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Another exception: Blueberry Swirl Pound Cake

Blueberry Swirl Pound Cake

Every Christmas morning, my mum or sister will bake blueberry muffins. A strange choice for the time of year perhaps, but they’re made with frozen berries that Mum buys, freezes and hordes during the warmer months. For me, the origin of the berries is a moot point; my disinclination for cooked fruit means that I get two muffins made especially for me- before the offending berries are added. Oh, how I love my blueberry-less blueberry muffins.

The exceptions to my no-fruit rule are subtle but concrete: I like fruit-based desserts if the fruit in question is raw, baked but structurally intact, or else cooked and mushed beyond recognition. This last stipulation hasn’t been illustrated on the blog yet, so when I bought these blueberries at the market on Sunday, I thought this was as good an opportunity as any to give it a go.

I envisioned a blueberry purée swirl running through a delicious white cake, creating a feast for eyes and tastebuds alike. Inspired by Deb‘s Cream Cheese Pound Cake, I decided that a ring cake, rich with cream cheese and zingy with lemon zest, was just the vehicle for this experiment. I don’t have one of those massive 12-cup bundt pans, but I do have a silicone savarin mould from Sabre in Paris*. (My favourite cookery store which I’ve never been to: I love their products but alas, the pan was a gift.) Slightly smaller than a traditional bundt and far less fancy, this pan generally serves me well in the cake game.

And this was no exception; my swirly ring cake was a resounding success. Though I fear I overbaked it slightly, it was rich and moist, with the bright and zingy blueberry swirl a purple stroke of genius. I can’t promise that I’ll be taking my Christmas muffins with blueberries this year, but I’m getting there. Maybe if I can convince the rest of my family of the merits of a swirl?

*Edit: My Mum has emailed to say that while the cake cutter she bought me was from Sabre, the savarin mould was only purchased at Bon Marche. Sigh, how plebeian.

Blueberry Swirl Pound Cake

  • Blueberry Swirl Pound Cake
  • adapted from Smitten Kitchen‘s Cream Cheese Pound Cake
  • makes one 24cm ring cake
  • Blueberry Swirl
    150g (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh blueberries
    2 tsp. sugar
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    1 tsp. water

    170g unsalted butter
    113g cream cheese
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 cups plain flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 tsp. lemon juice
    zest of one lemon

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. To make the blueberry swirl, mix together all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 5-8 minutes until thickened. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon or spatula, crushing the berries as you go. Set aside to cool.

    2. In a large bowl (or a stand mixer), cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for another 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

    3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until smooth. Add the flour and the salt and beat until just blended. Finally, gently fold in the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.

    4. Remove 1/2 cup of batter to the saucepan with the (now slightly cooled) blueberries. Mix well until you have a bright purple batter.

    5. Pour the rest of the batter into your ring pan and shake to distribute evenly. Dollop the purple blueberry batter on top and swirl the two together, using a toothpick or metal skewer. Be careful not to over-swirl! You want some purple and yellow bits to remain.

    6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about one hour.


  1. Dana says:

    Beautiful! And such a great idea! I love that you are very specific about your fruit dessert feelings. Mine are vague and it’s easier for me to say that I simply prefer chocolate!

  2. Hilary says:

    Wow. So pretty. I have some blueberries that I was going to use in Dorie’s blueberry crumb cake but all of a sudden this looks way more interesting.

    I *heart* my Sabre polka dotted egg cups. I am dying to go there!

  3. [...] A post on my food blog Kitchenist had me thinking about Sabre, a French brand that makes brightly coloured, charming and modern kitchen products. I’ve never actually been to one of their shops, but have been lucky enough to receive gifts from there, and of course love browsing the selection online. Read on to see why I like this company’s look so much. [...]

  4. This is sooo gorgeous, your swirling is perfect!!!

  5. Kelly says:

    i never bake, and often fail at it, but i had to try this recipe when i saw your gorgeous photos. i just made it, and it is so delicious! thank you!

  6. Ele says:

    Jen- Thanks, the swirling looks nicer when the cake is raw, though! I almost wish it could stay like that :)

    Kelly- I’m so glad you liked it!

  7. Hilary says:

    Made this last night (with a few adjustments – I included the almond extract as per Deb’s recipe) – so eager to taste test it tonight at Megan’s house! I hope the swirling inside looks OK.

  8. Edd says:

    It looks adorable and im sure it tasted great too, sometimes you cant beat the simplicity of a pound cake

  9. Ele says:

    Hil- How was the swirling?

    Edd- I don’t often make pound cakes, but I loved this one. I think I’m a convert, now :)

  10. Eve says:

    This cake was SO good. I’m still having trouble making the swirls look as good as yours, but the flavor is to die for. I made it for the second time last night and added 1 tsp of cinnamon to the blueberry swirl and then a dash of it in the batter and let me tell you… I’ll be making this again. :)

  11. Ele says:

    Eve- I’m so glad you’re liking this recipe! I agree, the swirls are the hardest part to do, even mine didn’t look that good in places inside the cake.

    Unfortunately, the berry season is mainly over where I am, but I’m looking forward to trying new variations of this next year!

  12. [...] My Lemonade Scones got some attention though, for one rather unusual ingredient. In the end, the Blueberry Swirl Pound Cake was by far the favourite, as much for its pretty design as for its fruity taste and moist [...]

  13. Jeanne says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the experiment!