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Cut glazed blackberry bread on wooden board, beige background.

Lemon Blackberry Bread

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A quick bread similar to a light pound cake that bakes to a golden brown and is covered with the most eye-catching pink icing. The flavors are amazing together, you can use fresh or frozen fruit, the crumb is soft and keeps well. It's one of our favorite recipes to make for Easter and Mother's Day brunch. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 servings



For the bread:

  • 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, at room temperature (see Notes for substitutions)

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon blackberry juice (from 3-4 berries)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Extra fresh blackberries and lemon zest to decorate (optional)


  • Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
  • Butter or spray a 9x4 inch (10x24 cm) loaf pan and, if you want, add a strip of parchment paper to cover the bottom and two shorter sides. The long sides will remain unlined. This will make it easier to remove the cake. 
  • Wash and dry the blueberries if fresh, or use directly from the freezer but make sure they are not clumped. 

For the cake:

  1. Beat soft butter for 20 seconds in a large bowl with electric beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 
  2. Add both sugars gradually while you continue beating at medium speed, and then for 2 more minutes after adding all of it. The mixture should be light in color, fluffy and the sugar will have partially dissolved. 
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl regularly. 
  4. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and mix. It might look curdled, but don't worry.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) together in a bowl, or have them measured and sift them directly over the cake batter (how I do it). 
  6. Add them in 2 parts, alternating with the yogurt in 1 part. That means you start and end with the dry ingredients. 
  7. Mix and integrate everything well, but don't beat much at this point. After adding the last part of the flour mixture, don't incorporate it fully so you have dry spots when you add the berries. After adding the flour, cake batters should be beaten on low speed *just* until integrated, but not overmixed as that will develop gluten and toughen the baked cake.
  8. Add the blackberries and lightly fold them into the batter with a spatula. Make sure everything is incorporated and try not to crush the fruit. But make sure there are no flour spots. You should have a thick, smooth batter with berries. If some of them break and color the batter, that's fine. 
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 
  10. Bake in the middle rack for about 45 minutes, until it rises, the top cracks, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the top is browning too quickly but the middle is not done, cover the top of the bread loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and continue to bake.
  11. Cool on a wire rack and remove carefully from the pan, removing the strip of paper. 
  12. Drizzle the glaze (instructions below) over the completely cooled loaf and let it drip down the sides.
  13. Add some blackberries and lemon zest before it dries out if you want to.
  14. Let it dry before cutting and eating. 
  15. Keep leftovers at room temperature for a day or in the refrigerator for several days, with plastic wrap in both cases or in an airtight container. Or frozen for a month, also well wrapped. 

For the glaze:

  1. Put a small bowl with a colander on top, add the blackberries and crush them with a fork. The juice will be collected in the bowl. Measure it in a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon and add enough lemon juice to make a full tablespoon. 
  2. Put the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the liquid.
  3. Check the consistency. It should be like thick honey. Add more juice if needed to adjust the consistency. 
  4. Pour over the cooled cake and let drip down the sides. Let dry before cutting. 


Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 

Substituting the yogurt: you can use the same amount of buttermilk or 5 tablespoons of sour cream + 3 tablespoons of milk instead of the yogurt. 

Pan sizes: make it in a loaf pan or double the recipe and use a tube pan or bundt pan. Make it in muffin pans, yielding about 12 (maybe more), depending on how large your blackberries are.

Glaze: you can also use lemon glaze by substituting the blackberry juice for lemon. It will be white and not pink. Also, if you like a boozy touch, use creme de cassis liquor instead of berry juice. 

Blackberries: you can use fresh, juicy blackberries or frozen ones directly from the freezer, no need to thaw them.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Quick bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/10
  • Calories: 414
  • Sugar: 33.7 g
  • Sodium: 98.4 mg
  • Fat: 16.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.1 g
  • Protein: 6.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 112.9 mg