An easy cake recipe for the holidays! Swedish Saffron Cake (Saffranskaka) is a moist and deliciously soft cake that tastes even better the day after (if there’s any left). Great for breakfast, snack or dessert!
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Saffron is one of the most used spice in Sweden during Christmas.
You see them in cookies, buns, and cakes, and more importantly, you see a sign in the supermarket counter saying, ‘you can buy saffron here.’
Nothing stops me from making this saffron cake the whole year-round.
But I prefer to go with the Swedish tradition.
It just feels extra special when you’re enjoying this deliciously moist and slightly sweet cake, and everywhere you look — it’s Christmas. 🙂
IF YOU WANT MORE TRADITIONAL SWEDISH DESSERTS AND PASTRIES, THEN YOU WILL LIKE THESE POSTS!
- Flour – all-purpose flour is all you need for this saffron cake recipe.
- Baking powder – just use your favorite brand.
- Milk – full cream milk, if possible.
- Sugar – regular white sugar is excellent for this recipe.
- Butter – you need to melt this before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- Saffron – you can use saffron powder or threads in this recipe. The key is to make sure that the milk is warm when you combine it with the saffron.
- Eggs – make sure they’re at room temperature.
- Dried Fruits – although I did not use any in this recipe, I’ve seen some friends add raisins in their saffron cake; but that’s about it.
No other dried or candied fruits either, perhaps because they would tend to overpower the saffron’s subtlety.
Start by preheating the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Grease the baking pan with butter and sprinkle some breadcrumbs on it.
Crush the saffron threads with a teaspoon or with mortar and pestle. When using a teaspoon, add a bit of sugar to provide additional friction, then combine it with warm milk. Set aside (photo 1).
Using a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder — mix (photo 2).
In a separate bowl, whisk sugar and eggs (photo 3).
Add melted butter, saffron mixture, and remaining milk. Mix to combine (photo 4).
Add flour and baking powder into the egg mixture, continue mixing evenly combined (photo 5).
Pour mixture on a greased baking pan. Use a spatula to even out the top, if needed (photo 6).
Place the baking tin in the middle of the oven for thirty-five to forty minutes or until the cake’s sides are pulling away from the tin.
Let the cake cool down, then remove the saffron cake from the baking tin.
Serve, sprinkle with some powdered sugar, and sliced almonds (or other preferred nuts), if desired.
- Make sure you sift the all-purpose flour. It prevents lumps from forming in the cake batter.
- Use large eggs. I have seen a difference in the texture of the finished cake when I use medium-sized eggs.
- Add salt when using unsalted butter; a pinch to 1/8 teaspoon will do.
- Use breadcrumbs instead of flour when prepping the baking pan. It makes it easier to remove the cake afterward.
Sprinkling powdered sugar on top is always advised.
Adding bits of your favorite nuts is also a good way to add a different texture to each bite. I tend to use either almonds or pistachios – my two favorites.
As for what to pair it with, we normally enjoy it with Glögg (Swedish Mulled Wine). But since it’s a very subtly flavored cake, it also goes well with coffee, tea, or a glass of dry red wine!
So, give this saffron cake a try this weekend, and let me know what you think! 🙂
Swedish Saffron Cake
- Mixing Bowls
- Pyrex Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Strainer for Sifting
- Hand Mixer
- Rubber Spatula
- 8-inch Cake Pan
- 200 grams butter, melted (about 1 cup melted)
- 1/2 gram saffron (about 1/8 tsp)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
- 250 ml milk (about 1 cup), warm
- 340 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 cups, of which 1 cup is heaping)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- powdered sugar, optional
- sliced almond, optional
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Butter and sprinkle breadcrumbs on an 8-inch (to 10-inch) baking pan.
Prepare cake batter:
- Crush the saffron threads with a teaspoon or with mortar and pestle. When using a teaspoon, add a bit sugar to provide additional friction.
- Pour some warm milk on the saffron and mix. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Mix.
- In a separate bowl, whisk sugar and eggs. Add melted butter, saffron mixture and remaining milk. Mix to combine.
- Add flour and baking powder into the egg mixture. Mix until mixture is thoroughly combined.
Bake and serve your saffron cake:
- Pour mixture on a greased baking pan. Use a spatula to even out the top, if needed.
- Place baking tin in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sides of the cake is pulling away from the tin.
- Let cake cool down. Remove cake from the baking tin.
- Top with powdered sugar, and some almonds (or other preferred nuts), if desired.
- You can use saffron threads or powder; make sure you are combining it with warm milk.
- Do not forget to sift the flour. It prevents lumps from forming in the cake batter.
- Use large eggs. I have seen a noticeable difference in the texture of the finished cake when I use medium-sized eggs.
- When using unsalted butter, add a pinch to 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
- It’s better to use breadcrumbs than flour when preparing the baking pan. It makes it easier to remove the cake afterward.