Persian love cakes by Ottolenghi & Helen Goh (Gluten free)


Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 12 mini cakes

This recipe comes from the genius “ Yotam Ottolenghi” and “Helen Goh” from their book sweet.

I’m a big fan of Ottolenghi, each recipe is a pure happiness in your mouth. When I saw the pictures of these mini cakes so elegant and perfect for an afternoon tea, I immediately succumbed and frankly, how can you not fall in love with these little gems?

These gluten free cakes have everything that I love about cake, a crispy base topped with a moist cake, flavoured with almonds. It’s a real explosion of flavours.

View Print Layout
Print Recipe
Close Print

Persian love cakes by Ottolenghi & Helen Goh (Gluten free)

  • Prep time: 40 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves: 12 mini cakes

Essentiel kit:
You will need 12 rectangular silicone financier moulds, or a regular muffin tin.


  • 240 g ground almonds
  • 135 g Demerara sugar
  • 135 g soft light brown sugar
  • 50 g buckwheat flour
  • 80 g unsalted butter , cold, cubed
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 160 g yoghurt, Greek-style natural
  • 90 g eggs, (1-1/2 large eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp Mahleb, (or 1/4 tsp almond extract)
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

To serve :

  • 60 g mascarpone
  • 1-1/2 tsp pistachio kernels , silvered or finely chopped
  • 12 pomegranate seeds
  • Icing sugar , for dusting


  • 1)

    Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan.
    the ground almonds, both sugars, buckwheat flour, salt and the butter in a food processor, mix in short pulses until the mixture has the consistency of breadumbs.

  • 2)

    Transfer 2/3 of the mixture (about 430g), to a large bowl and add yoghurt, mahleb (or almond extract), nutmeg  and eggs. Mix to combine and set aside.


  • 3)

    Line the base of 12 financier (or muffin tin) moulds with the remaining 1/3 of the crumb mix, it should come about a third of the way up the sides of the moulds (use a level Tbsp to have the same amount on all the cavities about 12g in each cavity). Use your finger or a teaspoon to press the mix into the base of the moulds, as you would a cheesecake, so that it is compact.

  • 4)

    Using a piping bag, fill each mould to the top with the yoghurt mix.


    Place the moulds on a baking and cook for 30-35 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until the cakes are dark golden brown on top and skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Allow the cake to cool in their tin for 15 – 30 minutes befor unmoulding them.

  • 5)

    Serve as they are, slightly warm or leave to cool before spooning a little mascarpone on top of each cake and topping with the crushed pistachios and 1 pomegranate seed. Sprinkle a little icing sugar on one half of each cake, at a diagonal (see picture), and serve.




    Enjoy !



  • You’ll need a small rectangular silicone financier moulds, which look so elegant, but if you don’t have them use a regular muffin tin
  • These cakes are their best the day after they made. They can be eaten on the day and kept for up to 2 days in a sealed container (without the mascarpone topping).  They don’t keep for much longer than this. Once the cakes have been topped with the mascarpone, you can store them in the fridge and brought back to room temperature before serving.
  • The cakes will look slightly uncooked and damp inside, but this is the way they should be.
  • The mahleb is a spice made from grinding the seed kernel of the St Lucie cherry, the spice is not often used outside of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, so don’t worry if you can’t get hold of any, 1/4 tsp of almond extract work well as an alternative.



  • Martin Conroy

    19/04/2022 at 20:52

    Step 2 days to add nutmeg, but this isn’t in the ingredients. Hopefully this isn’t key note I’m in the middle of making them though I great it will be!

    1. 4passionfood

      20/04/2022 at 21:24

      It’s 3/4 tsp of ground nutmeg.

  • Martin Conroy

    19/04/2022 at 20:59

    Oven temperature would help too

    1. 4passionfood

      20/04/2022 at 21:20

      You’re right I forgot to add the temperature: 180C / 160C Fan.
      Thank you.

  • Hella

    19/05/2022 at 11:58

    Hi how long would i have to bake it if i want to make it in one piece like a cake in a 23 round cake pan? Thank you☺️

    1. 4passionfood

      19/05/2022 at 13:02

      Hi Hella, if you’ll keep same quantities for a 23 cake pan, I would advice you to keep same baking time 30 minutes, just insert a skewer (which should come out clean) to make sure that the cake is completely baked. If not prolong the baking for another 10 minutes but keep an eye on it (again if you’ll keep same quantities).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous recipe Next recipe