Persian Love Cupcakes

cupcake on a plate with a bowl of rose buds and a jug of milk in the background

These Persian love cupcakes have everything you love about the traditional cake, but in a bite size form. With a hint of rose, a subtle spicy flavor and a salty pistachio topping, these beautiful cupcakes are every bit as tasty as they are easy to make.

  • Author: Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 53 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



For the cupcakes:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 of a lemon)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the frosting:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • Dried rosebuds


  1. Whip the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (oil, lemon juice + zest, vanilla extract, rose water).
  3. In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom).
  4. Add the wet ingredients, mixing on low until just incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, again mixing on low until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan.
  7. Bake at 350F for 16-18 minutes.
  8. To make the frosting, combine the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 240F/115C.
  9. While the syrup cooks, beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until they hold stiff peaks.
  10. On low, pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, increase the speed to high, and beat until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (about 10 minutes).
  11. On low, begin adding the butter piece by piece until all the butter has been added.
  12. Add the rose water, increase the speed to high, and beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  13. Fill a piping bag with the frosting, attach a tip of your choosing (I used a large, round tip), and frost your completely cooled cupcakes.
  14. Roll the top of the frosted cupcakes in the crushed pistachios and top with a dried rose bud.


  • Knowing when your cupcakes are done: There are two ways to test for doneness. 1. Insert a tooth pick in the center of the cupcakes and if it comes out clean, it’s done. 2. Gently press the top of the cupcake and if it almost immediately springs back, it’s done.
  • Looking to save a little time? You can skip the homemade frosting and opt for store bought. You’ll need approximately 1 lbs.
  • If you’re making the frosting in this recipe, don’t be discouraged if it looks curdled after you add the butter. The butter and meringue will separate slightly before coming back together. Just keep whipping the frosting.
  • The secret to smooth, air-bubble free frosting: Once the frosting has come together, turn your stand mixer down to low and continue whipping it for about 5 minutes. This should work out most of the air bubbles.
  • Fill that piping bag like a pro: Spoon your frosting onto a large piece of plastic wrap, roll and twist the ends. Trim one end so there’s about ½” in length, drop your frosting into the piping bag (short end first) with the tip already on and pipe!
  • If your chopped pistachios turn out a little brown, you can get a greener mixture by adding a few drops of green food coloring to the nuts.
  • Storing frosted cupcakes: While cupcakes are always best when eaten the same day they’re made, these can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.

Recipe adapted from Broma Bakery.


Keywords: persian love cake, spring cupcakes, Middle Eastern recipes