Saffron Vanilla Bean and Orange Mini Bundt Cakes

For #BundtBakers

Do you know that Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world? Derived from the flower of saffron crocus, it takes anything from 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron! No wonder it's pricey. Though saffron was first cultivated in Greece, it's been used in our homes since ages, much before my grandma can remember, for auspicious occasions and mainly to give color and aroma to rice dishes and desserts. When taken regularly dissolved in a glass of milk, it helps strengthen the immunity.
Now that I have enlightened you with this knowledge, lets move on to it's culinary (baking to be price) advantage :D

This month, I'm hosting the BundtBakers challenge and the host gets to choose the theme. I chose spices. Why? Because with so many spices out there, everyone gets more than a few options to choose from. Besides, I just love baking with spices, the aroma that fills your home and the flavor that it gives to your baked goods is just wonderful!

Saffron, Vanilla and Orange combination sounds a little odd, right? I mean its one of those 'not quite familiar' combos. But wait till you try it. All these three super aromatic ingredients come together to give you a heavenly flavor! I've used one whole vanilla pod for a six inch cake. Now you might think it's a little too much but you do need the whole pod to balance out the saffron flavor. For the orange, both the zest and the juice are used for a citrus kick. I made two 3 inches bundt cakes, one of which I glazed with an orange and confectioner's sugar mix and the other one, I just dusted with some confectioner's sugar. Both tasted delicious! :D

Recipe Source: Bakingyummies

Makes two 3 inches / 8 cms or one 6 inches / 15 cms mini bundt cake.

For the Cake
1/4 cup milk
scant 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
grated zest of one large orange
1 vanilla pod
175 grams / 6 ounces all purpose or plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon regular salt
175 grams / 6 ounces unsalted butter, little cold
185 grams / 6.5 ounces caster or superfine sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon orange juice

For the Glaze
40 grams / 1.5 ounces confectioner's or powdered sugar, sifted
2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice

For the Cake
Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla pod. In a saucepan, combine the milk, saffron, orange zest, vanilla pod and the seeds. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan and keep aside until it's at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C / 350 degrees F. Grease and dust two 3 inches / 8 cms or one 6 inches / 15 cms mini bundt cake.

In a bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix thoroughly with a hand held whisk to distribute all the ingredients.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium-high speed, or using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and mix until light, pale and fluffy about 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low. Add the eggs one at a time beating until each is incorporated well in the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as and when required. Add the orange juice and mix.

Add the flour mixture in two batches alternating with the milk mixture and mix until just combined after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan(s) and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 mins or until a cake tester or a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached to it.

Place the pan(s) on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan(s) and place it again on the wire rack to cool completely.

For the Glaze
In a small bowl, add the orange juice to the powdered sugar a little at a time until the glaze is of a thick dropping consistency. Pour over the cake(s).

Storage Suggestions: The cake can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or frozen for up to a month.

Happy Baking!!!

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Deepti from Bakingyummies is hosting and she has chosen the theme as spices.

Last month all of us baked with chocolate and after thoroughly enjoying each other's cakes, it was time to add some spice to the group.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email to Stacy at or ask to join our private Facebook group.

And don't forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month. Here are the links:


  1. That combo of flavors sounds wonderful to me. What lovely little bundts they are and so glad you shared the recipe today.

    1. Thank you Renee. The flavors indeed taste wonderful!

  2. What a beautiful color your little Bundts turned out, Deepti! I love your flavor combination. Thanks so much for hosting this month!

  3. Deepti! what a gorgeous bundt cake!! I love saffron! and saffron, vanilla and orange doesn't sound odd to me at all!!! It's just lovely!!! Thank you for hosting today!! love these mini bundt cakes!

  4. Really gorgeous cake! I have never worked with saffron before. I did know it was the most expensive followed by cardamom but that's about it.

    1. Thank you Kelster, you should give saffron a try. I hope you like it :)

  5. Never thought of using saffron in a cake, so unique and such a gorgeous bundt!!

    1. Thank you Tara. This is the first time that I've tried saffron in baking and I'm pretty pleased with the results :)

  6. Deepti you cakes are just beautiful - how gorgeous is that photo with the orange drizzle cascading down the sides? I have not baked with saffron but I will have to find some here and try it.

    1. Thank you so much Felice! If you try baking with saffron, let me know how it turned out for you.

  7. Thanks for hosting! I had a blast. Your mini bundts are adorable.

  8. Thank you for hosting, this was a great theme, and your cakes look delicious, fabulous combo of flavors.

  9. What a visual treat! I have recently started baking and I absolutely love it.. I am so glad I found your blog! I tried making this bunt and it turned out quite good.. I used Harvest’s Perfect orange juice for flavor.. but the cake was a little soggy.. any idea why? Also can I make this with other juices as well? pineapple maybe?

    1. Thank you Vish! There are a couple of reasons for the cake to have turned out soggy. First, it could be a little underbaked...did u use a skewer to check if the cake was done? the skewer or the case tester should come out with just a few crumbs attached to it. Second, you might have kept the cake a little longer in the pan before turning it out. Third, it could be because you used a store bought juice as it might have added sugar. Too much sugar in a cake makes it wet and soggy.
      You can surely use any other juice of your choice, just take care that it goes well with the other flavors.
      Hope this helps.


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