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Just Teddy Persian Love Cake

We thought long and hard about sharing this recipe. Eventually, the pure beauty of the ingredients, the aromatics of the spices and the mystique of the rose petals, made their own overwhelming argument in favour of this recipe appearing in this book, our book, which would not be complete without the Love Cake.

Legend has it that a Persian woman was madly in love with a Prince. To make him fall in love with her, she baked him this cake filled with the magical powers of love. Allegedly there are two endings to this story: one tells of the Prince returning her love and how they lived happily ever after. The second is a tale of woe – her love is unrequited and she consoles herself by eating the entire cake! Whatever your intention, and the outcome, one thing this recipe promises is a slice of delicious gluten-free cake!


  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • tsp ground cardamom
  • 275g ground almonds
  • 100g rice flour
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 Tbsp rose water
  • 5ml baking powder
  • Pinch of salt


  • 30ml castor sugar
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 5ml rose water


  1. Grease a deep 20cm loose-bottomed springform tin.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
  3. Beat together butter and castor sugar.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Add rose water and lemon zest.
  6. Sift together rice flour, cardamom, almonds, baking powder and salt.
  7. Add the flour to the egg mixture alternating with the lemon juice and mix.
  8. Pour the mixture into the springform tin and bake for 1 hour.
  9. To make the drizzle, heat lemon juice, castor sugar and rose water together in a saucepan.
  10. Boil until slightly thickened and set aside.
  11. After 1 hour cooking time, prick with a skewer to test if it is baked through.
  12. Once baked, remove from the oven, pour over the drizzle and allow to soak in the loose-bottomed cake tin.
  13. Allow the cake to cool, then remove from the tin.
  14. To make the icing, sift icing sugar, add lemon juice, then add enough water to make a thick but pourable paste.
  15. Pour the icing over the cooled cake. Allow the drizzle to run down the sides of the cake in rivulets.
  16. Decorate with slivered pistachios, edible gold leaf
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