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.
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.
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.
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.
OK excuse me while I get up from my desk to go grab a slice of this Persian Love Cake. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons candied ginger (optional, I just felt like it added nice texture)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
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.
Turn speed to low and add in flour, almond flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt until just mixed.
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.
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.
Sprinkle crushed pistachios and rose petals (and candied ginger, if using). Serve!