a lemon pound cake swirled with the vibrant flavor of fresh raspberries. topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, raspberry swirl lemon pound cake is the perfect understated, yet elegant, dessert for summer entertaining.
friends. can we talk about underrated desserts for a hot second?
crème brûlée. pots de chocolat. vanilla bean ice cream. lemon meringue pie.
you know, desserts that are totally amazing in their own right, but are easy to forget about because they’ve been around forevvver? because we’re too busy spending every second of the day on the ‘gram, getting wooed by the ig-worthy cronuts, hand-rolled ice cream, colorful macarons, & pimped-out cupcakes of the world?
they’re the yolandas & the dorindas of the dessert world: they have a classic timelessness about them. everyone loves them without controversy. but, it’s easy to forget about them with the drama of the kyle richardses & the bethenny frankels constantly swirling around.
& i think we can all agree that we need some more yolanda & dorinda in our lives, right?! 😉
that’s exactly how i feel about pound cake.
it’s a classic. it’s very straightforward, & its ingredients are simple. but every time i have a really good pound cake, i’m always slightly taken aback by just how much i love it. how its buttery texture is just about anything you could ever want out of a dessert, & how its fine crumb makes the best base for a scoop of perfectly melty ice cream on a warm summer night.
it’s a no-brainer dessert.
i knew i wanted to share a pwwb pound cake this summer, but i also knew that i wanted to fancy it up a little bit. & when the opportunity to make a pound cake in partnership with Driscoll’s & The FeedFeed arose, i couldn’t have been more excited. folding in the juicy, sweet flavor of Driscoll’s raspberries is the perfect “wow” element that takes humble pound cake to the next, totally special level.
raspberry swirl lemon pound cake is the ultimate end-of-summer dessert.
this raspberry swirl lemon pound cake is totally a totally classic pound cake recipe updated with tons of lemon & raspberry flavor. the brightness of perfectly ripe raspberries is accentuated with a nice pop of lemon & provides the perfect contrast to the rich flavor & buttery texture of the cake.
raspberry swirl lemon pound cake is a great dessert to serve at a casual summer dinner party. it couldn’t be easier: just slice & serve. your guests will love it.
raspberry swirl lemon pound cake also makes a wonderful hostess gift if you’re headed to someone’s cabin or lake house for a long weekend. your host will completely rave about it. (trust me…i’ve done it twice already this summer!)
a couple of tips for making the perfect raspberry swirl lemon pound cake:
- beat the heck out of the butter. the first (& most important!) step to getting the perfect texture that you expect in a pound cake is beating a ton of air into the butter. since it serves as the base of the cake, you need your butter to be very light & fluffy to result in the very fine, buttery crumb that we’re looking for. we’re talking the kind of light, almost-white butter that only comes as a result of beating at a high speed for 4-5 minutes. it’s admittedly a little tedious, but so important (& i honestly can’t say this enough). if you don’t properly beat the butter, your cake will have a crumb more similar to that of banana bread & it may also be a little greasy. not terrible, but not perfect pound cake.
- room temperature ingredients! again, it’s a slightly tedious detail, even though it couldn’t be simpler, but honestly, using room temperature ingredients is so important to perfecting the texture of your pound cake. if you’re mixing cold eggs or cold milk into your perfectly whipped butter, it will cause the batter to seize up & very well may result in a cake that is dense & greasy. no bueno.
- use beautiful raspberries, of course. not all berries are created equal! Driscoll’s is the leading brand of natural & organic berries, & they keep things completely natural & never genetically modify their raspberries. i blitzed up Driscoll’s raspberries in a food processor with a little lemon juice & some sugar, folded the pureed berries into some of the lemon pound cake batter, & marbled it in throughout the rest of the cake. the Driscoll’s berries create the most beautifully subtle swirl of light pink. for more dramatic presentation, you can of course add a few drops of red food coloring to the raspberry-swirled lemon pound cake batter, but i wanted to highlight the natural beauty of Driscoll’s raspberries.
fun fact for my minnesota friends! minneapolis is the #1 raspberry loving city in the country – who knew?! to celebrate our love of raspberries, Driscoll’s is hosting a minnesota-exclusive #BerryTogether sweepstakes. the top prize is a 4-night getaway at madden’s spa on gull lake near brainerd. beyond that, 4 lucky winners will win a years-supply of Driscoll’s berries! enter by the end of august here.
oh, & one last tip when it comes to raspberry swirl lemon pound cake?
don’t forget to top your raspberry swirl lemon pound cake with a scoop of ice cream! vanilla bean ice cream, if you can find it, because nothing is better. 😉😘
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 6-oz containers of raspberries, divided
- 3 lemons, zested, juiced & divided
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 C whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional, for serving: 1 quart vanilla bean ice cream
- Set aside.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed using the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally as needed, until the butter is very light and fluffy.
- Add 1 C of granulated sugar and continue to beat for an additional 2-3 minutes at high speed until the butter is creamy and smooth.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add in the eggs one by one, allowing them to fully incorporate into the butter before adding the next egg. The butter may curdle, but be patient and have faith! Let the mixer keep blending it together & scrape down the sides as necessary. The butter & eggs will eventually combine into a single velvety mixture.
- While the butter beats, add 1 6-oz container of raspberries to a food processor with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Pulse until the berries are broken down and the mixture is liquid. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside.
- (If desired, you could use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the raspberry seeds out of the mixture.) (Alternatively, you could forgo the food processor and instead mash the raspberries with the back of a fork for a more rustic look.)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the remaining lemon zest. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla, and the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk to combine. The mixture may curdle, but that is okay.
- With the stand mixer on low speed, slowly add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. When the dry ingredients are just combined with the creamed butter, add in 1/2 of the milk mixture and mix until just combined.
- Repeat with the remaining dry & wet ingredients, starting and finishing with the dry, until all is mixed into the cake batter.
- Place 1/3-1/2 of the poundcake batter into a medium bowl. Very gently fold in the raspberry puree. You honestly cannot be gentle enough - we went through so much effort to make the batter light & fluffy with all that mixing! Just be patient and fold until the batter is mixed with the raspberry puree.
- (How much batter you use for this step will determine how much of the cake is swirled with raspberry. If you'd like to have lots of raspberry swirl, use half of the batter. If you'd like more subtle raspberry swirls, use 1/3 of the batter).
- Pour the plain poundcake batter and the raspberry poundcake batter into the prepared loaf pan in alternating ribbons. Use a knife or toothpick to drag the layers around the pan, creating a marbled effect.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the cake has developed a beautiful golden crust and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pan, before turning the poundcake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To serve, cut into 8 slices and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with the remaining fresh raspberries and a grate of lemon zest, if desired. Enjoy!
- Raspberry swirl lemon poundcake freezes beautifully! Wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap and store for up to 3 months.