Filed under: Bundt Cakes / Loaf Cakes
April 10, 2023

Berry & Citrus Rainbow Pound Cake

Five flavored pound cake: raspberry, blueberry, lemon, lime and mixed berry batters all come together to make a rainbow pound cake. 


We loved these rainbow swirl sugar cookies so much I decided I would ‘cake it’! For this recipe I adapted my everyday butter cake (which has its roots in a pound cake recipe), separated the batters into five bowls and added five different flavors to each. 


The result is a gorgeous swirled ‘rainbow’ of colors in each slice, each color tastes a little different but the overwhelming taste is citrus and berry – and it’s truly lovely, encased in this tight crumbed (perfectly moist) pound cake. 

Recipe Ingredients & Tips


Butter: No need to soften it, salted or unsalted – just halve the amount of salt listed in the recipe if using salted. American or european. 


Sugar: fine granulated sugar. The fine granules will dissolve quickly into the melted butter. 


Base pound cake flavorings: fine sea salt and pure vanilla extract. If using a table salt, or salted butter, halve the amount of salt listed. For the vanilla you can also use vanilla paste. 


Eggs: It’s best if these are at room temp before you start cracking them into the batter, just place them in a bowl of warm water before you begin making the cake and they’ll be ready. 


Flour: Cake flour is great here; it produces a fine tight crumb which is ideal for pound cakes. If you don’t have it, use all purpose, and swap four tablespoons of it for cornstarch. 


Yogurt or Sour Cream: In the original EBC I used sour cream but for this version I opted for a lowfat yogurt. I knew the tanginess of yogurt would complement the lemon, lime and berry flavors plus I wanted something with more water content so that the batter, which takes a full hour to bake, wouldn’t dry out. 


Flavors for a ‘rainbow pound cake’ 

Choose five from the below; you can also do six but I find it isn’t necessary and you’ll have too thin of colors. Four colors will work just fine.

Raspberry powder: to get this ready, you’ll grind up freeze dried raspberries and then sift them to remove the bigger bits and seeds. If you like you can use strawberry for this layer instead. 


Orange: Orange zest, orange zest is very flavorful but if you want to amp it up you can add some orange extract.


Lemon: A combination of lemon zest and lemon extract will give this wonderful lemon flavor. 


Lime: Lime zest (use two or three) and lemon extract. If you happen to have and like lime extract that will work too !


Blueberry: the same as the raspberry, you’ll grind up some freeze dried blueberries and sift them to remove the bits. Both of these powders tend to clump if left open so as soon as you have your powder, put it in an airtight container and seal it. 


Mixed berry: This is just a combination of the raspberry and blueberry (or strawberry if you are using that). It’ll be the ‘purple’ of our rainbow. 

A note on color: Without the food coloring there is no difference in color between the lemon, lime and or orange. The blueberry powder turns the batter a dark purple, raspberry powder a mauve. The pic below, shows the cake with minimal food coloring.


How to make the base pound cake batter


There’s a lot of whisking involved but it’s quite straightforward: you’ll melt the butter, then add the ingredients in slowly, whisking as you do. I do this by hand with a whisk, it needs a vigorous whisk but you can also do it in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer. Most importantly, don’t overmix it once the cake flour is in. 

Coloring & flavoring the rainbow batter

In the recipe you find below, I’ll ask you to divide the batter into five separate bowls. To each you’ll add flavoring and the corresponding color. You don’t need to use the food gel if you don’t care about the colors showing. 


To make it easy for you, I’ll suggest weighing your mixing bowl before you begin. That way you can find out how much the batter weighs without having to dirty another bowl. 


There is a particular order I’ll suggest you stir in the flavorings; this is because the berry flavors tend to thicken when left. In the cake pictured, I did the raspberry first and because it had thickened it sunk quite a bit within the lemon layer which wasn’t as thick (ok it’s a cute teardrop/heart shape in some of the slices but I *was* going for distinct layers!). 


So basically it’s like this: mix the lemon and lime, then start doing the berry batters and layering them into the pan. 


