Cornish Saffron Cake Recipe

saffron cake recipe

It may be getting near to the festive holidays but why not try baking something Cornish to add to your feasts.  The traditional Cornish Saffron cake has been made for generations. This age-old recipe uses the delicate spice saffron to flavour the fruit bread. Make as one loaf or divide into individual buns. Serve for dessert or along with a cup of tea. Let us know how you get on by posting on our Facebook page and email any Cornish recipes of your own or that you’re particularly fond of us here for the chance to be included in this section!


25g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

125ml milk, add extra if needed

2-3 large pinches of saffron strands

3tbs Cornish clotted cream

225g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

1/4tsp salt

7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

25g golden caster sugar

1/2tsp ground mixed spice

50g fruit – we suggest half/half sultanas and raisins

1tbsp honey

Top Tip

You can make six individual buns, instead of a whole loaf, just bake for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet.


  1. Grease a long, thin 500g loaf tin with butter and set aside. Heat the milk in a small pan over a low heat until just below simmering point. Stir in the saffron strands and leave to infuse for about 15 minutes off the heat.
  2. Add the cream to the milk and saffron in the pan and return to a low heat. Warm (but don’t boil) for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast, sugar and mixed spice. Make a well in the centre and add the warm milk mixture. Mix well to make a soft dough, adding extra milk if needed.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes, gradually adding the butter and dried fruit as you go, until the dough is soft and elastic. Pop into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or at least doubled in size.
  4. Punch the dough in the bowl to ‘knock back’, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Split the dough into 3 even pieces and roll out into long ‘sausages’, just a little longer than the tin. Plait the dough together and tuck the ends under as you lift it into the tin. Cover with some lightly greased cling film and leave in a warm place for at least 1.5 hours or until doubled in size again.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas4. Bake the loaf for 25 minutes, until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and brush with the honey. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into thick slices and spread with clotted cream or butter to serve, if you like.

Recipe: Delicious Magazine