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RECIPE | Teddy Zaki's legendary Persian Love Cake

The pastry chef and owner of Just Teddy at Hyde Park Corner shares a prized recipe to mark the launch of his first cookbook

28 November 2021 - 00:00 By Teddy Zaki
Pastry chef Teddy Zaki's Persian Love Cake.
Pastry chef Teddy Zaki's Persian Love Cake.
Image: Alaister Russell/Sunday Times

Makes: One 20cm cake



200g unsalted butter, softened

150g castor sugar

4 medium eggs

¼ tsp ground cardamom

275g ground almonds

100g rice flour

1 lemon, zest and juice

15ml (1 tbsp) rose water

5ml  (1 tsp) baking powder

Pinch of salt


30ml (2 tbsp) castor sugar

15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

5ml (1 tsp) rosewater


150g icing sugar, sifted

30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

Cold water, enough to form a stiff paste


Pistachio nut slivers

Edible gold leaf

Edible rose petals


  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 rosewater 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 rosewater 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 it to run down the sides of the cake in rivulets.
  16. Decorate with slivered pistachios, edible gold leaf and rose petals

• Recipe from 'Just Teddy'; petals from Paris. Available from  justteddy.shop or at Just Teddy’s, Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg