This moist and tasty Pomegranate Cake recipe uses ground almonds, rose and cardamom for a decadent cake that is refreshing and delicious. Similar to a Persian Love Cake, it's perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter or for a spring event.
I adore pomegranate and I adore cake. So here they are together in a delicious, moist Pomegranate Cake recipe!
The ground almond cake is flavored with rose and cardamom, then it's topped with a delicious rose and pomegrante icing.
It's served with a crown of pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios. Add some edible rose petals or buds if you can, too.
It's moist, delicious, fragrant, sophisticated and beautiful.
This is a version of a Persian Love Cake, which is a richly flavored almond meal cake with notes of cardamom, rosewater and a refreshing twist from fresh lemon juice.
The flavors balance delicately in this pomegranate cake, making it a unique Middle Eastern-inspired dessert everyone will enjoy.
My take on the well-known Persian Love Cake is a little different from the one by Yasmin Khan in her cookbook The Saffron Tales and the popular versions by Broma Bakery, Ottolenghi, Rachel Khoo and Nigella. I hope you'll love it as much as we do.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It’s great to make for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day.
Decadent and flavorful enough to bring to a fancy brunch event.
This pomegranate cake makes the most of seasonal fruit.
It can be decorated beautifully using many different types of foods with various pops of color.
The delicate flavors are perfect for Easter, Mother's Day or afternoon tea.
You’ll be able to introduce your friends and family to a unique cake with a beautiful Middle Eastern flair.
It’s the perfect texture being rich, dense, yet moist, all at the same time.
Ingredients & Tools
Butter - Unsalted butter makes up the oil or fat portion of the cake and gives it a rich flavor.
Caster Sugar - Adds sweetness to the cake as well as contributes to the texture when creamed together with the butter.
Eggs - Helps bind the ingredients of the cake together for it to bake evenly.
Lemon Juice & Zest - Gives the cake a pop of freshness and acidity.
Rose Water - Adds a light floral taste that compliments the other flavors of the cake. If you don't have any, just leave it out. It will still be a delicious pomegranate cake.
Plain Flour - Flour makes up the base of the cake and makes it fluffy.
Ground Almonds - (Aka almond meal - but not the fine-textured almond flour) Gives the cake a rich dense texture and adds to the decadent flavor.
Baking Powder - Helps the cake rise.
Cardamom - Gives the cake a layer of warming flavor.
Sea Salt - Brings out all the flavors of the cake.
For the Pomegranate Icing
Icing Sugar - The best sugar to use to make an icing glaze.
Pomegranate Juice - Adds flavor and a beautiful rich pink color. You can buy it separately as a drink, or save the juice when taking the pomegranate seeds out.
Rose Water - Gives an additional floral flavor to the top of the cake. It's in the baking aisle of most major grocery stores, as well as whole foods shops. It's optional and you can substitute for a little vanilla extract instead.
Pomegranate Seeds - Will look like beautiful red & pink jewels on top of the pomegranate cake.
Chopped Pistachios - Adds a green color that goes will with pink as well as a great crunch and lovely flavor.
Culinary Rose Petals - Rose petals will add an inviting freshness to the look of the cake. Totally optional, but they make the cake extra pretty. Find them in the baking aisle of larger grocery stores and whole foods stores.
22cm Round Loose Bottomed Cake Pan (spring-form pan)
Baking Parchment Paper
How to make Pomegranate Cake
Follow this step by step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Preheat the oven to 320F/160C. Lightly grease a 9inch/23cm round loose-bottomed cake pan and line with baking parchment.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Beat in the rose water, lemon zest and juice until fully combined.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt, and stir in the ground almonds.
Mix on medium speed until the cake batter is fully combined.
Spread evenly into the pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make the pomegranate drizzle by mixing the icing sugar, pomegranate juice and rose water together.
Remove cake from the oven and let it cool completely. Drizzle it with the pomegranate topping, then sprinkle with the pomegranate arils/seeds and chopped pistachios.
Make sure you do not use too much rosewater in this cake as a little goes a long way and you don’t want to overpower the cake with rose.
Before icing the cake, it’s important to let it cool completely as the icing will become warm and watery if the cake is too hot.
It’s best to use a loose bottom or spring-form pan for this cake to make sure it comes out without crumbling once you’re ready to remove it.
Serve this cake with a pitcher of Cardamom Cold Brew Coffee.
Add to your Valentine’s Day red dessert line up with these Spiced Poached Pears in Red Wine.
Serve for afternoon tea with a few of these Afternoon Tea Recipes.
Enjoy with a Cranberry Pomegranate Cosmopolitan.
Add these Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes around the cake for a beautiful presentation.
Serve at brunch along with these Cinnamon French Toast Hearts.
Use lemon or orange juice in place of the pomegranate juice.
Divide the pomegranate cake batter into cupcake tins to make pomegranate cupcakes. Baking time will need to be reduced by 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Add ¼ cup of sifted cocoa powder to the dry ingredients to give the cake a light cocoa flavor.
Bake the cake in a greased bundt pan for a fun cake shape.
If you don’t enjoy rose water, use vanilla extract instead.
Feel free to top with dried fruit, cranberries, powdered sugar or even fresh rosemary.
To Make Gluten Free: To make this recipe gluten free, use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend that includes xanthan gum.
Storing: This Persian Love Cake can be stored on the countertop in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Freezing: You can freeze this baked and cooled un-iced cake by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap then placing in an airtight container. Thaw on the countertop for 1-2 hours until the cake is no longer frozen.
Why is it called Persian Love Cake? The story goes that Persia a woman baked this beautiful and magical cake to make her beloved prince fall in love with her. Perhaps it worked, perhaps it didn't. But you might just woo your beloved with this cake.
What does rosewater taste like? Rosewater gives baked goods a light floral taste that is popular in Middle Eastern baked goods. Check out these inspiring rose water recipes.
What flavors go well with rosewater? Citrus flavors and warming flavors such as cardamom and nutmeg compliment rose flavor well.
Can I pulse pomegranate seeds in a blender to get juice? Yes, but make sure you are pulsing gently and only until the juice releases. Alternatively, you can purchase bottled pomegranate juice.
Can I use coconut flour instead of ground almonds in this recipe? No. The texture of coconut and almond are completely different so your cake will not taste the same or may not hold up the same when baked.
More Cake Recipes
We hope you love this Pomegranate Cake recipe (aka Persian Love Cake) as much as we do. Be sure to check out some of my other tasty cake recipes.
Get the recipe
Pomegranate Cake (Persian Love Cake)
- ¾ cup (200g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- ¾ cup (100g) all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups (300g) almond meal (ground almonds)
For the pomegranate icing:
- 1 ½ cups (150g) powdered icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons pomegranate juice or substitute lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon rose water
- Pomegranate arils/seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
- Dried culinary rose petals or buds optional
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Lightly grease a 23cm round loose-bottomed cake pan and line with baking parchment.
- Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the rose water, lemon zest and juice.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt and stir in with the ground almonds.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake pan, smooth to the edges and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- It’s done when an inserted knife or toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the pomegranate drizzle by mixing the icing sugar, pomegranate juice and rose water together.
- When the cake is completely cool, drizzle it with the pomegranate topping, then sprinkle with the pomegranate arils/seeds and chopped pistachios and rose petals if using.