Persian love cake

When you make this cake the whole kitchen smells of roses, it’s Persian in its origins and have been making Yasmin Khans amazing Persian Love Cake for years as it’s fantastic as a birthday cake, but I wanted to do a dairy free version that also could be gluten free if you prefer. I also added ground pistachios as I love them so its got tons of nuts in it and the soft floral fragrance of cardamom and rose. It’s probably called Love Cake because it really is a romantic cake.


Serves 6-8


For the cake

4 eggs
100g of plain flour, spelt flour or Doves gluten free flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
170g of ground almonds
Half a cup of mild olive oil (or butter)
85g of raw ground pistachios (I grind them in my nutri bullet)
1 tablespoon rose water
pinch of salt
12 cardamom pods, ground in a mortar and pestle and discard the outer husk then continue to grind
150g of golden caster sugar
1 lemon, zest and juice
A tiny amount of green food colouring paste, I use Squires Kitchen professional colour paste in Mint (optional)


4 tablespoons of golden caster sugar
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tablespoon of rose water
4 tablespoons of water


200g of icing sugar
juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons of cold water

To Decorate

2 teaspoons of chopped pistachios
2 teaspoons of dried rose petals



Preheat oven to 150c

Line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment and spray with cake release spray or brush with oil.

For the cake.

In a large bowl, with an electric whisk, beat the eggs, sugar, rose water and food colouring, if using, until it swells up and becomes almost meringuey. Stirring in with a spoon, the oil, lemon juice and zest, then stir in the dry ingredients( flour, cardamom, salt, ground almonds, ground pistachios and baking powder)until mixed together. Try not to over mix though.

Bake for approx 40 minutes, oven temperatures do vary and I use an oven thermometer just to be sure. It’s ready when a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Try not to over cook it as it will get too dry.

Place the cake on a rack.

Meanwhile boil the drizzle ingredients in a small pan, then poke holes in the top of the cake and drizzle over the cake while it is still hot, you can start making this just before the cake has finished baking. This will make the cake super moist.

Once the cake has cooled… make the icing by combining the icing ingredients until smooth. Spoon the icing over the cake and sprinkle with the rose petals and pistachios.

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