Pistachio Rose Love Cake 

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This Pistachio Rose Love Cake has been inspired by the rich exotic flavours from the Middle East.   Layers of cake perfumed with rosewater, cardamom and lemon alternates with pistachio pastry cream and rosewater whipped cream.  Then frosted with rosewater infused buttercream and topped with beautiful piped roses.  What’s not to love about this cake?!

Have you ever made a cake inspired by someone? For me this is this cake right here. 

This cake was inspired by a person whose origin is from the Middle East. And when I think Middle Eastern desserts, I instantly thought of rose infused flavours and lots of nuts! 

I happen to live in an area where there are plenty of Middle Eastern grocery stores and pastry shops and there were many a time when I leave with an armful of goodies that I am ever so curious to try out.  It’s very rare that I get disappointed, these people know their sweets!

When I started researching online, I stumbled upon this cake called Persian Love Cake.  And I thought how fitting this cake would be since Valentines is just around the corner And since I am making this cake for someone special.

And as for the apparent history of that cake, it was made by a maiden to enchant a Persian prince that she was madly in love with.  Hellooo, Valentine’s!

Although I’ve altered and made my own version of the cake, I still kept “Love” in the name of the cake.  Because I think once you’ve tasted this cake, you will love it.  And if you make this cake for someone special, they would LOVE you for it :)  See what I did there?

Let’s go back to the cake, shall we?

For the cake part, it is a chiffon cake flavoured with rosewater and cardamom with some lemon rind to add some brightness to it.  I wasn’t sure if the rosewater flavour would come thru so I decided to infuse it with rosewater simple sugar syrup.

Then comes my favourite part of this cake – the pistachio pastry cream.  Seriously, I ate more than I should have and maybe that’s the reason why I didn’t have enough for the cake.   

I decided to whip some cream up and maybe add it to the pistachio pastry cream but I found that the pistachio flavour got lost a bit and the mixture was super runny so I decided just to add in more rose flavour and put it on top of the pistachio layer instead.  I was delightfully surprised that not only it tasted good, it looked very good visually in the cake layers as well.  

Next time I would double the pistachio pastry cream recipe and just use that as the sole filling.  That’s because I love nuts so much, I want it to have more of that nutty flavour.

For an easier cake, you can omit the Italian Meringue Buttercream, double up the rosewater whipped cream and frost the whole cake with it.  I think it will be equally good with this. 




Colour some buttercream with the green food colour and place it in a pastry bag fitted with a coupler.  Pipe 2-3 rows of the green buttercream all around the bottom part of the cake. Repeat with pink buttercream and a lighter pink buttercream.  Cover the top of the cake as well with the lightest pink buttercream.

Smooth the sides of the cake with a bench scraper and smooth the top with an angled metal spatula.  Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.


For this cake I used a specialty Russian piping tip to create the flowers on top of the cake.  To create the two tone colours for the flowers, first I placed one colour of buttercream all over the sides of the pastry bag using a mini spatula.  Then I added a different colour in the center of the bag.  Twist bag to secure it and squeeze out the buttercream until both colours come out. 

You can learn more on how to use the Russian piping tips with this dedicated post.

Pipe the flowers all over the top of the cake.  For this cake first I used white buttercream with pink center in the first 3 rows of the flowers then switched it the other way, pink on the edge with white in the center, for the rest of the rows of flowers. 

Then using tip # 352 with green buttercream, pipe the leaves in between the flowers, all over the top edge of the cake and the bottom border. 


Watch the video on how to make the
Pistachio Rose Love Cake

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Pistachio Rose Cake Recipe 



2 cups cake flour (250 g)
2 cups granulated sugar, divided (400 g)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2  tsp cardamom
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
2 tbsp rosewater
1/2  cup (125 ml) oil
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2  tsp cream of tartar
pink gel colouring (I used  Americolor Soft Pink)


1/4 cup (60 ml) rosewater
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/2 (100 g)  cup sugar


1/2  cup (75 g) pistachios (pistachio flour can also be used)
2-3 tbsp water
1-1/4 (310 ml)  cups milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rosewater


Gel food colours in Americolor Electric Green and Soft Pink



Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) ;  line two 8" x 2” high round cake pans with parchment circles.

In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, 1 cup (200g) sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom.  Make a well in the center.

In a smaller bowl, mix together egg yolks, water, rosewater and oil until blended.  Pour this mixture in with the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Add a few drops of pink gel colour and mix until colour is well incorporated.

In another bowl (preferably a stand mixer with the whisk attachment), whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy.   Slowly add in the remaining 1 cup of sugar and until thick and fluffy like marshmallow  cream. 

Carefully fold in the egg whites into the batter in two additions.

Pour batter in prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The cake is ready when an inserted wooden skewer or cake tester comes out clean or when cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Take the cakes out of he pans right away; loosen the sides with a knife or metal spatula and invert to a metal rack. Invert again to another rack to prevent the cake from splitting. Cool completely.


Place all in the ingredients in a small sauce pan and let it boil for one minute.  Set aside and let cool.


Process the pistachio in a blender or coffee grinder until it resembles like sand.  Add in water a tablespoon at a time until it makes a paste.  Paste should be thick and not watery.   Set aside.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl and lightly whisk it to break it up.  Add in the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until thick and lemony in colour. 

Bring the milk into simmer in a sauce pan.  Mix in the pistachio paste into the milk.  Gradually whisk half the milk into the yolk mixture to temper it, and then add all in.  Bring all the mixture back in the same sauce pan and bring to a boil while continually whisking.  Let the mixture boil for at least 1 minute to cook the cornstarch (otherwise it will have a starchy texture).

Add in the vanilla.  Place the pastry cream in a shallow dish and cover with a plastic cling film.  Place in refrigerator until well chilled.  (This can be done a day ahead).


Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until medium stiff peaks are formed.  Set aside and keep chill in refrigerator if not used right away.


Cut the each cake horizontally in half using a serrated knife.  Place one piece on a cake board or serving platter .   Drizzle with some rosewater sugar syrup.

Place some buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a large round pastry tip or in my case I used just the coupler. Pipe a “dam” all around the edge of the cake with buttercream, add in a third of the pistachio pastry cream and spread with a small spatula.   Add in some of the rosewater whipped cream and spread as well. 

Repeat for 2 more layers of cake and fillings and place last piece of cake on top.  Crumb coat the cake with some buttercream and place in the fridge til set, about 15 minutes.  Frost with the rest of the buttercream and decorate as desired.


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