart-healthy pistachio oil is a great ingredient to use, as it is thought to help reduce the risk of cancer and lower cholesterol. (You can read more about the health benefits of pistachios and pistachio oil on Oprah and American Pistachio Growers.)