Yazdi | Almond Cardamom and Rose Cake
cake has a history and originates in Yazd. Traditionally, it has cardamom and
rose water, and a touch of rice flour to make it lighter. They are cupcakes
decorated with pistachios. While often portrayed as a legend, it has it that
these cakes were shared with loved ones, young and old, and particularly
offered to travellers taking on long journeys. It has categorically been stated
as a myth that, over the decades, these Yazidi cakes seem to have taken on
another name—the Persian Love Cake. It sounds more exciting and intriguing! And
definitely just a feel-good story that may have started with a dreamy baker.
This recipe is a take of my own, an ode to my Yazidi ancestors and
embracing my Western brethren who prefer to share the mythical Persian Love
Cake at many a Navroze table.
I hope my cakes will make you feel good and start a new story of
your own—one that legends and traditions are made up of. It looks beautiful and
tastes delicious. Keep it safe for your next celebration and serve it on the Noruz
sofreh-table laden with food.
This cake has no oil nor butter and is packed with almonds and a delicate balance of spices, plants, and herbs.
plants, and herbs.
a 33 cm/ 10-inch pan with parchment and butter.
the oven to 180 °C | 350 °F
1st dry ingredient bowl
3/4 cup ground almonds
of 1 large lemon
2nd dry ingredient bowl
twice and mix a bowl
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
tsp dried hibiscus flowers, ground
Wet ingredient bowl
a bowl, mix
tbsp lemon juice
tbsp rose water
a bowl, cream the eggs and sugar until tripled in volume (5 to 7 minutes). Add
the almonds and lemon and incorporate. Lower the speed of the mixer to slow and
add half of the wet bowl ingredients, then half the dry ingredients from bowl
2, and repeat until the contents of both bowls have been incorporated. Do not
the mixture gently with a spatula and pour it into your prepared cake pan. Bake
for 35 to 40 minutes until the top looks crusty and a tester inserted in the
middle comes out clean. Do not overbake.
cake can be served warm or at room temperature. It can also be iced if you
Whey is the residue from the yoghurt and milk of the
Panir ( page xx). Buttermilk is a close substitute.
lemon zest and juice can be replaced with orange, if preferred.
On its own, the cake is delicious. Shrikhand, double or whipped cream, or even a slice of sharp cheddar are all delicious additions to the cake.
To ice it, allow it to cool completely before topping with a
simple butter and icing sugar mixture, as shown in the picture. For a tastier
topping, whip up sweetened cream cheese or cream that has been lightly swirled
with a touch of hibiscus, saffron or rose for colour.
Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Vegetarian Parsi, inspired by tradition is an award winning cookbook. It was published by Spenta Multimedia India and is available on Amazon India and through email order at email@example.com.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.