Why it’s so good!

Vibrant, with loads of zing and a sweet, tangy icing, this raspberry lemon loaf cake is totally irresistible. It has the most lovely soft, tender and moist texture (thanks to a little Greek yoghurt and lemon juice for that) and makes the most of fresh raspberries at their peak.

And if that sounds good, how about how easy it is to make?! Super easy. It comes together like any regular cake batter but one simple step right at the start ensures you get the most intense lemon flavour. The lemon and sugar get massaged together which releases the oils from the lemon zest and gives the most wonderful taste.

Try this beautiful blood orange loaf cake (which you can make with regular oranges) or one of my real favourites, this coconut and raspberry cake.

Two slices of lemon raspberry loaf cake stacked on a wooden board.


Ingredients for raspberry lemon loaf.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

  • Flour: Just plain flour (aka all purpose flour) for this cake.
  • Baking powder: This gives the cake lift. Make sure not to confuse it with baking soda as they have very different effects.
  • Sugar: The cake batter uses white granulated sugar (I most often use caster sugar/superfine sugar but either works) Then, for the icing, we use icing sugar (powdered sugar).
  • Lemons: You want 2-3 medium lemons here and we use both the lemon juice and the lemon zest.
  • Unsalted butter: You can use salted butter if that’s all you have but leave out the extra salt mentioned in the recipe. Make sure your butter is softened.
  • Eggs: I use large eggs in my recipes.
  • Greek yoghurt: Greek yogurt adds to that tangy flavour we’re after here and it also ensures a tender cake. You can use plain yogurt in its place, or even sour cream.
  • Vanilla: Please use vanilla extract, never vanilla essence (which is a synthetic product).
  • Raspberries: Of course, we need raspberries for a raspberry lemon loaf cake. Fresh raspberries work best. If you must use frozen, leave them frozen right up to the moment you add them to the batter. You can also swap the raspberries for blackberries or blueberries in this cake.

How to make it

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

1. Create the lemon sugar

Sure, you could just add lemon zest into the batter and get a somewhat lemony-flavoured cake but we want intense lemon flavour here and the best way to get that is by massaging the lemon zest and sugar together with your fingertips until it’s a bit like wet sand. In this process, the oil is being released from the lemon rind, boosting the lemon flavour.

The sugar and lemon zest blended together in a mixing bowl.

2. Cream the butter and sugar

As with a traditional cake batter, we cream the butter and lemon sugar together for this one until it looks pale and fluffy.

The creamed butter and sugar in the bowl of as stand mixer.

3. Add eggs

Add the eggs in one at a time, beating on low after each until it’s just combined. You may need to scrape down the bowl a few times to help it come together. At this point, your batter will most likely look curdled. Don’t worry. It’s just the effect of the lemon on the fats (butter and yolks). It will all come together fine once you add flour.

The batter after the eggs have been added.

4. Alternate the rest

So, with the remaining wet and dry ingredients, we will alternate in 5 additions (flour, wets, flour, wets, flour). Start by adding ⅓ of the flour mixture and gently mixing that through. Now add the yoghurt and mix until combined. Next, it’s flour again, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla, and finally, the remaining flour. This gentle way to combine cake batter ensures everything combines easily and fully.

The batter once all the flour is added.

5. Layer it up

Now, start layering up the batter and raspberries in the pan. I use this method as it’s a thick batter (on purpose to hold the raspberries in place while it bakes), and mixing raspberries through it would result in crushed berries. I do 3 layers of each, starting with the batter. Spread the batter over the berries on each layer, then finish with some berries dotted on top and bake!

The batter and raspberries being layered up in a loaf pan.
The batter in the loaf pan with some raspberries dotted on top.

6. Make the icing

While you could skip the icing and just dust with a little icing sugar, the icing is delectable. It’s very lemony and sticky, gooey and delish. All you need to do is mix lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl until you have a thick, yet fluid consistency.

