Vegan Persian Love Cake (Almond, Orange, Cardamom & Rose Cake)
Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or simply want to make something special for your loved ones, this delicious vegan Persian love cake is definitely worth trying!
It’s not only stunning to look at but tastes amazing too. Moist, perfectly dense and balanced with orange, cardamom, almond in the cake, and rose and pistachio in the glaze. You can’t go wrong with that combination.
Easy vegan cake with the show stopping looks
It looks romantic and decadent, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how straightforward it is to make. You’ll need 25 minutes to prepare it, and the rest you can leave to the oven to do.
The glaze takes 30 seconds to make, and topping it is the fun part!
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Why is it called a Persian love cake?
The cake’s origin goes way back to when a Persian woman fell in love with a Prince and wanted to win over his love. She set out on a mission to bake a cake with magical powers that would make him fall in love with her.
With a name like Persian love cake, you would think that the magical spell worked! Unfortunately, nowhere has the definitive conclusion of what happened to this romance.
Disclaimer: I don’t claim that this cake will make anyone fall in love with you, but you can always try 😉
Tips for making this rose cake
- If you can’t find cardamom powder, remove the seeds from the cardamom pod and turn them into a fine powder using your spice or coffee grinder.
- Some rose water is stronger than others so make sure you adjust to your taste. If using rose extract, start with ½ teaspoon for the icing and add the rest of the liquid either by using water or plant milk.
- Please make sure you cool the cake completely before glazing it as otherwise, the glaze will run, and you’ll end up with a bit of a mess.
- It’s important to use almond flour for this cake, not almond meal. There’s a difference. The flour is finely ground which ensures the cake isn’t too dense.
- This cake can be made ahead of time for up to 2-3 days and stored at room temperature in an airtight container or with a cover like foil or cling wrap. If your environment is on the warmer side, store it in the fridge.
- The cake is best consumed within a few days but will store at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
This cake is:
- Perfect amount of spice (none of the spices overpower the flavour, but work in synergy with one another)
- Ideal for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or birthday celebrations!
It’s already winning over hearts
I made this cake a couple of times through the testing process, and it only needed minor tweaking. I’ve shared it with about a dozen people, and they all loved it!
All age groups have tried it, and it has been a massive hit. My husband, Michael, said that it’s the best cake he’s had in a long time. My neighbours said that it’s the best cake that I’ve made to date, and that says a lot since they’ve probably tried 80% of the cakes on this website. So it seems to win over everyone’s hearts!
If you like the sound of the flavour combination, I’m sure you’ll fall in love too!
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Easy Rose and Pistachio Chocolate Truffles
- Rose and Chocolate Raw Slice
- 4-Ingredient Vegan Ginger Chocolate Truffles
- Vegan Tiramisu (Gluten-Free)
- No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Chocolate Orange Cake (Gluten-Free)
If you try this recipe, let me know! We’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest.Print
Vegan Persian Love Cake (Almond, Orange, Cardamom & Rose Cake)
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Bake Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes*
- Yield: 1 8-inch cake (8-10 slices)
This Persian love cake is perfect for celebrations! It’s a moist and dense cake beautifully balanced with orange, cardamom, almond in the cake, and rose and pistachio in the glaze.
- 1 medium-sized orange* (approx 210g)
- 1 cup / 140g plain flour
- 1 cup / 100g almond flour (not almond meal)
- 1 cup / 225g granulated sugar (raw or white cane sugar are best)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder*
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
- ⅓ cup / 70ml neutral oil
- ¼ cup / 60g vegan yoghurt (plain or vanilla are best)
- ¾ cup / 90g icing sugar (aka confectioners sugar)
- 1 tablespoon rose water*
- Food grade rose petals
- Pistachios, chopped
- Orange zest (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) line an 8-inch cake tin with parchment paper on the base, and oil the sides. Set aside.
- Place the orange in a small saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 15 minutes. It’s cooked when you can pierce the orange without too much resistance. Drain the water and set it aside.
- While the orange cooks, in a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
- To a high-speed blender, add the wet ingredients with the cooked orange. The whole thing including the skin. Blend on high for around 90 seconds until you get a smooth thick liquid. You may have tiny chunks of orange; that is fine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth out with the back of a spoon or spatula. The batter is pretty thick—Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Let it cool completely before removing it from the cake tin.
