Chocolate pound cake is not quite as common as vanilla pound cake. Vanilla pound cake has a delicate flavor, balancing the floral flavor of vanilla with the richness of butter. The taste is addicting, but it is subtle compared to other types of cake. Chocolate flavor, on the other hand, is not subtle and most of the time we want chocolate desserts to be very rich and dramatic. This Chocolate Pound Cake takes its cue from the classic vanilla cake. It has a very good chocolate flavor, but the texture of the cake is just as much the star of this dessert as the chocolate is.
The cake is very simple to make and gets its chocolate flavor from cocoa powder. I recommend using Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe, which gives the cake a slightly deeper chocolate flavor. If you only have natural cocoa powder, there is no need to worry because the recipe will still work out, it will just have a very slightly different chocolate flavor to it. If you happen to have some chocolate extract in your pantry, this recipe is the perfect place to use it and you can add 1 tsp of chocolate extract in with the vanilla. My Vanilla Bean Pound Cake recipe is a classic pound cake recipe that doesn’t use any leavening agents, but since cocoa powder is much denser than flour is, the Chocolate Pound Cake needs a little bit of leavening to ensure that it is light and not too heavy feeling.
Once you’ve baked your cake, there is a lot you can do with it. It is good when sliced thick and served plain, with a cup of coffee on the side. You could top it with a scoop of whipped cream and some fresh fruit to dress it up a little bit. Strawberries and raspberries go very well with this cake. If you decide you want to boost the chocolate flavor up a few notches, make a quick ganache with dark chocolate and heavy cream and pour it over the top of the loaf before serving it.
Chocolate Pound Cake
1 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (pref. dutch process)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (pref. whole)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5-inch baking pan and line the bottom with a small piece of parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by half of the milk. Stir in an additional third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk. Stir in remaining flour, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain and batter is uniform. Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 cake; Serves 10.