This recipe makes the best lemon raspberry loaf cake! It’s the perfect lemon and raspberry dessert, full of bright lemon flavour with the tart tang of raspberries.
✏️ Recipe creation
This raspberry lemon loaf is based on a Starbucks copycat recipe, but instead of swirling raspberry preserves through the lemon cake batter, I’ve added real raspberries for a more intense berry flavour.
It’s based on a fruitier version of my Starbucks copycat lemon loaf cake recipe – one of my all-time favourites!
It's also a super easy recipe without buttermilk.
This moist lemon pound cake is studded with fresh or frozen raspberries for a deliciously sweet quick bread. Glaze with an easy lemon icing for more sour-sweet goodness and top with fresh lemon zest and raspberries.
It’s great for summer picnics, bake sales, potlucks, tea parties and BBQs.
This lemon raspberry loaf cake recipe calls for the following ingredients:
Lemon raspberry loaf
- Unsalted butter
- White caster sugar (finely granulated sugar)
- Vegetable oil (or other neutral-flavoured oil)
- Plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- Baking powder
- Lemon zest and juice
- Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Lemon icing glaze
- Powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- Lemon juice
- Milk (optional)
- Raspberries (fresh)
- Lemon zest
See the recipe card for quantities.
Top tip: For accuracy, it’s best to weigh your ingredients rather than using cups.
This recipe is for a homemade lemon raspberry pound cake from scratch.
However, you can instead swap the cake for a store-bought version. You can use a yellow cake or white cake boxed mix for the cake sponge and add lemon zest and juice per this recipe.
I like to use a white sugar for this pound cake recipe, but you can instead swap this for golden caster sugar instead. This will give it a delicious caramel hint!
You can use any neutral flavoured oil for the cake batter, such as vegetable, canola or sunflower oil.
Swap the plain all-purpose flour for self-raising flour and reduce the baking powder to only ½ tsp.
You can use either fresh or frozen raspberries for the loaf recipe.
- It’s easier to mix room temperature ingredients, so be sure to take your butter and eggs out of the fridge before use.
- Using unsalted butter lets you control the amount of salt in your cake and buttercream. I like mine to be fairly low salt. Add an optional ⅛ teaspoon in the cake batter.
- I recommend sieving your flour, baking powder and powdered sugar (icing sugar / confectioners’ sugar) for a smooth sponge batter and glaze.
- For accuracy, it’s best to weigh your ingredients rather than using cups.
- It’s best to use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled to add punchy flavour to your lemon loaf and icing.
- Using a fresh lemon zest for this recipe is important. You also want the lemon to be unwaxed, so you’re not adding wax to your lemon cake.
I use the following equipment for this recipe:
- 2lb loaf pan tin (9 x 5-inch tin)
- Parchment paper (greaseproof paper)
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
- Large and medium mixing bowls
- Silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- Whisk or fork
- Weighing scales (or measuring cups)
- Measuring spoons
- Wire cooling rack
I like to use a 2lb loaf pan, which is usually 9inch x 5inch (23cm x 13cm) size. However, you can also swap the tin for another size.
Make lemon raspberry mini loaves instead! Depending on the size of your mini loaf tins, you’ll want to reduce the baking time by 10-15mins. This recipe should fill an 8-hole mini loaf pan, but if you have any extra batter you can make little cupcakes or muffins with it.
You can also make your lemon raspberry pound cake in a bundt pan. The standard size of bundt pan is usually a 10-inch pan. You can make a small bundt cake from this recipe, or scale it up by an extra ⅓ (i.e. 1 extra egg’s worth) and fill your standard bundt pan for a regular sizes bundt cake. This will add an extra 5-10mins to your cooking time.
- Before you start baking, prepare your cake tins first. Grease them with butter or cooking oil spray, then line them with greaseproof paper (baking parchment). For extra non-stick power, grease your paper once it’s in the tin and you can also sprinkle in all-purpose plain flour too.
- I like using digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easy and accurate.
- It’s best to use actual measuring spoons. Cutlery teaspoons and tablespoons aren’t actually the correct volume, which I never knew before.
- I’d also recommend levelling off any heaped scoops for a more accurate measurement.
- When using a stand mixer, I like to use the paddle attachment with a low speed for the cake batter.
- Leave your loaf cake to cool in the tin for at least 20mins before transferring it to a wire rack to finish.
Lemon raspberry pound cake
First, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F.
Step 1: Cream together the butter, sugar, oil and zest, using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
Steps 2 - 4: Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the milk and lemon juice.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, gently coat the raspberries with 2 tablespoon of plain flour.
Step 6: Sieve the rest of the plain flour and the baking powder into the egg mixture and gently stir until combined.
Step 7: Fold in the flour-coated raspberries.
Step 8: Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin for 45-55 minutes and bake until a skewer comes out clean.
Step 9: Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for at least 20mins before removing and transferring to a wire rack.
Lemon glaze icing
Steps 10 - 11: Once the lemon loaf cake has cooled, sieve the icing sugar into a small bowl and add the lemon juice and milk, stirring until smooth.
Step 12: Slowly pour the icing over the loaf, spreading evenly across the top. Decorate your loaf with lemon zest and fresh raspberries.
Enjoy straight away or allow the icing to set.
🎥 Recipe video
Check out the short recipe video below for how to make the best raspberry lemon bread!
Your moist lemon raspberry quick bread loaf should last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can also freeze your cake for up to 3 months before defrosting and eating.
Wrap your cake in cling film (plastic wrap) and a layer of foil before placing in the freezer.
