Recipe: Persian Love Cake

One beautiful Sunday morning last autumn, my friend Christine and I took a walk on the Aqueduto das Águas Livres in Lisbon. This was the site where Diogo Alves – Portugal’s first serial killer – supposedly robbed and killed seventy people, feigning suicide.

After the visit, we had lunch at Cafeh Tehran, where I enjoyed an amazing Persian Love Cake.

I was able to recreate this cake at home, just as moist and aromatic as it was at the restaurant, even without the cardamom chantilly.

Here is how I made it.

Recipe from Nagi of RecipeTin Eat. I reduced the amount of sugar and added fresh orange juice.


  • 200 grams (2 cups) almond flour
  • 165 grams (1 1/2 cups) semolina
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 120 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125 grams (1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 125 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 250 grams (1 cup) plain yogurt
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 50 grams raw pistachios, chopped

For the Syrup:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup white suger
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) or or 160°C(320°F) with fan.
  2. Coat a 9 inch springform pan with butter and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the flours (almond & semolina), baking powder, nutmeg and cardamom.
  4. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars (white and brown) until smooth.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beat until smooth.
  6. Add yogurt, orange zest and half of orange juice (reserving the other half for the syrup), beat until smooth.
  7. Incorporate dry ingredients, and mix with a spatula until well combined.
  8. Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth it out.
  9. Sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios.
  10. Bake in the oven for about an hour, until the center is set and the top is golden brown.
  11. Right before the cake is ready (about 50 minutes into baking), place lemon juice, sugar and rosewater into a saucepan over medium high heat, bring it to a boil, lower the heat to simmer for 2 minutes, stir to dissolve all sugar.
  12. Take the cake out of the oven. Poke holes all over the surface, pour the warm syrup and the rest of the orange juice evenly over the cake.
  13. Let is soak and cool down in room temperature for two hours.
  14. Decorate with rose pedals, if desired.

17 thoughts on “Recipe: Persian Love Cake

  1. I’ve never heard of the Persian Love Cake, but I’m sure that one bite of it will make anyone fall in love with it! I can imagine it must be so fragrant with the rosewater, as well as spiced with the nutmeg and cardamom…I’ve been on a huge baking kick since last winter, so perhaps I’ll have to try this recipe out!

    Liked by 1 person

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