Persian love cake picture


There is a lot of mystery surrounding the origins of Persian Love Cake, adding to its exotic appeal.

First, there are two versions – one filled with rose-scented buttercream and another using almond meal and pistachios, giving a nutty caramel flavour.




Then there is the story behind the cake. Some say a French woman fell so in love with a Persian prince she baked a cake filled with magical spices designed to make him return her love. Some say the woman was Persian.

What they don’t like to say is that the prince was allergic to one of the spices and died after taking just a few bites. What a sad ending – no wonder people leave that out of their description.



This beautiful cake – the gluten-free, almond meal version – represents love to me too. Friendship love.

I tasted this cake for the first time last year when one of my dearest friends took me to a surprise birthday lunch where two of my other dearest friends were waiting.

The sun-filled day was beautiful as we sat in the gardens at Artful @ Cafe at Lewers,  sipped wine, laughed, talked and ate.

No one was planning on dessert as the lunches were large. But when you call something Persian Love Cake……all of those words are perfect. I mean, who doesn’t love love and cake, and ‘Persian’ just conjures up images of exotic times and places. Of course, we HAD to try this cake.

One bite and we were hooked. I believe the recipe really does have magical qualities.

Weeks later one of those same friends was coming to my house for a sleepover. I bought all the ingredients to make this wonderful cake but before I started cooking my friend messaged me she was making Persian Love Cake for our dessert. It has kind of become symbolic of the friendship shared between these three wonderful women and myself. For me, the love story is one of friendship.




I haven’t tried the creamy rose-scented version of Persian Love Cake but the nutty, spice-filled version, served with Greek yoghurt, is delicious and is also gluten-free.


Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes



Persian love cake picture
Here’s what you’ll need.

3 cups almond meal

1 cup raw sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

120 g unsalted butter, softened

250 g Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve

1 tsp salt

4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped




Preheat oven to 180 C

Grease and line a 26 cm springform pan with baking paper

Combine almond meal, sugars, butter and salt in a bowl.

Rub with fingers until coarse crumbs are formed.

Put half the mixture into the pan, pressing to evenly cover the base.

Add egg, yoghurt, and nutmeg to the remaining mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

Pour over the base, smooth top and scatter pistachios on top.

Bake until golden (30 -35 minutes).

Cool completely on a wire rack then serve with extra yoghurt.

This recipe will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.


NB: The mixture will look runny right up to the end of cooking time so don’t let this bother you. It firms up nicely when cooled.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe. If you did, don’t forget to share it.

Wishing you lots of love, friendship, cake and a gleeful week, Tamuria.



  • That sounds delicious! I will definitely try… What great stories behind it (yours, and the ill fated prince!)

  • The fairy tale with the twist, Tamuria? 🙂 It reminded me of Mrs Doubtfire who doused a dish with red pepper (I think) on the prawns so that the new boyfriend would choke because he was allergic to that spice.

    On a more serious note, I love the recipe for the love cake. My late father’s first diplomatic posting was Iran and Persian was his foreign language. I was born there and the Khanum who helped my mother look after me taught her quite a few Persian recipes including mince meat kebabs that are always a hit in the family.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Oh I wish I baked. My sister-in-law makes a pistachio cake & that has become my favorite. I’m going to pass this recipe to her and ask her to bake it. I just know I will love it.

  • This sounds incredible, especially more so with almond meal as the “flour”. I imagine this would be great with other sweeteners as well, as I don’t use any kind of refined sugars. The creamy rose filled version piqued my interest as well! I love that you tasted this delightful cake and then decided to take it on and make it yourself. Your guests must have been delighted. Thanks for sharing, Tami! I’m not much of a baker, however, occasionally we look for healthy alternative desserts to make with a holiday dinner.

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