Persian love cake

Persians may well love cake, but I love cake too, and I love this one because it’s a mix of pistachio and rose flavours (two of my favourite flavours), lemon and orange, and it satisfies my love of all things pink and green. No need to make it in a bundt tin really, although that does add to the prettiness. It’s delicious, moist and simple to make. Yums. Recipe from BBC Food.



200g soft unsalted butter (I used stork)

225g caster sugar

4 large eggs

1 lemon, zest of half, juice of half

1 orange, zest of half, juice of half

+/- 1 tsp rosewater (depending on strength)

150g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

0.5 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon

100g ground almonds

100g ground pistachios

3 tbsp natural yoghurt


150g icing sugar

The juice from the other half of the orange

The juice from the other half of the lemon

A couple of drops of rosewater

Pistachio nibs / chopped pistachios

Dried rose petals

Method – cake

  1. Heat oven to 160C Fan. Grease the inside of an approx 24cm bundt tin (or 22cm round tin), then tip in 1 tbsp flour – tip and tap the tin in all directions to cover the whole thing in a light dusting of flour, then knock out the excess.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric whisk or free-standing mixer for 5 minutes until they’re light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the zests, juices, and rosewater. It’ll look awful and curdled, but don’t worry it’ll all be fine.
  4. Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder, cardamom (or cinnamon) and a pinch of salt, then mix the whole lot into the butter/egg mix until fully combined and the curdling has gone away.
  5. Next stir in the ground almonds and pistachios – I use a processor to pulverise whole unsalted pistachios into crumbs and dust.
  6. Lastly stir in the yogurt, then scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer or cocktail stick comes out clean.
  7. Leave in the tin for a couple of minutes, then carefully tip out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cold.

Method – icing

  1. Put the icing sugar in a bowl and slowly mix in the fruit juices and a tiny bit of rosewater until the prepared icing is just thin enough to pour, but still pretty thick. Go slowly when adding the liquid, its really very easy to add too much and end up with a runny mess.
  2. Pour over cold cake, leave for 5 minutes to firm up a little, then sprinkle over the pistachios & rose petals. Or decorate in any way that you feel like of course.

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