Everyone should have a rich Chocolate Pound Cake in their recipe file, preferably right up front — this one is deep, dark, and topped with a creamy chocolate ganache.

Rich dense and moist Chocolate Pound Cake

A frosted chocolate pound cake is every bit as luscious as a layer cake, but so much easier to throw together, and somehow it feels a little less decadent, too  (I’m not sure that’s true, but I’m running with it.)   A stand mixer makes this a pleasure to bake.  While it’s creaming the butter and sugar, I spray and line my loaf pan, whisk together the dry ingredients, and mix the wet.  All I have to do is crack in the eggs, and then alternate between the dry and wet to make a beautiful batter.

Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache

The chocolate pound cake has a nice rich satisfying chocolate flavor, and it slices like butter!

Note:  I have re-tested and tweaked this recipe in response to reader feedback.  I’ve added a bit more sour cream, and shortened the cooking time slightly.  

Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake


  • 1/2 cup (i stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
    wet ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
    dry ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    ganache topping
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)


  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Spray a standard 9x5 loaf pan and line it with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving the ends to hang long. This way you can life the frosted cake out for cleaner cutting.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and espresso powder.
  4. Whisk together the sour cream and milk.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl alternately with the wet, beginning and ending with dry. Blend only until mixed, don't over beat.
  7. Turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Check your cake on the early side to avoid over-cooking. Set aside to cool.
  8. To make the ganache topping, heat the cream to a simmer and remove from heat. Add the chocolate and let sit for a minute, then stir until everything is melted and glossy. Pour over the cooled cake and then let the ganache firm up in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  9. If you have used a parchment paper 'sling', gently pull the cake out of the pan to slice it.


  • Be sure your butter and eggs are truly at room temperature or your batter won’t come together well.  To warm up cold butter, unwrap it, and slice into four pieces.  Microwave for 15 seconds.  To warm up cold eggs, put them into a small bowl or glass and fill with warm water, let sit for 5 minutes.
  • I used hershey’s special dark cocoa which gives this cake it’s deep dark color.
  • Be sure your oven is at 325FAn inexpensive oven thermometer is an indispensable tool for checking this.
  • The cake will be done when it is fully risen and not jiggly in the center.  Use a toothpick to check, if there is wet batter, keep cooking a little longer.  Check frequently because the cake can go from done to dry quickly.
  • I don’t like to bake in glass pans because they cook too quickly.  A good quality, heavy metal loaf pan will give you the best results, I like this one.
  • Be sure to frost the cake while it is still in the pan, because the ganache starts out thin and then thickens as it cools.  You want to keep all that lusciousness on the cake!


A classic deep dark Chocolate Pound Cake frosted with chocolate ganache


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Rich moist and decadent Chocolate Pound Cake with chocolate ganache is a chocolate lovers dream come true



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97 Responses to Chocolate Pound Cake

  1. Andrea says:

    I made this today and it turned out good, not too sweet a smidge dry but that was my fault baking it too long, it was still completely yummy. I might add more sour cream next time (because yum!). I made the ganache with full fat coconut milk because that is what I had and it turned out awesome. We will definitely make this again, thank you for sharing!

  2. Cecille says:

    Hello… which cocoa did you use? Is it the Nestle unsweetened plaistow cocoa or just the Nestle regular unsweetened cocoa

    • Sue says:

      I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, Cecille, it gives the cake that extra rich color. There’s a link to it in the notes, after the recipe.

  3. Seri says:

    Hi i would like to make for tier cake. 6 , 8 & 10 inch. Do i have to double the recipe for all? And the baking time will be the same?

  4. Ericka says:

    I am interested in making this in a layered cake form with 3 circular 9 inch cake pans… do you know if this recipe is enough?

  5. Jan says:

    This will be the only recipe I use for my chocolate pound cake from now on. I baked this twice and the first time it was very dense and dry, but I love the taste. So I come back to the site and found that you have updated the recipe. I tried it again using more sour cream than what u have stated (only because I wanted to finish up my tub of cream) and the cake was just delicious! And I did watch the cake like a hawk! haha…

  6. Tonya says:

    I was really excited to bake this cake, I followed the recipe to the letter and when I sat he cake to the side to cool, it deflated in the pan. ? I consider myself a really good bake, but. Cannot figure out what happened with this cake.

    • Sue says:

      It sounds like it wasn’t fully cooked, Tonya. That could be due to the type of pan, or the temperature of your oven. I have an inexpensive oven thermometer in my oven that I always check, I’ve never had an oven yet that was right on target with the temperature.

  7. Natalie says:

    After reading some of these comments I was scared to make this. My daughter asked for it for her Birthday. It was such a hit and really easy. It looked just like the picture, very smooth and the taste was awesome. No complaints from the guest, so I will for sure make it again. I think it took about 50 minutes in my oven. The parchment paper made it really easy. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. Ashley says:

    Ok I am not understanding the chocolate chip measurement for the ganache? 41/2 ounces? Is this a typo? Thanks!

