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!

35 comments

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I love everything about this cake, Sarah! So excited for all of your Middle-Eastern themed recipes this month. Also looking forward to hearing you speak next week at the Tastemaker conference!

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I want to try this. I’m intrigued by rose water but have had poor luck. What kind of rose water did you use? I bought a bottle of Nielsen Massey “rose water” but it’s more like a syrup. and so strong I ruined a batch of jam– rhubarb and (lightly-flavored–NOT!) with rose. Then I bought a bottle of rose water from a Greek store. the bottle looks more like a tall, thin European soda bottle. It is more like water, but I had to go so out of my way to find it that I really don’t think it’s what people generally mean by “rose water.” I can’t imagine the NM rose water strength is what you mean, but that’s what all recipes seem to call for. A tablespoon of it would make the cake smell like a rose hot house. Really, how rose-y is this cake???

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I use Al Wadi! It’s the traditional stuff 🙂 This cake is definitely rose flavored, but it’s not overwhelming. As in, you don’t feel like you’re eating perfume!

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Hi Sarah, I just found your blog and really enjoy it. Just wanted to let you know that you have a typo near the beginning of this recipe: “And yet, this sake is flavored .” Sake instead of cake. I’m going to try your pistachio ic cream very soon.
Regards,
Lane in Charlotte, NC

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I did not know, Rose pedals were edible?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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As far as I’m concerned, they’re fine to eat!

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In Turkey, it’s common to find rose-petal jam! So definitely edible ????

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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YUM.
Happy to hear 🙂

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Hi thanks for amazing cake .

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Love Persian, love history, love this one. Thank you for another beauty Sarah !

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Haven’t yet made it but will soon.when I read a recipe I can literally taste the end product.i also am a visualizer and this recipe sounds looks tastes great!
Will post the results very soon.thanks

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I love Bob’s almond flour Sarah! And this cake sounds so delicious. Love the addition of the cardamon!

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I’m so intrigued by the flavors, it looks amazing!

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So surprising to see a recipe from Iran and Persia! I found your post accidently among my browser ads and I should say it’s so lovely! BTW I’m Sara, a Persian girl 🙂
And about the rose water and cardamom, these two are so useful in Persian cooking specially for desserts.

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I find that when I cream other things together with butter the butter doesn’t cream properly, is there some baking trick I don’t know about ?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Your butter should be truly room temp, and a stand mixer will do the trick! It’s hard to cream things by hand.

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I’m one for experimenting, so maybe 5yrs back I randomly came across a Persian Love Cake recipe and figured out how to turn it into an ice cream cake bc my friend’s fiance (at the time) wanted an ice cream cake for their wedding. I figured you couldn’t have one of those kiddie looking ones, though. Made it with cardamom gelato. It turned out amazing, and even better, she loved it! I was bummed when, after a move, I couldn’t find my Frankensteined recipe again. Glad to come across your recipe. Can’t remember if it’s similar to the one I had, but it looks yummy just the same. 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Omg this sounds AMAZING!!!!

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This gorgeous cake has my name written all over it! Save a slice for me please!

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Hi, this looks incredibly delicious! I will definitely make it! But I noticed it says salted butter, is that a typo or is it salted butter? Never used salted butter in a dessert before so just wanted to make sure! Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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What a sweet thing to say! Yes,this recipe calls for salted butter, but feel free to use unsalted and just add in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt if that’s what you have on hand.

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Hi! This looks incredibly delicious! I will definitely make it! I just want to make sure about the butter, it says salted butter, can I use unsalted instead? Thanks!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you so much! Of course. If you use unsalted butter just add in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt for flavor 🙂

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Hi! Excited to make this! Can I sub anything for the milk in the glaze??

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Hey Amber,

You could use a non dairy milk, cream, half and half, or any other liquid/creamy alternative! Hope this helps!

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Hi, I made this exactly as described and it didn’t rise for some reason – flat as a pancake! Any advice?

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Oh no!! So sorry to hear that. You should check to see if your baking powder Is still active(this happens to me all the time and I KNOW it’s so disappointing)
You can check to see if your powder is still good by simply dropping a teaspoon into boiling water. If it bubbles up right away you’re good. If it doesn’t or takes us some time it’s time to throw out your can and get a fresh one!

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

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

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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!

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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!

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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

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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

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