Lemon & Saffron Cake {gluten free & dairy free} | The Pink Rose Bakery

Lemon & Saffron Cake

Let’s celebrate the fact that a) it is Friday, b) it is a long weekend and c) a week of dismal weather (bad for getting things done, good for the garden) with a bright yellow sunny cake!

Lemon & Saffron Cake {gluten free & dairy free} | The Pink Rose Bakery

It is even shaped like the sun!

The cake itself looks unassuming but it is packed with flavour – a tang from the lemon and the unique taste of saffron.

Lemon & Saffron Cake {gluten free & dairy free} | The Pink Rose Bakery

If you haven’t had saffron before, it is a strange one to describe. I almost want to say that it is slightly metallic, slightly antiseptic but that doesn’t make it sound very appealing, does it?! It is a difficult one. I was asked what cardamom tasted like the other day and that was just as difficult. It tastes like cardamom! Just as cinnamon tastes like cinnamon. There isn’t anything to liken it to. Give it a sniff, it tastes like it smells. That said, if you aren’t keen on saffron you can leave it out and you will have a perfectly acceptable lemon cake. But it won’t be as delightfully yellow in colour.

If you do like saffron, well, use as big a pinch of it as you like!

Lemon & Saffron Cake {gluten free & dairy free} | The Pink Rose Bakery

If you are a fan of polenta based cakes then I think you will love this one too. It doesn’t contain any polenta / cornmeal but the texture really reminded me of Nigella’s lemon polenta cake and you douse it with a sticky lemon syrup in the same manner, which will gradually seep to the base  and give you a lovely sticky bottom!

Lemon & Saffron Cake {gluten free & dairy free} | The Pink Rose Bakery

Serve with a dollop of clotted cream and some lemon curd to emphasise the zingy lemon. Perfect for a late summer afternoon tea. Or anytime really!

Lemon & Saffron Cake {gluten free & dairy free} | The Pink Rose Bakery

Lemon & Saffron Cake


  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • 80ml rapeseed oil or any other flavourless oil
  • 20g unsweetened almond milk, or any other milk of your choice
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 63g rice flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 35g powdered sugar
  • 37ml hot water
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • clotted cream and lemon curd to serve


  1. Place the saffron strands in a small bowl and cover with 2 tbsp hot water. Set aside to infuse.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170 Celsius / 150 fan / 325 Fahrenheit. Grease a bundt tin well with oil or a baking spray (you can make this is a round cake tin if you prefer – 20cm diameter).
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, milk and lemon zest.
  4. Add the eggs and sugar and whisk again.
  5. Using a silicone spatula fold in the rice flour, baking powder, psyllium powder, vanilla and ground almonds. Then stir in the saffron infusion.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until risen slightly and firm to the touch but with a little bit of bounce (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean).
  7. Leave to cool in the tin while you prepare the syrup.
  8. Place the powdered sugar and hot water into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, swirling the pan occasionally to make sure the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  9. Once the syrup is ready carefully remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack. Spoon the syrup over the top whilst both it and the cake are still warm. Leave to cool completely.
  10. Serve with clotted cream and lemon curd. Store in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight.

© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015


7 thoughts on “Lemon & Saffron Cake”

  1. What a gorgeous colour! As you say, it’s like sunshine – a slice of sunshine on your plate, made even more fabulous with cream and that food of the gods, lemon curd.


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