Sunday, February 6, 2011

Persian Love Cake

This is one of my favorite desserts. The first time I made it was three years ago, for Valentine's Day. It is rich, without feeling heavy. As much as I love chocolate, this is a nice change. The saffron, cardamom, rose, and pistachios give the dessert an exotic flavor.

This was the first time I made sugared flowers, and I learned a few things. The egg whites started to go flat as I worked, so I had to keep re-beating them. I sprinkled too much sugar on the first few petals. Once dry, the sugar showed up much better.

Persian Love Cake
Adapted from Bon Appétit
June 2005

Candied Rose Petals
1 large egg white
¼ c sugar
Petals from 2 organic roses

1 c cake flour
14 Tbs superfine sugar, divided
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
6 Tbs water
¼ c canola oil
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
½ tsp ground cardamom

2 c chilled heavy whipping cream
Pinch saffron threads
2/3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp rose water

2 Tbs natural, unsalted pistachios, chopped

For the candied rose petals:
Whisk egg white in a small bowl until foamy. Using a pastry brush, paint a light coat of egg white onto both sides of the rose petals. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Dry on a wire rack for at least 6 hours.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325˚. Butter the bottom and sides of 2 8-inch cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper; butter the parchment.

Sift flour, 7 Tbs of the sugar baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, water, canola oil, lemon zest, and cardamom. Add to the dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth.

Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 7 Tbs of sugar. Beat until egg whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold the whites into the batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between the prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes. Turn onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely.

For the frosting:
Combine ½ c cream and saffron in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold.

Beat remaining cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, rose water, and saffron cream and beat until peaks form.

Stack and frost cake with whipped cream. Chill at least 1 hour. Top with rose petals and pistachios.


  1. What a beautiful cake! I love the exotic flavors within it and the candied rose petals are gorgeous!

  2. What a pretty cake and it looks scrumptious!!!!
    I'm stopping by from the Relax and Surf Sunday Blog Hop and I'm your newest follower. If you get a minute please stop by and follow back.

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  3. This is a gorgeous cake and looks delicious. I may have to try it!

  4. I think I could eat this all day long, because I love such delicious looking things :)

  5. I love Valentine's Day desserts, and yours looks so, so delicious! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Valentine's Day Recipe Contest! You could win a GreenPan Stainless Steel Todd's Perfect Gourmet Cook Set!

  6. i just made this cake. so quick and easy! i almost at all the whipped cream with a spatula. thankfully i've got plenty left after the two layers for the cake. it's chilling now. can't wait to serve it after dinner!

  7. This is the most beautiful cake! I am going to make it for my birthday, it has everything going for it from the pink rose petals to the rose water and whipping cream. Thank you for the post!

  8. Absolutely GORGEOUS! I love the idea and the flavors going on here! I wish valentines was coming up again so I had a good excuse to try this out :(

  9. This looks beyond delicious! I have to try it!

  10. This cake looks heavenly! I'm definitely making it for my next anniversary <3 [although, I was taught to use powdered egg whites to avoid salmonella + to replace water with 100 proof vodka to speed the drying process when making candied flowers]

  11. I just made the cake! Had a little trouble with the whipped cream part of it. It's chilling in the fridge right now. Will be putting the rose petals on soon and taking it to a New Year's party. Fingers crossed!


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