Persian Love Cupcakes
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Persian Love Cupcakes

These pretty Persian Love Cupcakes will enchant you with their looks and flavour. Simply, yet effectively decorated, these little cakes are bursting with flavour. Rosewater, orange blossom, lemon & almond feature in the sponge which is topped with both a lemon saffron drizzle and lemon icing.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Worldwide
Keyword: lemon saffron drizzle, love cake, persian love, persian Love cake, Persian Love Cupcakes, rosewater cake, saffron cake, valentines baking, valentines cake, valentines cupcake
Servings: 10 cupcakes
Author: Jane Saunders


For the Cupcakes

  • 120 g/ 1 stick Butter - room temperature
  • 120 g/ 5/8 cup Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs (large, free range)
  • 100 g/ 3/4 cup Plain (all purpose) flour
  • 40 g/ 1/3 cup Ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Rosewater (see notes)
  • 1 tsp Orange blossom water
  • 2 tsp Lemon zest (grated finely)

For the Lemon & Saffron Drizzle

  • 1 Large pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Caster sugar

For the Lemon Icing

  • 160 g/ 1 1/4 cup Icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice

Decoration: edible rose petals, finely chopped pistachio nuts, edible gold leaf


    Make the Cupcakes

    • Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ GM3 and line a cupcake/muffin pan with 10 cupcake liners
    • Sieve the flour and baking powder into a small bowl. Add the ground almonds and stir briefly to combine
    • In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy
    • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition
    • Beat in the rosewater, orange blossom water and lemon zest
    • Mix in the flour mix until just combined - do not overbeat
    • Divide between 10 baking cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until well risen and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. As soon as the cakes go into the oven begin making the lemon & saffron drizzle

    Make the Lemon & Saffron Drizzle

    • Put the saffron threads into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and water - set aside to 'bloom' until 3 minutes before the cakes come out of the oven
    • When the cakes are nearly ready, add the sugar to the saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and remove from the heat 
    • As soon as the cakes come out of the oven poke holes in them using a cocktail stick and spoon the lemon & saffron drizzle over them (approx 3/4 tsp per cake)
    • If not using the lemon icing, scatter crushed rose petals and pistachio nuts over the top. Finish with a small piece of edible gold leaf

    Make the Lemon Icing & Decorate the Cupcakes

    • Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing
    • Mix the lemon juice and water together in a small jug
    • Sieve the icing sugar into a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 the liquid and stir until smooth. Keep adding more liquid, bit by bit, until a thick but slightly spreadable consistency is achieved - it should just fall off the spoon.
    • Top each cupcake with a generous teaspoon of icing. Use a small palette knife to gently guide the icing to the edges of the cake 
    • Scatter crushed rose petals and pistachio nuts over the top. Finish with a small piece of edible gold leaf
    • Best eaten within 2 days. Store in an airtight container.


    Not all rosewaters are equal. Some are much stronger in flavour than other. I have quite a strong bottle on the go at the moment, but if you know yours is on the mild side, feel free to add a little more to my recipe. it's definitely better to be cautious if you are not certain - too much rosewater can be overpowering.