Raspberry Loaf Cake

raspberry cake

In summer and early autumn, the fruit and vegetables from the garden are picked and the house fills with the sweet smell of jam-making and the all-pervading vinegary aroma of chutney making. Fruit compotes, crumbles and pies are frozen, cordials and liqueurs bottled and tomatoes roasted and pureed so that by the start of winter there are jars and bottles stacked on the pantry shelves and the freezer is filled to capacity.

In theory, we should work our way methodically through this bounty so that we’re ready to start again the next summer. In practice, we start off with good intentions but there’s often a favourite jam that’s quickly finished while others languish on the shelf and unlabelled frozen lumps fall to the bottom of the freezer to remain hidden for months. In late February, with the hope that spring is just around the corner, I start to empty the freezer in earnest because I want to have a good break between eating last year’s crop and the start of the new crop.

We’ve barely touched the frozen raspberries so we’ve had a little run on them recently. Somehow, eating them with the sun shining through the window (even if it is blowing an icy wind outside) seems more appropriate than eating them on dark December days. We’ve eaten raspberries with yoghurt for breakfast and a wobbly jelly made from Rose Syrup (and a little dash of Rose Gin) with raspberries suspended in the scented jelly. For Sunday tea, a deliciously moist Raspberry Cake made up for the rather disappointing sourdough crumpets (I was sure the recipe book was wrong and wish I’d trusted my judgement).

This Raspberry Cake recipe works just as well with frozen or fresh raspberries and is a good way to use up the berries that get a bit broken up in the freezer. It’s also useful if you still have Seville oranges kicking around when you’ve finished making marmalade.


185g butter
185g caster sugar
Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange (or 2 Seville oranges)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
185g Self Raising flour
40g ground almonds
185g fresh or frozen raspberries
Icing Sugar

Line a loaf tin with a baking case or parchment (mine is about 22 x 11 cm) and preheat the oven to 180C.

Gently heat the butter and sugar in a large saucepan until the butter has melted.

Stir in the grated zest of the lemon and orange with 60ml juice and then the eggs and vanilla extract.

Add the flour and ground almonds to the saucepan and beat until you have a smooth, runny batter. Reserve one third of the raspberries and lightly fold the remainder into the batter.

Pour the batter into the loaf tin, drop the reserved raspberries evenly over the top and bake for about an hour until browned (a skewer poked into the cake should come out clean).

Leave to cool in the tin.

Mix the remaining juice with enough icing sugar to make icing. I like a fairly runny icing that I dribble over the cake but you may prefer a thicker icing to spread. Or leave it out altogether if you prefer. When the cake is cold, top with the icing and leave to set.

Next on the list to be used are two jars of 2009 Plum & Mulled Wine Jam. It seemed such a good idea when I made it.

Do you preserve and use it in an organised fashion or do you have mysterious packages in the freezer and ancient jars of jam?

You might also like:

Desire, Fulfilment and Surfeit (of raspberries)

25 thoughts on “Raspberry Loaf Cake

  1. We’re definitely ones for odd shaped freezer finds and ancient jars of preserves… there’s just no holding back when there are jars of something particularly tasty to hand!

  2. sounds lovely – my freezer is not that big and yet I still find the occasional fossil hiding at the back and I recently found a jar of pickled onions in the fridge with a useby date of 2007. I don’t make much jam or chutney so they usually get all used up pronto. And I love the sound of your plum and mulled wine jam – can’t imagine it lingering too long here!

    1. Just popped back to say I made this yesterday for a group of 12 and everyone raved about it! Thank you so much! It was a dream to make – love the melt and stir technique rather than creaming the butter and sugar – the looser resulting batter made it much easier to fold in the raspberries without crushing them to smithereens. It was even proof against my absentmindedly setting the oven at 185 instead of 180 – multitasking is not always a good idea! – but I got away with it and as I say everyone loved it and ate seconds which means I have to make a second one for home consumption! Wishing you a lovely weekend E x
      Ps I also loved your post about what was in your pockets – but you know what lurks in mine, at weddings anyway! – sheepnuts, 16thC keys and lipstick!!

      1. So pleased it worked – I much prefer melt and stir to creaming. This recipe works well with blackberries too and if I could get my hands on some mulberries I’m sure they’d be delicious too.
        I still smile at the memory of that photo of a sheep as best man.

  3. I love raspberries any way they come. My poor husband was demented with me when I was pregnant thirty seven years ago. I had longings for Raspberries at this time of the year!! Back then, supermarkets did not import fruit like they do today. He found a shop with tnned raspberries and bought out all their stock! My freezer is small but it is surprising how much food I have in there. Yesterday was soup day – 9 portions of pea & ham and six of Chicken, tomato and chickpea. This afternoon, I hope to ake an oil based cake with a bag of cherries and some nuts.

  4. Oh my that cake looks good. I’m going to have to get out my conversion tools or just eyeball the ingredients to figure it out. I do tend to have things left in the freezer, but the jams and pickles tend to get eaten through the winter. In fact, I was looking at my pantry recently thinking it was looking a bit bare. Still, I have pear-ginger-walnut conserve left to go on my toast, and that’s a good thing!

  5. Unfortunately recently big in the Australian news is a Hep A issue from berries imported from China and packed in Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-17/fourth-frozen-berry-product-recalled-in-hepatitis-a-scare/6126272
    It’s brought labelling laws into the spotlight but I’m hoping also will get consumers to think more about their own local sourcing. We have Australian berry growers. There was an earlier recall last year and when I can’t buy fresh, I buy organic but imported from New Zealand. If only your loaf could be the poster cake!

    1. I look carefully at the labels. It’s a bit like the school cake stall when I only bought cakes if I knew who’d made it and whether I trusted them. Who would want to buy imported from China when you have fabulous Australian grown?

  6. There’s an idea for the crumbling raspberries in my freezer bottom. I’ll bake a loaf as soon as I can find the energy. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Hi Anne, I baked your cake this morning, using some of our Autumn Bliss raspberries from the freezer that needed using up. Happy to report its delicious and a winner.

  8. The cake looks yummy, think I’ll try and make it with my blackberries I froze last year…………I’m sure it’ll work…………

  9. Anne, this loaf cake looks like exactly what I’d like to be having with tea this afternoon. But I’ve also gone back and found your old post on Essex huffers and am so intrigued I shall probably make that before I get around to a cake.

  10. It wouldn’t matter if I had 100 raspberry bushes, there is no way I’d have enough to freeze. I’ve never had much luck growing my own but will pick up a pint at the local farm as soon as they start coming in & for some reason, there’s never any left by the time I get to my house. I’m afraid it would be the same with making a loaf cake – before I got to mix the ingredients, there would be no raspberries to put in. But it does look beautiful.

  11. I’m about to attempt this luscious looking cake to serve as dessert for Mother’s Day tomorrow. Wish me luck everyone! Anne, thanks so much for all your lovely ideas.

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