About MissCakeBaker

I spend the week running in heels and the weekends in my apron.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saffron Sultana Cake

For this month's Random Recipes, Dom at Belleau Kitchen challenged us to make a recipe from the first or last page from a randomly chosen book from our shelf. The book I pulled out was Food of the Sun by Alastair Little and Richard Whittington.  Tucked away on the last page was this recipe for a very simple Saffron Sultana Cake. 

The recipe called for saffron powder which I didn't have so I used saffron stems instead. Mine didn't come out quite as yellow as the one in the book. I also added some grated orange zest to the recipe. It's a bit of a weird cake - it really reminded me of a trifle sponge. I felt it was a little dry so made an orange syrup which I poured over the whole cake.  It would be nice served alongside something like caramelised oranges. I've actually frozen it and do intend using it in a trifle sometime in the near future.

I've included the recipe below as as far as I can see this book is now out of print.

The Recipe

55g unsalted butter, diced
125g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tspn saffron powder or a pinch of saffron stems
55g sultanas soaked for as long as possible in brandy. Drained and tossed in flour (mine still sunk!)
4 eggs
125 caster sugar
orange zest
orange juice and caster sugar melted together to make syrup (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4 and line a swallow square tin or swiss roll tin. 
2. Place a heatproof bowl over a bowl of barely simmering water. Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and  whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick.  Remove the bowl from the heat.
3.  Add about half or a third of the flour and butter and fold in.  Repeat until it is all mixed in and the butter is melted.  Finally fold in the sultanas and pour into the prepared tin.
4. Bake for around 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Turn out on a rack to cool. Pour over syrup if you wish (if you do make holes all over the cake before you do so).


  1. I've never baked a cake with saffron before - sounds interesting. I love trifles and I can imagine that this would be perfect for one. Have a lovely weekend :)

  2. This cake sounds very interesting...I'll have to have a look at that recipe book too! Looks lovely even if it was a bit dry, a good idea to add the orange syrup!

  3. Sounds like an interesting flavour combination. It's annoying when raisins sink and the picture in the book shows them evenly distributed isn't it! Good use for trifles if you're not convinced of its worth as cake in its own right!

  4. I didn't know there was such a thing as saffron powder, though I don't see why there shouldn't be. Cake sounds really good as does your future trifle - mmmm!

  5. I've never baked with saffron - what a nice idea

  6. Ohh, saffron powder? I've never heard of it either but what a lovely ingredient to have in the stockcupboard! What a great bake for RR!

  7. Funnily enough I've got the same book and I've been browsing through it recently - I haven't got to the last page yet, though. This does sound good. Shame that it ends up a little dry - I like the idea of the orange syrup, though.

  8. a very unusual recipe but one I feel must be rather fabulous... it looks so delicate and rather a little posh... do you need dainty lady fingers to eat this?... I may faint!... thanks so much for the entry this month, always such a treasure to have you play along!

  9. Thanks for the comments! Dom - me and dainty don't really go in the same sentence but I shall aspire to it!

  10. Very interesting flavor combination! I think you've made a great choice by adding some an orange syrup on it! Looks lovely with those Sultanas! Have a nice day! :)

  11. A saffron scented trifle sounds lovely - yum! Love the elegant tea glass too.

  12. Wow!
    You made making Saffron Sultana Cake seem so simple!
    Would you join us in our food community www.mycookbook.com and let us know how you worked on the Saffron Sultana Cake perfectly ?