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This Persian Love Cake recipe bursting with irresistible flavors of rose, cardamom and pistachios make such a perfect cake to celebrate any special occasion. If you have the ingredients handy, this rose-cardamom-pistachio cake can be baked very easily and trust me this is the only recipe you’ll ever need to celebrate someone special!!!

A beautifully fragrant sponge cake from roses, cardamom and pistachios originating from Persia, India and Turkey.
Persian love cake

Since I’m crazy about this Rose-Cardamom-Pistachio combo, I have baked quite a few other baked goods based on these flavor profiles and they are invariably always loved by my friends and families.

A beautifully fragrant sponge cake from roses, cardamom and pistachios originating from Persia, India and Turkey.

There are quite a few variations of the Persian love cake. And I have tried a few recipes but finally I crafted my own that I find the best tasting so far, as far the texture and taste goes. Typically, the Persian Love Cake is flavored with rose water, saffron, cardamom and pistachios. The base has regular flour, semolina, and almond meal. However, I modified the base and the flavors and kept it simple and elegant.

This Persian love cake has a wonderfully moist and buttery texture, as well as a subtly fragrant flavor. The combination of cardamom and rosewater imparts a delicate floral sweetness.

A beautifully fragrant sponge cake from roses, cardamom and pistachios originating from Persia, India and Turkey.


There is a story behind the name that once upon a time there was a Persian woman madly in love with a prince. … To make him fall in love with her, she baked him this cake, filled with magical love powers. Source: Hey anything goes, right? May be back then it was that simple to win hearts…, but I do see some truth there though. There is nothing like bringing someone a home baked cake or a plate full of cookies and seeing their eyes light up. 🙂


It tastes like everything cardamom, rosewater, rose petals and pistachios. This cake is a treat to your senses.

A beautifully fragrant sponge cake from roses, cardamom and pistachios originating from Persia, India and Turkey.


The essential ingredients to bake Persian Love Cake are oil, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, Cardamom powder, Rose water, Greek yogurt. These are the primary ingredients used in a Persian Love Cake. These can be easily found in Middle Eastern or Indian stores. In fact I buy all my ingredients from Whole Foods. Whole Foods carry good quality Rose Water.

  • Cardamom Powder
  • Rose Water
  • Dried Rose Petals
  • Pistachios
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking powder & Baking Soda
  • Light oil
  • Eggs


This is a showstopper cake and even though, Persian Love Cake looks utterly complex but trust me, it’s one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make.

Cream curdled milk (Milk+Vinegar), oil, sugar and eggs — Add the oil, sugar, eggs, curdled milk to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

Add cardamom powder, vanilla essence, rose water and whisk for few seconds

Add the dry ingredients — Once the wet mixture is light and fluffy, add in the flour, coarsely ground pistachios, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 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 Persian love Cake takes around 40/45 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!

A beautifully fragrant Persian Love Cake flavored with roses, cardamom and pistachios


  1. Do Not Glaze/Ice a hot cake — Let the cake cool completely before adding the glaze on top to avoid making a mess.
  2. Room Temperature Products – For best results, ensure that everything is at room temperature.
  3. Fresh and good quality ingredients – Use fresh cardamom pods and use pestle and mortar to crush. If you are pressed for time, you can always store bought cardamom powder.
  4. Go easy with Rose Water – Rose water can be overwhelming. If you aren’t into strong rose flavor, add in moderation.
  5. The position of the rack in the oven is key; make sure you bake the cake on the middle/low shelf. This results in a soft and golden cake – that’s baked to perfection.
  6. Do not open the oven door whilst the Persian cake is baking. I avoid opening the door too many times to prevent the cake from drying out or under bake, a little patience is required here. 🙂
  7. Store your Persian love cake in an airtight container.  It will keep at room temperature for a couple of days or longer if stored in the refrigerator.
  8. Use Raw PistachiosRoasted pistachios are the easiest to find, but they’re not so great for decorating things like this Persian love cake. When you want something bright green and stunning, go the extra mile to track down some raw green pistachios. You can find them in all Persian and South Asian markets, most bulk food shops, and online if all else fails.
  9. Coarsely Grind the Pistachios – To coarsely grind your pistachios, simply place them in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and run it until they break down into a coarse meal.
  10. Use good quality edible dried roses – You can buy: buds or petals. While whole buds look super pretty, they are not edible in whole form, so I separate the petals before decorating with them.
  11. Consistency of the icing – Make sure your icing is thick enough to set opaquely, but not so thick that it’s hard to pour.
Rose cardamom Pista Cake originating from Persia, India and Turkey.


