Saffron & Lemon Cake


David Brooks writes in Second Mountain “We think we want ease and comfort, and of course we do from time to time, but there is something inside us that longs for some calling that requires dedication and sacrifice.”

Do you know what is your calling? Are you doing what you’re passionate about? It took me a long time to realize what was my calling, I got to the point that I wasn’t satisfied with the ease and comfort of a steady and good income any more. I was willing to sacrifice all that. I quit my corporate job, used all my savings to rent a house in San Mateo & pay for tuition at San Francisco Baking Institute, and later advanced my knowledge of baking at Lenôtre school in Paris. What followed was a very unique experience and a rewarding life style, not in sense of money, but in sense of my values & what was important to me. I had the freedom to stay in Iran with my family longer than the three weeks of vacation that was allowed.

Today, as I celebrate the third year anniversary of, the ecommerce site, my heart is filled with gratitude to YOU who read my posts, who bake my recipes, who like my photos, who support me with your purchases and referrals. So you see my friend, YOU are the reason that I made it this far, so lets celebrate this moment together. Of course, no celebration is complete without a cake.

I baked a saffron lemon cake, a flavorful cake that is light, tender, and so simple. The original recipe is from Maida Heatter, Happiness is baking. From the experience I knew, adding saffron to the cake and to the glaze would make the cake even more delicious.

Key points:

This recipe calls for adding the flour and milk alternatively and there is a good reason for it. Adding the milk all at once could saturate the creamed butter mixture and cause the batter to separate. Adding all of the dry ingredients will cause the batter to be thick and likely result in over mixing, which will result in having a tougher cake. Instead, add them in two or three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir ingredients after each addition, but only until just combined.

You can use a 9” cake pan or two 6” cake pans. I used four small bundt cake pans that I just recently got. If you’re not using a bundt cake pan, don’t worry about brushing the bottom of the pan with butter, you can simply use a oil spray.


Saffron & Lemon Cake

Yields: 9 servings Bake time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 cup (173g) sugar

  • 1 cup (117g) + 2 tbsp butter, melted & divided

  • 1/2 cup (70g) ground pistachios

  • 2 large eggs

  • Zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon

  • 1 tsp lemon extract

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup (100g) milk

  • 1/2 cup (70g) almond meal

  • 3 tsp brewed saffron

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 2 cups (200g) powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice

  • 3 tbsp brewed saffron

Place all the ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix using a whisk until you have a smooth glaze. Set aside until the cake is completely cool.


  1. Brush the cake pans with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle with ground pistachios & invert over a piece of paper, set the pans aside.

  2. Melt the butter in the microwave and transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add sugar and mix on low speed for 2 minutes until well mixed. d

  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  4. Add baking soda & salt to the flour. Still on low speed, add the flour mix in three additions alternating with the milk. Start with the dry ingredient and end with dry.

  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer, stir in almond meal and brewed saffron.

  6. Divide the batter into the cake pans. Place the pans on a baking tray & place in the pre-heated oven.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 325°F or until the cake tester comes out clean.

  8. Invert the cake pans on a baking rack and let cool.

  9. Right before serving the cake, pour the glaze over the cake.


I love to hear about your experience baking this cake & whether you have a calling in life that you have been contemplating about. Lets take the conversation over to Instagram where you can see the tutorial on making this saffron lemon cake.

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment down below. One last thing, don’t forget to subscribe & get $5 OFF your first purchase on