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Lemon Loaf Cake with Raspberries

This is my favorite lemon raspberry cake recipe. It’s moist, flavorful, and has just the right amount of sweetness. You can make this lemon loaf cake with other flavors besides raspberry which makes it a versatile basic loaf cake recipe to keep on hand.

It makes a great addition at the brunch table and is a great quick bread for coffee and tea.

A slice of lemon loaf cake with raspberries on a plate. A bowl of fresh raspberries is in the background.

Lemon Loaf Cake Ingredients

  • unsalted butter, room temperature
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • fresh lemon juice
  • fresh lemon zest
  • large eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • fresh raspberries

Glaze Ingredients

  • powdered sugar
  • fresh lemon juice
  • fresh lemon zest
lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar combined to make a lemon cake glaze.

Preparation

Place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare a standard 8½” loaf pan with parchment paper cut to size with the longer edges hanging over the sides. If you’re out of parchment paper you can use the grease and flour method instead. Parchment paper just makes cooling the cake and cleaning up the pan much easier. See an example below:

A baked quick bread still in the loaf pan lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and one cup sugar together with a hand or stand mixer in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated into the mixture.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time until it’s incorporated into the batter. Use a plastic spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing.
  4. Once the wet and dry ingredients are just blended, carefully fold the raspberries into the batter with a plastic spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining granulated sugar evenly across the top.
  5. Place the loaf pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. (Check after 40 minutes and adjust final cook time accordingly).
  6. Remove from oven and carefully lift the parchment paper to transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Prepare the lemon glaze by combining the powdered sugar, two tablespoons lemon juice, and the lemon zest together in a small bowl. Add additional lemon juice, if desired, to adjust the consistency. Set aside.
  8. Once cooled, drizzle the lemon glaze on top right before serving. Enjoy!
lemon loaf cake cooling on a wire rack. A slice rests on a plate beside the rack.

Variations

This lemon loaf cake recipe is so versatile! Here are a few variations you might like to try:

Option 1: Keep the recipe the same only swap the raspberries for blueberries. It’s an easy switch that creates a whole different flavor.

lemon blueberry quick bread sliced.

Option 2: Skip the glaze and serve this lemon loaf cake with raspberries as breakfast bread. You could also make the recipe into muffins instead! Note that in order to convert a loaf to muffins you’ll need to decrease the oven temperature and reduce cook time.

lemon raspberry muffins with liners.

Option 3: Omit the lemon and make a white chocolate and raspberry loaf cake instead. Just stir in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips into your batter right before you fold in the raspberries.

White chocolate chips of various sizes in a white bowl.

FAQ

Can I use frozen raspberries instead of fresh ones?

Yes! If you’re making this raspberry cake in the middle of winter it will be cheaper to use frozen raspberries. If you choose to use frozen rather than fresh, be sure to leave the raspberries frozen until you add them to the batter to maintain a good texture.

Can I substitute cranberries for raspberries?

Cranberries are tarter and less sweet than other berries. While you can technically use cranberries in this recipe, the tartness of the lemon and cranberries together might make it taste less like dessert. If you must use cranberries try using orange juice and orange zest instead of lemon. This will sweeten up the cake a little. Alternatively, try my cranberry orange muffins recipe!

Can I skip the lemon glaze?

You can if you’re looking for more of a breakfast bread than a cake. If you’re serving this lemon loaf cake for dessert you don’t want to skip the glaze as it adds sweetness to the recipe.

Does this recipe freeze well?

Yes. Skip the glaze and freeze the loaf for up to three months by wrapping it well in plastic wrap then adding a single outer layer of aluminum foil. Make sure the loaf is COMPLETELY cooled before you do this. Thaw completely to serve and top with glaze.

a slice of lemon loaf cake with raspberries in a bowl in the background.

Other Quick Bread Recipes

Pomegranate Pumpkin Bread

Butternut Squash Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Chip Quick Bread

a slice of lemon loaf cake with raspberries in a bowl in the background.

Lemon Loaf Cake with Raspberries

Jenn
A delicious recipe for a moist and light lemon raspberry cake with glaze. It's flavorful and has just the right amount of sweetness!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 522 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • tsp salt
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries rinsed and patted dry

Glaze

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Place top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 8½” loaf pan with parchment paper cut to size with the longer edges hanging over the sides. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and one cup sugar together with a hand or stand mixer in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract, applesauce, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated into the mixture.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated into the batter. Use a plastic spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing.
  • Once the wet and dry ingredients are just blended, carefully fold the raspberries into the batter with a plastic spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining granulated sugar evenly across the top.
  • Place the loaf pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and carefully lift the parchment paper to transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the lemon glaze by combining the powdered sugar, two tablespoons lemon juice, and the lemon zest together in a small bowl. Add additional lemon juice, if desired, to adjust the consistency.
  • Once cooled, drizzle the lemon glaze on top of the loaf cake right before serving. Enjoy!
Keyword gluten free quick bread, loaf cake
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Loaf Cake with Raspberries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 522 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 123mg41%
Sodium 176mg8%
Potassium 229mg7%
Carbohydrates 83g28%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 623IU12%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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