This blackberry lemon bread was my bake for the reddit 52 week baking challenge: week 28 (seasonal ingredients 2). It’s an easy blackberry lemon cake for all of you berry lovers, whether you pick your berries in a wild patch along the side of the road or as a mixed flat at the weekly Sunday market.
Mr. uglyducklingbakery’s sister recently visited with us for a week. She, a writer of poetry, spent one morning helping kiddo think of adjectives to describe a chocolate sheetcake we had baked.
Inspired by this scene, I offer to you a list of adjectives that describe this blackberry lemon bread. Velvety. Bright. Tangy. Lemony. It’d be hard for it not to be lemony, as there’s lemon everywhere – in the cake, the syrup, and the lemon drizzle.
Tips and tricks for this recipe
Making the cake batter
This recipe follows the “creaming method,” a common pattern for cakes. Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (Panels #1 and #2 below). I think most people don’t cream their butter long enough.
Add the eggs, one at a time (Panel #3). Then alternate additions of the dry ingredients with the liquid (Panel #4).
Adding the blackberries
Dusting the berries with flour helps prevent them all from sinking to the bottom of the cake. If some of your blackberries are very large, you should cut them in half. I probably needed to cut some of those blackberries into quarters!
Gently fold the blackberries into the lemon cake batter.
Baking the quick bread
When you pour the mixture into the prepared pan, give it a few thwacks to spread the batter. You can also make this quickbread in a 8″x4″ pan if you want a taller loaf. I personally prefer it squatter, because that way you get more glaze.
Bake until the loaf is starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Note that the edges are just starting to pull away from the pan.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then put it on a cooling rack over a piece of wax or parchment paper. This catches the drips from your syrup and glaze and makes clean up much easier!
Adding the lemon drizzle
The lemon drizzle should be easy to pour but not so thin that it just runs right off the bread. You can thin it out with more lemon juice or some blackberry juice if you’ve used frozen berries.
FAQs about this blackberry lemon bread recipe
You could consider it a lemon drizzle cake, but this recipe falls under the category of blackberry lemon quickbread, adjusting for a bit of liquid in the berries. As I’ve written about before, in Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, Michael Ruhlman describes the ratio for quick breads as (by weight) two parts (2 cups or 8 ounces) flour: two parts (1 cup or 8 ounces) liquid: one part egg (2 large eggs): one part (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter. You can check out examples of other ratios in these lemon lavender shortbread cookies, orange poppy seed waffles, or sourdough discard apple muffins.
No. But there is so much variation in how people measure that you are much more likely to get a reliable result if you weigh your ingredients.
Most commercial flour is supposed to be clump-free these days, but I still find that I get an occasional clump that makes sifting worthwhile. If you don’t have a sifter, you can use a sieve or even a wire whisk.
Yes. I would bake the blackberry loaf, brush it with the syrup, and let it cool completely before wrapping it well in several layers of plastic wrap. When you are ready to serve it, let it come to room temperature and make the lemon glaze at that point.
Yes. Just be aware that frozen blackberries often put out a lot more liquid, so I would let them drain as you bring them to room temperature. Check out the picture below. The loaf cake will be slightly pink, and you can use the blackberry juice in your syrup and your glaze.
Yes. Feel free to use blueberries, raspberries, salmon berries, tayberries or even snozzberries.
Blackberry lemon bread
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 9"x5" loaf pan
Blackberry lemon bread batter
- 1 cup blackberries, washed, dried, and halved if large
- 1 ¾ cup (227grams or 8 ounces) bleached all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon for mixing with blackberries, and more for flouring the pan
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened plus more for flouring the pan
- 1 cup (200 grams or 7.1 ounces) granulated sugar
- zest of 3 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
Lemon drizzle glaze
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Blackberry lemon bread batter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter and flour a 9"x5" or 8"x4" loaf pan.1 ¾ cup (227grams or 8 ounces) bleached all-purpose flour, 1 stick (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) into a medium sized bowl.1 ¾ cup (227grams or 8 ounces) bleached all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy. If using a stand mixer, this will take about 5 minutes on medium speed, longer if using a hand mixer.1 stick (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup (200 grams or 7.1 ounces) granulated sugar, zest of 3 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary.2 large eggs
- Add approximately one half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until they are just incorporated.
- Add the buttermilk and lemon juice and beat until mixed. Scrape down the bowl.½ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup lemon juice
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just barely incorporated.
- Toss the blackberries in a small bowl with the extra 1 tbsp of flour and then add the berries to the batter. Using a spatula, gently fold in the berries by hand.1 cup blackberries, washed, dried, and halved if large
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, even out the batter and give the pan a few thwacks on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake the blackberry lemon batter for 50-60 minutes until the top has started to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it lightly with foil.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then invert and transfer to a cooling rack.
- While the batter is baking, prepare the lemon syrup by combining the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan.¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- Bring the syrup to boil over medium-high heat and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off the heat and let cool.
- Once you have removed the cake from the pan and transferred it to a cooling rack, put the cooling rack over a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to catch any drips.
- Use a pastry brush or spoon to brush all of the lemon syrup onto the top and sides of the blackberry lemon bread. Let cool.
- When ready to glaze, combine the confectioner's sugar and 1 tbsp of lemon juice and whisk to combine. Add a bit more lemon juice if needed so that the glaze is just pourable, and pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.1 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Let the glaze harden before serving, about one hour.
- The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to one week.
This blackberry lemon bread recipe was originally posted on July 10, 2021. It was last updated on March 28, 2022.
If you make this blackberry lemon bread recipe, please leave a comment or rating here.
I’ve started a new Facebook group for home cooks, bakers, and cocktail makers. Please join the conversation!
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of a favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – chocolate chip cookie (butter challenge)
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake (plus a bonus sourdough discard apple cake)
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart
Week 25: Bagels and donuts – maple donut cake
Week 26: Surprise inside – surprise heart yeast bread (pending)
Week 27: Local favorite – Rainier cherry crisp
Next week: Classic French desserts
Note: this blackberry lemon cake does use a mess of pans and bowls!