  9. Gaby says:

    Turned out way too dry. Not enough wet ingredients. Took the cake out at 40 mins from the oven as the toothpick came out dry. Cooled off, got the chocolate ganache and in to the fridge.2 hrs later it was taken out and served… Nope. This was a bad idea.
    Re-read the instructions and everything was done as the recipe says.
    Dry, so very dry (not even with milk could we stomach one bite), not moist (which was a surprise because sour cream makes the cakes moist), no rise (it was like a brick).
    The only thing good about it was the ganache.
    Maybe another recipe for next time. This one is a no go.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Gaby, after seeing your comment I made the cake again today and while it came out fine for me, I made some minor adjustments that might help the people who are finding the cake dry. I’ve upped the sour cream, and shortened the bake time. My cake rises beautifully, so make sure you are creaming your butter and sugar well, and adding the eggs one at a time, etc. Hope that helps!

  10. Pam says:

    Hello- Made this over the weekend. The color was beautiful and the ganache creamy but the cake was so dry. It’s shaken my confidence a bit in making chocolate pound cake. What could I have done wrong?

    • Pam says:

      Ok I see it. I overcooked it! Darn!

    • Mary says:

      Hi, Pam,
      I baked mine for 45 minutes and it was still SO DRY! Didn’t seem like enough wet ingredients, to me. Maybe add some oil? Hmm. Ganache was awesome, though!

    • Gaby says:

      @Pam, sweets, it’s not you. It’s the recipe. Something is off. It needs more wet ingredients. 1/4 of sour cream and 1/4 of milk is not enough for the 1 cup and 2 tbsp of flour.
      My try of this recipe was, sorry to say this, a disaster. I was so looking forward to this turning as awesome as the pictures. Instead I got a chocolate dry brick. ?

      • Wendy says:

        Add single serving applesauce, it’s great for moisture. I put that in first towards total wet items. Add eggs last. All should equal the wet items.

  11. Jean says:

    What kind of dark chocolate do you recommend for the ganache?

  12. Erin Hall says:

    Could I make this in a bundt pan? My son is requesting it for his birthday tomorrow ;)

  13. Tanja says:

    Hi for how long I have to bake the cake? Thank you in advance

  14. Sonia says:

    Hi! This cake really looks yummy! Can i use this for my fondant cake? Wouldn’t it be too soft for the fondant? Thanks

  15. Charmy_stl says:

    I made it last night and it was PERFECTIONS! I made a raspberry sauce and whipped cream to go with it because I knew it wasn’t going to be sweet enough for some of my guest.

  16. Shiran joseph says:

    Can we use plain yoghurt instead of sour cream?

    • Sue says:

      You can, Shiran, just be aware it won’t be as rich. I often substitute yogurt for sour cream when I want to save calories, though.

  17. Aishaaish says:

    Hi! Did i read that right? 1 tablespoon of espresso powder? Thanks in advance!

  18. Elaine says:

    Will this recipe work for cupcakes? If so, what is the baking time? How much do you fill the cups?

    • Sue says:

      It’s not really a cupcake type of consistency Elaine, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I would go with a regular cake recipe for that,

  19. Stephanie says:

    Is the flour,plain flour or self raising flour?

  20. Laura says:

    This looks amazing! I’m making it right now but it says 1/2 cup butter and then it says (i stick) so I want to double check the butter measurement.

    • Sue says:

      So — 1 stick butter = 1/2 cup = 8 Tbsp = 4 ounces, Laura. Readers have been asking me to post conversions, and I’ll get there someday!

  21. Ruth Cobb says:

    wonderful looking cake. I use coffee to replace the liquid in chocolate cakes and brownies. It peps up the chocolate flavor. how would Splenda for baking do. I’m diabetic and can have some if I use it.

  22. Kruti says:

    How can I make this cake eggless?? Pls give a substitute … I am allergic to eggs

    • Sue says:

      Google ‘aquafaba’. It’s the liquid from canned beans. Chickpea is used successfully. No/mild flavor, unlike say a kidney bean. 1 egg=3 TBSP aquafaba. Only replacing 2 eggs in this recipe should work. I am going to try it myself using aquafaba but not sure when. Good luck!

  23. Mary Anne Neeby says:

    I am with Sophia. Is espresso powder needed or is there a substitute? I went to several stores including Wal-Mart and they had no clue where to find any. Thanks

    • Sue says:

      You can just leave it out, Mary Anne — no problem. I find espresso powder right by the other coffee products in my supermarket. It might be labeled ‘instant espresso’ too.

      • Mary Anne Newby says:

        Thanks for your quick response! We tried there but all they found was cappuccino. I I don’t drink coffee, so don’t know one “fancy pants”from another. I’ll try elsewhere when I get out of my little town. Meantime I’ll try without it. Thanks again. ?

