Our Persian Love Cake recipe is nothing short of heavenly! This gorgeous cake features a light and subtly spiced batter that’s a total treat for your taste buds. Then, it’s topped with a luscious orange citrus glaze, delicate rose petals, and crunchy crushed pistachios.

Perfect for special occasions or as a scrumptious everyday snack, our Persian love cake is as much a feast for your taste buds as it is for your eyes!

Persian love cake with a piece on its side.

What Is Persian Love Cake? 

A popular dessert, Persian love cake is a light, moist cake. Unlike any other desert, it is flavored with notes of bright citrus, warm cardamom and cinnamon, and floral rosewater. 

Then, it is finished with orange glaze, rose petals, and crushed pistachios. The result is a beautiful sweet cake that is packed full of flavor without being overpowering. 

What is the History of Love Cake? 

The exact origins of love cake are unknown, but there are many theories. One thought is that is an adaptation of Portuguese love cake which was transformed into semolina cake often served during Christmastime. 

From Sri Lanka, where the cake was turned into Semolina, the recipe is said to have made its way to Iran. There, it was flavored with rosewater. 

That said, many Iranians are not actually familiar with Persian love cake and only learn about it through Western influence. So, who knows how the cake actually came about!

Either way, we’re glad it did because its flavor is truly unlike anything else. The sweet, soft dessert is perfect for Mother’s Day, spring celebrations, Christmas, and every event in between! 

A Persian love cake topped with orange glaze, rose petals, and pistachios.

What Is Love Cake Made Of? 

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are baking staples that can easily be found at your local grocery store! Here’s an overview of what you need: 

For the Cake

  • Butter – We recommend using unsalted butter for baking. 
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar adds the perfect touch of sweetness to the batter. 
  • Eggs – These add a rich taste and help the cake hold its shape. 
  • Spices – Cardamom, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves create the warm flavor Persian love cake is known for.  
  • Flour – A combination of all-purpose flour and almond flour forms the base of the cake, keeping it light with a slightly earthy taste. 
  • Orange – Orange juice and orange zest infuse the batter with a bright, citrus flavor. 
  • Rose Water – This adds a floral taste. Find it in the baking or international food aisles of your local grocery store. Or, purchase rose flower water online
  • Yogurt – Full-fat plain yogurt adds a tender crumb and a delicious tangy flavor. 

For the Topping

  • Confectioner’s Sugar – Also known as powdered sugar. Granulated sugar will not work for the icing! 
  • Orange Juice – Freshly squeezed is best! 
  • Garnishes Dried rose petals and crushed pistachios create a bakery-worthy appearance! 
Persian love cake with pieces missing and one piece sliced.

Cake Directions So Simple You’ll Fall in Love! 

Before you begin, preheat your oven. Then, grease a springform pan, and line it with parchment paper

  1. Beat the butter and sugar. Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl, and beat until fluffy. 
  2. Add the wet ingredients. Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between. Then, mix in the yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, rose water, and vanilla extract. 
  3. Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. 
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Working slowly, mix the dry ingredients in with the bowl of wet ingredients just until smooth. 
  5. Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading it out evenly. Bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  6. Cool. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and let the cake cool slightly. Then, invert it onto a platter to cool completely. 
  7. Prepare the topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and fresh orange juice until smooth. 
  8. Garnish. Spoon the icing over the cake. Then, sprinkle the garnishes on top. 
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03/20/2024 05:20 pm GMT

Tips for Success

  • Avoid Overmixing. Be careful to combine the ingredients just until smooth. Continuing to mix will result in a dense, tough cake. 
  • Don’t Use Almond Meal. Almond meal and almond flour are not the same things! Almond meal still contains some of the almond skins, which will impact the texture of your cake. 
  • Cool the Cake. Do not ice your cake before it cools completely! Doing so will cause the glaze to run all over the place. 
Side view of an iced Persian love cake slice.

Why Did My Love Cake Sink in the Middle? 

Overmixing the batter is the most common cause for your cake to sink in the middle. Be sure to mix just until smooth, and allow it to cool completely!

How to Store

Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving. 

More Cake Recipes 

If you’re like us, and can’t ever have too many cake recipes up your sleeve, here are some more of our favorites!

Persian love cake with a piece on its side.

Persian Love Cake

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Make this easy Persian love cake recipe with simple ingredients for a light, fluffy cake full of floral, citrus flavor!

Ingredients  

Cake:

  • 1 3/4 sticks 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon rose water optional
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Icing:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

Garnish:

  • Chopped pistachios and dried rose petals optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, and line it with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.
    1 3/4 sticks, 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, rose water (if using), and vanilla extract until combined.
    4 large eggs, 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt, Zest of 1 orange, 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 Tablespoon rose water, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let it cool slightly and invert onto a platter and cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and fresh orange juice until smooth.
    1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1-2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Spoon the icing over the cooled cake. Garnish with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals.
    Chopped pistachios and dried rose petals

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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2 Comments

  1. I would love to try this, but I have a few questions!

    Do you think I could use Monkfruit sugar replacement instead of the regular sugars?

    Could I use non fat Greek yogurt vs full fat? (I really want this recipe to fit in with my dietary restrictions lol)

    Also, where does one find Rosewater and/rose petals? Could we just use dried roses that we have on hand, or are there specific ones for consumption?

    Thanks so much! I’ll be making this for Easter!

    1. 5 stars
      Update: made the cake, to amazing results! My family raved about it, and apparently I now I have to make it for other holidays!

      I used whole grain flour, monk fruit sugar replacement, non fat Greek yogurt, and couldn’t find rose water…and it was delicious! Worked very well.