This incredible Chocolate Pound Cake is deliciously moist, perfectly fudgy and oozing with deep, rich, chocolate flavor! The perfect cake for chocolate lovers! I’ve topped it with a glorious chocolate ganache glaze that takes this chocolate pound cake recipe from fabulous to unforgettable. Love chocolate? Make sure to try my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Cheesecake!
This post is sponsored by Challenge Dairy.
When it comes to chocolate cakes, Chocolate Pound Cake is commonly overlooked in favor of fancy layer cakes. But when it comes to flavor, texture, and ease of preparation, no other chocolate can hold a candle to my Chocolate Pound Cake recipe.
I have spent the last several weeks perfecting this recipe down to the smallest measurements to ensure that every aspect of this cake was utterly amazing. My family, despite having tried over a dozen pound cakes in the past few weeks, took one taste of this one and declared it the winner.
The Best Chocolate Pound Cake
Extraordinarily moist with a beautiful tender crumb, this pound cake cuts up like a dream, and has rich, deep chocolate flavor. And that’s just the cake. Then I went and topped it with a dreamy chocolate ganache glaze. Because I can. I’m a sucker for a glaze and used one on this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pound Cake too.
We’ll be serving this gorgeousness on Valentine’s Day this year.
Chocolate Pound Cake Ingredients
- All Purpose Flour – the structure for this cake recipe and you’ll need just one cup.
- Cocoa Powder – I use a combination of Dutch process cocoa (I used Ghirardelli’s) and standard unsweetened cocoa powder (think Hershey’s) in this recipe for more flavor. The Dutch process cocoa adds a richness to the cake that is really special.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – Pound cake can be too dense and just a small amount of leavener really helps to create a nicer texture and lift.
- Salt – kosher salt is what you want to use here.
- Espresso Powder – espresso powder or instant coffee granules will work for this recipe, I prefer the espresso. You will not taste the coffee. Promise. It simply intensifies the chocolate flavor. Do not skip this ingredient!
- Unsalted Butter – You will need one cup or two sticks of unsalted room temperature butter for this recipe. Make sure to use a high quality butter for this recipe like Challenge Butter – it’s the best!
- Granulated Sugar – This cake is not overly sweet which is one of the things I find most appealing about it. I use one cup of sugar but if you like a sweeter cake, you can add 1/4 cup of sugar to this recipe.
- Eggs – This pound cake uses three room temperature eggs.
- Sour Cream – After thorough testing of this recipe (over a dozen cakes were made in the past week alone…) I realized that I definitely prefer a pound cake made with sour cream. Incredible moisture! Buttermilk and Greek yogurt are alternatives and can be swapped in (1:1 ratio) if you prefer.
- Vanilla Extract – every self respecting cake calls for vanilla extract. It rounds out the other flavors and adds a lovely depth to the cake. Use the good stuff for exceptional results.
The Best Ingredients Yield The Best Results
I used Challenge butter in this Chocolate Pound Cake recipe because they’re the brand I’ve used and trusted for years and years. Made with 100% real cream, it’s my butter of choice. I’ve been using Challenge products my whole life and trust their products. I know the quality is outstanding and use it for all my baking and cooking!
How To Make Chocolate Pound Cake
- Preheat oven and grease loaf pan.
- Whisk together flour, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Dissolve the instant coffee or espresso powder in the hot water.
- Cream butter and sugar together until very light in color and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time making sure the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape down the bowl with each additional egg.
- Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and espresso or coffee to the bowl and mix in and medium-low speed until completely incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients, half at a time, and mix on the lowest setting just until incorporated.
- Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 to 65 minutes.
- Check for doneness by inserting a skewer or toothpick into the thickest part of the cake. There should be a few moist crumbs on the skewer.
- Let cool in pan for 20 to 30 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before glazing.and let it continue to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before glazing.
To Glaze Or Not To Glaze… Is That Even A Question?
After the cake has cooled, I like to top it with a chocolate ganache glaze. It’s made with just a few ingredients:
- heavy cream
- bittersweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
- vanilla extract
It’s absolutely sensational and adds another texture and layer of chocolate to this already delicious cake.
Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake
There are two ways to go when it comes to pound cake: sour cream or buttermilk. Both make for tremendously moist and tender cakes. After extensive testing, I found I preferred sour cream over buttermilk so that is what I am using in this recipe.
If you are not a fan of sour cream, buttermilk or even Greek yogurt can be used instead.
Tips for a Perfect Chocolate Pound Cake
This recipe is super simple to make and even novice bakers will find themselves throwing out high fives when this cake is served to friends and family. That being said, there are a few tips I’d like to share to ensure you have picture perfect results.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
The mixture will be a very, very pale yellow when it is ready. This step should take 5 minutes or so using a stand mixer. If you are using a hand mixer, plan for at least an additional 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your mixer bowl regularly.
Use room temperature ingredients.
Yes, even the sour cream! Just set out the sour cream, eggs, and butter on the counter for a good 30 to 60 minutes before you start.
Add eggs one at a time.
There are three eggs in this chocolate pound cake recipe and each one needs it’s own special time to make friends with the sugar and butter. Rushing this process is not a good idea. As standard practice, I scrape down the sides of the bowl after egg has been incorporated, give the mixer a few more spins and then add the next.
Don’t omit the espresso powder.
