Persian Love Cake

“This enchanting cake reminds me of a Persian garden in the late spring, adorned with the floral scent of rose water and citrus, and decorated with bright green pistachios,” says cookbook author and blogger Yasmin Khan. “If it is not devoured in one sitting, the oil in the ground almond base ensures a moist, densely textured cake that will keep well for a couple of days, covered in foil. A sprinkling of dried rose petals looks ever so pretty for special occasions, but don’t worry if you can’t get hold of any. It’s still a cake to win hearts.”

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: One 8-inch Cake
  • Time(Other): plus cooling time

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  • 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 3/4 cups almond flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Chopped pistachios and dried rose petals (optional), for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the cake Preheat the oven to 320°F and grease an 8-inch spring form pan and line it with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs 1 at a time until incorporated.

  3. In a mortar and using a pestle, crack the cardamom pods to release the seeds. Discard the pods and grind the seeds to a fine powder. Beat them to the cake batter, along with the flour, almond flour, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the rose water, baking powder and salt until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a baking rack and let cool slightly.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon of rose water to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Poke holes all over the cake and pour the warm syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely, then remove from the pan and transfer to a cake platter.

  5. Make the icing Wisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of cold water until smooth. Spoon the icing over the cake and garnish with pistachios and rose petals, if using; serve.

Contributed By Photo Matt Russell

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