Persian Almond Cake with Whipped Rose Frosting (Gluten-free)
OvenHug is a healthy recipe site where you will find mostly low-sugar and low-fat recipes. Every once in awhile I will come across a delectable that is neither of those things but I just have to share it with you all. This Persian Almond cake is one of those. The flavors are similar to baklava and the tastiest Persian desserts. It’s worth every red light bite and then some. Many Iranian cookies and cakes have almonds – the taste is similar to marzipan. In addition to the almond-y/marzipan taste there is a lovely hint of rose to this cake. Many years ago I used to bake a similar cake we called “Cake-lava” – a cake version of baklava.
Since this cake uses almond flour it is Gluten-free and suitable for those with sensitivity to gluten.
We’ve had a wet winter with some local areas flooding. After years of drought Californians not used to all the rain. The good news is that spring is in the air! It’s easy to spot magnificent saucer magnolia tree blossoms and pink, showy, apple blossom trees lining our streets. My mom starts getting excited about the Persian New Year and thinking about family plans and gatherings. Her excitement is contagious. I’m planning to make Persian almond cake for our extended family Persian New Year next weekend. It would be a great cake for Easter as well. We celebrate both. It’s one of the benefits of being a cross-cultural family!
I cannot take credit for this recipe. This delicious cake is from New York Times Cooking –
If you are a fan of moist pound cakes and like the taste of almonds and baklava then you will love this recipe. Here are a couple adjustments I made to the NY Times Cooking recipe – I cut down on the cardamom by a 1/2 teaspoon…2 teaspoons seemed to much spice for a light, spring cake. I also skipped the pistachios and powdered sugar on top to add a pretty pink frosting with a hint of rose water. Lastly I do cut down on the sugar out of habit…1 full cup of refined sugar is too much. If you’re taste buds have also gotten used to less sugar you may try cutting down to around 3/4 cups of sugar when you make this cake.
The whipped cream frosting is a concoction of my own. If you can’t get ahold of any rose water don’t fret – it’s optional and can be substituted with pure vanilla extract in this recipe. I add just a few drops of red food coloring for a pretty pale pink colored frosting, perfect for springtime 🌸.
The main ingredients for the cake are pretty basic. You can find almond flour in almost any grocery or market these days. Depending on how stocked you keep your spices and extracts, you may need to pick up some almond extract and some cardamom.
There is an important step to get this cake to turn out moist and delicious. If you’ve ever made merengue, the strategy is similar. Here is a technique video for how to whisk egg whites until stiff:
- ½ Cup vegetable oil
- baking spray oil (Pam baking spray, no-stick baking spray with flour)
- 7 large eggs, separated
- 1 Cup sugar (3/4 cup will do if you are cutting down refined sugars)
- 1 Tablespoon almond extract
- 4½ Cups almond flour
- 1½ teaspoons cardamom
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray oil 9-inch, non-stick baking pan with baking spray (Pam baking spray, no-stick baking spray with flour)
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff (see how-to video in this post) and set aside
- In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar
- Gently whisk in almond extract and the vegetable oil
- Add the almond flour and cardamom to the egg yolk mixture
- Gently stir in about ⅓ of the whisked egg whites into the yolk batter
- Fold in the rest of the egg whites until just incorporated
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan
- Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes
- Allow to cool, then flip pan to allow cake to cool all the way
- Frost (recipe follows) or dust with confectioner's sugar
Recipe for Rose Cream Frosting:
1 1/4 Cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 Cup powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon rose water (or substitute with pure vanilla extract)
red food coloring
Making whipped cream for frosting is super simple! Here is a little video on how to: