saffron pistachio orange cake

saffron pistachio orange cake

moist and delicious cake with redolent saffron, crunchy pistachios and fragrant oranges

prep: 10'
bake: 30-40'

What is more Persian than pistachio and saffron? And what a lovely combination not just on top of the jeweled rice but in a cake. This cake has a very crumb and airy texture and the addition of pistachios gives it a contrasting crunchy texture to it.

But the best part of the cake is the saffron, pistachio and orange syrup which takes this cake to a whole new heavenly level. The freshness and zinginess of orange together with the subtle saffron aroma and the emerald green of the crunchy pistachios that are slightly softened in the syrup leave your guests in awe.


  • 200g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 250g (1 cup) sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2tbsps orange juice
  • a pinch of saffron steeped in 2tbsp hot water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g (2 cups) ground almond
  • 50g (1/2 cup) pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 100g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

syrup for the topping

  • 50g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • juice and rind of two oranges
  • 50g (1/2 cup) pistachios, roughly chopped
  • a pinch of saffron steeped in 2tbsp hot water


  • preheat your oven to 170c
  • take a 23 cm round tin or a loaf pan buttered and dusted with flour or lined with a baking sheet
  • in a large bowl beat your butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric whisk
  • add the eggs and beat until combined
  • next, add the orange juice and zest
  • mix two tablespoons of the flour with the pistachios to coat them well
  • this will prevent them from submerging to the bottom while baking
  • mix together the flour, baking powder and salt
  • add it to the cake make mix together with the almond meal
  • leave one tsp of the saffron mix to add at the end
  • add the rest of the prepared saffron and dusted pistachios and mix with a spatula until well incorporated
  • transfer it to the prepared cake tin
  • drizzle the saffron you had set aside on top of the cake
  • bake in the oven

syrup for the topping

  • put all the ingredients together
  • bring it to a gentle boil
  • turn the heat off and let it cool

Once the cake is out of the oven and is still hot, add the cooled syrup using a spoon making sure the pistachios and orange rinds cover the top of the cake equally. You can store this cake in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for a month.

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