Bookish Bakes

Bookish Bakes: Zed’s Cornish Saffron Buns

April 29, 2021
A paperback copy of Zed and the Cormorants standing upright on a chunky grey knitted blanket. In front of the book is a wooden plate with Cornish Saffron Buns piled on top with an origami Cormorant

AD – This post is in collaboration with Arachne Press for Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen.

Have you ever read a book and instantly wanted to run off and travel to where it was set? Or recreate a tasty treat that was briefly mentioned, and you were curious to try it for yourself? 

That was me when I read Clare Owen’s Zed and the Cormorants and since travelling to Cornwall is currently impossible, I decided to settle and attempt to create one of the many treats mentioned; Cornish Saffron Buns. 

Zed’s Cornish Saffron Buns

In Zed and the Cormorants, Zed’s family moves to Cornwall in hopes of a better life. For her Dad, that means starting up a bakery, so there are so many baked goods featured throughout. 

Initially, I had wanted to create Zed’s birthday cake that was a rich sliced apple cake and described as: “it was warm and gooey, more like soft bread with apples and almonds on the top. Zed waited patiently, and a little nervously as Cordelia spooned a big dollop of curd on the side (fortunately not the top!), and then she plunged her spoon into the sticky mess…it was delicious.”

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? I was practically on the way to buy the apples and almonds when my Mum reminded me of my Granddad’s allergy to apples, and since he forgets he is allergic to nuts at the best of times, it would be best not to tempt him unless we wanted a trip to A&E. Something that has actually happened a fair few times already.

So, we took a vote and decided that the bookish bake I’d make to celebrate the release of Zed and the Cormorants would be Cornish Saffron Buns. 

Baking Zed’s Cornish Saffron Buns

Since I’ve never made Cornish Saffron Buns before, I decided to use a recipe online for my first attempt as I had limited ingredients and had never worked with saffron before. I used the recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine that you can find here. I found the entire recipe quite straight forward and loved how the saffron was able to really enhance and bring the dough to life.

With this bake, I think I timed it perfectly as it was on one of the warmest afternoons we’ve had in the North so far this year. This meant every time I had to give the dough time to prove that I could place it in the sun while reading Zed and the Cormorants. Admittedly, I did get so engrossed that the dough was given a bit longer to rise than it should have but I think it worked out.

Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen

As well as featuring a range of deliciously sounding baked goods, Zed and the Cormorants is much more than a book about bread and buns. It’s a coming-of-age tale wrapped in a mystery, family relationships, mental health, friends and realising who you are. 

I read this book in two sittings. After reading the first half on a warm Sunday afternoon and the second half, I began to bake and prove the Cornish Buns. After reading the blurb, I was pleasantly surprised as Zed and the Cormorants was not what I had expected or envisioned at all! Instead, I was met by an intriguing narrative that had such mystery behind it and was an element that meant I couldn’t put the book down. Moreover, it was thrilling to attempt to work out the mystery yourself just as Zed was.

Will you be picking up Zed and the Cormorants? Or will you be trying some Zed-inspired Cornish Saffron Buns?
Have you checked out my other Bookish Bakes?

Zed's Cornish Saffron Buns Bookish Bake Pinterest Pin
Zed and the Cormorants Blog Tour Graphic listing all participates and their blog dates.

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  • Reply Cora @ TeaPartyPrincess April 29, 2021 at 7:24 am

    OK, I want to try and bake those Cornish Saffron Buns! They look amazing.
    I love it when a book surprises me – I tend to rarely read blurbs because I like the surprise, but even then I have expectations usually set by the cover haha.
    Cora |

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 9:46 am

      Haha I completely feel this Cora! I always try not to have expectations but the cover always gives you an idea of what to expect. I hope you get to try the cornish buns!

  • Reply Rosie Ireland April 29, 2021 at 10:05 am

    This sounds like such a lovely read. I love Cornwall and any story set down there is an instant winner in my eyes. One of my oldest family friends was a baker, the largest domestic baker in my town so I think this one would sit well with my memories of them!


    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 9:48 am

      That sounds lovely Rosie. I love it when a book connects to you on a personal level and bring back good memories so I hope that this one is able to do that for you!

  • Reply Cristina Rosano April 29, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Love the bookish bakes post! The honey pop cakes were one of the first posts I read from your blog so I couldn’t wait to read more! I love the sound of both the book and the buns! I never tried anything with saffron but they sound too good to pass! I Will add the book to my reading list x

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Thank you so much Cristina! I’m pleased that you enjoy this series and I’m sure I’ll be creating some more bookish bakes soon. I hope that you enjoy the buns!

  • Reply Lauren April 29, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I haven’t heard of these before. They look really delicious. It is definitely something I would try. Thank you for sharing.


    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 9:51 am

      They really were and I hope that you get to try them for yourself!

  • Reply Kayleigh Zara April 29, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Love this additional to the bookish bakes gal! I’ve not heard of this book before but it sounds like something that I would really enjoy reading. The bakes look so good too x

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 9:51 am

      Thank you so much Kayleigh! I hope that you get to try the book because it’s a really great and has such an interesting premise!

  • Reply Amie April 29, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    Oooh this sounds like a fabulous book! Also those buns look amazing!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 9:52 am

      The book and buns really were amazing!

  • Reply Kelly Diane April 29, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Those buns look delicious. Its great that you felt so passionately about the book that you recreated this. So many times I’ve felt like I wanted to go to where a book was set.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 10:13 am

      I can confirm that the buns were delicious! I’d definitely love to take a trip to Cornwall after reading this!

  • Reply Melissa April 29, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    I loved reading this post! Those buns look delicious and the book sounds so interesting! I love to read coming of age stories like that! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Thank you so much! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this post and would definitely recommend trying to make the buns yourself – they were delicious!

  • Reply Jenny in Neverland April 30, 2021 at 9:53 am

    This sounds like a great book. And those buns look great too! I love a book that you can devour in 2 sittings!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 10:14 am

      It really was and a book that took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did!

  • Reply Lindsey May 1, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Ooh these look absolutely delicious! Hopefully one day you’ll get to try the birthday cake because that sounds divine! The book sounds like a lot of fun as well.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 10:15 am

      They really were delicious! The birthday cake of spiced apple definitely sounded divine so I’m adding it to my list of goods I’d like to bake one day. The book was a lot of fun and had so many twists and turns that I hadn’t expected.

  • Reply Anika May 6, 2021 at 9:13 am

    They look so yummy! And amazing to say you’ve never made them before. Zed and the Cormorants sounds like a great read, always nice to have an entertaining book with a tasty bake 🙂

    • Reply @cupofwonderland May 30, 2021 at 10:21 am

      I can confirm that they were yummy and was really happy with how they turned out. It was lovely to pair the buns with the books as it helped bring the story to life for sure!

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