I always want to try different combinations with plain cakes. In my family, we love Pound Cakes a lot. I don’t bake pound cakes often though, but when I do, I try to make a good one. I wanted to make a cake with the no fail combination of Pistachio+Saffron+Rose from quite a long time. Before baking the cake I knew this combo wouldn’t disappoint me. During baking the heavenly aroma wafting out from the oven made me realise that I was right, my gut feeling and experience with baking helps me always to play with the ingredients. And it gives me immense happiness when I see that a recipe which I developed in my kitchen is showing me a satisfactory result. I love my Nordicware Bundt Pan, and this pan needs more cake batter to fill with, so, I made a big cake. But this recipe can be halved easily. Cream cheese added a beautiful texture to this Saffron Pistachio Pound Cake, and this cake tasted more like Saffron Pistachio Sondesh (Saffron Cottage Cheese Fudge) to me. Those orange saffron strands add a beauty to the cake slices, and will make you want more of this.
The festive season is almost here. And this cake would compliment all the coming festivities, bake it ASAP and thank me later. 🙂
Cream Cheese Saffron Pistachio Pound Cake
- All-purpose flour/Maida – 3 cups
- White caster sugar (powdered sugar)- 2¾ cups
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Pistachio- ½ cup (chopped)
- Milk- ¾ cup
- Saffron- 1 fat pinch
- Rose water- ¼ cup
- Green cardamoms- 10
- Unsalted butter- 1 cup
- Eggs- 4
- Cream cheese- 1 pack/8 ounces
- Baking powder- 2 tsp
Before I start all the ingredients were at room temperature.
Soak saffron in milk for 3-4 hours, keep it covered.
Make a coarse powder of cardamom seeds using your mortar-pestle, discard the green pods.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease a 2.4 litre Bundt cake pan (I used my Nordic ware Heritage Bundt pan here) using a pastry brush with melted butter. Or, use a lecithin free baking spray. Make it sure to coat all the nooks in the pan, this ensures an easy release for the cake with the sharp design intact. If you’re not using a Bundt pan, then use a 10” cake pan by greasing with butter and place a piece of baking paper at the bottom of the pan.
In a bowl, sift all-purpose flour and baking powder. Add salt and cardamom powder, mix well and keep aside.
In another bowl, add cream cheese and butter, now start whisking until smooth at low speed using your electronic hand mixer or stand mixer whatever you have, don’t overbeat. Add sugar in two batches, whisk on until mixed well. In this add the eggs one by one. Add one at a time and keep whisking. Now add flour mixture in 3 batches, whisk well. Add saffron milk and rose water next, keep whisking until a smooth batter forms, care should be taken on not to overbeat the batter. Add on chopped pistachio, mix gently with a spatula.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan (read note). Tap cake pan gently on the kitchen counter couple of times to release the air bubbles. Bake for 60 minutes. Insert sharp knife in the middle of the cake. The cake is ready if the knife comes out clean. If not, bake for some more time, and then check again. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert the cake gently onto a cooling rack. Let the Saffron Pistachio Pound Cake cooled completely before slicing.
- The batter was more for my 2.5 litre bundt pan. So, I baked a Bundt cake and 6 cupcakes out of it.
- Baking time may vary little bit for different ovens and different sizes of baking pans.
- Halve the ingredients if you want to bake a smaller cake. The baking time will reduce in this case.
- During baking time when the cake browns perfectly on top (after 30 minutes or so), cover the top loosely with a piece of Aluminium foil until it is fully baked. It helps to prevent over browning.
- Store the cake slices in an airtight container and keep refrigerated, consume within a week.