I love to have back-pocket recipes like this Raspberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed Loaf to whip up for weekend guests or for snacking on throughout the week. Unlike a pound cake, which is much sweeter and denser, this loaf comes close to being a bread, but manages to stay in treat territory. Still, it avoids being overly sweet thanks to lemon zest, a tart raspberry ripple through the middle and a bright lemon icing drizzled over the top.
Poppy seeds lend texture and a soft crunch to the loaf, but could be omitted in a pinch. While the outward appearance of this loaf looks like a standard lemon and poppy seed bread, slicing into it reveals a jam-filled middle that sets this bread apart.
To begin, heat your oven to 350? and spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Using a large bowl, beat the cake mix, two containers of yogurt, melted butter, eggs, lemon zest and poppy seeds with an electric mixer on low. Mix on low speed until just combined and then on medium speed for two minutes. Set the batter aside.
The next step is to prepare the raspberries for the middle layer. You can use either fresh or frozen. Combine raspberries, sugar and cornstarch in a microwavable bowl. Smash the raspberries with a fork and microwave uncovered on high for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture. Continue to microwave in 15-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture has thickened and starts to bubble.
Take the cake batter and spread two thirds into the loaf pan. Spread the entire raspberry mixture over top. Then spread the remaining batter on top to conceal the raspberry middle.
Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool for an hour.
To make the icing, stir powdered sugar and lemon juice together until you have reached a desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled loaf and slice.
The end result is a golden loaf loaded with poppy seeds and lemon zest with slices that reveal a jeweled, jam-filled middle. The lemon icing is the perfect finish to the lemon-scented batter and raspberry swirl.