you guys know my love of cakes. in particular, my love of loaf cakes! with Mother's Day around the corner and berry season practically knocking on the door, I felt it was high time for another loaf cake. this time, im bringing the buttery, sweet and homey flavor of the humble pound cake to the table. or oven? either way, throw some frozen or fresh berries in and voíla, blackberry pound cake! a super simple and quietly delicious cake that's ready for these warmer months of the year.
this little cake has been forming in my mind for weeks. months? I've made serval variations and finally, landed on this one. my brain is so thankful to finally have this recipe out in the world. I love that it's arriving to the blog just in time for all the spring and summer breakfasts, brunches and gatherings. it's a pretty versatile cake, so have some fun with it when you make it!
in a few words, this cake is
- dense, with a tender crumb
- lightly scented with floral rose water and bright lemon
- studded with pockets of jammy berries
- topped with a bright lemon maple glaze
- the perfect snacking cake
- seriously, you won't be able to stop snacking on this one
- you've been warned!
- a cross between a traditional pound cake and loaf cake textures
- have I mentioned really delicious... well, it's worth saying again!
add these ingredients to your grocery list
make sure you have these pantry basics to make this buttery loaf cake
- fresh or frozen blackberries
- all purpose flour
- cake flour
- see recipe notes for a quick DIY version using all purpose flour + cornstarch
- baking powder
- unsalted butter
- superfine or caster sugar
- see recipe for how to use granulated sugar
- zest and juice
- rose water
- I use this anytime I bake with berries
- highly recommended trying it!
- vanilla extract
- sour cream or whole milk yogurt
- powdered sugar
- maple syrup
from these ingredients you will make the blackberry pound cake and lemon maple glaze.
baking tools for a perfect loaf cake
you'll need a few baking tools to nail the perfect pound cake texture
- food processor or spice grinder
- to turn granulated sugar into superfine sugar
- this is needed to zest the lemons
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- or electric hand mixer with beaters and a large bowl
- aluminum loaf pan
- this recipe was developed using this size pan
- a 9X5 loaf pan also works
- parchment paper
- lines the pan
- makes cake removal very easy
- food scale
- I develop recipes using a food scale
- this is the best way to get the exact outcome as written in the recipe
- a more precise way to measure and bake
- oven thermometer
- this lives in my oven
- gives an accurate temperature read (even if the panel on the oven says different)
- super cheap way to make sure your baked goods bake a the correct temperature
tips and tricks for a "berry" delicious pound cake
best substitutions for this recipe:
- all purpose flour: for a gluten free option, I recommend
- cake flour: make a DIY version using all purpose and cornstarch
- see recipe notes for how to do this
- to make a GF cake flour, sub with one of the listed subs above
- follow the notes in the recipe to make it cake flour
- baking powder: technically this is to aid the lift from beating the butter, sugar and air
- omit if you don't have
- alternatively, you can sub with ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- blackberries: we are heading into berry season, so recommend substituting with
- raspberries or blueberries
- fresh or frozen
- lemon zest, rose water, vanilla extract: these are all flavor enhancers
- I highly recommend using all if you can
- replace lemon with lime
- omit rose water or sub with lemon or lime extract
- keep the vanilla extract or sub with vanilla bean paste
- eggs: the structure of the cake depends on these, there is no sub for eggs in this recipe
- sugar: you can use an alternative sugar if its one you baked with already
- do not use less sugar
- process the sugar into a "superfine" texture
- sour cream, yogurt and/or milk: try to use what is listed in the recipe, otherwise
- omit both and sub with one large egg, room temperature
- for a total of 4 large eggs in the recipe
tips and tricks for this recipe:
- beat the butter until fluffy, but do not over beat
- see my funfetti pound cake for a good explanation
- use a "light hand" when folding the ingredients together
- coat the berries in flour
- this prevents the berries from all sinking to the bottom!
