Buttery, moist, and soft Chocolate Pound Cake from scratch, made more luscious with indulgent chocolate ganache on top. Simply irresistible, delicious, and so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. Best for sharing with family or can be given as a gift with or without occasion.
This Chocolate Pound Cake recipe is one of my favorite recipes passed onto me by my Aunt. I made a few tweaks from its original recipe to make it more “Imma”. And when I say more “Imma” it means adding more sassiness to this delicious dessert.
I made it more decadent by pouring a creamy, chocolatey, and sinful chocolate ganache on top. Ugh! The added calories and sugar are so worth it! Mmmm-mmmm! I can’t wait for you to try it! I’m sure you’re gonna love it as we do!
What’s the Difference Between a Pound Cake and a Regular Cake?
Generally, there are many kinds of cake. The most common are pound cake, chiffon cake, layer cake, and butter cake to name a few. They are categorized into two types, Foam Cakes and Butter Cakes.
Foam Cakes. These are the ones that usually beat egg whites to get their volume and light and fluffy texture.
They may or may not contain butter or leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda. Examples of foam cakes are chiffon and sponge cake.
Butter Cakes. Like pound cake, on the other hand, butter cakes are not air-leavened. They depend mostly on baking powder or baking soda.
They have a significant amount of butter (or fats such as margarine or shortening) which makes the cake denser and firm compared to foam cakes.
What Makes a Pound Cake?
It is called a Pound Cake because the main ingredients are literally weighed 1 pound each. Pretty clever huh?
These Ingredients are:
- Sugar. I used a combination of white and brown sugar in this chocolate pound cake recipe. The brown sugar adds moisture to this cake making it moist for a longer period.
- Butter. Always use good quality butter. The butter adds flavor and richness to your cake. I prefer using unsalted butter so I’ll have more control of the taste.
- Eggs. Always use room temperature eggs when baking to ensure even cooking time. Also, room-temperature eggs are easier to beat and easier to mix with the batter.
- Flour. I prefer to use all-purpose flour in most of my cake recipes because it is easier to work with. Also, it is widely available in any local groceries stores.
The ingredients are pretty simple like any other cake recipe and mostly kitchen staples.
For the Chocolate Mixture, You’ll Need:
- Hot Water – it helps in bringing out the best taste from the cocoa powder and coffee. Plus, the secret to a moist cake is the addition of hot water.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (not dutch-processed) – this is what makes your chocolate sour cream pound cake, more chocolatey and richer in flavor.
- Instant Coffee Granules or Espresso Powder – Acts as a contrast to the cocoa powder, it gives a flavor boost to the cocoa powder intensifying its chocolatey goodness.
And for the Chocolate Pound Cake:
- Unsalted Butter – you’ll need to bring your butter at room temperature for this recipe. You can tell if it’s already at room temperature if you can press the butter with your finger. Also, it slightly spreadable but not really melted.
- Brown Sugar – it is basically sugar with molasses. It makes any baked goods moister and more flavorful.
- Granulated Sugar – adds sweetness to any dish. But don’t get crazy and add too much if you don’t want to wake up with a sore throat or toothache.
- Eggs – not only it adds volume to the cake, but it is also responsible for making your cake fluffy and soft with a rich and creamy taste.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – just a splash of enhances the flavor of any dessert, works like magic!
- Sour Cream – since pound cake is usually dense, the addition of sour cream makes it moister and richer.
- All-Purpose Flour – provides the sturdy structure of a cake. Be careful not to overmix to prevent tough and gummy-like cakes.
- Baking Powder – since we are not whipping the egg whites, using baking powder is essential to let the cake batter rise while baking.
- Baking Soda – when combined with baking powder produces a chemical reaction that makes the cake batter rise. Thus, making it soft and fluffy. Leaving this out will result in a flat cake.
- Salt – the hint of saltiness enhances the sweetness and the richness of this sour cream chocolate pound cake.
Lastly, for the Ganache:
- Semisweet Chocolate Chips – I prefer to use semisweet chocolate chips since the cake is already sweet enough. Plus, it has a more intense chocolate flavor than milk chocolate chips.
- Heavy Cream – to liquefy the melted chocolate to make it pourable. Also, it adds creaminess and balances the slight bitterness of the chocolate.
- Cake Flour – for every cup of all-purpose flour, replace it with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour. Plus, it will give a lighter texture to your cake.
- Buttermilk – since it’s thinner than sour cream, use ¾ cup of buttermilk for every cup of sour cream.
- Yogurt and Mayonnaise – both work well as a substitute for sour cream with a 1:1 ratio.
- Milk and Butter – melt ¼ cup of butter and mix it with ¾ cup of whole milk or half-and-half in replacement to heavy cream in making the ganache.
- Brown Sugar and White Sugar – the recipe calls for combining both sugars, but if you only have brown sugar or only white sugar it will still work. There won’t be much difference from the taste, however, there would be a slight change in texture since brown sugar creates moister cakes.
- Low Carb/Keto Chocolate Pound Cake – for those who like guilt-free and gluten-free chocolate desserts, this one is perfect for you.
- Chocolate Chip Pound Cake – just add 3/4 – 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the batter and you’re all set.