If you have loved ones who have specific dietary preferences, here are some suggestions.

Gluten Free: Use gluten-free flour and substitute semolina with GF flour or almond flour. You may also make the cake with only almond flour by replacing flour and semolina with almond flour.

Nut Free: Use only flour and semolina. Replace the almond flour with regular flour or semolina. Skip the pistachios and almond slices. You may top the cake with pumpkin seeds instead of pistachios.

Egg Free: I have an egg free Persian Mini Cake on blog. Mini Persian Love Cakes (No-Eggs)

Cup Cakes: You can use the same recipe to make pretty looking rose-pistachio-cardamom cupcakes with a cardamom buttercream.

The perfect love cake with rose cardamom and pistachio

Few other rose-cardamom-pistachio flavored bakes

Rose Water Bundt Cake

Rose Latte

Sandesh Cake with Rose Icing

Mini Persian Cakes

Persian love cake recipe, Love Cake, Rose water cake, Pistachio cake, Cardamom cake, myyellowapron, how to make Persian love cake, middle eastern cakes, food photography, food styling, dried rose petals, beautiful cakes

Persian Love Cake Recipe

Persian Love Cake, a dreamy cake. The irresistible flavors of rose, cardamom and pistachios make this cake such a perfect cake to celebrate any occasion. If you have the ingredients handy, this Persian Love Cake can be baked very easily and trust me this is the only recipe you'll ever need.
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Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Indian, Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish
Servings 8



Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups APF (250g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup (60g) 1/2 cup coarsely ground pistachios
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Cups (400g) Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Freshly ground Cardamom powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (56g) Milk mixed with 1 spoon vinegar/lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Rosewater
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 cup (225g) Light oil (Olive or Vegetable)

For Icing

  • 1 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp Rosewater
  • 2 tbsp Edible dried rose petals
  • 4/5 tbsp Ground raw pistachio for decorations


  • Pre heat the oven to 350 degree F
  • Butter and line your pan with a piece of parchment paper
  • Sift the dry ingredients – flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Keep it aside.
  • In another bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil really well till its light and frothy. The more you beat, the fluffier your cake will become.
  • Add the milk+vinegar mix to the egg mixture. Stir.
  • Add the vanilla essence and rose water to the wet mixture as well.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and give it a light mix. You should be aiming at folding the dry with the wet. If you overmix, then your Persian Love Cake won't be light.
  • Add the ground pistachios and cardamom.
  • Pour the Persian Love Cake batter into the prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or till a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely before you start the icing part.

Icing the Persian Love Cake

  • Mix powdered sugar and rose water. The consistency should be thick but pourable.
  • Pour the icing on the Persian Love Cake which is cooled completely.
  • Sprinkle some dried rose petals and pistachio slivers to decorate.
Keyword Cardamom Cake, Love Cake,, Persian Love Cake, Pista Cake, Pistachio Rosewater Cake, Rose Cake, Rose Water
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Gorgeous cake. Looks so moist and delicious

  2. anatureescape says:

    I love anything with pistachios in it. Looks delicious!

  3. What a beautiful cake. It’s almost too pretty to eat!

  4. How to replace eggs in the recipe

  5. this is s beautiful cake! i’ve never baked a pistachio dessert so i can’t try to make this one <3

  6. I love why this is called Persian Love Cake. It’s nice to know the story behind the recipe

  7. This cake is too pretty to eat. I would take lots of pictures before eating it

  8. This looks really good and like the toppings.I would love to try it. It’s been a while not to make a cake at home.

  9. Blair Villanueva says:

    This is a delicious cake! Also the story behind it is very interesting as well. True enough that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

  10. Whew! That’s a very pretty cake and all the ingredients are in season for me here! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  11. This cake has more than 2 eggs. If you replace the eggs, not sure how the cake will turn out.