the best chocolate pound cake
Ready to experience the best chocolate pound cake? You’ve come to the right place. This pound cake is chockfull of chocolatey goodness in every moist, decadent bite. Add a smooth ganache topping and you’ll be well on your way to total dessert bliss-town.
The Best Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe
Hello hello, my baker friends! It is September, aka the end of summer/beginning of fall, and I am feeling very bittersweet about it all. This is also my first year when both kiddos are at school, so I have the whole day at home to work and do projects and not have someone begging me for a snack every five minutes (except for the puppy, but she also naps a lot, too). It’s pretty great, but I also miss my munchkins — that’s the life story of a parent, isn’t it? You need space when they’re around, then you miss them when they’re not… GOOD TIMES.
But I digress, because while there is a lot of change happening behind this screen, we can confidently say that this chocolate pound cake recipe is forever and always the best. Here’s why:
- This chocolate pound cake is soft, moist, dense, decadent and perfectly chocolatey.
- The smooth ganache topping is fudgy and indulgent and oh-so-good.
- The whole recipe is ready to enjoy in just a few hours and is easy to make ahead!
- This is a great dessert to pack up and bring to a friend’s house, to a party or to a neighbor.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make this magical loaf come to life, here are the ingredients you’ll need in addition to the basics (flour, salt, butter, etc.):
- Instant coffee or espresso granules: The little bit of strong coffee added to the batter, believe it or not, helps to bring out that rich chocolate flavor. Don’t skip it! My favorite brand to use is Medaglia D’Oro.
- Sour cream: I love to use sour cream in pound cake, as it lends so many benefits to a pound cake. I highly recommend using full-fat sour cream for this recipe for best flavor and texture.
- Cocoa powder: You can use the standard unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe — not Dutch-process. Be sure to whisk it very well with the flour so there are no chocolate-less pockets in your loaf (I do this instead of sifting flour and cocoa powder together, but you can do either).
- Vegetable oil: I like to add a little bit of oil to my ganache to get that shiny look. Feel free to skip if you don’t want to use it.
How to Make Chocolate Pound Cake
As always, scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe and instructions, but here is the overview of how to make this delish pound cake:
- Step One: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract and melted coffee granules.
- Step Two: Make the batter. Stir in a dry mixture of flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix until everything is just combined (do not overmix!).
- Step Three: Bake and cool. Bake the loaf for about 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Step Four: Top with ganache. Assemble the ganache as directed, then pour over the loaf. Chill the loaf in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the ganache sets up, making it easier to slice and serve.
Tips for a Perfect, Moist Pound Cake
While I always recommend following a recipe as written for best results, there are a few extra tips and tricks to keep in mind when making a chocolate pound cake. After all, you want it to be the best, and not just ’cause I said so. 😉 Here are some of my best tips for a perfect, moist pound cake:
- Use room temperature ingredients. I recommend taking the eggs and sour cream out of the fridge a couple hours before baking. When everything is at the same temperature, it blends much more easily into the batter.
- Do not overmix the batter. You can put this on my tombstone — it’s that important! Mix the ingredients together just until a batter forms. Any more than that, and you’ll end up with a too-dense loaf with air pockets or “tunnels.”
- Do not overbake the loaf. Check the loaf for doneness on the early side, and even if there are still a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick, when it comes to chocolate pound cake, you want to err on the side of slightly underbaked rather than overbaked. This will keep it moist for days!
- Serve the next day. I don’t know how to explain it, but this pound cake tastes best when served the next day. The flavors are more pronounced and the cake is at peak moistness. Remember to store it at room temperature for best results! A refrigerated pound cake tends to dry out.
No matter what season of life you are in, or what season is happening right outside your door, this chocolate pound cake is always guaranteed to bring joy and smiles to anyone who enjoys it. Happy baking!Print
The Best Chocolate Pound Cake
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Moist, fudgy chocolate pound cake topped with a smooth layer of chocolate ganache — yes, please! Add this one to your go-to dessert list for a fuss-free, totally indulgent treat.
For the pound cake:
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 2 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; line with a parchment paper sling.* Set aside.
- First, make the pound cake: Dissolve coffee granules in 1 teaspoon boiling water; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until well-combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a separate large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-low speed until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream, vanilla extract and coffee until just combined.
- Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture just until a batter forms and no dry spots remain. Pour and spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes, then use parchment to transfer loaf to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Once loaf is fully cooled, make the topping: Place semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat heavy cream for 30 seconds on High until very hot but not boiling. Pour over chocolate; add oil. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes, then use a spoon or spatula to stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Place loaf on top of a sheet of waxed or parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon and spread topping over top of loaf, letting it drip down the sides. Transfer loaf on baking sheet to refrigerator; chill 30 minutes to set the topping.
- Slice and serve loaf as desired. Store leftovers tightly covered at room temperature for up to 2 days; do not refrigerate.
- *To make a parchment paper sling, line the bottom and long sides of your loaf pan with one sheet of parchment paper that extends an inch or two over the top of the pan. This will act as a “sling” that you can use to lift and remove your loaf from the pan once baked.
- Recipe adapted from Del’s Cooking Twist.
Keywords: chocolate loaf cake, ganache topping, chocolate ganache, chocolate cake batter
I am going to make this tomorrow to take to a friend who needs cheering up. Was wondering if the glaze drys to a fairly solid surface as I want to wrap it for delivery
Kathleen, I love that! It does dry, but it has the consistency of frosting so it’s still soft. That said, I wrapped mine in plastic wrap and it still held its shape in transport, though the surface did look a little matte afterwards. I hope that helps — and what a thoughtful friend you are.
really nice and with a bit of coffee too, nice tips too about room temp and especially serving it the next day, good to know, thank you
Sabrina, I’m so glad it turned out well for you! Thanks for the review! 🙂