Persian Love Cake
I must say that this cake reminds me of a lovely tea party because of its delicate appearance. It’s also made with some of my favorite ingredients that were first introduced to me over 34 years ago by my husband who is middle eastern. The cake has subtle flavors of cardamom, rose water syrup, and lemon zest. If you’ve never tried rose water syrup, you must give it a try, it’s wonderful in desserts. I will warn you however that the taste is strong and aromatic so a little goes a long ways but in this recipe, I think the amount is perfect. If you like it, you can add more.
Supposedly, the story behind the name of this cake is that there once was a Persian woman madly in love with a prince. She wanted him to fall in love with her so she baked him this cake and topped it with magical love powers, the lovely rose petals and pistachios, I think. In my search for the history of the cake, I read two endings. The first story ended with the prince falling in love with her and they live happily ever after. The second version didn’t end so happily ever after. Regardless of the ending, I think it’s a magical cake and you will fall in love with it if these flavors are your thing. There are many variations of the cake and I’ve modified it to my liking. I hope you enjoy it too!
The cake is very easy to make and the combinations of flours, all purpose and almond flour, give it a wonderful texture. The icing is also very simple and full of flavor and topped with lovely edible flowers and pistachios. I think this cake is perfect for any occasion from Easter to “just because”. The cake is delicate and light too. Alright, let’s get started.
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Persian Love Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
- 2.5 tablespoons rose water syrup
- 2 Room temperature eggs
- 2.5 tsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup bakers sugar
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup extra fine almond flour
- 3/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1.5 tbsp whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 tbsp rose water syrup
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios (opt.)
- edible rose petals for garnish
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper or use a spring form pan and set aside.
- Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, the oil, the eggs, and sugar until they’re light and fluffy. Once they’re fluffy, add the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the rose water, and the vanilla extract.
- Turn speed to low and then add the flours, the cardamom, the baking powder, the salt and the pistachios until everything is mixed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top of the cake is lightly brown and until the center crumb is dry/clean when inserted with a toothpick. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze
- Combine the sifted powdered sugar, the rose water syrup, and the whole milk in a microwave safe bowl and whisk to combine well. The glaze will be thick but it’s okay because it will be thinned. Microwave for approximately 10-15 seconds to thin the glaze. Once the cake is cool pour over the cake. Allow the glaze to drip over the sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle with coarsley chopped pistachios and chopped rose petals.
- If you’re not a huge fan of pistachios you can use almonds.
- If you want the glaze thicker, use heavy cream.
- You can find rose water syrup in middle eastern markets.