As I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across Broma Bakery’s post for Persian Love Cake. Her photo looked absolutely divine. Seeing as how I was in the mood for cake, I decided this would be the cake I would make. However, after looking at her recipe, I realized that I did not have a key ingredient – almond flour. As you know by now, I have no desire to run to the store for one ingredient. Even if that store is a five-minute walk away from me. That requires putting pants on and looking presentable to the world. By the world, I mean the people of London who go to the same store as me. One time I wore PJ bottoms and flip flops (I had a coat on), to get dark chocolate at 9:oo pm and I amassed some weird looks.
I still wanted cake! So after browsing the internet for a bit I came across this recipe here by Unicorns in the Kitchen. Her recipe is simple and did not require any almond flour. However, her cake is made in a bundt pan and I only have a 9-inch springform pan. Nevertheless, I was determined. After a bit of fiddling around, I present to you my recipe for Persian Love Cake.
This recipe is an adaptation of Broma Bakery and Unicorns in the kitchen’s recipe. What I love about this cake is how it uses ingredients that are not traditionally associated with cakes in the West. Flavours such as cardamom, orange blossom, rose water and lemon are all present in desserts in the Middle East. I love the warmth and depth they bring to a dish.
Seeing as how I did not have almond flour, I incorporated almond extract instead. I also did not have rose water and had to make my own. I have included the recipe for homemade rose water. Finally, one ingredient I have not used (as yet) in baking is orange blossom (or orange extract). I cannot stress how lovely this ingredient smells and tastes!
This cake is perfect for Ramadan. It is light and fluffy enough for a pre-dawn meal (suhoor) or post-dinner dessert. I also want to add that this cake is super easy to make even if you’re a student like me. I literally have zero of my fancy gadgets like I used to have back home. Honestly, I don’t even have a spatula LOL.
If you have a stand mixer (lucky you) this recipe is easy. If you have a whisk even better. However, if you have neither (like myself), all you need is a fork. When whisking the eggs and sugar, whisk vigorously for 5-8 minutes. I know this sounds like a long time but trust me when I say it is important. Plus you get in a good arm workout – so win-win! If you do not properly aerate the eggs and sugar, the crumb of the cake will be dense and flat. You should never have a dense and flat cake in your life – that’s just sad!
All you need to do is mix equal parts dry rose petals to equal parts water (1:1). Bring the ingredients to a boil in the saucepan. Remove and let cool. Strain the rose water into a glass and discard the petals.
If you’re looking for another “rose-inspired” dish that is also gluten-free. Check out my recipe for my Rose & Pistachio Olive Oil Cake.
rose. orange. cardamom.
A delicate afternoon cake with flavours of rose, orange blossom and cardamom.
Preheat the oven to 320f. Coat (8-inch spring form pan) with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. See notes if you are doubling the recipe.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the sugar and eggs until pale in colour and fluffy. Add in vegetable oil, rosewater, ground cardamom, almond extract and orange blossom water into the mixture and whisk well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt to the wet ingredients and gently fold until combined.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then transfer into a serving dish.
Mix powdered sugar, milk, almond extract and saffron in a small bowl. Use a spoon to combine all the ingredients until it forms a viscous paste. You do not want it too watery. If too thick, add a tiny bit of milk. If it is too watery add more icing sugar.
Spoon the icing over the cake and garnish with walnuts and rose petals, if using; serve. The cake will keep for up to three days. Ensure to keep it wrapped with tin foil, saran wrap, in a cake dome or in an air tight container.
* If you do not have orange blossom extract, you can substitute the quantity for orange zest instead (roughly one medium-sized whole orange)
** Don't have saffron? No problem. Omit this - the flavour will still be great. But really - get some saffron, it's a beautiful spice!
You can go ahead and double the ingredients for this recipe to fit a bundt pan. If you are doing so you will need to increase the temperature to 350F (180C) and bake for 30-35 minutes instead.