Though Cake Yazdi look like western style muffins and cup cakes but in texture and taste they are more like mini tea cakes. The quality that gives them their unique Persian identity is the royal aroma that results from a generous use of cardamom and rose water.

The name clearly suggests the origin of these beautiful cakes – Yazd Province in Iran, a place famous in history for architecture, handicrafts and confectioneries. The rich and exotic Persian cuisine has left a strong mark on the culinary heritage of the Indian subcontinent and many of the local favourite desserts and sweets still are infused with saffron, cardamom and rose water, dipped in sugar syrup and topped with dried fruits, nuts and sesame seeds.

Many recipes use a lot of sugar and even milk in Cake Yazdi but I make them with reduced sugar because a mild sweet taste goes a lot better with intense aromas and flavours from cardamom and rose water. Yogurt, instead of milk, makes the cakes extra moist and incredibly tender. I decorated them the traditional way using sesame seeds but you can choose pistachios, almonds or even dried rose petals (if available) to make them look pretty. I’m hoping you would find them perfectly sweet but if you like your desserts sweeter, drizzle a little honey or golden syrup on top.

Serve warm with a strong cup of coffee or tea for an unforgettable evening! Oh and btw, do you know they are celebrating Persian Norooz (new year) on Tuesday, 21st March, 2017? According to the Persian calendar it’s going to be the start of year 1396. Happy Norooz to all friends celebrating! And Happy Spring to everyone!

2 eggs or 3/4 cup pureed bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons rose water
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, crushed
1/4 cup sesame seeds or chopped pistachios

This Is What You Do:
Preheat oven at 175 degrees C.

Add eggs to a big mixing bowl. Beat by hand whisk or an electric mixer till they are frothy and at least four times their original volume. Or use pureed bananas instead.

Add sugar and keep beating till all sugar dissolves and mixture becomes creamy.

Add vegetable oil, yogurt and rose water. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl add plain flour, baking soda and cardamom seeds. Mix.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into 8 muffin cups, fill cups 2/3 with batter.

Sprinkle sesame seeds generously on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or till the tops are light golden and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Serves 8

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