This chocolate pound cake is ultra rich, fudgy, and beautifully dense. It tastes like a combination between a classic vanilla pound cake and chocolate brownies. Read on to find out how to make this easy pound cake recipe, and how to make chocolate icing with cocoa powder.
Vanilla pound cake ranks pretty darn highly on my list of favorite cakes, but chocolate pound cake just hits different. It's got all the beautiful richness and density of classic pound cake, but with a fudgy, brownie-like quality to it!
Now this recipe for pound cake isn't 100% traditional. Historically, pound cake would feature a pound each of butter, eggs, flour, and sugar. (Hence the name!)
I use a slightly tweaked ratio of ingredients for a better texture, and I also LOVE adding in baking powder, baking soda, and sour cream, for added favor and airiness!
A few simple changes are what I think make for the best chocolate pound cake in town.
Chocolate pound cake ingredients:
• cake & pastry flour: helps yield a more tender cake than regular all-purpose flour! All-purpose works fine in a pinch, but you can also make your own cake & pastry flour at home
• cocoa powder
• baking powder + soda: this cake can be quite dense because of all the fat in the batter, so a combination is the key to a tender cake!
• sugar: granulated sugar for the cake and powdered sugar for the icing
• sour cream: adds a ton of richness and flavor, but it also yields a softer and airier loaf
• milk or heavy cream: for the icing. You could even use water if needed, but milk is my personal favorite liquid
How to make chocolate pound cake:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Add eggs and vanilla.
4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour cream.
5. Pour & bake.
7. Make the icing: combine all of the icing ingredients together, and whisk until smooth. Gradually add more liquid if needed to reach desired consistency.
8. Ice your cake. Slice and serve!
Chocolate pound cake storage:
Try to avoid slicing your pound cake until right before you plan on serving it to help keep the inside moist. The more air the cake is exposed to, the more quickly it will become stale.
Wrap your loaf tightly in plastic wrap, and store for up to 4 days at room temperature or about 1 week in the fridge. If keeping in the fridge, I'd recommend letting the cake come up to room temperature before serving for the best texture!
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Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe
For the chocolate pound cake:
- 1 & ½ cups (180g) cake & pastry flour
- ⅔ cup (53g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240g) sour cream
For the chocolate icing:
- 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar,
- ¼ cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper (leaving a bit of overhang to make it easier to pull the cake out). Set aside.
- Make the chocolate loaf cake: In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment or a wooden spoon by hand, cream together until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture lightens in color (about 2 minutes on medium speed or 5 minutes by hand).
- Add your eggs in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in your vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding in your dry ingredients and sour cream to the butter mix. Mix in about half of the dry mix, followed by all of the sour cream. Finish off with the remaining dry ingredients, and mix together until just combined.
- Pour the pound cake batter into your prepared loaf pan, and spread into an even layer. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake starts browning too quickly, loosely tent the top with aluminum foil, and continue baking until cooked through.
- Cool your cake in the pan for about 20 minutes, then pull out using the parchment overhang and transfer onto a wire rack. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature before icing.
- Make the cocoa powder icing: In a medium sized bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of milk / heavy cream. Whisk to combine. If your icing is too thick, gradually whisk in more milk or heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Drizzle your chocolate icing over the cooled pound cake. Slice and serve!