Filed under: Scones
April 13, 2023

Persian Love Scones

Flaky, buttery scones made with almond meal and with the flavorings of persian love cake: fresh lemon, cardamom and rose water. 

5 from 2 votes
Yield: 8 scones
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Scones that taste like a spring garden? There’s lemon, cardamom, nutty pistachio, rose water for a floral accent (it’s not very strong if you’re wary!) and there is something wonderful about all these coming together to make a nuanced, deeply flavorful (otherwise mundane) scone! 


This recipe is adapted from my orange almond scones and the flavors are inspired by Yasmin Khan’s Persian Love Cake


You might note I’ve increased the heavy cream and reduced the butter for this recipe compared to the orange or blueberry almond scones; I find it makes for a lighter scone overall and the dough easier to work with. 


See also: persian love cookies, persian love cardamom rolls


Recipe Ingredients 


Flour: All purpose flour, I use King Arthur. I think any ap flour would be fine here so don’t worry too much about protein content. White lily makes for a really flaky scone but it’s not absolutely necessary. Don’t use bread or cake flour! If you want to make these gluten free opt for a gf substitute flour. 


Almond meal: You can use almond ‘flour’ instead of the ‘meal’ (I was out by the time I got to my final version of the recipe) and there won’t be too much of a difference although you won’t have the speckles you see in my photos. If you want to skip this for a nut allergy entirely, I suggest making a different scone base (like these babka scones) and doing the rest of the flavors as is. 


Cardamom: Ground cardamom, not the pods! I only use a bit but you can add more if you love cardamom. 


Lemon: One large lemon or two small ones will suffice. You’ll zest them straight into the dry ingredients and save them to squeeze out the juice later for the glaze. 


Rosewater: We’re not using too much so it’s not going to be overly scented but it does add absolutely wonderful floral (if subtle) flavor to the glaze. There’s some in the dough too but you can’t detect it really. 

Toppings: Khan does a mix of dried rose petals and green pistachios on her cake so I’ve kept that on my scones (it’s really lovely and I’m happy with any excuse to use pistachios!) but if you have neither you can just zest another lemon over the glaze, before it sets!

How to make persian love scones 


Whisk together the dry ingredients: just measure everything straight into the bowl (this is the bowl you’ll be forming the dough in) and then whisk it until it’s well-mixed. 


Whisk together wet ingredients: Separately, you’ll mix together the egg, heavy cream and extracts. Give this a good beating, we want to break up that egg before it goes into the dough. 


Cut in cold butter: when it comes to scones (or pie crust!) mise en place is not it. Keep that butter nice and cold (sometimes I slice mine then place it in the freezer before i start the dough) and then ‘cut’ it into the dry ingredients. I use a pastry knife to start with which makes it quick and easy but some people just use their fingers, pressing the butter until you have bean-sized bits. You never want big chunks of butter, those will melt into a puddle in the pan, but about black/kidney bean sized is good. 


Pour wet into dry and ‘fold’: The video will make this step clearer; basically you’ll stir the wet and dry together and then use your hands to fold it over itself, grabbing the flour bits and bunching it into the mass of dough in the middle. Keep doing this until it’s all come together. 


Shape: I like to create flaky layers in my scones so I pat it out (you don’t need a rolling pin, just hands) then fold it over a few times. Three folds is usually enough. Then use a bench scraper (or a chef’s knife) to slice the dough into individual pieces. I like to do rectangles cut into squares cut into triangles but you can also form a big circle and cut that into triangles. 


Freeze: We’re all about keeping that butter cold so we’re sticking these into the freezer for a bit before baking. After all the shaping it’s likely gone to room temp and we want it colddd. 


Bake: Make sure the scones are rather close together (but not touching); this helps them rise higher and bake them until they’re golden (or brown) all around the edges. Peek at them before you take them out, if you’ve pat them particularly thick they’ll brown quite a bit before baking fully in the middle. 


Topping persian love scones 


The flavors for this glaze stick to the original persian love cake: lemon juice and rose water. If you don’t have rose water (or don’t want to use it) feel free to keep it at just lemon (or just vanilla!). 


If you don’t want to do a glaze at all, brush the scones with cream before they go into the oven and sprinkle some organic or turbinado sugar on top. It’ll give them some nice crunch. 

Adapting the recipe to be an almond meal scone recipe 

Speaking of removing or swapping flavors, the base recipe for this is an almond scone which means, there’s a lot of different directions you can take this if you don’t want/dont like the ‘persian love’ flavors: use orange zest, add some nuts into the dough, etc. Do what pleases you! 

Making scones ahead of time 

We’re going to freeze the scones before baking anyway so this is a great stopping point if you want to have these done ahead of time. After you’ve shaped, place them in an airtight container and freeze until you want to bake. They can (and should) be baked from frozen, the temp below takes that into account. 


Persian Love Scones

Almond meal, cardamom and lemon make up the flavor base of this light scone. To capture the flavors of 'Persian love cake' the scones are drizzled in a rosewater and lemon glaze.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Yields: 8 scones
5 from 2 votes


Persian Love Scones

  • 90g or 1 cup almond meal
  • 240g or 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 65g or ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 113g or ½ cup butter unsalted, cold
  • 120g or ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 130g or 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Dried rose petals
  • Crushed toasted pistachios


  • Keep the butter in the fridge for now.
  • Line a greased quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper and keep nearby.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, sugar, cardamom and salt. Zest the lemon(s) straight into the bowl then whisk again.
  • In a separate bowl (or large cup) crack in the egg and add the heavy cream, rose water and vanilla. Use a fork to beat it (like you would eggs for an omelet) to break up the egg and mix well.
  • Take the butter out of the fridge, slice it into small squares then add it to the dry mixture. Use a pastry knife to cut the butter into the flour, until it’s a mixture of black and kidney bean sized pieces. Use your hands to check and press out the bigger bits.
  • Pour in the wet ingredients and stir together the batter until you can spy any more ‘wet’ bits. Now use your hand, gathering the dough and folding it over itself over and over until you can get all of the dough together in a shapeless ball.
  • Flour the countertop and transfer the dough to it. Using your hands, pat it into a rectangle then fold it over itself. Repeat this 1-2 more times.
  • Pat into an 8x5 inch rectangle and if you have a bench scraper, nudge the edges to straighten them. Slice it in half so you have two rectangles. Slice each of those in half so you have four squares. Slice the squares diagonally so you have 8 triangles. Set them on the pan, quite close together but not touching.
  • Place the pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes (if you like you can transfer them to an airtight container and store overnight or for a few weeks).
  • When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 F. Take the scones out of the freezer and bake for about 18 minutes, until brown on the edges.
  • Let the scones cool completely before glazing.
  • To make the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, rose water and lemon juice. If it’s too thin add more sugar, if it’s too thick add more lemon juice. Aim for the consistency of glue.
  • Drizzle or pour the glaze over the top of the scones, immediately sprinkle on the dried rose petals and pistachios before the glaze sets.

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Recipe Reviews

    • Almond flour has no gluten in it (it just ground up nuts) so a one to one swap won’t work. I’d say you could try it with 2.5 cups of flour, that way you get some of the thickening the cookie needs without overdoing it – but without trying it myself I don’t know how they’d turn out and can’t guarantee they’d be good.