Persian Love Cake

Crushed cardamon pods, freshly zested lemon and a splash of aromatic rose water make this cake irresistible. Decorate with a simple lemon icing drizzle and a flourish of dried rose petals and chopped pistachios. It's surprisingly easy to make and looks so pretty. I made it gluten free by swapping out the flour for a gluten free substitute and worked perfectly. 
Winterwares stoneware handmade plates, with slices of persian love cake

 Persian Love Cake ready to be iced, plated up on Winterwares handmade ceramics

Persian Love Cake decorated with lemon icing, rose petals and pistachios


Serves: 8-10


For the cake

200 grams unsalted butter
150 grams caster sugar
3 medium eggs
12 cardamom pods
100 grams flour, sifted (I substituted gluten free flour)
275 grams almond meal
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice from one small lemon
1 tablespoon rose water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
a generous pinch of fine sea salt

For the icing

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon rose water
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

To decorate

1/4 cup chopped pistachios
3 tablespoons rose petals


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
  2. Grease a 22cm spring form cake tin and line it with baking paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, (best done with an electric mixer). When the mixture is thoroughly combined, beat in the eggs one at a time. I kept my electric mixture on for a good 6-8 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. It's worth spending a bit of time mixing it so it's light and fluffy.   
  4. Place the cardamom pods in a mortar and using a pestle, crack the pods to get the seeds out. Discard the pods and grind the seeds to a fine powder. Add them to the cake batter, then add the flour, almond meal, lemon zest, lemon juice, rose water, baking powder and salt. Mix until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. To check if it is done, stick a skewer in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s ready.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove it from the pan and put it on a large plate.
  7. Make the icing by combining the icing sugar, lemon juice, rosewater and a few teaspoons of water, whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  8. Spoon the icing over the cake and decorate with chopped pistachios and rose petals.

For this recipe I've used the shibui platter for the cake, hibi bowl to hold the pistachios, hygge bowl for the rose petals and the fika plates to serve the cake slices.

Fika plate surrounded by cake crumbs