I have been trying to share this Chocolate Pound Cake with you for an embarrassingly long time now. See, I first made this in early March, fell in instant love and have made it three times since, the love only growing with each bake. But for whatever reason, I have never been able to take a really good shot of the finished product. And lord knows I’ve tried—there are over 50 meh to bad shots of it on my Google Photos. See what I mean about embarrassing? And even the photo from my most recent bake this week is not exactly a star. Still, it’s the best of the bunch and I have realized that with this one, maybe I can eat my cake, but not photograph it too! (Cricket-chirp—apparently I’m also losing it in the humor department!)
But all that aside, I think it’s totally unfair that you should suffer the deprivation of this deliciousness just because of my lame photography skills, so let’s just pretend that the photos are good enough and let my words inspire you instead.
Memorable, impressive, homey, decadent, simple, wondrous…I could go on and on with words that describe how I feel about this cake (and for those of you who know me, you know how much I love everyday cakes—not that you couldn’t serve this at a party—it may not have frosting and other bells and whistles but it’s undeniably special.)
First off, it’s got an incredible, almost creamy crumb—something I’ve never found in any poundcake before, let alone a chocolate one.
And by the way, this is not just a suggestively chocolate poundcake. No siree, this one is chocolate-y through and through as there is both cocoa and mini chocolate chips in the batter! Dreamy!
It’s also got the most delectable, crater-like, irresistible crust! Just look at that!
Which means that with every bite you get the yin/yang of that soft cake and crunchy exterior! YUM!
It also comes together extremely easily and in a somewhat unique fashion too. Unlike pretty much every other cake in the universe, this one starts out in a cold oven—no preheating necessary. Apparently that slow bake is what allows it to have such a moist and creamy texture and perfect crust. If preheating is the bane of your existence, there’s even more for you to love about this cake.
And it gets better with age (would that we all did) which makes it the perfect make-ahead for parties!
Okey, dokey, I think you all know what you have to do now. Me, I’m going to eat another slice and put some much needed time into things like “f stops” and shutter exposure!
Chocolate Pound Cake
Makes 12-15 servings
You will need a 10-inch tube pan for this.
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time 1 hour and 45 minutes
1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes, plus a little extra for greasing the pan
3 ⅓ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (well-shaken before measuring)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan and set aside.
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Place the butter and both sugars into the bowl of the electric mixer and mix together on low speed for about a minute to combine them. Then, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and beat at medium speed for a few minutes, until the mixture is really creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl. Add in the vanilla and beat well to mix.
4. On low speed, add about ⅓ of the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl to help it incorporate into the batter. Add in half of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Add another ⅓ of the dry ingredients and mix and then the rest of the buttermilk and mix again. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix well to combine. Scrape down the bowl, especially the bottom because this is a thick batter and you want to make sure none of the dry ingredients are stuck to the bottom of the mixing bowl. Still on low speed, mix in the chips.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and stick the pan into the cold oven. Turn the oven to 325ºF and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean—you can’t just tell by the darkness of the top of the cake, since it’s dark chocolate brown.
6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then unmold and let cool completely on the rack.
7. This is definitely one of those cakes that gets better if it sits around for a day or two before slicing, which makes it a great make-ahead cake. Store well wrapped at room temperature. Leftovers will keep for about a week.
Note: Recipe adapted from Carla Hall’s Soul Food. I didn’t really change much about this because it’s so perfect but I usually do cook it for a little longer than the original recipe recommends—all ovens are different.