- For the glaze, combine the glaze ingredients and pour it over the cake. The mix is quite thick, so you will have to work quickly before it sets. I like it thick; however, you can thin it out with another teaspoon of liquid if you want it to drip down the sides of the cake more.
- Decorate with rose petals, pistachios and orange zest, and it’s ready to enjoy.
Orange: Try and use an orange with a thin skin to avoid excess pith in your batter, which will make the cake slightly bitter.
Cardamom: If you can’t find cardamom powder, remove the seeds from the cardamom pod and turn them into a fine powder using your spice or coffee grinder.
Rosewater: Some rose water is stronger than others, so make sure you adjust to your taste. If using rose extract, start with ½ teaspoon for the icing and add the rest of the liquid with water or plant milk.
Please make sure you cool the cake completely before glazing it as otherwise, the glaze will run, and you’ll end up with a bit of a mess.
It’s important to use almond flour for this cake, not almond meal. There’s a difference. The flour is finely ground, ensuring the cake isn’t too dense.
Want to make ahead of time? This cake can be made ahead of time up to 2-3 days and stored at room temperature in an airtight container or with a cover like foil or cling wrap. Store it in the fridge if your environment is on the warmer side.
This cake is best consumed within a few days but will store at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Time: The time doesn’t include cooling time for cake.
- Diet: Vegan
I fell in love with dish since i read about It here , the flavours, the looks i want to try it out. But if i don’t have cardamom what can i substitute for it also roses water/ extract isn’t available in where i live so can i make mine
Hi Barbara, do you have access to cardamom pods? If so, you can open the pods and grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Alternatively use cinnamon or leave it out. For the rose water, you can make your own. Google ‘rose water recipe for cooking’. Hope that helps!
What do you have to do if you want to use a bigger pan? I use 23 cm
You’ll have to bake it for less time. Check it at around 30 minutes and see how much longer it may need based on how dry or wet the skewer or knife is when it comes out from the centre of the cake. It will also be flatter. You could make it as a layered cake if you’d like it to be taller. Let me know how you go 🙂
Can you freeze this cake?
I haven’t tried but I think it should be fine. I wouldn’t do it for more than 1 month and without the icing.
A beautiful cake for a beautiful friend’s hen party. Instead of a sugar glaze, I whipped up some cream with some icing sugar and decorated the top of that cake with that. It was loooovely! The flavours were all delicately balanced. I used yellow rose petals as I couldn’t find dried rose petals. Was a real treat served up with indian masala chai. THANK YOU so much for this wonderful recipe – I’ll be making a double decker for my mums birthday X
Hi Survi, that’s wonderful! I’m so glad you love this cake. It’s certainly been a hit with everyone I’ve shared it with. I appreciate you also adding the alterations you made; they sound great 🙂 I hope your mum loves it too! Thanks for the review x
I made this cake for a party and it went down a storm so thank you for the recipe 🙂
I have added nutmeg and cinnamon to the batter, and also lemon juice to the glaze, to cut through the sweetness. But all in all, an explosion of flavours. I will make it again!
Thanks for sharing, Henry! I’m glad it was a hit 🙂 I like your little personal touches. I appreciate you leaving a review x
Hey, just tried out the cake – it’s really good but there’s a bitter taste to the cake – I followed the recipe to the tee ! Could you please tell me where could I have gone wrong?
Hi Kari, your orange might have had a lot of pith (the white part of the orange), which would have caused a slightly bitter taste. I’m sorry it wasn’t perfect, but hopefully, that explains what could have happened. Next time, use one with thinner skin like the one you see in my photos. I’ve just adjusted the recipe card to reflect that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! If it’s not the orange, then maybe your almond flour has gone rancid.
okay ! thank you so much ! so in that case, can I just juice the orange and take a little orange?
I haven’t tried it, but I think that it won’t come out the same. A whole orange has pulp, fibre, and juice, so the cake’s structure wouldn’t be the same.
Thank you !
Hey can I substitute vegan yogurt with normal yogurt? Will the measurements change?
You sure can. It should be the same amount 🙂
It was my first time making a recipe of yours and it was absolutely delicious!! The orange, rose and cardamom flavors compliment each other beautifully.
