Persian Love Cake with a Video!
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
For Amin’s 30th birthday, I wanted to do something really special. Amin is half Iranian and over there they love the flavors of lamb, rose water, cardamom, pistachios, and saffron. So I made him an amazing rack of lamb (which I hope to write about in the future), and then I came across this recipe for Persian Love Cake. The first time I made this I went all out and even candied rose petals which you can do, but it takes six hours and it’s really just a garnish so I omitted it.
I chose it not just for my husband’s heritage but also because of the story behind it. As I looked at different recipes I found a website that said the origin came from a story of a woman who fell in love with a handsome prince, and she made this cake in order to win his heart hence why it’s a love cake. I told my husband the story when I gave this to him as well and it definitely won his heart over.
You have the rosewater and saffron frosting which is amazingly balanced by the cardamom cake. The only word of warning I give here is please be careful with the rosewater…even if you think it smells good, only add the recommended amount because it can not only overwhelm the other flavors, but it can become the only thing you smell and taste for a while. This is where I would like to say that if you watch any food competition on TV if rosewater is involved it usually means someone is getting voted off for using too much. Okay. I’m done with that rant now for the recipe!
Ingredients for Candied Rose Petals * 1 large egg white * ¼ c sugar * Petals from 2 organic roses
Ingredients for the Sponge Cake * 1 c cake flour (this is a very specific kind of flour, it’s not regular and it’s not self-rising. Please be sure to get the right kind.) * 14 Tbs superfine sugar, divided (If you can’t find this, take regular sugar and run it through a food processor) * 1 ½ tsp baking powder * ¼ tsp kosher salt * 3 large eggs, separated * 6 Tbs water * ¼ c canola oil * 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Ingredients for Frosting * 2 c chilled heavy whipping cream * Pinch saffron threads ( I use way more than a pinch, but it’s good to start there and then increase the strands to your own taste) * 2/3 c powdered sugar * 1 tsp rose water (TRUST ME 1tsp IS ENOUGH!!!!) and raw unsalted and chopped Pistachio nuts as a garnish
For the Candied Rose Petals: Whisk egg white in a small bowl until foamy. Using a pastry brush, paint a light coat of egg white onto both sides of the rose petals. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Dry on a wire rack for at least 6 hours.
For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 325˚. Butter the bottom and sides of 2 8-inch cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper; butter the parchment.
Sift flour, 7 Tbs of the sugar baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, water, canola oil, lemon zest, and cardamom. Add to the dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth.
Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 7 Tbs of sugar. Beat until egg whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold the whites into the batter in 3 additions. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean around 20-25 minutes in the oven should do it. Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes. Turn onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely.
For the Frosting: Combine ½ c cream and saffron in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let steep for 20 minutes. Chill until cold. Beat remaining cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, rose water, and saffron cream and beat until peaks form. Stack and frost cake with whipped cream. Chill for at least 1 hour. Top with rose petals and pistachios.
If you made this, let me know how it went in the comments below! If you would like exclusive content into my life then feel free to follow my social media listed on the sidebar! Have a wonderful day! -Heather Autumn