Celebrity Recipes

Kumar Periera


Kumar is a former Masterchef contestant and this Love Cake is a Sri Lankan speciality that is moist, rich, syrupy and delicious!

Love Cake

Probably of Portuguese origin though no one know why it is called Love Cake. Made with semolina, eggs, spices, honey and cashews and traditionally with preserved or candied white pumpkin.

I like making it for Valentine’s Day in a heart shaped tin, dusted with sifted icing sugar and scattered with rose petals or re hydrated rose buds [rose tea]


  • 4 eggs separated
  • 125 gms coarse semolina
  • 200 gms raw cashews chopped fine
  • 200 gms caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime or lemon zest
  • 100 gms softened butter
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • I tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond essence
  • 1 tbsp rosewater


  1. Lightly roast the semolina in 1 tbsp butter until it just changes colour.
  2. Beat egg yolks and sugar, add butter and honey, zest and spices and stir in the semolina and cashews. Add the vanilla, almond essence and rose water. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the semolina / butter mix. Spoon into a buttered and lined tin – I use a heart shaped tin: 4cm H x 20 cm L x 20 cm W
  3. Bake in a preheated oven 150 – 160º  for 30 – 40 mins until the top feels firm and is a golden brown. The centre will be slightly moist. Cool in tin and turn out carefully, dust top with sifted icing sugar and scatter with rose petals or re hydrated dried rose buds