Substituted 1 cup and 2tbsp coconut sugar instead of white sugar and 1 cup of gluten-free all purpose flour instead of plain flour. Also took the suggestion of another reviewer and added 2 tbsp of rose water to cake batter. Baked for 45 min. Cake was moist inside and slightly crunchy outside. Thank you for making and sharing such wonderful vegan recipes.
Will be doubling the ingredients to make one large cake for a friend’s birthday. 😋🙌
So happy you enjoyed it, Linda! I’m glad it worked out well with the alterations. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Made this several times, always delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
Yay! So glad you love it 😊 it’s become one of my favourites on the website. Thank you for the lovely review x
Your recipe looks absolutely delicious. Would love to make this for a friend’s birthday. What natural sweetener can I use instead of white sugar, without altering the texture?
Hi Linda, I certainly would! You could try coconut sugar, however, the colour of the cake will be much darker. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t guarantee the same results, but that’s the closest alternative. Liquid sweeteners won’t work as a direct substitute here. I hope that helps!
Simply amazing!! This has to be the best cake I have made all year. Super easy recipe to follow. I can’t express how much I loved this one thank you for the recipe!
Oh wow! Thank you so much for your lovely review and I’m so happy to hear you loved it! x
I made this recipe as written, except for one thing which may have been a mistake on my part. Though I weighed all the other ingredients, I failed to weigh the orange. I thought my orange was small so I used 1 1/2 oranges cut in half and submerged them in the water to cook.
The cake was STUNNING. I made it in three stoneware mini loaf pans and baked for 40 minutes due to the smaller sized pans.
The cake is so moist and delicious. The only thing is, the reason I went searching for this recipe is because I had it from a bakery a couple of months ago and loved it, and especially because it was vegan.
My cake, though lovely in its own right, was not like the bakery at all. Mine was overpoweringly orangey. I can’t taste the rose, pistachio or almond flavors, just orange-but I do think this is because I used too much weight in oranges.
I will try this again because the cake itself is amazingly moist and beautiful as decorated. It is one of the prettiest cakes ever. I’ll just be sure and weigh my orange first!
Thanks for sharing, Morgen! It probably was a little too much orange if it was overpowering. Persian love cakes vary from recipe to recipe, so they could have also been a bit more heavy-handed with some other ingredients or incorporated others. Let me know how you go next time 😊
How much cardamom do I use if I grind it from the pod. Still 1 tsp? Will the cardamom flavour be too strong? Thank you.
Hi Sue, you’ll want to only grind the seeds inside (remove them from the pod). If it’s freshly ground, use less. Maybe start with half the amount. I haven’t tried it, so I’m not 100% sure sorry. It also depends on how much cardamom you like in desserts 🙂
Any recommendations for adapting for cupcakes? I’d love to make this for my coworkers without the mess of plates and cutlery.
I haven’t tried it myself, but it should be fine. Bake them for 30-40 minutes and see if they’re cooked all the way through; if not, bake until the skewer comes out clean. Let me know how they turn out 😊
This cake has been a huge hit in my household. I took a few extra steps by adding 2 tablespoons of rosewater and some bloomed saffron into the cakemix. I’m not a huge fan of glazes so I just sifted some icing sugar on the cake and it turned out great! Persian new years is coming up so I will def make this for my family. Happy new years!
Happy New Year! I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Bahar! Thank you for your lovely feedback and for sharing your changes x
Absolutely loved how easy and delicious this recipe is! The only modifications I made included a pinch of salt to the batter and to lessen the rose water to 1/2tsp. The first one I ate by myself in less than 24 hours.
So glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! It’s a little addictive, isn’t it? 😂 Thanks for sharing your modifications x
Made this yesterday and everyone is raving about it! How genius to use whole oranges, saves the hassle of grating & squeezing 🙂 Awesome creation!
I’m so glad to hear everyone loved it! Thank you for the lovely review x
Can this be made gluten-free?
I haven’t tried it myself, however, you can try and substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour and see how it turns out. It won’t be as light as this one but worth a shot. The other option is to use the base of my chocolate and orange gluten-free cake and follow the rest of the recipe as above otherwise. Let me know how you go!