My Hungry Husband

This is not the first time I’ve made a Persian Love Cake. I first made one for Eid, which the flavours are aptly suited to, then again into cupcakes, and now a single layer cake. I’ve seen so many variations of this cake but the things that remain the same are the following: flavours of cardamom, lemon, saffron and pistachio give this cake the most fragrant and indulgent of flavours. This is one reason I love it so much – it is so versatile! The next time I will definitely make a 3 or 4 layer gateaux like Katherine Sabbath. 

Persian Love Cake


  • 1x Ina Paarman Vanilla Box Mix (Any good quality mix or vanilla cake recipe will do)
  • 1tsp ground cardamom
  • 50g-70g Ground pistachios
  • A few strands of saffron, heated in the microwave for 10 seconds (optional)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1tsp Rose water essence
  • Juice of one lemon mixed with icing sugar (to taste) boiled until it makes a syrup


  1. Make the vanilla cake as per the instructions. Add the ground pistachios, cardamom, lemon zest, saffron and rose water essence to the mixture.
  2. Bake until a knife or cake tester comes out clean
  3. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
  4. Pour hot syrup over a cold cake or cold syrup over a hot cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • 1 Tub (240g) Good quality cream cheese
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp rose water essence
  • Few drops of red food colouring


  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar until well combined
  2. Add the rose water essence and food colouring (light pink colour) beat until combined.
  3. Add the cream cheese, you might need to add more colouring here but try not to overbeat.


Pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting all over the cake, top with raspberries, more pistachio nuts and a light dusting of gold dust.


A lot of people prefer to mix the cream cheese with the butter and icing sugar, I prefer to do them separately as it reduces the chance of overbeating. The more you beat the mixture the runnier it will get. It is also affected by the fat content of your cream cheese. Lancewood is a good brand to use.

You can decorate with rose petals, figs, candied lemon and orange peel.

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