Persian Inspired Love Cake
A perfectly delicious and enchanting Persian Inspired Love Cake. If you are looking for a deliciously enchanting cake to make for a special occasion, then this iconic cake from Iran is it. Made with a wonderfully moist and buttery texture and aromatic flavours, topped with a glaze and pistachios, this cake is delicious in so many ways. Every bite of this cake is soft and light yet rich in flavour from the cardamom, orange, the sweet syrup, and a rich glaze topped with crunchy pistachios. This could be the perfect cake to make for a loved one, or the next Valentine’s Day dessert – beats the usual chocolate lava cake for sure!
About this recipe
Originating from Iranian folklore, the story goes that a long time ago, a Persian woman fell madly in love with a prince. But, to make him fall in love with her, she decided to bewitch him by creating a potion in the form of a magical cake. And so, it is said that this is how the Persian Love Cake came to be. Typically made with many fragrant ingredients of the region such as rose water, cardamom, other spices, semolina and nuts. The cake is suppose to be a fragrant, deliciously sweet, lightly spiced cake with a moist inside and a slightly crunchy outside. The cake is honestly soooo delicious. You are definitely not getting a dense spongy cake, but one that is buttery, moist, light to bite into. I also love that it is not only the sweetness that steals the show but the cardamom spice.
The recipe I am sharing with you is inspired by the Persian cake but with a slight adjustment – this love cake does not require rose water. I do not like rose water as flavouring in food, it makes me feel like I am eating perfume. If you love rose water, feel free to use it, although in a small quantity as it can be a really strong flavour. But I love cardamom, which is why this recipe must have it. Citrus is also important, so this recipe uses orange juice. Some versions use lemon juice, but for this recipe, I prefer fresh orange juice.
Making the cake
This cake is such a stunning showstopper, yet an easy one-bowl kind of recipe. Using the bowl of a stand mixer or any large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This can take 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the Greek Yogurt and juice of one orange. Next add the flour, almond flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Beat until everything is just combined. Transfer the batter into a round cake tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. You will know the cake has baked once the sides have browned and the top turns a golden colour. If a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean, then the cake is done. Allow it to cool slightly.
This cake is covered in a sweet syrup, this makes the sponge moist, the technique reminds me of making baklava. While the cake is cooling, prepare the suryp. Bring water to boil, then add the juice of one orange and honey. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Using a sharp knife, poke holes throughout the top of the cake. Pour the sweet syrup evenly over the cake.
Finish the cake with a glaze. Combine powdered sugar and milk in a microwave safe bowl and whisk together. Microwave for 15-20 seconds to thin out mixture, then pour over cooled cake. Decorate the cake with chopped pistachios and rose petals if you have them.
Don’t substitute almond meal – The almond meal is what helps to make this cake light. Do not use any other flour substitutes as the result will not be the same. Almond meal is a big part of the original recipe and replacing it may alter the recipe quite a bit.
The rose water – I personally do not like rose water. However, if you wish to use it, I recommend using 1 or 2 teaspoons at most. This can vary depending on the brand and quality of the product. But rosewater can become overwhelming quickly, so use it sparingly.
Don’t add sweet syrup on a cold cake – Cakes best absorb a sugary syrup when the cake is warm, giving them a softer, moist texture. Make sure to pour over the syrup while the cake is still warm and not once it is cold.
Don’t glaze a hot cake – Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the glaze. If making ahead, let the cake set in the fridge overnight and then add the glaze. Alternatively, chill the cake for 2 hours in the fridge and then pour over the glaze. If you add the glaze when the cake is warm, it will run off the cake and all over your serving dish.
Looking for more?
If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:
From the ingredients that give this Persian Inspired Love Cake a light texture to the aromatic spices and taste of citrus, this cake is just heaven to eat! I love the story behind this cake, and I hope that you enjoy making it. Leave a comment and let me know how this recipe turns out for you. If you get a moment, please leave this recipe a rating. If you get a little stuck or have any questions, you can also reach me over on Instagram.
|For The Cake|
|200g unsalted butter, room temperature|
|150g caster sugar|
|3 whole eggs|
|100g Greek Yogurt|
|1 orange, juice of|
|200g almond meal|
|100g all purpose flour|
|1tsp ground cardamom|
|1tsp baking powder|
|For The Syrup|
|100ml boiling water|
|1 orange, juice of|
|For The Glaze|
|180g powdered sugar|
|For The Decorations|
|edible rose petals|