Love cake

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Love cake
Alternative namesBolo di Amor
Place of originSri Lanka
Main ingredientsSemolina, Pumpkin Preserve, Eggs, Sugar, Butter, Cashews
Food energy
(per serving)
Calorie rich kcal
Similar dishesSugee cake

Love cake is a traditional semolina cake served in Sri Lanka on special occasions.[1] They are often baked for cultural celebrations such as Christmas,[2] birthdays and weddings, served wrapped in gold paper for guests to eat or take home.[3]


Love cake is believed to have been introduced by the Portuguese or Dutch but has evolved into a confectionery unique to Sri Lanka.[4][5] The original recipe dates back to the 16th century, when the Portuguese controlled the coastal areas of the country, known as "Bolo di Amor". The cake incorporates a mix of ingredients from Portuguese cakes, such as semolina, together with local Sri Lankan spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamon. In addition to Arabic influences with the use of rose water, which is common to cakes from Spain and Portugal dating from the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.[6] Love cake is similar to the Singaporean sugee cake, which uses almonds as opposed to cashew nuts.[7]

Local folklore is that its name comes from the fact that the grinding of spices and nuts make this cake a true labor of love.[8]


Love cake is made from semolina, cashew nuts, pumpkin preserve, butter, eggs, sugar, and honey flavoured with rose water and a variety of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon, creating a fragrant, sweet, lightly spiced cake with a moist chewy inside and a crunchy exterior.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Surendraraj, Joshua (11 February 2018). "Love cake is in the air". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^ Philip, Deborah (19 June 2016). "Cooking up a Nation". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  3. ^ Gage, Eleni N. (2018). Lucky in Love: Traditions, Customs, and Rituals to Personalize Your Wedding. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. p. 142. ISBN 9780525573913.
  4. ^ Gunawardena, Charles A. (2005). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 228. ISBN 9781932705485.
  5. ^ "Christmas celebrating food". The Daily Star. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  6. ^ Farrer, James (2015). The Globalization of Asian Cuisines: Transnational Networks and Culinary Contact Zones. Springer Publishing. pp. 49–50. ISBN 9781137514080.
  7. ^ Hutton, Wendy (2013). Mini Eurasian Favorites. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462911011.
  8. ^ Vandersay, Rovina (28 November 2016). "The Cake that won Hearts (and Probably Husbands)". Roar Media. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  9. ^ Reeves, Peter, ed. (2013). The Encyclopedia of the Sri Lankan Diaspora. Editions Didier Millet. p. 43. ISBN 9789814260831.