- Ice Cream Topping – My favorite ice cream topping is vanilla. Also, it’s a perfect match for this chocolate cake, especially on summer days.
- Fresh Fruits Toppings – the slight sourness from strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries neutralize the sweetness of the cake.
Making Ahead and Storage Instructions
You can make this indulgent chocolate pound cake ahead of time especially if you’re going to feed a crowd. You can store your chocolate pound cake in:
- Air-tight Container
- Foil or Cling Wrap
- Ziplock Freezer Bags
Note: Just don’t add the chocolate ganache yet.
- Room Temperature – can stay fresh for 2-3 days, unrefrigerated.
- Refrigerated – can last inside the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Frozen – can last in the freezer for about 4-6 months.
Note: Let the cake thaw inside the fridge overnight before serving.
I enjoy eating my cake, cold. However, eating it warm, especially at breakfast is nice as well.
- Oven – bake it for about 8-10 minutes at 250°F.
- Microwave – heat it for about 2-4 minutes at medium power.
What To Serve Them With?
To make it fancier and more filling, you can add toppings like:
Any cake goes well with less sweet beverages like:
More Chocolatey Treats
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
- Devil’s Food Cake
- Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
How to Make Chocolate Pound Cake from Scratch?
Cream the Butter and Sugar
- Mix – In a small bowl mix together hot water, cocoa powder, and instant coffee granules. Set aside while you proceed with the mixing. (Photo 1)
- Preheat – Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Grease a tube pan generously with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar – Cream together the butter and sugar at high speed in a stand mixer until it’s fluffy and starting to look white, about 5- 7 minutes. Add the sour cream and mix until fully incorporated. (Photos 2-4)
Make the Cake Batter
- Add eggs – Stir in the eggs, a little at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition. (Photos 5-6)
- Incorporate dry ingredients – Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt into the batter.
- Mix – Followed by vanilla extract. Stir well until everything is fully combined. Do not over-mix. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add chocolate mixture – Fold in chocolate mixture until completely mixed. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. (Photos 7-8)
Bake and Let it Cool
- Pour the batter – Pour chocolate batter into a greased cake pan. Tap pans on a work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles. (Photo 9)
- Bake – Bake at 300 until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 minutes or more. (Photo 10)
- Let it cool – Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool.
Make the Chocolate Ganache
- Heat the heavy cream – Pour heavy cream in a medium skillet, place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. As soon as the heavy cream boils, add chocolate chips, and salt. Let it stand for about 8- 10 minutes, without stirring. (Photo 11)
- Whisk and mix – After 10 minutes whisk until chocolate has melted, completely and the mixture is smooth and shiny. (Photo 12)
- Let it cool – Stir in vanilla. Let the ganache cool and thicken for a few minutes.
- Pour – Pour over chocolate cake and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, before serving. Serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, if desired. Enjoy.
Watch How to Make it
Chocolate Pound Cake
- ¾ cup (177 ml) hot water
- ¾ cup (75g) unsweetened cocoa powder, not dutch-processed
- 1 tsp (6g) instant coffee granules or espresso powder
Chocolate Pound Cake
- 1 ½ cup (340g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cup (330g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (184g) sour cream
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 ¼ cup (315g) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp (2g) baking powder
- ½ tsp (2g) baking soda
- 1 tsp (6g) salt
- 2 tsp (10ml) pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (80ml) heavy cream
- ¾ cup (120g) semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ tsp (1.5g) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Pound Cake
- In a small bowl mix together hot water, cocoa powder, and instant coffee granules. Set aside while you proceed with the mixing.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Grease a tube pan generously with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar at high speed in a stand mixer until it’s fluffy and starting to look white, about 5- 7 minutes. Add the sour cream and mix until fully incorporated.
- Stir in the eggs, a little at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition.
- Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the batter.
- Followed by vanilla extract. Stir well until everything is fully combined. Do not over-mix. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Fold in chocolate mixture until completely mixed. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Pour chocolate batter into a greased cake pan. Tap pans on a work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles.
- Bake at 300°F until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 minutes or more.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool.
- Pour heavy cream in a medium skillet, place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. As soon as the heavy cream boils, add chocolate chips, and salt. Let it stand for about 8- 10 minutes, without stirring.
- After 10 minutes whisk until chocolate has melted, completely and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Stir in vanilla. Let the ganache cool and thicken for a few minutes.
- Pour over chocolate cake and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, before serving. Serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, if desired. Enjoy.
Tips & Notes:
- Use quality ingredients to ensure the best tasting pound cake.
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so you can easily mix the batter and allow even baking time.
- Don’t overbeat or overmix your batter especially after the eggs have been added. Doing so may cause your cake to deflate and have a tough and gummy texture.
- You can also add semisweet chocolate chips or chunks in the batter to make it chocolate chip pound cake.
- Make sure to grease your pan and dust it with flour so you can easily remove the cake from the pan after baking.
- Don’t forget to rotate your pan about 2/3 of the way through baking time to prevent uneven baking.
- Use a wooden skewer to check for doneness. It’s done if no more crumbs stick to the skewer when you remove it.
- Wait at least 10 minutes by cooling your cake (while still in the pan) on a wire rack before taking out the cake from the pan to let it cool completely.