      • Nicole Guldager says:

        Amazon sells it – with Prime it was at my door in less than 48 hrs.

      • Kathie says:

        Nescafe makes the instant Espresso…it is right with the all the other instant coffee products in a 2.11oz can. Silver can with an orange top. :)

  24. Sophia says:

    My kids will be all over this one! Would it work out ok to leave out the espresso powder?
    Looks super good. Can’t wait to make it!

  25. Kathy says:

    Your cake is so pretty! Just wondering how you got the ganache to be applied on the sides of your loaf, without removing the loaf from the pan before adding the ganache. Did the cake shrink from the parchment and the ganache dripped down the sides? Or did you add the ganache after you took the loaf out of the pan? It looks so yummy, but my ganache stayed on the top and didn’t run down the sides.k

    • Sue says:

      I actually dripped down the sides Kathy, I was surprised that it did that. I think I pulled the cake out and loosened the parchment, and then decided that it was better to frost it while still in the pan, to catch all the ganache, so I put it back in and then frosted. It only fully coated the cake on one side, though, the other side was more or less ‘drippy’ looking, so you can’t count on it.

  26. Foodiewife says:

    Well, of course! Sour cream is one of my favorite ingredient guarantees for moist cake. I’ve been craving a pound cake, with chocolate, and here it is.

  27. Kate says:

    Not sure I’ve ever seen a more perfect chocolate pound cake! Delish!!!

  28. Be still my heart.. that ganache topping is absolute heaven!

  29. Muna Kenny says:

    Looks so heavenly! Beautiful, dark, and looks moist. I wish I can taste a slice, or two!

  30. I really wish we were neighbors, because I could REALLY go for a piece of this right now. PS I do dishes :) I just LOVe how rich and delicious this looks and that icing WOW!

  31. Susan says:

    Oh my! Lemon and now chocolate – I’m in serious trouble ;) I don’t think I’ve ever made a chocolate pound cake but I know I will be with this inspiration!

  32. I love that dark chocolate color your cake has. Will definitely give this a try; anything with chocolate and sour cream is hard to resist.

  33. Wow, this pound cake looks absolutely decadent Sue! My husband Tom is going to LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Monique says:

    Looks supercalifragilisticexpialidocious..like your fridge one:)

  35. Auntiepatch says:

    Be sure your oven is at 323F. 323? Not 325?

  36. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, what a fabulous looking pond cake, looks luscious, definitely a keeper.

  37. That glaze on top of the pound cake looks IRRESISTIBLE! I wish I could grab a slice right off my computer screen! :-)

  38. Dana says:

    I’m definitely going to have to add this to my recipe file. This cake looks perfect and I want to bite right into it right now.. hnnnggg…

  39. You make baking look so easy, Sue. Such a divine chocolate treat. Friday is my treat day so I’m coming over :)

  40. Please can I be your friend and come over for a large slice of the most perfect ever pound cake?

  41. ro says:

    looks AMAZING!

    One question–I don’t see any baking powder/soda in the recipe. Is the sour cream the leavening agent?

  42. That looks perfectly dense and that ganache is simply sinful!

    • Sue says:

      It’s funny I kept using the word dense in the post and then editing it out, thinking it would give the wrong impression, but it is dense — in the best way ;)

  43. I know you can’t tell, but I am moaning. What a beautiful shade of chocolate! Yes chocolate is a shade of brown if you ask me! I bet it is crazy tender. Thanks so much for this – sharing!

  44. Lucy says:

    That FROSTING! It looks positively luscious. I agree that everyone needs a simple chocolate cake recipe in their back pocket. This one sounds perfect.

    • Sue says:

      If I had to choose one sweet thing to eat for the rest of my life I think it would be chocolate ganache — there’s nothing else like it.

  45. Monica says:

    That just looks amazing! I want to run out and get some sour cream right now to make this happen! And a chocolate pound cake is good for any/every/no occasion! Love it.

  46. Valentina says:

    This is one of the most perfectly looking pound cakes ever. The slices are so, so pretty, and I”m sure delicious!

    • Sue says:

      It really does slice like butter, the texture of the cake is so fine and the ganache is so silky — oh my, I’m getting hungry again…

  47. OH my gosh… my mouth is WATERING! Pinning so I can try this recipe… sooner rather than later! WOW!

  48. Jenn says:

    Wow! I am drooling!!! It looks super moist and that frosting so creamy! You are right….everyone needs a chocolate pound cake recipe front and center in the recipe box!!

  49. Peter says:

    Did someone say double chocolate? You are so singing my music!

  50. Oh my! That is the most luscious looking chocolate cake. Love the ganache topping, too!

  51. Oh my goodness….this look so delicious.


    Thanks for sharing.


  52. Indeed, everyone should have chocolate pound cake recipe. And this looks like the one everyone should have!

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