You’ll be enchanted by this Persian love cake, which has an aromatic flavour and a soft, buttery crumb.
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 22cm springform cake pan. Line the base and sides with 2 layers of baking paper.
Place the pistachios in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and egg yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ground pistachio, almond meal, semolina, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon rind and juice and yoghurt. Fold to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake for 1 hour 25 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate.
To make the yoghurt icing, combine the icing sugar and yoghurt in a bowl until thick and smooth. Spread over cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pistachios.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Store leftover almond meal in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months past the ‘Best Before’ date on the original packaging. You can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
This beautiful cake is bound to win anyone’s heart. Persian love cake originates from Iran. It has a soft and moist crumb made from almond meal and semolina, and has a tangy and aromatic sweetness from the lemon and cardamom. It’s topped with a generous drizzle of yoghurt icing and a sprinkle of green pistachios. The flavours are delicate and light, perfect with a cup of unsweetened tea or to finish a rich dinner. With such a simple recipe, Persian love cake is the stunning dessert you’ll find yourself making time and time again for celebrations and events.
Here are some tips to make a successful love cake:
Choose a cake tin that is higher so that the batter doesn’t overflow.
Butter or line the cake tin well so you can slip the cake out easily.
Be sure to use a weighing scale to measure out all your ingredients.
Bake the cake in the middle of the oven so it develops a soft, buttery crumb.
Leave the oven door closed throughout the cake cooking process.
If you use a bit too much flour, the cake can end up with a dome on top. If this happens, don’t worry. Use a bread knife to gently trim the dome, flip the cake over and ice the other side.
Make sure your yoghurt icing is at the right consistency so that it drips slowly down the sides of the cake. Your icing shouldn’t be transparent or watery.
Remember to cool the cake down completely before icing.
To decorate the cake before serving, use pistachios that are not roasted – you want them to have a bright green colour that will contrast beautifully with the cake. You can store your iced Persian love cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re planning to make this cake ahead of time and freeze it, make sure not to ice the cake. Freeze the un-iced cake wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
This buttery and spongy cake is both wonderfully aromatic and beautiful to look at. Enjoy spiced cakes? Try your hand at this Persian-style carrot cake recipe. For other gorgeous almond cakes, check out these recipes for gluten-free whole mandarin and orange cake and almond cake with plums and cream.
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