Cakes, fruit, Recipes

Semolina, Orange and Saffron Cake

The following tasty, fragrant and moist cake, is a version of THIS cake, a recipe for which I’ve posted here five years ago. In the version I have here, I’ve decided to substitute the milk syrup with citrus-saffron one. To enhance these flavors, I’ve also added saffron to the batter, and topped the cake with orange and blood orange slices towards the end of baking.
The saffron and citrus gave the cake a beautiful, deep yellow color, and amazing aroma. The cake was a great success and disappeared quickly. Try it and enjoy.

* The original recipe calls for only 15 minutes of baking,  as the cake was baked in a larger pan, therefore needed less baking time. For baking the cake shown here in larger pan, follow the pan size and baking time from that recipe.
* If you can’t find blood orange, substitute with red grapefruit, or any other citrus fruit.

Makes: 16 squares
Prep time for the cake: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Prep time for the syrup: 5 minutes
Cooking time for the syrup: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours

For the cake:
8-10 saffron threads
1 Tbs hot water
2 cups semolina
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 XL eggs
2 Tbs oil
1 medium orange
2 small blood oranges (see notes)
For the syrup:
2 cup water
1 cup fresh orange juice
Zest from ½ orange
½ cup sugar
6-8 saffron threads
¼ cup honey (preferably orange blossom)

1. The cake: preheat the oven to 340F (170C). Brush the bottom of an 8×8” (20×20 cm) square pan with a thin layer of oil. Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and add the hot water. Let steep for 2-3 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the cake, except for the oranges. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.

3. While the cake is baking, use a small sharp knife to remove the rind of the oranges, including the white part. Cut each orange in half and slice them.
4. Take the cake out of the oven and arrange the slices on top. Place back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack, to cool to room temperature.

5. The syrup: combine all the ingredients in a medium size pot and bring to an almost boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add the honey. Mix well and pour the syrup over the cake, through a fine strainer. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature.

6. Place the covered pan in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. The cake will keep, covered in the fridge, for 3-4 days.

71 thoughts on “Semolina, Orange and Saffron Cake”

  1. I have a few threads of saffron in a cork-topped (tiny) jar – somewhere. How long are they usable? These guys have to be 15 years old . . . at least! I was always afraid to use them because they were so expensive. Well, that wasn’t so smart now, was it? ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a glass jar . . . so can see into it, but its location = ????? I remember having it when we were fulltime in our motorhome, but that was <2007! And . . . we’ve moved into two different homes since then!


    1. Thank you Rini, I’m glad you liked the cake,
      I usually use saffron for savory dishes, but I’ve seen a few desserts that are flavored with saffron, so thought it would be interesting to try it, and it was!
      The fruits on top added so much. I plan on making the cake with other fruits as well, once summer fruits will be available. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mollie, I’m glad you liked the recipe. This is the first time I’ve used saffron in a cake and it definitely isn’t going to be the last. It added such wonderful aroma and color, and it was the perfect match for the oranges. Highly recommend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow This looks so good – I can only imagine how delicious the cake must be with the combination of orange and saffron! And it looks gorgeous too! I love the texture of the semolina cake too.

    Liked by 1 person

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