Almond Saffron Cake

2 8-inch cakes

2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 1/3 c. milk
Generous 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 c. confectioner's sugar
5 large eggs
1 8-oz. container whole-fat sour cream
Juice of 1 orange, optional
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt

1 8-oz. can almond paste (not marzipan

Pre heat oven to 350. Spray two 8-in. round cake pans. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and add saffron and orange zest. Bring to a low simmer, remove from heat, set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat 1 c. butter and almond paste until creamy (~3 mins). Gradually add 1 c. confectioners' sugar. Beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add saffron mixture, beating just until blended.

Pour batter into cake pans, smooth the tops. Bake until toothpick comes out clean- 30-40 mins. Cool 5 mins, and remove from pans.

Serve warm, dusted with confectioners' sugar, or drizzled with orange juice mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar.