Date + Saffron Tea Cake

I’m meeting friends for a vaguely work related cup of tea this week and thought I’d bring something to go with the tea. After making donuts all weekend I wanted something less sweet and cakey and something more like a receptacle for salty butter. I also wanted something easy, so I thought, loaf. I have some beautiful local saffron which I “borrowed” from our donut kitchen, and about 10kg of accidentally ordered dried dates to use up, so this super little easy date + saffron tea loaf was born.

I don’t use any sugar in the recipe as its full of fruit, but if you fancy a sweeter treat you could add 50-100g of sugar to the eggs and honey.


Date + Saffron Tea Cake

300g dried dates

Pinch saffron (in 325ml boiling water)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp honey

300g plain flour

2.5 tsp baking powder

6 cardamon pods (or 1 tsp ground)

large pinch of salt


In a medium sized bowl stir saffron into boiling water and let it sit for 5 or so minutes to release its amazing colour. Chop dates into small pieces and add to saffron water. Ideally let it sit for a couple of hours to infuse. If you’re short on time, half an hour should do.

Preheat your oven to 170 Celsius and grease a medium sized loaf tin.

Squash your cardamom pods with the flat side of a knife to take out the seeds, then grind seeds with a mortar and pestle. (You can use ground cardamom if this seems like too much hassle, but I prefer the freshly ground stuff.)

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, cardamon + salt together then set aside.

In a small bowl whisk eggs with honey for two minutes until thick and frothy. (If you spray a bit of oil on your tablespoon the honey should glide off and be easier to scoop out and measure.)

Add eggs + saffron dates to the dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Pour into your loaf tin, smooth the top and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Feel free to eat warm from the oven, but I actually prefer it toasted the next day with butter, honey + sea salt.