Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes | Patisserie Makes Perfect

Ispahan is one of my favourite flavour combinations, it’s a blend of rose, raspberry and lychee that is attributed to Pierre Herme, he’s even dedicated an entire recipe book to ispahan. It’s so exotic and floral, but at the same time light and not at all overpowering. These ispahan yoghurt cakes are a little more dense than usual sponge cakes, but they are so moist from the fresh raspberries that are baked inside as well as the lychee icing.

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes | Patisserie Makes Perfect

I’ve baked with ispahan before, it’s so refreshing and these ispahan yoghurt cakes are dangerously moreish. I decorated them with rose petals and icing that I dyed a light pink colour, to make these a little bit romantic, perhaps if you’re feeling really motivated you could make these for Valentine’s Day.  I made them just because I wanted to eat them, but I think someone would appreciate these as a gift, or they would be a lovely addition to an afternoon tea.

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes | Patisserie Makes Perfect

I really struggled to find lychees in fresh or canned form. Ideally I wanted them canned as I don’t really like peeling lychees, as much as I like the flavour they remind too much of eyeballs ever since I watched We Need To Talk About Kevin. I wont link to the part of the film I’m referring to, but if you’ve seen the film, you know what I mean.

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes | Patisserie Makes Perfect

I managed to get canned lychees from my local oriental supermarket and I just blended the fruit without their syrup and sifted it to create a puree to use in the cake mix and the icing. The syrup is delicious though so you could always reserve this and use it in cocktails. My visit to the Oriental supermarket was pretty much in and out as I was in a rush (as usual), but I am definitely going back to see what other interesting ingredients they have, I spied some bottles of Mountain Dew, I didn’t know you could still buy that!

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes | Patisserie Makes Perfect

Ispahan Yoghurt Cake | Patisserie Makes Perfect

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes

Patisserie Makes Perfect
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12


  • The Cake:
  • 125 g Unsalted Butter softened
  • 225 g Caster Sugar
  • 4 Drops Holy Lama Rose Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Lychee Puree
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 300 g Plain Flour sifted
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 115 g Natural Yoghurt
  • 150 g Fresh Raspberries
  • To decorate:
  • 200 g Icing Sugar
  • 4-5 Tbsp Lychee Puree
  • Red Food Colouring
  • Rose Petals


  • Preheat the oven to 160C Fan/180C and lightly grease a muffin tin that has 12 cavities. I used a silicone muffin pan as this makes turning out the cakes easier when you haven't used a cake case.
  • Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream them together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one and a time and beat them in fully.
  • Add the rose extract and lychee puree to the mixture, then add the plain flour and baking powder and mix gently, add the yoghurt and combine everything together ensuring it's evenly mixed.
  • Put a big teaspoonful of batter into the bottom of each muffin hole. Place 2-3 raspberries on top of the mix and press them in slightly. Make sure you use up all the raspberries.
  • Cover the raspberries with the remaining cake batter and place in the oven to cook for 25-30 mins or until golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
  • To make the icing mix the icing sugar and lychee puree together, you might not need all of it, it depends how runny you want your icing. Add a few drops of colouring until you get your desired colour.
  • Turn the cakes out of their tins and place them on a rack or a plate with the bottom facing upwards. You may need to trim the tops to make the cakes flat, you can eat this as the cook's share.
  • Drizzle the icing over the cake and then decorate with the rose petals.


If you cannot get hold of lychee puree make your own by draining some canned lychees and blitzing them in a food processor, then pass the puree through a sieve and reserve the puree. A can of lychees will make more puree than you need, but you can freeze the remaining puree.
I bought my rose petals from Waitrose and I used Dr Oetker red gel food colouring.
This is quite a close textured cake because of the yoghurt which is why the raspberries and icing work so well, this is not a really light sponge.

Ispahan Yoghurt Cakes | Patisserie Makes Perfect

Take a look at these other links covering ispahan or some of the ispahan flavours:

Pistachio Biscuits with Rose and Almonds
Rose, Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn Macarons
Rose, Raspberry and Lychee Shortbread Cookies
Raspberry and Lychee Curd Tartlets with Crystallised Rose Petals
Ispahan Marshmallows

Thanks for reading.


30 Responses

  1. Jodie Dodd

    I’ve never heard of ispahan but it sounds like a lovely combination. I’ve never baked with yogurt before but my sister uses it in just about everything. I need to use it as a substitute more. I love that you made these just because you wanted to eat them Angela! 😀 Lol, Mountain Dew is still very much in mass production here in the States! #DoTheDew

  2. Anastasia

    Looks really delicious, Angela! I love Ispahan macarons & croissants by Pierre Herme, so good.

  3. Ruby & Cake

    oooo I love ispahan! (and so pleased I now know what to call that flavour blend) These will be perfect for an afternoon tea – they are so pretty x

  4. Deb

    where does one find the rose extract used in this recipie?

  5. choclette

    These are so pretty Angela and I adore the name. I remember having some perfume called Ispahan when I was a teenager which I loved. The addition of lychee sounds quite intriguing. I use yoghurt or kefir a lot in my baking. I really like the texture it gives cakes. I’m now wondering what Mountain Dew is.

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      Thank you – the name is so exotic isn’t it? This is the first yoghurt cake I’ve made, but you’re right it’s great for making cakes with, it gives them a really nice texture. Mountain Dew is an American soft drink that I think is predominantly E numbers – I wont be buying it any time soon!

  6. christinegalvani

    I have not heard of Ispahan before, but I can imagine the amazing flavor it adds. Love these little cakes!

  7. Hannah Hossack-Lodge (Domestic Gothess)

    These look so dreamy! I haven’t tried Ispahan before but it sounds lovely 🙂 I know what you mean about eyeballs… I read We Need To Talk About Kevin and found it a bit traumatising so couldn’t bring myself to watch the film…

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      Oh Hannah I’m glad it’s not just me that was creeped out by we need to talk about Kevin. These are really lovely, you should experiment with it in one of your lovely layer cakes.

  8. Corina

    Such cute little cakes! I hadn’t heard of the term ispahan before but it sounds like a lovely combination of flavours – great for Valentines day too!

  9. efwalt

    These sound just delightful. I love floral flavours and I’m often looking at different ingredients to pair it with. Pistachio is a favourite, and raspberry has always worked well. I would never have thought about adding lychee! Pierre is a genius! Fantastic recipe and thank you for introducing me to something new 🙂

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