This Swedish saffron cake (saffranskaka) makes any amazing adornment for any Christmas celebration table.
Saffron is used a lot in Swedish baking at Christmas time. Festivities get underway first with Lussekatter and then all the way up to Christmas, saffron is found in a multitude of baking recipes from cookies, to bread, through to cakes.
Up until I moved to Sweden, I’d never used saffron. I certainly hadn’t baked with it. I’d lived and worked in Turkey for a couple of years so knew of the spice and was pretty taken by its gorgeous colour, but other than that, had little experience of it.
Saffron adds a stunning colour to baked food. I mean really beautiful. I expected this but I was a little surprised at how delicious it was. Take care though, you only need a pinch as the flavour would overpower otherwise. God job, too, seeing as how expensive it is.
This cake is gluten free and made with a ready mixed blend, along with ground almonds, and there’s something special about the mixture of almonds and saffron; other-worldly, almost.
The cake is so soft and fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness, and a taste which lingers in your mouth long after you’ve eaten it. The only downside of being less sweet is that you could snaffle down half a cake in one sitting and not even notice.
I made a small cake (this one is 18cm) but you could easily double the recipe to make a larger one.
Recipe was adapted from Hembakat
- 80g (1/3 cup) butter
- 0.25g saffron
- 1 egg
- 135g (2/3 cup) sugar
- 75ml (1/3 cup) milk
- 1 teaspoon ground psyllium husk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 35g (1/4 cup) almond meal/ground almonds
- 135g (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) gluten free flour blend
- Icing sugar (for sprinkling)
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease a small springform pan (mine was 6 inches/18cm)
Melt the butter, then stir in the saffron and let it sit for a while.
Beat the egg and sugar together then add the saffron butter along with the milk.
In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together then add to the wet. Mix until just combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for around 35-40 minutes (if you feel the top is browning too much, cover it over with a piece of foil)
The cake is ready when it is slightly springy to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Let the cake cool, sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar and serve either as it is or with a little cream by the side if you fancy it. Enjoy!