rose cake topped with glaze and pistachios

I’d like to preface this post by saying rose water is not my favorite thing. It’s just too intense for me and feels like I’m eating perfume. And yet, this sake is flavored with a decent amount of rose water and I LOVE IT. Like, it’s just the perfect balance to the richer, moist texture of this cake. Of course, I also love cardamom THE MOST and this cake has cardamom in it, so that definitely counts for something.

OK so I’ll back up. This cake is called “Persian Love Cake.” It’s a term apparently coined by Yasmin Khan, an English/Pakistani/Iranian cookbook author. Persian Love Cake is a rich, moist cake flavored with rose water and citrus. Besides the intriguing Middle Eastern scents, I’m super into the name.

removing a slice of Persian Love Cake

So I created my own version, and I have to say, I’m absolutely smitten. It’s a good balance of moist and fluffy, and has the perfect amount of spice. One thing that makes this rose cake so good is the addition of almond flour. In general, almond flour in cakes imparts an undeniable moistness, creating the most lovely texture to your baked goods.

I used Bob’s Red Mill super-fine almond flour, and partnered with them on this post to deliver you the most scrumptious early fall cake. And yes, I’m saying fall, because there’s just something about almonds and cardamom that make for a great transition into the spicier, warmer flavors of autumn.

almond and rose cake on a plate

How to make Persian Love Cake

This almond and rose cake is an absolute show stopper looks-wise, but it’s one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make. The steps for this Persian Love Cake are simple:

Cream the butter and sugar — Add the butter, sugar, eggs, and oil to the bowl of a standing mixer and beat until light and fluffy. This will likely take 2 to 3 minutes, but you don’t want to rush this. If you don’t take the time to whip air into the butter, your cake might turn out a little dense. Once mixed, add in the rose water and other flavorings.

Add the dry ingredients — Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, add in the flour, almond flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Beat until everything is just combined (you don’t want to mix the flour for too long or else you’ll activate the gluten and, again, your cake might be dense).

Bake the cake — This almond and rose cake takes around 40 minutes in the oven. You’ll know when it’s ready to be taken out when it’s golden on top and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Make the glaze — While the cake is cooling, make the glaze (it’s a simple mixture of powdered sugar, rose water, and whole milk — combine everything in a bowl and microwave). The glaze should be thick, but spreadable. If it’s too runny, it’ll soak into the cake and make it soggy!

Assemble the cake — Now comes the fun part: assembling the cake! Spread the glaze over the cooled cake and sprinkle on your toppings. I used rose petals, crushed pistachios, and candied ginger, but you can pick and choose which toppings you want.

serving a slice of rose cake

Tips for making Persian Love Cake

Don’t add extra rose water — Like I said before, rose water can become overpowering really quickly. Don’t add more rose water to this Persian Love Cake than what the recipe calls for, or else you’ll regret it.

Don’t glaze a hot cake — You have to let this almond and rose cake cool completely before adding the glaze on top. If you glaze a hot cake, the glaze will run everywhere and you’ll have a huge mess on your hands.

Don’t substitute almond meal — Almond flour and almond meal are two different almond products. Almond meal still has some of the almond skins mixed in, and it’ll mess up the lovely texture of this cake.

Persian Love Cake slice being removed

OK excuse me while I get up from my desk to go grab a slice of this Persian Love Cake. Enjoy!

Print

Persian Love Cake (Cardamom, Almond, & Rose Cake)

Persian Love Cake: a fragrant cake flavored with freshly ground cardamom, rose water, and almond flour, and topped with crushed pistachios and rose petals.

Persian Love Cake: a fragrant rose cake flavored with freshly ground cardamom and almond flour, and topped with crushed pistachios and rose petals.