Your cake will not taste like coffee but it will taste better because of this ingredient. The espresso simply elevates and deepens the chocolate flavor. It doesn’t take a lot for a delicious impact!
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
As I just mentioned I scraped down the sides of the bowl when adding the eggs. I also scrape down the bowl (sides and bottom) while creaming the butter and sugar, adding the sour cream, vanilla extract and espresso, and of course when incorporating the dry ingredients. Moral of this story is: Scrape, scrape and scrape again to make sure that all of the ingredients are combining each step of the way.
Do not over bake.
This cake is moist, dense and fudgy when baked properly. Trust me, no one wants a dry, over baked pound cake. See below in the FAQs section to know exactly when your cake is done.
How To Serve
This cake is 100% delicious on it’s own but it’s soooo ridiculously easy to take this cake from amazing to unforgettable with these simple additions:
- Top with a chocolate ganache glaze as I did. See the recipe card below for instructions. Try one the glaze from my Chocolate Zucchini Cake too! It’s easy and so yummy!
- This cake is delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some chocolate sauce.
- Pair with ruby red strawberries or sweet raspberries and fresh whipped cream. This cake is perfect with fruit. My husband loves to add sliced bananas to his!
- Dust with powdered sugar using my favorite dusting wand.
Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe FAQs
Can this recipe be made in a bundt pan? I absolutely adore bundt cakes and this chocolate pound cake recipe looks amazing in a bundt pan! You will need to double the recipe for a 10 cup bundt pan.
I used an 8 x 4 for this recipe however during testing, I also tried the 9 x 5 and it worked as well. The cake is just wider and shorter this way.
You do not have to but you should. This recipe can be made with all unsweetened cocoa powder but I highly recommend using some Dutch process cocoa – the flavor and color is unmatched.
I like to start checking the cake at about 40 minutes. If the edges are looking dark, darker than the rest of the cake, tent the cake with a large piece of foil (being careful to not let the foil touch the cake). Test the cake by inserting a skewer or toothpick into the thickest part of the cake. There should be a few moist crumbs on the skewer. If there is wet batter on your skewer, give your cake another 5 minutes. You do not want a completely clean skewer, crumbs mean the cake is done.
This Chocolate Pound Cake stays good for about (3) days at room temperature with optimal flavor and texture arriving the day after baking. Store the pound cake at room temperature in an airtight container. (Don’t refrigerate this cake or it will dry out.)
If you are head over heels for chocolate, you can add chocolate chips to the recipe for a Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. I like to add about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the recipe.
More Favorite Cake Recipes
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake
- Peanut Butter Icebox Cake
- To Die For Carrot Cake
- Best Ever Texas Sheet Cake
- Chocolate Chip No Bake Cheesecake
- Easy Ice Cream Cake
- Easy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Practically Perfect Pineapple Cake
How To Make Chocolate Pound Cake
Chocolate Pound Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt Kosher
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ⅔ cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Lightly grease a 8.5 x 4.5” (1 pound) loaf pan (or grease and line with parchment paper).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso powder or instant coffee in the hot water. Stir until completely dissolved. Set aside.2 teaspoons espresso powder, 2 tablespoons hot water
- Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer) and mix on medium high speed for approximately 5 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl regularly, until the mixture is very light in color and fluffy.1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar
- Scrape down the bowl again and then add one egg at a time to the mixer on medium speed, making sure the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape down the bowl with each additional egg.3 large eggs
- Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and espresso or coffee to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until completely incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed.⅔ cup sour cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add half of the the dry ingredients and mix on the lowest setting just until incorporated. Add remaining half and mix just until incorporated. Do NOT over mix. If you need to, use a spatula to fold in the flour mixture. Make sure the sides and bottom of the bowl have been scraped down during this process.
- Carefully transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 65 minutes. Each oven is different. Check halfway through to make sure the cake isn't browning too quickly. If you see some dark spots, tent with foil.
- To determine when the cake is done, insert a skewer or toothpick into the thickest part of the cake. There should be a few moist crumbs on the skewer. Let cool in pan for 20 to 30 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let cool before glazing.
- Place chocolate chips in a small heat proof bowl.½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Heat heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl on low heat in the microwave in 15 second increments until the cream just begins to simmer and bubbles form at the edges.½ cup heavy cream
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the teaspoon of butter and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth and shiny. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 to 20 minutes. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake or serve with the glaze on the side.1 teaspoon butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Rebecca Fields says
Made this today and loved it!! I hate coffee. can not even stand the smell of it, I had my doubts but went ahead and used the expresso powder, I could not taste it in the cake at all when baked. Big win for me!!! Doubled the recipe for a Bundt cake and it turned out perfect! I will be making this again soon.
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I love this recipe in a bundt pan! It’s so pretty! Thanks Rebecca!
I am planning to make this chocolate pound cake this afternoon. It looks so good. I have two questions. Can I double this recipe and make two at once? I’m concerned about the espresso powder since we are not coffee drinkers. Is there really no coffee flavor? What do you think about 1 teaspoon instead of the two?
I look forward to letting you know how it turned out! I’m making this for a daughters birthday with strawberries and whipped cream.
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I haven’t tried doubling before but I don’t think it would be a problem. You can reduce the amount of espresso powder if it really is concerning to you but it really truly only makes the chocolate flavor more intense. Let me know how it goes!
I have made this cake without the coffee and it was delicious.