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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 tinto 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. I have already made this pound cake twice in in 3 days! Once on Monday and once on Wednesday. It is delicious. My husband asked if it was a “Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe”,  he knows all the recipes I make of your are delicious! 

  2. Could you replace the raspberry preserves for strawberry? I made this today for a weekend get together (can’t wait to try it!!) but my husband prefers strawberry over raspberry.

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

    1. You can simply leave it out– or use another (alcohol free) flavor you think would pair well!

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

  8. 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 …)

  9. 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!

  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,

    Can the same cake be made in a round 8- or 9-inch pan? I don’t have a loaf pan.

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

  12. Sally,

    I know this is an old recipe but it is my favorite. This time, I adjusted the baking time and turned these into cupcakes and they were still to die for. Please do more pound cake recipes in the future.

    1. I should try this raspberry swirl pound cake as little cupcakes too! Thank you so much for sharing how much you enjoy my recipe.

  13. I was so excited to bake this cake, but the jam batter layer did not cook, despite more than an hour in the oven. When I took the tin out and did the toothpick test, all seemed okay. But when I upturned the tin after an hour of cooling it, the cake sunk, turning into a soupy mess from the middle. Such a shame, because it tasted so good. I’m clueless as to what went wrong. I followed the recipe to the T, using electric scales to measure all ingredients.

  14. Hi Sally,

    I made this recipe twice, and it is both easy and delicious! However, I had a problem with the center of the loaf being under-baked, to the point of still being raw. A section of about 1 1/2 inches most of the way through the middle of the loaf was still raw. I baked it for longer than your instructions say and covered it with foil halfway through as the recipe says, and when it seemed done I used a cake tester in the middle of the loaf and it came out completely clean. It was only after letting the cake cool and cutting into it that I realized it was still raw in the center. Any thoughts on what I did wrong?

    1. Hi Lesley! Are you changing anything to the recipe? My suggestion is to check your oven temperature (use an oven thermometer if you have one) and reduce it by 25 degrees F. Bake on the conventional setting for several minutes longer. Let the cake completely cool and refrigerate before eating. The cake should set up perfectly then!

  15. Hi Sally, I just made this cake tonight and the raspberry all sank to the bottom! Have you had this problem?! I’ll make it again and hopefully it’ll turn out like yours xx

  16. Hi Sally!
    I recently made this wonderful cake for my grandparents.
    They were celebrating their 60th (!!) anniversary and asked me to bake something for the nursing home that my grandpa has been living in for the past few years.
    It wasn’t until later that I was told it was supposed to feed 120 people!! After the initial panic had settled a bit I went looking for tasty, yet easy, recipes I could make.
    I ended up choosing this recipe and the Nutella Brownie recipe you also shared. It took a full day and many dishwasher loads, but it was amazing!
    My grandparent are still talking about it! There are apparently still people coming up to them to talk about the amazing cake they had!
    So, thank you for this amazing cake! It helped put a smile on my grandparents face and on about a 120 other people!

  17. Sally,
    I need some advice. I made this recipe in a small 4 cup bundt cake pan. The cake itself tasted very good but the outside was way too dark. I used a Kaiser 4 cup medium grey color heavy cast aluminum pan. I filled it 2/3 up the pan and baked at 350 F.
    What can I change to make it much lighter.
    Thank you, Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy, A darker pan absorbs and retains more heat, causing the exterior of the cake to brown before the inside is done. I haven’t tested your exact pan but you can certainly try to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees next time and see if that helps.

  18. Hi Sally, can I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour and will the measurement be the same amount ?. Will there be any different in taste ?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Lusi! You can use cake flour instead. I recommend the same amount or maybe add an extra Tablespoon. The cake will taste a bit lighter.

  19. Could I use your lemon iced pound cake recipe with this raspberry swirl? Do you think it would come out ok? I just want a little more lemon flavor!

  20. I just made this today and it was AMAZING! Our oven is very temperamental, so the outside got slightly scorched – I think I’ll put the oven on a lower temperature next time, but even despite that, it tasted incredible. That raspberry swirl takes the already delicious pound cake to a whole other level….I love it!!!

  21. Love this recipe! I made it into a bundt cake with raspberry lemon glaze. For anyone wondering, I made 1.5x the recipe and baked at the same temp for about 1 hour 15 minutes, but started checking for doneness at 1 hour 10 minutes. It turned out moist, dense, and delicious -people were going back for seconds and thirds. Thank you for such a great recipe, Sally!

  22. Can I use homemade strawberry jam instead of store bought raspberry jam ?
    The jam that I made has very little sugar in it so it is tart in flavour than sweet
    So should I add sugar In my homemade jam before using it for the cake ?

    1. Absolutely! It’s up to you if you want to add more sugar to your homemade jam- the cake is pretty sweet, so if you’re used to the jam that you make, I think it would be just fine to use it as-is!

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

  23. Hey sally! I would also wish to add a little bit of chocolate batter like a marble pound cake along with the vanilla and raspberry batter. So how much of cocoa powder and water would I need and how much vanilla batter to mix it with?

    1. It’s unfortunately not as easy as just adding cocoa powder to create a chocolate swirl. Without extensive recipe testing I can’t say for sure what ratio of ingredients will work.

  24. I make this cake yesterday, and it was delicious (and pretty). I made the lemon frosting–my family loves fruity, lemony desserts and appreciated the fact that the cake is not overly sweet. Very moist cake. I’ll definitely make this again!

  25. Hi Sally, I baked this recipe this evening and it turned out really well. However, the crust and the edges seemed to have browned more than I would like it and have become a bit crusty. Could you please help?

    1. Hi Surashmi! This could easily be fixed for next time with a few adjustments in your oven. First, try baking the pound cake on a lower oven rack to help promote more even baking. Second, make sure you’re not using a dark metal pan. I also find ceramic pans warp the way cakes bake, too. Finally, you can try lowering the oven temperature and baking for longer (which ALWAYS helps) so the pound cake can cook a little more evenly all around. Tenting with foil halfway through baking helps as well.

  26. I will not be making this again. It was downright rubbery, likely due to the large number of eggs. If you make this, I suggest cutting the number of eggs in half and adding less butter. Eugh.

  27. Sally, I made this with a mix of raspberry jam and peanut butter, following all the other instructions. It turned out delicious! I did have the problem of the sides/edges getting browner than the top, even though I put the rack low – but the taste was still delicious all around. Next time I’ll bake it at 25 degrees lower temp!

  28. the edges browned to the point of basically being burnt. with the amount of time this recipe took i was very upset that the edges burned within 30 minutes. i will be lowering the temperature and using a lower rack, as i only have dark pans. it should be clearer in the recipe that dark pans should not be used, and a low rack should be used.

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