This delicious Raspberry Swirl Loaf Cake covered in Lemon Icing is one of the many flavor variations that start with this simple Vanilla Loaf Cake recipe.
The cake is moist and tender and contains bright ribbon of raspberry swirled into every delicious slice.
Why This Recipe Works
Most recipes for Raspberry Bread or Raspberry Loaf Cake call for fresh raspberries. The technique is similar to the one used in this recipe for Blueberry Loaf Cake: gently fold the fresh berries into the batter right before baking.
The main problem with using fresh raspberries in a loaf cake like this one, is that they tend to sink to the bottom as the cake bakes. Unlike blueberries, the structure and water content of raspberries causes them to slowly sink through the batter so you end up with a kind of upside down version of raspberry upside down cake.
I tried all manner of techniques in my effort to solve this problem. Some didn't work at all, and some only worked moderately well.
One solution is to alter the cake batter so that the texture of the cake is more sturdy. But, that's not what I wanted in this cake. I wanted a cake with a supremely moist and tender texture.
The other problem I was having with fresh raspberries is that they didn't impart enough raspberry flavor to the cake. Unless the batter is completely saturated with fresh raspberries, thereby altering the structure of the cake and its ability to rise and hold itself together while it bakes, a smattering of raspberries really doesn't impart that much flavor.
Raspberry preserves to the rescue.
The solution was to use raspberry preserves instead of fresh raspberries in this cake. Like fresh raspberries, when I swirled the preserves directly into the batter, the preserves sunk to the bottom.
So, I tried mixing preserves into a portion of the cake batter and swirling that into the rest of the cake batter. Success! The result is a bright ribbon of raspberry cake swirled into every slice.
Step-by-Step Photos and Instructions
As I mentioned earlier, this Raspberry Loaf Cake Recipe is a simple variation of this basic recipe for Vanilla Loaf Cake. The process for making this cake is quite simple. Here's what you do:
#1: Make the basic vanilla cake batter
- Stir the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) together in a small bowl.
- Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and aerated. This will take 3-4 minutes. To know when you've beaten the eggs and sugar enough, lift the beater from the bowl. The mixture should look like a ribbon falling from the beater, folding over itself as it drops back into the bowl. (See the photo below for a visual clue.)
- With the mixer running, pour the vegetable oil into the eggs and sugar in a thin, steady stream. You want to do this very slowly, so the oil is fully emulsified into the sugar and eggs.
- Beat in the yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract, then stir the dry ingredients into the batter by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir just until the batter is smooth and lump free.
#2. Make the Raspberry Swirl
- Mix ½ cup vanilla cake batter with ⅓ cup raspberry preserves. If you want a bright red color, also add a drop of red food coloring. The food coloring is 100% optional. It simply bumps up that bright red color. I like using Watkins Red Food Coloring, which uses vegetable juice and contains no artificial dyes.
- Add about ⅔ of the vanilla batter to the pan, spreading it out into an even layer.
- Top the layer of vanilla batter with the raspberry batter, spreading it out so that it almost covers the vanilla batter.
- Use a knife to swirl the batter around in the pan. Swirl the knife a few times if you want a thick raspberry ribbon running through your cake. Or, swirl the knife several times to create thinner swirls of raspberry throughout the loaf.
- Spread the rest of the vanilla batter into the pan so that it covers the raspberry swirl completely.
Top with Lemon or Vanilla Icing
In all honesty, this Raspberry Cake is delicious served plain, without any icing at all. But, I think it's even better with a layer of lemon icing. If you're not crazy about lemon flavor, you could use this vanilla icing instead.
Both icing options are delicious and super quick to make (about 5 minutes) so it really just depends on what you're in the mood for.
You can serve the cake right after covering it icing it for a more saucy flavor with each slice. Or, wait for the icing to firm up so it creates a crackly, sugary surface to the top of the cake.
How to Store Raspberry Swirl Loaf Cake
This cake will stay fresh and moist for up to 4 days if kept in the refrigerator, or up to 2 days if stored at room temperature.
Wrap it up with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container to prevent the cake from drying out.
If you are making the cake ahead of time, I'd suggest waiting to add the icing until the day you are planning to serve it. Iced Raspberry Loaf Cake will keep just as well in the refrigerator, but the icing won't look as pretty after it's been covered and refrigerated for a while.
You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months. After the cake is completely cool, wrap it in a couple layers of plastic wrap then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze the cake without any icing.
Allow the cake to thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature. Top with icing after the cake has thawed.
More Loaf Cake Recipes
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram. Happy Baking!
- 1 ¾ cups (210g) flour
- 2 teaspoon (8g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2.25g) table salt - OR ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g/ 118ml) vegetable or canola oil
- ½ cup (4oz/ 113g) plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- ⅓ cup (113g/ 4oz) raspberry preserves
- Grease and flour a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Here's how to Grease and Flour Cake Pans.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a medium size bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Beat the eggs and 1 cup sugar with an elecric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is lightened in color and thick. If you lift the beater from the batter, the mixture should fold back on itself like a ribbon. (See photo above for reference)
- With the mixer running on medium speed, pour the vegetable oil into the egg and sugar mixture very slowly. Pour the oil in a thin steady stream as the mixer runs, so that it creates a fully emulsified (combined) batter.
- Add the yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract and beat just until combined. Then use a spoon or rubber spatula to stir the flour mixture into the batter. Mix just until the batter is smooth.
- Remove ½ cup of the cake batter to a small bowl and add the raspberry preserves and food coloring (if using). Stir to combine.
Add ⅔ of the batter to the pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Spread the raspberry batter into the pan so that it nearly covers the vanilla batter.
- Use a knife to swirl the batter in the pan. Swirl just a few times to creat a thick ribbon of raspberry or several times to create thinner ribbons of raspberry in the loaf.
- Spread the remaining vanilla batter into the pan, edge to edge, so that it covers the raspberry swirls completely.
- Bake the cake for 43 - 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out without any evidence of raw batter.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completly before covering with icing.
Top this cake with Lemon or Vanilla Icing
How to Store Raspberry Loaf Cake:
Store this cake in the refrigerator, iced or plain, for up to 4 days. OR, store this cake at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Make sure the cake is well wrapped, or store in an air tight container to prevent it from drying out. If you're making the cake ahead of when you want to serve it, it's best to ice it the day you plan to serve it.
You can also freeze this cake, well wrapped, for up to 3 months. Freeze the cake without icing and let it thaw, still covered, at room temperature before adding the icing.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 6g