Filed under: Cookies / Drop Cookies
April 14, 2022

Persian Love Cookies

Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, these cookies bring all the flavors of Persian Love cake into a

5 from 16 votes
Yield: 16
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Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, these cookies bring all the flavors of Persian Love cake into a cookie that bursts with florals, lemon and warm cardamom. 


Persian love cookies


The idea for these cookies came from Persian Love Cake, a Yasmin Khan recipe from her book The Saffron Tales. Of the flavors of her very special cake she says, “of a Persian garden in the late spring, adorned with the floral scent of rose water and citrus, and decorated with bright green pistachios”. As someone who grew up surrounded by those wonderful flavors I’m immediately transported back into that, and a feeling of nostalgia for it all.

I’ve always been fascinated by this cake, we tried it here once, I loved it and whenever I see photos of it, I find myself lusting after the colors, the flavors, the sweetness that comes from mixing spices, lemon zest, vanilla and warm cardamom. I decided I wanted to make a cookie version, I would you know, and I cannot emphasize to you enough how just *perfect* these are. 


Persian Love Cookies Ingredients 

Almond flour: not almond meal*, almond flour is made from blanched almonds so you won’t get any of the nut’s skin which gets in the way of the dough binding and will have a rougher texture. 


Cardamom: Ground cardamom. Yasmin might suggest grinding your own from seeds for a fresh taste but 


Rose water: I only use it in the glaze but Yasmin has it in the cake instead. You can find this in local persian/middle eastern markets but I also see it in whole foods these days. 


Lemon: Zest goes into the cookie and the juice helps make the glaze. The lemon really rounds out all the flavors here. 


Pistachios: I used green pistachios here, they are pricey and hard to find but if you do they add a lovely bright green color. Of course, regular pistachios (chopped) will work just as well. 


Dried rose petals: Yes, these are edible. You’ll find these in your local persian or middle eastern markets

persian love cookies

Questions about Persian Love Cookies 

Can these be made gluten free? 

Try a 1-to-1 flour substitute and add all of the flour in the beginning (no need to hold off on half). 


Why do I wait to add half the flour? 

My theory is that as the dough rests (which I like to do with an almond flour bake because it’s quite coarse) the flours absorb some of the liquid and the dough firms up. We don’t want to overdo this part with the gluten flour, so we’ll reserve some of the flour to go in right before they bake.


How do I get evenly sized cookies? 

Use an ice cream scoop (now commonly also called cookie scoops). 


How best to drizzle on the glaze? 

Once the cookies are cool, do it right on the parchment to catch any excess glaze dripping down. Use a spoon to drizzle or a whisk.


persian love cookies


Persian Love Cookies Recipe

Persian Love Cookies

Soft cardamom, almond and lemon cookies topped with a rose water glaze, pistachios and dried rose petals.
Persian love cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 16
5 from 16 votes



  • ½ cup butter 113g
  • cup light brown sugar 140g
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom more if you like a stronger taste
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup almond flour 125g
  • 130 g all purpose flour 1 cup , divided


  • 1 cup powdered sugar 125g
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Ground pistachios
  • Dried rose petals


  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the sugar, vanilla, cardamom lemon zest and salt and whisk for a good 2 minutes, until very well combined.
    persian love cookies
  • Whisk in the egg.
  • Add the baking soda, almond flour and half of the all purpose flour and whisk to combine. Let the batter sit in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes then add the other half of flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined aluminum baking sheet using a 2 tablespoon scoop.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. They’ll look puffy when they come out and will fall a little and crinkle as they cool.
  • Once they are completely cool, make the glaze:
  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, rose water, vanilla and enough lemon juice to make a pourable glaze (it can be thick with less lemon juice or thin with more, your choice). Drizzle it over the cookies and immediately sprinkle on the dried rose petals and pistachio chunks.
  • Cookies keep for 3-4 days, in an airtight container.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Beautifully delicious, striking cookies. Easy to make, as well. I’ve followed the recipe exactly, turned out beautiful I’ve made a vegan version by subbing out the butter with vegan ghee and the egg with a flax egg and turned out just as good. Sometimes I’ll add a teeny bit of lemon extract as well as rose water into the dough for an extra flavor oomph.

    The only piece of feedback (and I’m being nitpicky) – using 2 tablespoon cookie scoops, I was only able to get 12 cookies.

  2. This is my second year making these for the holidays. The green and red are perfect for the season, but the savory cardamom and rose, with that lemon, steal the show. This year, my husband asked me to help him make cookie baskets for all his clients, who are all professional chefs (no pressure right), I agreed and made 8 batches of this recipe. The cookies were met with rave reviews, and my husband had fun telling his clients “it’s my wife’s recipe”. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made these cookies about 3 times already!!! They are my favorite!! The entire house smells of goodness every time I bake them.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely LOVE these cookies. As someone who is half-Persian, I love this fun twist on a traditional dessert, full of authentic yet unique flavors. I’ve made them countless times and they always come out delicious, plus they’re so beautiful with the rose petals & pistachio topping. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  5. I made these tonight. I tripled the recipe and used a 1.5 scoop, for a total of 45 cookies. They took about 11 minutes. I have not yet put the glaze on them. The cookie itself has good flavor.

  6. 5 stars
    I made these last nigh, and wow! They are soft and full of flavour! Highly recommend! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    These cookies are so lovely and a refreshing change of pace from the cookies I usually make. They look beautiful when finished too, and were super easy to throw together. I always like a cookie where you can just melt the butter because I never remember to soften it ahead of time.

    I know there’s a zillion factors that affect bake time, but for others reading I will say mine were still a little raw at 10 minutes and 11-12 minutes worked better (still very nice and chewy once cooled). Will definitely be making again! Love it.

  8. 5 stars
    These are super delish!! I have never had Persian love cake but if this is what it tastes like I want it. I weighed my “dough balls” and got 25 35gram cookies. Next time I would add more cardomom or find some fresh seeds to grind instead of using pre-ground. I’ve also not used rose water before and am not generally a fan of flowery flavours. But just having it in the glaze and mixed with lemon is a great balance. I made these for a Christmas cookie treat box and I’m sure they will be a hit!

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious! Definitely the hit of the party I took them to. Sadly, I did not have the rose petals to sprinkle on top with the pistachios, but the cookies were still delightful. Be sure to use all the icing on the cookies — it looked like too much when I was mixing it together, but it really is the right amount.

  10. Those cookies are so good and delightful. However, mine came too soft after 10 minutes (I made them really small like a tsp or a small bite) and they did brown a bit on the side and bottom. Are they supposed to be that soft? Or should I put them longer next time?

    • Hi Rose! Hmm, did you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and add the second half of the flour after? They are soft but they firm up after they’ve cooled and develop a chewy texture.

  11. 5 stars
    These cookies were so good! I love Persian Love cake, so I was so excited to try these. They did not disappoint. Super easy and full of flavor! And they are the perfect chewy texture. Exactly what I look for in a cookie.

  12. Recipe as written is missing cardamom and egg! I mixed egg into sugar butter mixture and added cardamom with second half of flour because I realized it was missing.
    I also realized after the bake that I didn’t actually have rose water, so used orange blossom water in the glaze and it’s wonderful