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A more romantic, shmooshy recipe for Valentine’s Day you will not find. Blessed with pistachios, a gorgeous drizzling of rose water-yoghurt icing and a story as beautiful as their looks, these little baby cakes have everything going for them.
While the internet seems to be failing me on the story behind this recipe – there are numerous versions of the recipe itself as well as how it got it’s name, So I’m going to pick my favourite. In the name of Valentine’s Day…
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful woman who’s heart yearned for the love of a handsome Persian prince. And because we all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, she baked him a spiced, fragrant cake in the hopes that at the first taste, he would fall hopelessly in love with her…

Whether or not he did indeed fall in love with her, is a mystery, but if it were up to my tastebuds, I’d have married that woman on the spot.  So if you are in need of a little baked magic to make your prince fall in love with you, give this recipe a try.  But if the cake doesn’t work, remember… Forget love, and rather fall in chocolate.

Persian Love Cakes

If you’re not a fan of rose water, these cakes would be equally delicious with a glaze made from orange blossom water or lemon zest.

Makes 14


100g blanched almonds

100g pistachios

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

150g butter, cubed

225g self-raising flour

185g castor sugar

3 eggs

225ml full cream plain yoghurt



100ml full cream plain yoghurt

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Squeeze of lemon juice

Few drops of rose water, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour 14 small cannele or mini bundt molds (alternatively make a 20cm cake). Place the almonds and pistachios in a food processor and process until fine. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, butter, flour and sugar and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the eggs and yoghurt. Spoon into the prepared molds and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly then turn out and cool completely. Trim the tops off the cakes so they can stand straight. For the icing, combine the yoghurt, icing sugar and rose water to form a glaze then drizzle over the cakes. Decorate with crushed pistachios and crystallized rose petals, if desired.