Saffron Cupcake

Saffron has a distinctive exotic taste and releases a fabulous golden color. These mini saffron cupcakes are perfect for a modern Persian New Year dessert, a small party or brunch.

2425 minutes10 minutesEASY


For the cupcake

  1. ¾ cup plus 2 Tbs milk
  2. ¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  3. 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  6. 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  7. ¾ cup sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

For the buttercream

  1. ½ cup butter plus 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  2. ½ teaspoon saffron
  3. 1 2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

To make the cupcake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 24 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Gently warm 2 Tbs of milk with the saffron for a few minutes and let it cool.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the cooled saffron milk to the rest of the milk. 
  4. Keeping the mixer on low, alternate adding the milk with dry ingredients into the butter mixture in three additions. 
  5. Using a small cookie scoop (1 Tablespoon), fill the liners with one scoop each. Bake for about 10 minutes.

To make the buttercream

  1. Gently heat the butter and saffron while swirling the pan until the butter just melts. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool completely and refrigerate until hardened. Paddle the butter in an electric mixer until it’s fluffy and soft. 
  2. Slowly add the sugar while mixing on low. You may need to use more or less sugar depending on the stiffness of the butter cream.


The saffron flavor is strong. If you want it to be more subtle, use less.