This chocolate pound cake is moist and buttery with a delicious chocolate flavor. It’s perfect in its simplicity, and tastes delicious with a drizzle of chocolate ganache.
Perfect Chocolate Pound Cake
A traditional pound cake has a buttery, vanilla flavor with a golden crust around the edges. It should be moist with a dense, tight cake crumb. The tight cake crumb means you get the cleanest cuts. This chocolate pound cake has all of those characteristics, but with a chocolate flavor that’s rich without going overboard. It looks beautiful served with a little whipped cream and fresh berries, or you can drizzle the top with chocolate ganache for an even more decadent chocolate cake.
This recipe definitely isn’t as sweet as my chocolate layer cake, but it’s perfect in its simplicity.
Classic pound cake is made with 1 pound of each ingredient: butter, sugar, eggs and flour. To make the cake extra moist, sometimes some of the butter will be substituted with buttermilk, sour cream or cream cheese. For this chocolate pound cake, you’ll need:
- 1 cup unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter on hand, that’s fine. Just omit the salt from the recipe. With any baking recipe, but especially pound cakes where butter is such an important ingredient, it’s so important to use high-quality butter.
- 3 cups sugar. I prefer to use superfine sugar (or caster sugar) in pound cakes because it dissolves more easily when mixing.
- 5 large eggs. When you beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture, it adds air to the batter. This is what makes the cake rise.
- 1 cup cocoa powder. I highly recommend using Dutch process cocoa (dark cocoa powder) for a richer chocolate flavor.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour. It is so, so important to measure the flour correctly. If you’re using measuring cups – always use dry measuring cups. Whisk the flour first, then spoon it into the cup and level off the top. DO NOT SCOOP! Scooping flour can result in as much as 40% extra. Better yet, using a scale ensures accuracy. 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour weighs 281 grams or 9.9 ounces.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda. Classic pound cake doesn’t use any baking soda or baking powder because all of the rise comes from beating the eggs. However, I find that adding just a little baking soda gives the cake a better rise and cake crumb.
- ½ teaspoon salt. Salt is so necessary to balance out the sweetness.
- ⅔ cup boiling water. In many chocolate cake recipes, you’ll see boiling water listed as an ingredient. The boiling water makes the cocoa powder bloom. Essentially, it intensifies the chocolate flavor.
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder. This is optional, but recommended. It helps to bring out the chocolate flavor. You won’t taste the coffee.
- 1 cup sour cream. In this recipe we’re substituting some of the butter with sour cream. I love the addition of sour cream because it makes this pound cake extra moist.
- Ensure your bundt pan is very well greased and dusted with cocoa powder to prevent sticking, even if its a non-stick pan. Make sure to get into all the ridges.
- Make sure the butter, eggs and sour cream are room temperature before getting started. This is key for everything mixing together properly.
- Really beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. This aerates the batter and helps to dissolve the sugar. You’ll need to beat the butter and sugar for a good 5 minutes.
- Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go. This ensures that you don’t have lumps of butter left in the bottom of the bowl.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time. This is really important to ensure the batter is properly aerated.
- The bake time is long – about 65-75 minutes at 325F. When the cake is done baking, you should see it start to pull away from the sides of the bowl. An inserted toothpick should come out clean or with a few dry crumbs clinging to it.
If you love chocolate, but don’t like cake recipes that are too sweet or over the top, then this chocolate pound cake is the recipe for you. Perfectly dense, buttery pound cake perfection.
For More Chocolate Cake Recipes:
- Chocolate Mud Cake – this is perfect if you want something fudgy
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- Chocolate Mug Cake – a single serving cake that’s made in the microwave
Chocolate Pound Cake
- 12-cup bundt pan - mine is 10.5 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep
Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) room temperature
- 3 cups superfine sugar (600 grams) caster sugar works well
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup cocoa powder (80 grams)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams) AKA plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream (240 ml) I used 18% MF
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
- ⅔ cup boiling water (160 ml)
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (113 grams) I used 50%, but semi-sweet will work too
- ½ cup whipping cream (120 ml)
Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C).
- Grease a 12-cup, non-stick bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder. Be sure that all ridges and creases are well covered.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a very large bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. This should take around 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in about ½ of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Then beat in the rest of the flour mixture.
- Add the instant coffee powder to the boiling water.
- Very carefully mix the hot water into the cake batter.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 65-75 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs sticking to it. You may see a large crack around the top - this is normal and expected.
- Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Then very carefully invert the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.
- Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling.
- Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about 3 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn't quite melted, microwave for 30-seconds and medium power and whisk.
- Transfer the cake to the plate you plan to serve it on. Then drizzle/pour the ganache over the fully cooled cake.
- Bundt Pans: Make sure to use a 12-cup capacity pan (or larger). Otherwise, there will be too much batter and it will overflow
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure the butter, eggs and sour cream are room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior. The butter should not be melted.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before enjoying. Cake without glaze can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature.
- Nutrition: Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice with ganache, assuming the cake is sliced into 14 equal pieces.