Saffron Sponge Cake


This delicate saffron cake combines saffron threads, pomegranates and the light, cloudlike sponge cake for a deliciously light, beautiful dessert. 


1 pinch saffron threads
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp hot water
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
3/4 c. low-fat milk
1/2 c. olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Fresh whipped cream, for garnish
Fresh pomegranates, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour a 9" round cake pan.
  2. Grind saffron threads and ½ tbsp sugar together until it forms a powder. Add 1 tbsp hot water and let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the milk, oil, vanilla extract, and saffron liquid.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones, half at a time. Be careful not to over-mix.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes. Top with sesame seeds and let cook another 10-15 minutes until golden or a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack then top with fresh whipped cream and fresh pomegranates. Serve & enjoy!


  • Mitch

    Hi Lillian! In general the decision to go with low fat instead of whole milk is a nutritional preference, but since we’ve never made this with whole milk we would recommend sticking with low fat. A little saffron goes a long way, so a pinch of about 20 threads in this case!

  • Lillian

    This cake looks so good! Can whole milk be used instead of low fat? Also, how much is a pinch of saffron threads, this is my first time using it. Thanks!

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