Easy Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake
Happy Friday!! We made it to the end of the week and, quite honestly, I couldn’t be more pumped for the weekend. I had a loooooong week of work! I’ll be heading back home tonight after a week of shooting food & promo videos in Scottsdale, AZ. Obviously, I’m most excited to see my pups and definitely my own bed!
In the meantime, can we talk about pound cake? More specifically SWIRLY pound cake. Like, the super-moist* and dense raspberry swirl pound cake goodness you get from a coffee shop. I’m actually drooling right now as I type that. (Ew.)
*I can’t even put into words how moist and tender this cake is!
Do you like pound cake? It’s always been sort of blah to me. There has to be lots of flavor and pizazz UNLESS you have a seriously quality recipe. Flavor and pizazz meaning: nutella swirls, delicious lemon, or brown butter goodness!
I have those couple pound cake recipes on my site, but we haven’t chatted about this dessert in awhile. It’s been over a year since I published that brown butter pound cake recipe– and today’s pound cake is just like it. Have you tried it yet?
Today, we’re not taking the extra step to brown the butter (though you could!) and we are adding sour cream for extra extra moisture. Because of the added moisture, I slightly increased the flour. The rest of the batter is pretty straightforward; you really don’t need many ingredients at all to make pound cake from scratch. Besides the butter, sour cream, and flour, you need eggs + sugar… and that’s basically it!
And you know what would be so tasty? A little almond extract.
But for that raspberry swirl! When I was testing this recipe last month, I tried my hand at a homemade raspberry sauce– but that was an epic failure. It just made the whole pound cake wet. Not deliciously moist. I should have just made a homemade raspberry jam instead! Oh well, next time.
So you’ll just need a little raspberry jam/preserves for the swirl– homemade or store bought– but here’s the trick…
The Secret to the Swirl
Instead of just layering or swirling the jam by itself, mix the jam WITH some of the batter and use that for swirling. Using just plain jam, without mixing with batter, sort of made the raspberry swirl disappear. There wasn’t much of a dramatic swirl and you could hardly taste it. So instead, make a raspberry batter. 🙂
Layer plain batter + raspberry batter + more plain batter into the loaf pan, then use a knife to swirl the two together It’s that easy!
Revealed are the beautiful raspberry red swirls and will you just look at that tight crumb! ↓ ↓ That’s when you know you have a solid pound cake recipe.
The icing on top isn’t completely necessary because this is a pretty freakin’ awesome cake as is. But if you want to, definitely add a little lemon, raspberry, or vanilla icing on top. I give you options for both in this recipe. I went with lemon!
And am I allowed to say this is better than Starbucks’ version? Because it totally is!
Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional but recommended!)
- 1/3 cup (110g) raspberry jam/preserves
- optional: lemon icing, raspberry icing, or vanilla icing
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients. Beat everything just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Spoon 1/2 cup of batter into a smaller bowl. Stir in raspberry jam.
- Spoon most (about 2/3) of the plain batter into the prepared loaf pan, followed by all of the raspberry batter. Then spread the remaining plain batter on top as best you can. Using a knife, swirl the layers together. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, 10 minutes. (I like to loosely cover the loaf with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent heavy browning on top.) Pound cakes are dense and, therefore, take awhile in the oven. Baking times vary so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out *mostly* clean with zero raw batter. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing, icing, and serving.
- Cover and store leftover iced cake at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip: You can make the pound cake ahead of time by freezing it. Bake it, cool it, wrap it up in aluminum foil and freeze the loaf as a whole. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Freezes well up to 3 months.
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Here’s to a delicious and relaxing weekend ahead!