Cake Yazdi

After years of trial and error, Homa Dashtaki finally created a recipe that tastes like home.

cake yazdi on plate with tea

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 12 cakes
Yield: 12 cakes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
167 Calories
9g Fat
19g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 167
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 53mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yazd, Iran, where my family is from, has a desert climate. The city looks and smells sandy, its air hot and dry. This cake, which originates in Yazd, is textured with rice flour and moistened with yogurt, and carries subtle fragrances of rose water and cardamom. It is just the right texture that thirsts for a complementary cup of tea.

This cake is so sentimental to me that I had never dared to make it at home. It felt too sacred for anyone other than the bakers who have been making it for a hundred years—​in their signature cake molds—​to make it. Even so, when I first got the courage to make it, the results tasted nothing like the cake I recalled from Iran.

It has been years of trial and error, landing on a recipe only to come back to it knowing it wasn’t right. I have even fought with my elders to give me their version of this recipe, and then I have fought with them further because those recipes were just not quite right.

Out of the wisdom of those trials and fights has come this recipe, which is the closest to home for me. And I have since patched over any hard feelings with my elders over tea and, what even they must begrudgingly admit, perfect cake Yazdi.

Note: These cakes are traditionally baked in fanned muffin tins, making individual tea cakes. You may use standard muffin tins.

Excerpted from Yogurt & Whey: Recipes of an Iranian Immigrant Life by Homa Dashtaki. Copyright © 2023 by Homa Dashtaki. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

The cover of Yogurt & Whey

Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons rice flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons cardamom

  • 2 large large eggs, at room temperature, separated

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon rose water

  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    cake yazdi ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Grease a 12-​cup muffin tin with butter.

    muffin tin greased with butter

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Sift the all-​purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom into a small bowl. Whisk thoroughly till fully combined. Set aside.

    dry ingredients for cake yazdi sifted into a bowl and whisked together

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the melted butter, yogurt, and rose water and gently whisk until smooth, another 2 minutes.

    wet ingredients for cake yazdi combined in a bowl with whipped egg whites in separate bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully integrated. Add the egg whites until you have a uniform mixture, gently folding to not deflate the eggs. Fold in the pistachios.

    dry ingredients folded into wet ingredients in bowl with spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling three-​quarters full. Bake until the tops are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

    prepared muffin tins filled with yazdi batter

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Let the cakes cool completely before unmolding them. Serve with tea (this is a must). Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

    baked yazdi cakes cooling in muffin tin

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati