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Buttery Saffron Raisin Pound Cake

Fresh ground saffron is not just for paella! It makes this buttery saffron raisin pound cake aromatic, exotic and delectable!

Saffron Raisin Pound Cake by FamilySpice.com

As I have mentioned time and time again on my blog, I do not consider myself a baker. I do not have the training or second sense when it comes to baking. Nor, do I have the patience to meticulously decorate my baked creations.

I gravitate towards simpler desserts, where a primary ingredient gets all of the attention, whether it be a fruit or a spice.

Creating and developing a brand-spanking new dessert recipe is challenging, too. Unlike cooking a meal, where the ingredients can be eye-balled and adjusted to one’s personal taste, baking is truly an art.

Saffron Raisin Pound Cake by FamilySpice.com

Measuring accurately is a must. Attention to detail is absolute. And, I never post one of my own baked recipes without re-creating it half a dozen times for continued success.

Luckily for my family, they have enjoyed the small modifications I adjusted each time I baked this luscious Saffron and Raisin Pound Cake.



My husband’s favorite cookie is the Saffron Raisin Cookie. It is buttery. Oh yeah, lots of butter. And features saffron with dots of raisins. I realized that this combination would be perfect in a buttery pound cake.

Saffron Raisin Pound Cake by FamilySpice.com

Yes, it’s rich.

Yes, it’s buttery.

Yes, it’s delicious.

Yes, you will eat the crumbs.

ALL of the crumbs.

Persian saffron by FamilySpice.com

Now don’t be intimidated by using saffron. It is expensive – more expensive per ounce than oil or gold. But, with high quality products, especially saffron, very little goes very far.

High quality saffron threads are ALL RED. No yellow or light orange. If it is yellow, it is probably Safflower Threads, a cheaper alternative that does not yield the brilliant yellow color or powerful aroma of true saffron.

Saffron in Water for Saffron Raisin Pound Cake by FamilySpice.com

I see a lot of food bloggers mistakenly using safflower thinking that it is saffron. It is NOT saffron. It is nothing like saffron.

I store my saffron in a sealed container in my pantry. When I pop it open, I’m blown away by the smell each and every time. THAT is what separates the cheap stuff from the good stuff.

Saffron Raisin Pound Cake by FamilySpice.com

I keep my saffron in thread form for storage and then ground them as needed, with the tried and true mortar and pestle. When you add a bit of hot water to the ground saffron, you will notice, again, that the high quality saffron will glow a dark orange, not yellow.

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Yield: serves 10

Buttery Saffron Raisin Pound Cake

Saffron Raisin Pound Cake by FamilySpice.com

Fresh ground saffron is not just for paella! It makes this buttery saffron raisin pound cake aromatic, exotic and delectable!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 1/8 tsp ground saffron
  • 1 TBS hot water
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a small bowl combine ground saffron and hot water. Let saffron steep for 10 minutes before using.
  3. Apply non-stick spray to a 9x5 inch loaf pan, and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
  5. In a medium size bowl, whisk together using an electric mixer sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Mix in eggs, yogurt and vanilla into butter mixture.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix in the reserved saffron liquid.
  8. On low speed, mix in half of the flour mixture.
  9. Mix in the remainder of the flour mixture, until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix.
  10. Stir in raisins by hand.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. The batter will be thick.
  12. Gently tap the pan to your work surface to remove air bubbles.
  13. Bake in the oven for 60-75 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  14. Let the cake cool in the pan over a cooling rack for 30 mins.
  15. Life the cake out of the pan and place on the cooling rack to completely cool.
  16. Slice cake to desired thickness once cake is at room temperature.
  17. Store cooled caked, wrapped tightly in plastic at room temperature, up to 3 days.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g