Layering the batter into the pan 

If you want distinct layers, starting at the bottom with purple and working up to red carefully spread the batter in an even layer without disturbing the layer below. You’ll likely get a horseshoe shape but the layers won’t blend. 

If you like yourself a pretty swirl then go ahead and layer, don’t worry so much about being careful with the layering, and once all the batter is in get a butter knife and gently but swiftly swirl the batter a couple of times (don’t overdo it). You could also just alternate adding the batter to the pan and you’d get a pretty design! 


Baking, Topping and Storing the rainbow pound cake


A pound cake is done baking when: a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not rely on the color of the cake to tell you when it’s done, pound cakes brown quite a bit in the oven (and more in this case because it’s a darker batter due to the coloring). 


Top the pound cake with: I chose an orange glaze, because it was the one color I left out of my rainbow! Plus it is delicious. Lemon would work wonderfully as would a plain vanilla glaze. 


Store a pound cake in: an airtight container, but wait for the glaze to have set before you do so. It’ll keep for a few days (and oddly tastes magnificent the day after baking). 


Berry Citrus Rainbow Pound Cake

Five flavored pound cake: raspberry, blueberry, lemon, lime and mixed berry batters all come together to make a rainbow pound cake.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


Pound Cake Recipe

  • 452g or 2 cups unsalted butter cold is fine
  • 540g or 2 ½ cups fine granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 360g or 1 ½ cups lowfat yogurt
  • 480g or 4 cups cake flour sifted
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder


  • Red = 2 tablespoons raspberry powder
  • Yellow = zest of 1 lemon plus ½ tsp lemon extract
  • Green = zest of two limes plus ½ tsp lemon extract
  • Blue = 2 tablespoons blueberry powder
  • Purple = 1 tablespoon each raspberry and blueberry powder
  • food gel coloring for each layer


  • Zest and Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • Splash of pure vanilla extract


  • You can either halve the recipe and make this in a loaf pan, or you can double it and use a large bundt pan (I used a tube pan, it did not have a removable bottom).
  • Grease and flour your baking pan.
  • Weigh the bowl you’ll be mixing the cake batter in and write it down somewhere (this way you won’t have to transfer the batter to weigh it later).
  • In a large bowl, melt the butter. Add the sugar and either using a hand mixer, a whisk or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, mix until very light and creamy. If you are using a machine, it’ll take a couple of minutes, if using your hand and a whisk, it’ll take around 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, either with the mixer on or as you are whisking, one by one. Mix for a full 3 minutes until the batter is shiny (it’s a beautiful batter, really).
  • Add the salt and vanilla, and mix to combine. Sift in the flour and baking powder and as you mix it in, add the yogurt.
  • Weight the batter, it should be around 2200g total. Separate it into five bowls, the batter in each bowl should weigh about 440g.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • In the first bowl, add the lemon zest and extract and yellow food gel. Mix it in with a small rubber spatula.
  • In the second bowl add the lime zest, lemon extract and green food gel. Mix it in (I tend to wipe or wash my spatula between mixing so I don’t have too many dishes later).
  • In the third bowl, add 1 tablespoon each raspberry and blueberry powder and some purple food gel. Mix it and pour it into the bottom of the pan, spreading it into an even layer with an offset spatula.
  • Into the fourth bowl add 2 tablespoons of blueberry powder and some blue food gel, mix until the color is even then pour it over the purple batter then spread it into an even layer.
  • Pour in the lime and smooth it over. Pour in the lemon and smooth it into an even layer.
  • With the last bowl, add 2 tablespoons of raspberry powder and red food gel. Mix then spread it on top.
  • Bake the cake for 1 hour (if making the full amount in a large bundt or tube pan) or 45 minutes (if halving the recipe and baking in a loaf pan). he cake will brown quite a bit as pound cakes do, moreso because the batter is darker so don’t be alarmed if it’s looking overly golden. Check for doneness with a cake tester.
  • Let the cake cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn it onto a cooling rack.
  • Once it’s completely cool you can glaze it: whisk all the glaze ingredients together. If the glaze is too thin add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick add more orange juice or milk. Spread it over the top of the cake.

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