This Persian love cake recipe comes from Hamed Allahyari's book Salamati – Hamed’s Persian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories from Iran to the Other Side of the World (£25, Murdoch Books).

Hamed says: "Why ‘love cake’? The story goes that a village woman tried to woo a prince with this cake. He swooned over the cake but rejected the girl and she ended up eating it all herself."

This is a recipe that Hamed shared as part of his guide to Iranian cuisine. Check it out to learn about the rich and complex flavours of this Middle Eastern country, including herb-packed sabzi. After, check out our favourite Persian-inspired recipes.


  • 300g ground almonds
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 185g soft light brown sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 260g greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 35g slivered pistachio kernels
  • edible dried rose petals to serve (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Butter a 20cm round cake tin. Combine the ground almonds, sugars and butter in a large bowl with your fingers until they resemble breadcrumbs. Press half the mixture into the cake tin, creating an even base.

  • STEP 2

    Add the eggs, yogurt, spices and 1 tsp of salt to the remaining mixture and, using a wooden spoon, combine until smooth. Pour into the tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle the flaked almonds and pistachios over the top.

  • STEP 3

    Bake for 1 hr until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean – check after 50 mins to ensure it’s not colouring too quickly and cover the cake with foil if necessary.

  • STEP 4

    Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with dried rose petals (if using) and serve. The cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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