Chocolate Pound Cake

There’s just something special about pound cake baked in a loaf pan, isn’t there? The shape alone evokes fond memories of the corner bakery or a special treat from the supermarket’s baking aisle. But it’s the cake’s tender, close-grained texture and marvelous flavor that make it a true queen among cakes. While just a simple slice on its own is delicious, this pound cake is also the ideal base for ice cream and sauce (hot fudge? caramel?), or fruit and whipped cream.

20 mins
1 hr to 1 hr 5 mins
2 hrs
9” loaf cake
Chocolate Pound Cake - select to zoom
Chocolate Pound Cake - select to zoom
Chocolate Pound Cake


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

  2. To make the batter: Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.

  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.

  4. In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso powder (if using) in the warm water. Set aside.

  5. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  6. In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and cocoa.

  7. On medium-low speed, beat a third of the flour mixture into the egg mixture in the bowl, then beat in half the water (or water/espresso). Beat in another third of the flour, the remaining water, and the rest of the flour.

  8. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat briefly to make sure everything is fully combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

  9. To bake the cake: Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 65 minutes.

  10. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then carefully turn it out of the pan onto the rack to cool completely.

  11. Storage information: Store any leftover cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to five days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Why water as the liquid? While it’s common for pound cake recipes to call for milk, buttermilk, or sour cream, we found that using water here helps underline the cake’s sweetness and rich chocolate flavor. Want to boost the chocolate flavor even more? Use water spiked with espresso powder (as directed above), or brewed, cooled coffee.