The icing mixed in a bowl for the cake.

Tips and tricks

  • Don’t overmix the batter: Once you add flour to any cake batter, be careful not to mix it too much. Just gently, and only enough to combine it. The reason is that by overmixing, you develop the gluten in the flour, which can, in turn, make your cake tough or chewy. If you’re baking with gluten-free flour, this is not a concern.
  • Weigh ingredients: I can’t say this enough: you will always get the best result from weighing your ingredients. This is the only way you can ensure you’re putting the exact same amount of any ingredient in as I am and get the same result.
  • All ovens vary: What takes 55 minutes in my oven might only take 50 or even 60 in yours. It can also vary depending on the exact size of your pan. Use the time shown as a guide and test this cake around the 48-50 minute mark. A toothpick poked into the centre should come out with a few sticky crumbs but not wet batter.
A raspberry studded loaf cake with a slice cut away.

Serving suggestions

Once the lemon glaze is on, this lemon raspberry cake needs nothing else, but you can also serve it with just a light sprinkling of icing sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of the icing.

Recipe FAQs

What happens if you put too much lemon juice in a cake?

Adding too much lemon juice could result in a cake that takes a long time to bake and tastes particularly sour and out of balance. Stick to the amount stated in the recipe for the right balance.

How do I stop my loaf cak from sinking?

Make sure to measure your baking powder correctly. Too much or too little can cause your cake to sink. Also, be gentle with the pan – don’t handle it roughly or it can cause sinking. You may find that if you’re baking at a higher altitude, your cake will sink a little, too. Don’t worry, it just gives a nice space for all that icing to pool.

How long can you keep lemon loaf?

This raspberry lemon loaf will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Yield and storage

Any leftover raspberry lemon loaf should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving for the best texture.

Closeup of a slice of raspberry lemon loaf cake.

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Closeup of the inside texture of the raspberry lemon loaf.
5 from 1 rating
This raspberry lemon loaf is a moist and soft intensely lemony cake studded with fresh raspberries. It's all topped off with a gorgeous simple lemon icing.


  • 260 g plain flour (all purp flour) (2 cups / ~9oz)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar (200g / 7oz)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, not packed (2 medium lemons), (notes 1)
  • 170 g unsalted butter softened (¾ cup / 6oz)
  • 3 large eggs room temp
  • cup Greek yoghurt
  • cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries washed and dried well (150g / 5.3oz)


  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar (195g / ~7oz)
  • 1 ½-2 tablespoons lemon juice (notes 1)

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced) / 350F. Grease your loaf tin and line with baking paper.
    Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and disperse everything. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (paddle attachment), use your fingertips to massage the sugar and lemon zest together to release the oils in the zest. It should be like wet sand when it’s done.
  • Add the butter and beat on medium until light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating each on low to low-medium speed until smooth and completely combined before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter may well look split at this point and that’s fine.
  • Now alternate the dry and wet ingredients. You don’t want to overmix once you start adding the dry ingredients as it can make your cake tough or dense.
    Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture and mix on low or gently mix in with a spatula until 90% combined.
    Add the yoghurt and gently mix that through.
    Now mix in another portion of the flour, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
    Finish by adding the final portion of flour mixture and mix through. Be gentle.
  • Spoon about ⅓ of the thick cake batter into your prepared pan and spread it out. Dot over ⅓ of the raspberries. Repeat this process two more times until all the batter and raspberries are in the pan.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with a crumb or two attached.
  • Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan before using the edges of the baking paper to lift it out of the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Once the cake has cooled completely, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, then drizzle over the cake. You can let it set or serve immediately.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. All ovens vary – check for doneness 5-8 minutes before the recipe suggests.
  4. Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Raspberry Lemon Loaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 503 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 116mg39%
Sodium 108mg5%
Potassium 207mg6%
Carbohydrates 76g25%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 49g54%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 644IU13%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.