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Saffron Cake

Makes one 13x9x2-inch cake

This is a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, although its origin was probably in England and the German immigrants brought it with them to this country. I know that putting saffron in a cake sounds extravagant. However, some of the Amish, who are Pennsylvania Dutch, grow crocus as one of their means of income. Saffron is the dried stigmas of a crocus flower. So for the Amish, it is common to use the spice in everyday preparations. Not only do they tint food a beautiful yellow color, they add a slight floral flavor. This recipe comes from Cathy Jones, who was the daughter of one of my mother's friends in Pennsylvania. The cake is very good and easy to make.


Add the saffron to the boiling water and let the mixture stand overnight. The water will turn yellow.

The next day, grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and butter until creamy. In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the saffron water. Mix thoroughly. Add the raisins and stir until combined. Pour into prepared pan; bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out dry. Place on baking rack to cool.

Notes: Saffron threads are sometimes sold in grams. The equivalent of .025 ounce is about .7 gram.