Skip to Content

Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake is the “little black dress” of cakes, the epitome of elegant simplicity. This perfect pound cake melts-in-your-mouth with big chocolate flavor!

two slices of chocolate pound cake on a plate

How to make the perfect Chocolate Pound Cake

Pound cake got it’s name based on the original formula of 1 pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. It’s called “quatre-quarts” (four-fourths) by the French.

I have created a comprehensive “Cake Batter Course” which explains step by step and ingredient by ingredient how I created a great pound cake recipe by adapting that original recipe. If you’re interested, over 7 classes (blog posts) you can learn all about the ingredients and mixing methods for cake batter.

It took months of baking hundreds of pounds cakes to create my incredibly popular vanilla Pound Cake recipe. If you’re a baking geek like me, you can read all about how I adjusted the ingredient percentages in this comprehensive post about creating a great cake recipe.

It’s pretty detailed stuff, but what you learn about baking can be applied to all your recipes, not just cake batter. And it’s free here on Baking Sense.

To create this recipe for Chocolate Pound Cake I started with my perfected pound cake recipe and simply swapped out a portion of the flour and added my favorite Dutch processed cocoa powder. I also added a hint of instant espresso to enhance the chocolate flavor and color of the cake.

While I’m not opposed to a little glaze or powdered sugar on a pound cake, I think pound cake is meant to be eaten without any frosting. If you’ve got a really great cake recipe, there’s no reason to hide it under a pile of sweet frosting.

FAQs about Chocolate Pound Cake:

What’s the best type of cocoa to use to make Chocolate Pound Cake?

I like to use Dutch processed dark cocoa for a deep dark chocolate flavor and color. I’ve put a link to my favorite brand in the recipe card. (As an Amazon associate I earn money from purchases.)

What’s the best pan for baking a Chocolate Pound Cake?

I baked all the cakes in a 9”x 5” loaf pan, but this cake also bakes up nicely in a Bundt pan. A friend even baked the batter as cupcakes with great success.

How do I store Chocolate Pound Cake?

Keep the cake covered at room temperature for 3-4 days. Never refrigerate a cake (unless it has a perishable filling). The refrigerator will make the cake go stale faster.

Can I freeze Chocolate Pound Cake?

Yes, the cake freezes beautifully. Wrap the whole cake, or individual slices, in a double layer of plastic wrap. Allow the cake to defrost at room temperature in the plastic.

How should I serve Chocolate Pound cake?

Personally, I don’t think this cake needs any embellishment, other than a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a pretty finish. But the cake is also lovely served with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream or with fresh fruit.

Can’t get enough pound cake? I also created a sour cream variation which has an extra moist and tender crumb and a honey variation has a lovely tawny color and slight caramel flavor.

If you don’t want to choose between chocolate or vanilla, try making Marple Pound Cake.

a view of a cross section of chocolate pound cake
two slices of chocolate pound cake on a white plate.

If you’re looking for more classic recipes like this check out my book: Easy Baking From Scratch: Quick Tutorials, Time-Saving Tips, Extraordinary Sweet and Savory Classics. The book contains over 100 recipes that have been well-tested and are presented in simple, clear language. It’s available now on Amazon.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

two slices of chocolate pound cake on a plate

Chocolate Pound Cake

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A really great pound cake should have an even crumb with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. This is a really great pound cake with a big chocolate flavor!

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs plus 4 yolks (8.5 oz, 238g) room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 60 ml) whole milk , divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz, 170g) cake flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz, 56g) dutch process cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz, 285 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz, 255g) unsalted butter, room temp

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to at 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan or 12 cup bundt pan.
  2. Combine the eggs, vanilla and half the milk in a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and espresso powder in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar to the flour and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter to the flour and mix until combined. Add the other ½ of the milk and increase the speed to medium high. Mix for a full 2-3 minutes. The batter will lighten in color and texture. If your using a hand mixer add another minute or two to the mixing time.
  4. Scrape the bowl and paddle thoroughly. On low speed, add the egg mixture in 3 increments, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix just until the eggs are incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to an even layer.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 55 minutes).

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

G kaur

Monday 10th of May 2021

I hve seen tht in many chocolate cake recipes, baking soda is added along with powder bt in ur recipe its nt so can u plzz help me in understanding?

Jenny

Monday 11th of April 2022

@Eileen Gray,

Love all your recipes Eileen! I made a Honey Pound cake last time that was really beautiful and moist.

I have regular unprocessed cocoa powder. Does that need Baking soda to be added?

Thank you!

Eileen Gray

Monday 10th of May 2021

Baking soda is used when you want to neutralize some of the acid in the cocoa. I used Dutch processed cocoa, which has been neutralized so it's not acidic like unalkalized cocoa powder. You can find out more information about baking soda vs. baking powder in this post. https://www.baking-sense.com/2017/03/29/baking-ingredients-chemical-leaveners/

Aprajita Kumar

Sunday 10th of January 2021

I don't have granulated sugar, can I use powdered sugar? If yes, in what quantity?

Eileen Gray

Sunday 10th of January 2021

You can. The cake might be a bit more dense but it can work. If you measure by weight use the same weight of powdered sugar (10 oz). If you measure by volume you'll need 2 1/2 cups since powdered sugar takes up 2x the volume of granulated sugar.

Gail Lapko

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

Could mini chocolate morsels be added to the mix?

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Yes. Toss the mini chips with a sprinkle of water and flour to form a paste on the chips. Fold them in after the batter is mixed.

Maren

Sunday 25th of October 2020

Hi Eileen, I’m in the midst of making this chocolate pound cake. I decided to bake 2 versions: one in a bundt form without the instant coffee powder, and one in a loaf form with the added coffee. Once all the ingredients were combined in my 7 qt KitchenAid, I put the dough on a scale to see where I had to split it. I had a total of 2;020 grams, so I split the cake in 2, each weighing about 1,000 grams. With a hand mixer, I added the sifted instant coffee powder to one half. That half I poured into a stainless steel loaf form, and the other half into a dark aluminum loaf form. By default, I tend to set my oven timer to at least 5 minutes short of the suggested baking time. I checked on both cakes after 50 minutes. The one in the bundt form came out clean when tested with a small kebab stick, but the one in the stainless steel form was not even close to being done. I added another 10 minutes, and it was still not done. It is now in the oven for yet another 10 minutes, which will bring the total bake time to 70 minutes. I will test and see if that did the trick. Question, and please excuse if it sounds dumb, but I’m somewhat new to baking: is it normal that a cake in a bundt form bakes faster than in a loaf form? Does stainless steel normally require a longer baking time than aluminum? Your insights are highly appreciated. Marin

Eileen Gray

Monday 26th of October 2020

Yes, to both your questions. Aluminum pans are lightweight and heat up quickly. If the aluminum is light in color you'll have a lighter crust. The Bundt pan will bake from the middle and the sides, so the cake will bake faster.

Prerna Gupta

Thursday 27th of August 2020

Hi, First I just want to say I have made both your pound cake and chocolate pound cake and they have been absolutely divine. I want to experiment a bit and wondered how the recipe would work if I substituted milk with orange juice and added orange zest to make an orange and chocolate cake.

Eileen Gray

Thursday 27th of August 2020

I think that would work well. Love orange and chocolate together.

Skip to Recipe