Saturday 18 March 2023

Almond Cake - my take on a Persian Love Cake

 Almond Cake 

Kayk Yazdi | Almond Cardamom and Rose Cake 

This pretty 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.

Serves 12

Prepare a 33 cm/ 10-inch pan with parchment and butter.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C | 350 °F


4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

1 cup sugar


1st dry ingredient bowl


3 3/4 cup ground almonds

Zest of 1 large lemon


2nd dry ingredient bowl


Sieve twice and mix a bowl

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp saffron

1 tsp dried hibiscus flowers, ground



Wet ingredient bowl

In a bowl, mix


1 cup whey

1/4 cup yoghurt

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp rose water


In 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 overbeat it.


Fold 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.


The cake can be served warm or at room temperature. It can also be iced if you prefer.




Whey is the residue from the yoghurt and milk of the Panir ( page xx). Buttermilk is a close substitute.


The 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

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.


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