Saffron and lemon cake

Saffron and lemon cake

Saffron and lemon cake

Sat, Aug 23, 2014, 01:00

  • Serves: 8
  • Cooking Time: 60 mins
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


  • 200g butter
  • 270g sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200g ground almonds
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 140g polenta
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 lemons, very thinly sliced, skin on
  • 250g sugar
  • 400ml water
  • Pinch turmeric
  • Generous pinch saffron


Preheat an oven to 180 degrees/gas 4.

Start by making the syrup. Cook the sliced lemons in plenty of boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cook again in fresh boiling water for another 10 minutes. Drain one final time, add the 400ml water and spices, bring to the boil and then simmer for six to 10 minutes until the lemons are soft and tender and the syrup has thickened.

Next, make the cake by creaming the sugar and butter together until light and almost fluffy – at least five minutes.

Add the eggs and beat them into the mixture. Then fold in the remainder of the ingredients.

Line the base and sides of a 24cm springform tin with parchment, and then line the base and sides with some of the sliced lemons from the syrup, taking care to let it cool first so you don’t burn yourself.

Because the cake gets turned upside-down when it’s cooled, these lemon slices will show on the top and sides of the cake when it is served, so try and arrange them as prettily as you can.

Bake the cake in the oven for 35 minutes, then let it rest for 20 minutes. Remove it from the tin and turn it upside-down onto your serving dish. Pour the syrup over the cake.

Serve with whipped cream or yoghurt.

Food cooked and styled by Domini Kemp and Gillian Fallon