Persian Love Cake Recipe

Straight form our chefs for you, here is our wonderful Persian Love Cake recipe.

These lovely cakes can be served warm, without the mascarpone, pistachio and pomegranate seed topping, or at room temperature with all the toppings. Presentation-wise, it’s a nice little trick to lay a piece of baking parchment on top of each cake, on the diagonal, held down flat, and sprinkle the icing sugar over the exposed side of the cake.

This recipe makes 12 individual cakes.


240g ground almonds

135g demerara sugar

135g soft light brown sugar

50g buckwheat flour

80g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cubed

¾ tsp salt

160g Greek-style natural yoghurt

90g eggs (roughly 1½ large eggs)

1 tbsp mahleb (or ¼ tsp almond extract)

¾ tsp ground nutmeg

To serve (at room temperature):

60g mascarpone

1½ tsp pistachio kernels, slivered or finely crushed

12 pomegranate seeds (optional)

icing sugar, for dusting

Essential kit

You will need: 12 rectangular silicone financier moulds, or a regular muffin tin.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4.

2. Place the ground almonds, both sugars, flour, butter and salt in a food processor and blitz a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Transfer two-thirds of the mix – about 430g – to a large bowl along with the yoghurt, eggs, mahleb and nutmeg. Mix to combine and set aside.

3. Line the base of 12 financier (or muffin tin) moulds with the remaining third of the crumb mix: it should come about a third of the way up the sides of the moulds. Use your fingers or a teaspoon to press the mix into the base of the moulds, as you would a cheesecake, so that it is compact.

4. Using two teaspoons, fill each mould to the top with the yoghurt mix, and level off with a palette knife for an even finish. Place the moulds on a baking tray and cook for 30–35 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until the cakes are dark golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The cakes will look slightly uncooked and damp inside, but this is the way they should be and is part of their charm. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 15–30 minutes before unmoulding them. Serve as they are, slightly warm, or leave to cool before spooning a little mascarpone on top of each cake and topping with the crushed pistachios and 1 pomegranate seed, if using. Sprinkle a little icing sugar on one half of each cake, at a diagonal. Can also be garnished with dried flowers.

Chef's tips:

- We make our cakes in small rectangular silicone financier moulds, which look so elegant. Alternatively you can use a regular muffin tin!

- These cakes are at their best the day after they are made. They can be eaten on the day, however, and kept for up to 2 days in a sealed container (without the mascarpone topping). They don't keep for much longer than this - which is surprising, given how moist they are - because the texture becomes a bit gummy. Once the cakes have been topped with the mascarpone, they can be stored in the fridge and brought back to room temperature before serving.