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!
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 Christmas cake recipe the whole-year round, to be honest. 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 is Christmas. 🙂
HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH SAFFRON CAKE
IS IT OK TO USE DIFFERENT SHAPES OF BAKING TIN FOR THIS CHRISTMAS CAKE?
Absolutely. A regular 8-inch (to 10-inch) round baking pan is perfectly fine. I just wanted to make it more festive, so I opted for a pan that could pass for a wreath (sort of 😉 ).
CAN I USE SAFFRON POWDER FOR THIS SAFFRON RECIPE?
Honestly, I have used both interchangeably and I have never seen a difference in the result. The powder form, of course is easier since you just mix it directly with the milk.
CAN I ADD DRIED FRUITS IN THIS CAKE RECIPE?
I’ve seen some people add raisins, but that’s about it. I have never seen dried (or candied) fruits added, perhaps because they would tend to overpower the subtlety of the saffron.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR PREPARING THIS EASY CAKE RECIPE:
- Make sure you sift the all-purpose flour. There were times that I forgot to do this, and I saw some lumps in the mixture. Annoying.
- 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 tsp will do.
- Use breadcrumbs instead of flour when prepping the baking pan. It makes it easier to remove the cake afterwards.
HOW TO SERVE SWEDISH SAFFRON CAKE
Sprinkling powdered sugar on top is always advised. Adding bits of your favorite nuts, is also a good way to add a different texture on 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’, otherwise known as 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. It goes without saying that you can have a slice for breakfast, snack or dessert! Enjoy!
LOOKING FOR MORE SWEDISH RECIPES? CHECK OUT Swedish Desserts You Must Try!
FOR OTHER CHRISTMAS CAKE RECIPES OR OTHER CHRISTMAS TREATS, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS –
- Polvorones (Spanish Christmas Biscuits)
- German Flourless Christmas Cookies (Elisenlebkuchen)
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH SAFFRON CAKE
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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