  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (also about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons rose petals
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger (optional, I just felt like it added nice texture)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, oil, eggs, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, rose water, and vanilla extract.
  3. Turn speed to low and add in flour, almond flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt until just mixed.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is lightly brown on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before making the glaze.
  5. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, rose water, and whole milk in a microwave-safe bowl and whisk to combine (glaze will be very thick). Microwave for 10-15 seconds to thin out mixture, then pour over cooled cake. 
  6. Sprinkle crushed pistachios and rose petals (and candied ginger, if using). Serve!

More easy cake recipes from Broma Bakery:

Strawberry Almond Cake

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake

Cinnamon Bundt Cake

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

almond and rose cake next to a bag of almond flour

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Broma possible!

53 comments

Mads
Reply

Could I sub vegan butter or coconut oil for the butter?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

We’ve never tried it but in theory it should be fine! Let us know how it goes!

Richard Wilson
Reply

Are you sure the amounts of Rose water are correct? I’ve never used it before and made the cake as per recipe and both cake and icing turned out to be very bitter and almost inedible. Is it meant to be teaspoons rather than tablespoons? If so I would try it again. I was trying the recipe for my daughter’s wedding evening. We are cooking Ottolenghi!

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Richard! We’re so sorry to hear that this didn’t turn out correctly for you!
Make sure you’re using Rose Water (we used Al Wadi Rose Water) and NOT Rose Essence, because that would definitely produce way too strong of a flavor haha.
Hope the second round goes better and let us know if there are any other questions!

Rebecca
Reply

Hi! This cake looks amazing and I love the flavor combination! I’m planning on making it today, but I was wondering how long it lasts? Thanks

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Rebecca! The cake should last 3 to 5 days at room temp. I wouldn’t expect any to be left after the first two days though if you’re anything like our household haha

Danni
Reply

Hi! This recipe looks amazing! I’m thinking of making this for my aunts birthday.. Do you think I could make two cakes and stack them as a tiered cake?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Danni! We’ve never tried it, but I think it would be fine! Let us know how it goes 🙂

Jeanette Tiomkin
Reply

Hi! so excited to make this, just wondering if I can use gluten free flour to substitute for the regular flour?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes definitely! I would just use a cup for cup blend! We love Bob’s Red Mill!

Pratima
Reply

I baked it for 30 mins and it turned out super dry. Don’t know what would happen if i baked it for 40mins

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Pratima! Ovens vary so much, so it’s always hard to nail down a cook time. Sounds like your oven cooks a lot quicker than ours does–try taking it out at 25 minutes next time!

Amanda
Reply

I am planning on making this wonderful cake recipe today. However I don’t have rosewater. I have “Angelbake” brand rose extract. I can’t seem to find a conversion chart anywhere for rose water to rose extract. I am worried it will be overpowering if I am not careful…Do you have any ideas?

Thank you!
Amanda

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Amanda! We’ve never used Angel Bake, but I feel like a teaspoon sounds right? I would start there and see how if it tasted overpowering!

Lea
Reply

Loved this cake!! Have been thinking about making it for a few months and decided to make it for Thanksgiving dessert. (I decided to forgo turkey and make Za’atar chicken instead). It went over extremely well. Texture of the cake and the flavorings were lovely. Only thing is that glaze came out a bit think and hardened really fast, I think that I will try to thin it more next time.
Pistachios and rose petals made it a show stopper.

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Ahh Lea, this makes us so happy! One of our favorite cakes too 🙂

Angela
Reply

Is this cake suitable for freezing?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Definitely! Let it cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap!

Alison Cooley
Reply

What sort of alterations would be needed to make this recipe into cupcakes? Waiting on my rose water to be shipped. I’ll probably try out the original recipe first.
Can’t wait to try this <3

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

We’ve never made these as cupcakes, so I’m not sure! I think they would bake fine as cupcakes though!

Meenu Sachdeva
Reply

Hi, this cake is amazing! If I had to make this cake eggless, what can I substitute?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Meenu! I would use flax eggs! You can make them by mixing a tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 2 tablespoons of water as a substitute for one eggs. Just let the mixture sit for ten minutes to thicken!

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