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slices of 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!

slices of raspberry swirl pound cake

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!

slices of raspberry swirl pound cake on a wood plate

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.

raspberry filling in a glass bowl
layer of raspberry swirl batter on top of layer of pound cake batter in a loaf pan

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!

pound cake batter in a loaf pan with a knife to swirl the batter around

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.

slices of raspberry swirl pound cake

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!

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slices of raspberry swirl pound cake

Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: serves 810 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This easy raspberry swirl pound cake tastes better than the coffee shop! It’s moist, buttery, and sweet with the most delicious raspberry swirl inside.


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 9×5 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 1 minute. 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 cake at room temperature for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.

Keywords: raspberry swirl pound cake

Here’s to a delicious and relaxing weekend ahead!

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. We were gifted jams, but don’t often eat them. So I made this recipe, twice. Once with raspberry and then with the cherry. Both times were excellent! However, the first time I over mixed the eggs so be careful with that. Both times it was gone in a flash. While on the phone, I gave the some to my boyfriend and he returned the dish licked clean—not a a crumb! I’m in Istanbul, Turkey and used yogurt with the liquid in place of sour cream. I also used 3/4 cup sunflower oil instead of 1 cup butter. We had a lot on hand. Thanks again for sharing your recipes, Sally!

  2. This was a big hit with my family! I followed the instructions exactly and it was delicious. It took over an hour in my oven and I tented with foil halfway through. The sides definitely get more done but the texture inside is perfect. Added the lemon glaze on top!

  3. I really Wanted to like this recipe it was just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, like other comments it is too eggy. I think it should have less egg, and it did not bake correctly. I lowered the temperature as suggested, and it just came out odd.

    1. Hi Abrah, A 9-inch cake pan would be too small, unless you have a 9-inch springform pan. You could try using an 11×7 rectangle pan too. I’m unsure of the bake time.

  4. I was a bit dubious about a pound cake as store bought ones were a blah memory of my teen years in summer camps. This one is amazing! So moist and tasty. I replaced the jam with fresh squashed raspberries and used greek yogurt instead of the sour cream (there’s no sour cream where I live). It’s now my sister in law’s favourite 🙂 Thank you for another great recipe!

  5. Beautiful and super tasty !! All those eggs and butter really made a dense and flavorful cake . The almond essence was what made it out of this world.

    1. Hi Heather, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but let us know if you do give it a try.

    1. Hi David! You could certainly layer in fresh raspberries, but the cake may taste a little wet. We recommend using jam.

  6. I think this has potential but maybe needs to go back to testing. The jam layer is too heavy and sinks and it doesn’t cook through when the rest of the cake is done. Bummer

  7. I would like to make this in small mini loaf pans for gifts. What changes should I make in baking time? I think one recipe would be equal to 3 mini loaves,

    1. Hi Nancy, we’re unsure of the exact bake time, as mini bread pan sizes can greatly vary. It will be shorter, but keep a close eye on them and use a toothpick to test for doneness. Hope they’re a hit!

  8. I made this for my birthday. I increased the ingredients by 50% for a Bundt pan and frosted with cream cheese frosting and decorated with freeze dried raspberries.

  9. This turned out great! Literally every piece gone in 1 day.
    Raspberry taste came through well. Swirl looked noticeable when cut. Cooked for 1 hour. Already planning on making it again.
    Loaf got a bit brown (forgot about foil cover).

  10. This was delicious. Followed recipe exactly except used cherry preserves instead. It was so tender and moist. I’m in the process now of making it again and will be using orange preserve as the swirl. This recipe seems to be perfect for changing the swirl flavor yet keeping the batter intact. Thank you Sally.

  11. As always, Sally is the Gold Standard for any and Everything Related to desserts/ measurements, etc!

  12. Hey Sally,
    I have it in my mind to make a lemon cake with raspberry swirl. Is that a thing? Would that be a good combination? I’m wondering if I should do a lemon pound cake or a lemon poppyseed loaf (sans poppyseeds) and do the raspberry swirl in it. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. Hi Lisa! You could use our lemon pound cake recipe with this raspberry swirl! We’ve tried that once and it was delicious 🙂

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