Cake Eshgh – Persian love cake

Today and every day we celebrate LOVE!

Valentine’s day has come and gone and I am just getting around to posting this cake recipe on the blog. To state the obvious, Valentine’s day was not always a day that was celebrated in Iran and there was certainly no cake to go with it! But as times have changed, so have some of the traditions and rituals around these holidays.

The cake is made up of familiar flavors of warming cardamom, fragrant rosewater, and subtle tartness of lemon. I made the cake with more almond flour than whole wheat pastry flour and it can easily be converted to a GF cake by eliminating the wheat and either substituting my other favorite grain, sorghum, or just using only almond flour.

The texture is similar to a light and moist corn cake, so if you prefer a traditional light cake texture, switch to your favorite tested and tried basic cake recipe, and integrate the Persian rosewater and cardamom flavors.


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Cayk-e Eshgh

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Persian love cake. A buttery moist cake with cardamom, rose water and citrus. 
4.92 from 89 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Persian
Servings 1 cake


  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup unrefined sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons rose water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh


  • 1-2 tablespoons Rose petals
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios, chopped


  • Set the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the center position.
  • Lightly spread a small amount of butter all around an 8-inch cake pan, covering the bottom and all the sides.  Sprinkle a small amount of flour into the pan and tap the pan while tilting it to make sure the flour has covered the greased surface.  Turn the pan upside down and tap out any excess flour.  I prefer this method to lining with parchment paper. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the room temperature butter and sugar using a spatula until you have a well-mixed paste.
  • Using a whisk, add one egg at a time and mix until the eggs are well incorporated. 
  • Add the rose water, lemon juice, and water and mix well. 
  • In a separate bowl add the all the remaining dry ingredients, making sure all the ingredients are well mixed. 
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet bowl, gently mixing as you go along.  I typically start mixing with a whisk and then finish with a spatula. 
  • Pour the batter into the greased and floured cake pan and gently smooth out the top surface and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes and test with a toothpick to make sure the batter is fully cooked in the center.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before attempting to take the cake out of the pan.  
  • Using a butter knife, gently loosen the cake from its edges and gently flip the cake out to a plate and then flip again onto a cake platter so that the top of the cake is on top.
  • It is necessary for the cake to be completely cooled before icing.
  • In a small bowl add all the icing ingredients and mix well.  Once the cake is cooled, drizzle or spread the icing over the top and garnish with pistachios and rose petals. 


To make this a gluten free cake, substitute the whole wheat pastry flour with sorghum flour.
Keyword cake, cardamom, pistachio, rose petals, Rose water
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sherry says:

    What cab the almond flour be replaced with (due to allergy)?

    1. Hi Sherry, you can use all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry which will really change the texture and requires various adjustments to the recipe. What I recommend is using your favorite simple cake recipe and eliminating the vanilla and instead adding rose water and cardamom to mimick this cake’s flavor. Hope that helps!

  2. Nooshin says:

    This is an amazing recipe! I have baked it over 10 times for friends and family, my family is Persian and this tastes like faloodeh shirazi and cake yazdi all in one cake ! Thank you for bringing joy to our home!

    1. Hello Nooshin, I’m so happy to learn this cake has brought so much joy to your family! It is one of my favorite cakes too!

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