Love Cake

A light, delicate sponge cake, gently infused with spices and rose water. Try this simple, elegant recipe from Meera Sodha.

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I've never had stronger feelings for any cake than for the love cake. Packed full of some of the most delicious ingredients around (cashews, honey, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg), it is rich, moist and incredibly fragrant. I like to serve this cut into small squares topped with a spoonful of cardamom shrikhand and a sprinkling of fresh pomegranate seeds.

Makes 12 squares


125g unsalted butter at room temperature (plus extra to line the cake tin)
325g caster sugar
6 eggs
200g fine semolina
100g ground cashews (or ground almonds)
5 1/2 tbsp honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cardamom (or finely ground seeds from 12 pods)
2 tbsp rose water
1 tsp vanilla essence
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
For the cardamom and pomegranate shrikhand:
250g good-quality Greek yoghurt, like Total
2 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or finely ground seeds from 6 pods)
Seeds of ½ a pomegranate

Essential kit

You will need a rectangular cake tin (approx. 30cm x 20cm).


Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2. Line a rectangular cake tin (approx. 30cm x 20cm) with greaseproof paper and a fine layer of butter.

Cream the butter and the caster sugar together in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs until pale and smooth, then slowly whisk them into the sugar and butter mixture. Fold in the semolina, ground cashews, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, rose water, vanilla essence and lemon and orange zest.

Fold the mixture together and spoon out into your cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown all over and firm to the touch. Leave to cool before cutting or taking out of the cake tin.

To make the cardamom and pomegranate shrikhand, mix the yoghurt with the icing sugar and cardamom and half of the pomegranate seeds in a bowl, then leave the ingredients to mingle for as long as possible before serving.

Serve a good-sized square of cake with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds over the top.

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