Label your frozen treats with what they are and when they were frozen so you don’t forget about them!
💭 Top tips
Raspberry lemon cake
- Recipes with raising agents don’t like being over-mixed. You’ll end up with a dense sponge if you over-mix your cake batter. Try to mix sparingly once you add the baking powder!
- Position your cake pans in the centre of the oven on the middle shelf when possible. This gives a more even bake.
- Don’t open the oven mid-bake. You may have heard this before, but it’s an important tip. We’ve all been there and nobody likes their cake with a sinkhole!
- You’ll know your sponges are cooked once they’re risen and springy to touch. An inserted toothpick or skewer should also come out clean from the centre of the cake.
- Stir your frosting thoroughly to get rid of any lumps – you’ll get a lovely smooth frosting!
- Use fresh lemon juice for the best bright and punchy flavour.
- If your icing is still too thick to spread after you’ve added the lemon juice and milk, then you can add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you get the right consistency.
- If your icing is too runny, stir in more powdered icing sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
❔ Recipe FAQs
Traditionally, pound cake is a sweet cake made from one pound of each of sugar, flour, eggs and butter. It’s a simple recipe for a cake that dates back hundreds of years.
Generally speaking, a pound cake is more dense than your average sponge cake, so it’s perfect for the loaf cake or bundt cake style.
Your lemon raspberry loaf cake should last for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
Yes! You can freeze your lemon raspberry loaf cake wrapped in a layer of cling film and layer of foil for up to 3 months.
Yes, you can make your lemon raspberry loaf cake sponge ahead of time and freeze it.
Alternatively, up to 4 days in advance your cake can be stored wrapped in cling film at room temperature and your icing glaze stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
This could be caused by a few things. You might have scooped in too much baking powder, e.g. instead of using a levelled scoop from a measuring teaspoon.
Another reason could be that you opened the oven partway through baking which caused your oven temp to drop rapidly and sinkhole your cake.
No, cake flour is actually different to both plain flour and self-raising flour. It has a different composition and your cake will have a different consistency if you use cake flour.
You can swap the lemon icing in this recipe for another frosting.
If you’d like a lemon drizzle on your loaf, mix 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice with ⅓ cup (70g) caster or granulated white sugar and pour over your loaf while it’s still warm.
Prick holes into your raspberry lemon bread first, using a fork or skewer, to help the drizzle sink in better!
If you’d like a more raspberry flavoured pound cake, then you can swap the lemon glaze for a delicious raspberry buttercream – made using real raspberries!
Alternatively, swap the frosting for a simple vanilla buttercream or a cream cheese frosting – simple yet delicious.
You can swap the raspberries for another fruit. I especially love the lemon loaf with blueberries or cranberries!
Why not add 2-3 tablespoon of poppyseeds to your raspberry lemon loaf? Stir it into your cake batter and sprinkle some on top of your lemon glaze before it sets too!
Swap ⅓ of the plain flour with sweetened desiccated coconut for a lemon and raspberry coconut loaf – yum!
Decorations and toppings
I love making this raspberry lemon cake with fresh raspberries and lemon zest on top of the glaze.
Alternatively, you can top it with freeze-dried raspberries or candied lemon peel.
To make a gluten-free lemon raspberry loaf cake, swap the plain flour for gluten-free flour. I recommend using a gluten-free plain flour blend, such as King Arthur's measure for measure flour or Freee from Doves Farm.
You should also add ½ teaspoon of xantham gum to the bread batter if your flour blend doesn’t already include this in the ingredients.
For gluten-free cake success, add an extra 1 tablespoon milk to the batter. Beat your batter really well and let it stand for 30mins before pouring it into your cake tins and baking.
You might also need to bake your cakes for an extra 5-10mins.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some other goodies to make?
Big fan of raspberries? Check out this raspberry white chocolate cake, raspberry white chocolate blondies or raspberry vanilla cupcakes. You'll also love this collection of the best raspberry treat recipes.
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Lemon Raspberry Loaf Cake
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Raspberry Lemon cake
- 170 g (¾ cups) unsalted butter room temp.
- 200 g (1 cups) white sugar caster or super fine
- 3 eggs large
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or sunflower or canola oil
- 3 tablespoon milk whole or semi-skimmed
- 180 g (1 ½ cups) plain all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1 lemon’s zest and juice equals roughly 1 tablespoon zest, 3 tablespoon juice
- 200 g (1 ¾ cups) (7 oz) raspberries fresh or frozen
- 150 g (1 ¼ cups) powdered icing sugar
- ½ lemon’s juice roughly 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoon milk optional, depending on consistency
- fresh raspberries
- lemon slices / peel / zest
Raspberry lemon cake
- Preheat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- Cream together the butter, sugar, oil and zest, using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the milk and lemon juice.
- In a separate bowl, gently coat the raspberries with 2 tablespoon of plain flour.
- Sieve the rest of the plain flour and the baking powder into the egg mixture and gently stir until combined.
- Fold in the flour-coated raspberries.
- Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin for 45-55 minutes and bake until a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for at least 20mins before removing and transferring to a wire rack.
- Once the lemon loaf cake has cooled, sieve the icing sugar into a small bowl and add the lemon juice and milk, stirring until smooth.
- Slowly pour the icing over the loaf, spreading evenly across the top.
- Decorate your loaf with lemon zest and fresh raspberries. Slice and enjoy straight away or allow the icing to set first.
- You can swap the plain (all-purpose) flour in this recipe for self-raising flour of the same quantity (180g) and exclude the baking powder.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.