- do thaw the berries a little before baking
- bake in the lower ⅓ of the oven
- on the rack directly below the middle
- this helps prevent over browning/burning while the center finishes baking
- look for the signs the cake is done rather than stick strictly to the baking times
- the sides will pull gently from the edges of the pan
- the crack down the center will look baked
- if it looks wet, the cake will need about 10-20 minutes from that point
- the top of the cake will bounce back with lightly pushed down
- the top will be golden brown, but not burned
- toothpick inserted into the center will come out with a few moist crumbs
- if its "gummy" with a few crumbs, it needs 5-10 more minutes
- cool in the pan on a cooling rack for no more than 10 minutes
- cool to room temperature on a cooling rack
- dust with powdered sugar or drizzle the suggested maple lemon glaze
other berry delicious cakes to love!
blackberry pound cake
- 8.5 X 4.5 loaf pan OR 9X5 loaf pan
- stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand held mixer with beaters
- parchment paper
- large spatula or spoon
- spice grinder or food processor, optional
blackberry pound cake
- 1 ¼ c (~180g) frozen blackberries, lightly thawed, lightly chop any large berries sub with fresh blackberries, do not chop
- 1 c (120g) all purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon for coating berries
- ⅔ c (80g) cake flour see notes for DIY version
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 c (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 c (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon zest, about two lemons
- ½ tsp rose water
- 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
- 3 (171g) large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ c (61g) sour cream or whole milk yogurt
- ¼ c (59ml) milk, room temperature
maple lemon glaze
- 1 c (125g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp (15ml) pure maple syrup sub with more lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp (15-30ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
blackberry pound cake
- Line 9×5 loaf pan (or 8.5 X 4.5) with parchment paper, leaving 1-2 in. overhang on the sides. Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Move an oven rack to the lower ⅓ of the oven (right under the middle rack level). Pull frozen blackberries out. Lighlty chop any extra large berries. Thaw the berries on a paper towel lined plate for about 20 minutes. Once thawed slightly, toss in 1 tablespoon of flour until all the berries are coated. Leave on the paper towel until ready to use in the recipe. If using fresh berries, you can skip this step.
- Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside. If using regular granulated sugar, process sugar in a food processor for 30 seconds (or use superfine or caster sugar as normal). This is optional, but helps with the overall outcome of the cake.
- Pour the sugar into a small mixing bowl. Zest the lemons into the sugar. Pour the rose water and vanilla extracts into the sugar. Using your hands, a small spoon or whisk, work the sugar and flavorings together until a wet, sand like texture forms. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat/cream butter on low for 1 minute. Increase to medium speed for 4-6 additional minutes, until butter is light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once butter is light and fluffy, beat butter with the sugar by slowly streaming in sugar. This whole step should take 1-2 minutes. Once all the sugar has been added, beat/cream the sugar and butter together for an additional minute. Sugar should be mostly dissolved into the butter at this point.
- Slowly add eggs to the butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time, beating until it fully incorporates before adding the next. Beat an addtional minute on medium speed. Switch to a large spatula, or spoon. The next steps will be done by hand.
- Fold in flour, yogurt and millk to the wet ingredients in this order: flour, sour cream, flour, milk, flour. Fold each part about 90% into the wet ingredients before adding the next. Fold all ingredients in the batter togther until smooth and well combined. Gently scoop ⅓ of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, level and smooth the batter into the corners and across the panGently fold the flour coated berries in the remaining ⅔ batter in the mixing bowl. Gently scoop the rest of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, level and smooth the batter into the corners and across the pan.
- Bake at 350F (177C) for 50 minutes ( in the lower ⅓ of the oven). Check the top. It should be golden, but not burned. There should also be a large crack in the center of the cake. This is where the steam escapes and is perfect! If the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with a foil tent. However, by moving the cake to the lower ⅓ of the oven, this shouldn't be an issue. Return to the oven for 10-25 minutes, checking for doneness every 5-10 minutes (60-75 minutes total). When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, its done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool an addtional 50 minutes (1 hr total). Top with powdered sugar or the recommended lemon maple glaze.
lemon maple glaze
- Whisk the powdered sugar, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice together. Add 1-3 teaspoons additional lemon juice as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Pour the glaze over a mostly cooled cake (about 30-45 minutes out of the oven). Allow 1 hour for the glaze to fully set. Slice and enjoy!
- since this recipe calls for ⅔, you can follow the above mentioned method with some flour leftover or you can scoop 4 teaspoons of cornstarch into a measuring cup. add all purpose flour leveled to the top to make ⅔ c using the spoon and level method. sift together 3-4 times. follow the remainder of the recipe as written.
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