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Berry Swirl Pound Cake

A sweet ribbon of your favorite preserves makes this Berry Swirl Pound Cake extra delicious! - Bake or Break

There’s a bit of a joke around here about my attempts at swirling batters, doughs, and such. Quite often, it tends not to work out as I envisioned, thus breaking my baking heart and causing not a small amount of frustration. A while back I was telling Quinn about a dessert idea that involved swirling, and, knowing my swirling history, he responded that swirling is a lie.

As much as I love the effect of swirling, it is sadly true that it doesn’t always go so well. But I’m happy to tell you that this pound cake and its sweet berry swirl work just as they should! No lies here!

A sweet ribbon of your favorite preserves makes this Berry Swirl Pound Cake extra delicious! - Bake or Break

If you’ve been paying attention over the last several years here at BoB, you’ll know that fruit preserves, jams, and such are favorite ingredients for me. I usually have plenty of variety in my refrigerator ready to go into something delicious like muffins, a cake, or some sweet, simple bars.

As much as I like pound cake, I do usually prefer some variation on the classic. That’s where the preserves come into play. It’s such a simple alteration, but it has a nice flavor impact.

I like to use strawberry or raspberry preserves for this cake. Not only do I love the flavor, but I also really like that ribbon of red running throughout the cake. Any flavor will do, though, so pick your favorite and get baking!

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Berry Swirl Pound Cake

Yield 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

A sweet ribbon of your favorite preserves makes this Berry Swirl Pound Cake extra delicious!

A sweet ribbon of your favorite preserves makes this Berry Swirl Pound Cake extra delicious! - Bake or Break


  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons berry preserves
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons water


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 9"x 5" loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of sour cream. Mix just until combined.
  5. Stir together the preserves and water.
  6. Transfer about 1/3 of the batter to the prepared pan. Drizzle half of the preserves mixture on top of the batter. Use a thin knife to swirl the preserves into the batter. Repeat with half of the remaining batter and the remaining preserves. Top with the remaining batter.
  7. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe slightly adapted from Bonne Maman.

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    9 Comments on “Berry Swirl Pound Cake”

  1. This looks Berry good Jen reminds me of my grandmother’s sour cream pound cake. I was curious if you could do a 3 layer? Would it be too wet to properly setup?

    I was thinking something like Rum Raisin with cinnamon/sugar sliced and toasted then topped with a light cinnamon/sugar rum raisin glaze or whatever.

    How about a triple berry (Blueberry/Blackberry/Raspberry) mixture
    Lemon marmalade/ Orange Marmalade toasted with a nice topping.

    I found this preserve using Amaretto-Apricot and pear thinking it would be another wonderful filling topped with Amaretto..

    • Hi, Tom! I’ve not tried layering a pound cake, but I would guess that it would work although the swirling part might present a challenge. You wouldn’t want to swirl all the way through the bottom or sides or it could make a mess. I’d use just about any kind of preserves here. The cake’s mostly vanilla flavor will go well with all sorts of things.

  2. I, too, am ‘swirl challenged’ but I’m encouraged to give this a try based on your success. I’ve never had one of your recipes not turn out, so fingers crossed!

    P.S. As usual, your linens are as beautiful as your baking. 🙂

  3. I am not the best swirler either. I’m convinced that food magazines either photoshop in the perfect swirl…or use some kind of swirl injector to get it just right. Though this is pretty near perfect!

  4. I don’t have too much trouble with swirling but I am layer challenged . Seems every recipe that has a layer of curd or jam in the cake will break when being turned out no matter how carefully I avoid the sides and try to get it all right. One particular one has been called cursed I made it so many times and had it break so many times. I finally “cheated” with a 9×13 pan andn figured I could do the same with a springform but I seem to have very bad luck with a tunnel of something in cakes. But this one looks totally doable and I make my own jams that should work great. Thanks, Jennifer.

  5. Ooooh, adding a bit of sweet Berry swirl makes this pound cake so pretty! Your love of jam is working here! I love the thought of various berry flavors, too. Yum! 😊

  6. Growing up we lived in the same town as the original Sara Lee factory and shipped at the outlet store. My very favorite cake was the super moist chocolate pound cake with a chocolate swirl. I haven’t had it since I was a kid but now I’m a sucker for anything with a swirl. This looks delicious.

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