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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
- Set oven to 325F
- 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.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and espresso powder.
- Whisk together the sour cream and milk.
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl alternately with the wet, beginning and ending with dry. Blend only until mixed, don't over beat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 325F. An 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!
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