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Sour Cream Cake with Saffron-Orange Glaze

Put a sweet twist on that jar of saffron at the back of your spice cabinet! This light sour cream cake gets a sweet saffron-orange glaze that is beautiful and surprising.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 299 kcal
Author Liz


Ingredients for the Sour Cream Cake:

  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 oz. sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Ingredients for the Saffron-Orange Glaze

  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron about 35-40 threads


Make the Sour Cream Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a piece of parchment paper and grease parchment paper. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, beat together butter and sugar until combined. Add vanilla extract, eggs and sour cream, again beating until combined.

  4. Scrape down sides of the bowl (mixing again, if needed) and add half of the remaining dry ingredients. With a mixer on low, beat in dry ingredients. When just barely mixed, add remaining dry ingredients and mixed until incorporated throughout.

  5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to ensure batter is spread evenly throughout. Bake in prepared oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Prepare the Saffron-Orange Glaze:

  1. Just before removing cake from oven, combine all ingredients for the glaze in a small pot set over medium heat on the stove. Stir constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Lower heat, keeping the glaze warm until ready to glaze the cake.

Glaze the Cake:

  1. After removing cake from oven, allow to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, invert cake onto serving dish. Use a metal or wooden skewer to poke deep holes in the cake - all over. Skewer should never touch the bottom of the dish, but should go almost all of the way through the cake.

  2. Spoon hot glaze over still warm cake.

  3. Allow cake to cool completely (which also allows the cake to soak up that saffron-orange glaze) before serving, or covering with plastic wrap until ready to serve.