Raspberry Swirl Lemon Loaf Cake. This cake – what a way to highlight citrus season. It is delicately lemony & moist, but has the most beautiful brown, buttery crust. Because it is not quite fresh raspberry’s time, I used a raspberry jam swirl to balance the bright lemons. The cream cheese is barely there, but the absolute perfect way to highlight every little perfect bit of this loaf.
You can eat this Loaf Cake two ways
Once baked, the loaf cake can be enjoyed warm OR fully cooled and glazed. The first time I made the cake and knew it was perfect, it sat taunting us on the cooling rack for only 20 minutes before Nick begged me to cut into it.
“You’re supposed to wait for it to fully cool so I can glaze it”. He looked at me, and just said “why? it looks amazing” – while already cutting himself a slice. And of course he was right – it was as truly delicious as it looked without the glaze. The outside crust tastes so buttery, but it hasn’t fully cooled so it’s toasty and crisp. We loved it so much, I had to write it into the blog. So if you are taunted by a cooling raspberry swirl lemon loaf cake, try a slice warm (it’s the best way to eat the ends anyway).
The recipe was originally developed to be fully cooled & then glazed. I love this way so much as well that I literally cannot choose one. The cooled glazed version tastes like your favorite raspberry danish or pastry. I adore it. Growing up, my dad bought the Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish Twist every Sunday morning. Eating this raspberry swirl cake reminds me so much of this danish twist. It’s why I had to keep the glaze, you see? Nostalgia is a powerful beast!
Easy to Bake
As far as experience needed here: it’s quite an easy cake to bake. You know I love to measure out all of my ingredients first. Combine the dry ingredients (your flours & baking powder, salt). Beat together the butter and sugar, add eggs and then combine. You just want to make sure your butter & cream cheese are both softened. A little softer than room temperature, but not melty. The butter should not be melty/oily/shiny. Just soft. Easy to make fluffy & easy to combine. Add to the batter to your loaf pan, swirl cream cheese & raspberry throughout. I love that this recipe uses 8oz cream cheese so there’s not a random amount left over.
Bake the cake 45-50 minutes. This will depend on so many factors: your oven temperature, your loaf pan. So don’t fret if it takes a little extra time or a little less. If the toothpick comes out cake crumb free, it is done. It may leave a very fine crumb or two. The crust should be golden brown.
Mini Bundt Version
I have made this loaf cake as mini bundt cake many times. I think it’s so delicious & addicting that I am adding it here in case you feel so inclined to try. I love how they look, I love how they taste, I love the ratio of fillings. The mini bundts are just as good as the whole loaf & definitely worth a try. They look so pretty on a small desert plate. The recipe is exactly the same, but the bake time is shorter. Start checking at 15-20 minutes.
From the Kitchen
Let me know your thoughts
Please let me know your thoughts when you make this raspberry swirl lemon loaf cake. Which way did you make it? Did you try a slice warm? I love your feedback and your comments so much. And of course you can follow me on Instagram @quartersoulcrisis
Raspberry Swirl Lemon Loaf Cake w. Cream Cheese Glaze
- 9 x 5 loaf pan
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9-inch loaf pan well with butter & line with parchment. Set aside.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder & salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Combine Wet Ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer w the paddle attachment, beat 10 tbs (1 stick + 2tbs) softened butter on medium 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy (about 1 minute). Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl half way through. Next, on low, beat in one egg at a time and then vanilla. Scrape the bottom & sides of the bowl.
- Add Dry to Wet: With mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 2 increments. Finally, add 4oz of the softened cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and mix on low or medium until combined.
- Raspberry Swirl: Add a little more than 1/2 the batter to the loaf pan and spread evenly. Dollop 2oz of the softened cream cheese I like to melted it a little first 10-15 seconds in microwave & 1/2 of the raspberry jam around the top. Gently swirl it around with toothpick or tip of a knife. Add the rest of the batter on top. Spread evenly & repeat using the remaining raspberry preserves and cream cheese.
- Bake: Bake the loaf cake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. It should be very golden brown with a light cake fluffy center. Serve warm without glaze or allow cake to completely cool and follow glaze instructions below.
- Glaze: use remaining 2 oz of cream cheese. Microwave to melt it a little in 10 second increments. In a medium bowl, whisk melted cream cheese, powdered sugar & lemon juice. Whisk until there are no clumps and it is nice and glaze-y. Pour over the completely cooled loaf cake. Let it set 3hrs or overnight to set. Slice & enjoy.