Breads aren't exactly known for being flashy or beautiful. Tasty, yes, but not showy. Let's show how gorgeous a quick bread can be with this Blackberry Lemon Bread, shall we?
This Blackberry Lemon Bread is a moist, flavorful lemon bread studded with fresh blackberries and topped with the most gorgeous blackberry glaze! With its fantastic flavor and dramatic glaze, this humble loaf earns a place of honor at any table!
Lemon Blackberry Bread Ingredients
- Flour - Provides structure and moisture for the cake. I used all-purpose flour. I also toss the blackberries in a tablespoon of flour to help suspend them in the cake. Otherwise, they may all sink to the bottom.
- Baking Powder - Provides leavening for the cake.
- Salt - Helps to balance and enhance the flavor of the cake.
- Unsalted Butter - For additional rise and a light and tender texture to the cake. Unsalted so that you control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Sugar - For sweetness and keeping the cake soft and moist.
- Eggs - To provide structure, leavening, and a little richness.
- Lemon Zest - For flavor. You want to use only the yellow part of the rind, and not the white pith underneath, as it's bitter!
- Lemon Extract Paste - For a punch of lemon flavor without adding much liquid! If you'd like you can substitute with an equal measure of lemon extract.
- Buttermilk - For flavor, moisture, and keeping the cake suuuuper tender. (Check the FAQ section below for a quick substitution you can make if you don't have buttermilk on-hand.)
- Blackberries - For pops of blackberry flavor throughout! Fresh berries work best here. You can use frozen berries, but they are likely to bleed their color into the cake.
Blackberry Glaze Ingredients
- Blackberries- For flavor and goooorgeous color! You can use fresh or frozen berries in the glaze.
- Lemon Juice - The acidity of the lemon juice helps to balance the sweetness, and enhances the taste of the berries.
- Water - Just a little, so that you have a little more liquid in the pan to start (before the berries release their juices).
- Sugar - For sweetness in the blackberry reduction.
- Powdered Sugar - For sweetness, and because it dissolves and gives the glaze a smooth texture.
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - to thin the glaze to the appropriate consistency. You can use half and half or milk, you just may need slightly less than I used due to it being thinner than cream. (I actually forgot to add the heavy cream to the ingredient photo above, but it is there in words. Sorry about that.) *facepalm*
How to Make Blackberry Lemon Bread
- In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the lemon zest and lemon extract paste and mix to combine.
- Alternate additions of the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Only mix until just incorporated and no more.
- Toss the blackberries in about a tablespoon of flour to help keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread. Gently fold the blackberries into the bread with a spatula.
I used a 9"x5" loaf pan for my bread. Lining your pan with parchment makes it easier to remove the bread later! I buy pre-cut nonstick parchment sheets that work really well. If you're interested in checking them out, you can find them here.
How to Make Blackberry Glaze
- Combine the blackberries, lemon juice, water, and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the berries break down.
- Strain the mixture to remove the seeds and pulp. Return the blackberry juice mixture to the saucepan.
- Cook until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ cup. Make sure to check/stir frequently. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Combine the powdered sugar with the blackberry reduction and stir to combine. Add cream and mix until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, you can add a bit more cream. If it's too thin, you can add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. Top with fresh blackberries, if desired. Allow the glaze to set up before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
For best results, I do suggest that you use buttermilk! That said, you can make a quick substitution if you don't have it on-hand. For this recipe, put ½ teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk (I find that 2% milkfat or greater works best) to come up to the ½ cup line. Let sit for 5 minutes, then it's ready for use!
Fresh or frozen blackberries are fine for the glaze, but I suggest using fresh berries in the bread! Frozen berries will bleed their color into the batter and generally tend to be mushier after baking than fresh berries.
You can make the bread a day or two in advance and store, wrapped well, on your counter. In fact, I think the texture is better the second day! The bread can also be frozen and will keep for several months in the freezer if well-wrapped. I'd wait until the day you're planning to serve the bread to glaze it. The glaze should be made when you'd like to use it, as it sets up over time and won't be pourable.
So there you have it: one of the prettiest loafs you've ever seen! The flavors of the lemon and the blackberries pair so beautifully together, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who isn't impressed by that glaze! *heart eyes*
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Blackberry Lemon Bread
Blackberry Lemon Bread:
- 1½ cups flour (plus 1 tablespoon flour to toss the blackberries in)
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract paste (see note)
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature (see note)
- 1 cup fresh blackberries (about 4 ounces)
Garnish (if desired):
- fresh blackberries
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan (see note) and line with parchment (see note). Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and the lemon zest. Be sure to only use the yellow part of the rind and not the bitter white pith underneath. Run the mixer on low for a few minutes to allow the oils from the lemon zest to release into the sugar.
- Add the butter and cream together until light and fluffy (at least 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lemon extract paste (see note), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Alternate additions of the dry ingredients and the buttermilk: half the dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until nearly incorporated.
- Toss the blackberries in a tablespoon of flour to coat them. This will help to suspend them in the batter so they don't just sink to the bottom of the bread. Gently fold the blackberries into the batter by hand, taking care not to break them apart.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 75 minutes. Allow bread to cool in the pan at least 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the blackberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat. Once the mixture is bubbling, cook for an additional five minutes, or until the berries break down. You can hasten this process a bit by smushing (it's a technical term) the berries with a spatula.
- Strain the mixture (you may want to let it cool a bit first) to remove the seeds and pulp. Return the blackberry juice mixture to the saucepan.
- Over medium-low heat, cook until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ cup (5-7 minutes). Make sure to check/stir frequently, as the more the liquid reduces, the more likely it will burn. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, combine the sifted powdered sugar with the blackberry reduction. Stir until all the powdered sugar is incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon of cream and mix until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, you can add a bit more cream. If it's too thin, you can add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled bread. Top with fresh blackberries, if desired. Allow the glaze to set up before serving.Enjoy!