Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Easy Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

Deliciously moist and buttery pound cake with a thick raspberry swirl! Topped with icing and SO EASY to make! Recipe on

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!

Deliciously moist and buttery pound cake with a thick raspberry swirl! Topped with icing and SO EASY to make! Recipe on

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!

Deliciously moist and buttery pound cake with a thick raspberry swirl! Topped with icing and SO EASY to make! Recipe on

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.

How to make raspberry swirl pound cake on
How to make raspberry swirl pound cake on

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!

How to make raspberry swirl pound cake on

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.

Deliciously moist and buttery pound cake with a thick raspberry swirl! Topped with icing and SO EASY to make! Recipe on

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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Spoon 1/2 cup of batter into a smaller bowl. Stir in raspberry jam.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Deliciously moist and buttery pound cake with a thick raspberry swirl! Topped with icing and SO EASY to make! Recipe on


  1. Hi Sally,

    We have been enjoying this pound cake  so much that I have made it twice. It is definitely a keeper!

    But, I have a problem with the butter/sugar mixture curdling when the eggs are added and even more when the sour cream is added. Everything is at room temperature. After the flour mixture is added the batter smooths out.  I have seen no mention from others of this happening so I must be doing something wrong. Can you suggest anything to prevent the curdling?

    Thank you.

    • You’re not doing anything wrong at all– sometimes this happens! It’s because the temperatures may be slightly varied and the textures are all sorts of different. Are you using a whisk attachment? I find that helps. Once the dry ingredients are added in, the curdling isn’t even an issue. It happens to me too!

  2. Hi Sally! I’d like to make this recipe in a bundt pan, should I double the recipe? And what do you think the baking time would be around? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Abby! The ratios would have to be played with– doubling the cake would be too much and the recipe as is would lend a very squat and short bundt. 1.5x the recipe would work, but it may be easier to stick to a loaf.

      • Use standard Bundt cake measurements, adding the raspberry swirl as in this recipe. That should work.

  3. Hi Sally

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. I have not been using the whisk attachment but will from now on.  It is a great recipe! Thank you again for sharing all your recipes with us.

  4. Do you think it would be ok to change the raspberry jam/preserves for mango or cherry fruit spread?
    I will buy the raspberry jam to make it again but right now I only have mango and cherry and it looks sooo yummy I don’t want to wait for the weekend grocery shopping. I want to bake it right now.

  5. Hi Sally! This looks delicious. Any other option besides the almond extract?  All the almond extracts I have checked out at the grocery store contain alcohol – a no go for me. Thank you!

  6. Could I possibly substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream without compromising the taste?
    Thank you Sally.

  7. OMG I just made this tonight and it was so incredible. We used the raspberry icing. It was unreal. I did use low-fat sour cream in a pitiful attempt to reduce the calories, and added some fresh chopped raspberries to the swirl because I had them and why not? I can’t believe how phenomenal it was. 

    We also made a chocolate/peanut butter cake which was great but everyone agreed this was better. And in a house full of chocolate lovers, that was unbelievable. Definitely going to make this again (and again … and again …)

  8. I baked this cake today with your vanilla icing recipe and it is absolutely amazing!!! One my 3 yr old twins asked if I could bake it everyday! I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have been trying out so many of your recipes – they are phenomenal! You write about food exactly how I talk about it…I love it! Thank you for so many amazing recipes!

  9. Hi. Can you recommend a substitution for the sour cream to make this dairy free?  Thanks

  10. My WORD! Sally, this cake is absolutely divine! I’ve been looking for a good, plain cake (we don’t call it pound cake in my part of the world) that would be simple and great with a cuppa tea. This is absolutely that recipe. I left out the swirl, left off the icing and didn’t add the almond extract and even without the extras it was absolutely delicious! Thank you Sally for another winning recipe!

    A suggestion for 2018 maybe, how about adding another layer to this comments section where we can attach a picture if we’ve tried this recipe. This cake is so gorgeous and I wanted to show you all what it looks like and suddenly realised it might be a great addition to your blog! Just a suggestion 🙂

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Sally! Love from South Africa xx

  11. Hi Sally,

    I see the recipe calls for full fat sour cream, but will light sour cream works as well given the fat content in the butter? I have some sour cream to use up and this looks like a great recipe to make and freeze.

    Thanks and Happy New Year!!

    • Hi Desiree! I do recommend full fat for the richest flavor and texture, but you can use light if that’s what you have.

  12. Just leaving a comment to say that i love all of your recipes! Every recipe I’ve tried has turned out perfect and most importantly delicious!

    Just made this tonight and my family loves it!

  13. Do you have a recipe for making the raspberry preserves? I have raspberries that I’d rather use than buy more. Thanks.

  14. I made this recipe but with Nutella instead of the raspberry 🙂 I know that you have a separate recipe for Nutella but that recipe did not use sour cream or yogurt and I love pound cakes with sour cream or yogurt because they are more moist. It’s in the oven now and I am excited 🙂

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