You’re going to fall in love with this Persian Love Cake!!! Made with semolina and almond meal with a hint of citrus and subtle spices, this cake is soaked with hot syrup to make it moist and add sweetness. Straightforward to make, a beautiful cake for afternoon tea or to finish off a Persian or Middle Eastern themed meal!
Welcome to the 3rd and final instalment of PERSIAN WEEK! A week in which I’m sharing 4 recipes so you can make your very own Persian feast at home!!
Here’s what’s on the menu for your Persian Feast:
- Persian Lamb Shank recipe – the main event! Braised until fall apart tender in a beautiful aromatic broth. Incredibly easy with every day spices you’ll find at any supermarket!
- Persian Saffron Rice – that golden, crispy beauty… and it tastes as amazing as it looks!!!
- Persian Cucumber Tomato Salad (in the Lamb Shanks recipe)- lovely and fresh, with a little sprinkle of Sumac for a touch of Persian exoticness; and
- Persian L♥ve Cake (today’s recipe)- made with semolina and almond meal, this cake is soaked with a lemon-rosewater syrup, with a hint of citrus and spice flavours. You’re going to LOVE this Persian Looooove cake!
AND SO THE STORY GOES…
A Persian girl madly in love with a Prince made a beautiful cake with magical powers to make him fall in love with her.
As for whether it worked – I never got to the bottom of that. Some say they lived happily ever after, others say he never returned her love – though hopefully she got to eat the whole cake herself.
Now – I can’t promise that this cake has magical powers to woo your secret crush (whether it be George Clooney or a boy band) but I can promise that it tastes as enchanting as that story (despite the unsatisfying ending to the fairytale!!)
ABOUT THIS PERSIAN LOVE CAKE
This is a cake is made with semolina and almond meal instead of the usual flour. It has subtle spicing from cardamom and nutmeg, a hint of citrus from orange and some lovely tang from lemon in the syrup.
Most people say that the best part about making this cake is pouring the syrup over the cake when it’s fresh out of the oven so it soaks right through, adding sweetness as well as moisture.
I’d argue that and say that the most satisfying part is jabbing lots and lots of holes in the cake.
It’s totally not in the spirit of a Persian Love Cake. More Basic Instinct, really.
But I cannot lie. It’s my favourite part! (Other than eating it, of course). – Nagi x
PS Decorated the Persian way with dried edible rose petals from Essential Ingredient, my favourite gourmet food store. I spend hours in there every time I go and always treat myself to something a little special. Last time it was the pictured rose petals. 🌹🌹🌹
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Recipe video above. A beautiful Persian cake with a lovely subtle citrus flavour and hint of spice. For an authentic Persian flavour, don't skip the rosewater! They differ in strength so start with a small amount and adjust to your taste - too much can be overpowering.
- 2 cups / 200g almond meal (almond flour)
- 1 1/2 cups / 165g semolina
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 120 g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed (150g)
- 3/4 cup white sugar (150g)
- 2 eggs
- 250 g / 1 cup plain yoghurt
- Zest of one orange
- 50 g / 2 oz raw pistachios , chopped or slivered (or almonds)
- 1/3 cup / 85 ml lemon juice
- 1/3 cup / 70g white sugar
- 1 tsp+ rosewater (adjust to taste, start with less)
Preheat oven 180C/350F (standard) or 160C/320F (fan). Grease and line a 22cm/9" cake pan.
Mix almond meal, semolina, baking powder, nutmeg and cardamon in bowl.
Beat butter and both sugars with an electric beater until incorporated. Add eggs, beat until smooth. Then add yoghurt and orange zest, beat until smooth.
Add dry ingredients. Stir until mixed through.
Pour into pan, smooth surface. Scatter over pistachios.
Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Poke 30 - 40 holes all over the cake using a skewer (poke all the way through). Pour warm syrup over while cake still hot. Leave to soak for 1 hour+ before removing from pan. Cool then slice to serve.
Pictured decorated with dried rose petals. Alternative: no decorations (pistachios alone look great!), dust with icing / confectionary sugar, of a Lemon Glaze (use this one)
Place ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer and stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes. Keep warm (or reheat) for pouring.
- General note: cakes made without flour like this can tend to be a bit crumbly and dry. This cake is not - the moisture comes from the syrup poured over the cake while it's hot!
- Nutrition per serving.
LIFE OF DOZER
Me – in Vietnam.
Dozer – with the golden retriever boarder, running wild with his friends.