This decadent Chocolate Pound Cake is incredibly moist and rich and is covered with a silky smooth chocolate ganache. This is a favorite of mine because while a classic pound cake is known to be dense, this one is a tad lighter, making it irresistible! 

Is chocolate cake your thing? I’ve got some delicious chocolate cake recipes for you! Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting or Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting if you are a peanut butter lover! Chocolate Tres Leches Cake is another super moist chocolate cake recipe I’m loving these days! 

Overhead photo of a Chocolate Pound Cake cut into slices.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Best chocolate pound cake. The use of high-quality Dutch processed cocoa ensures an intense and rich chocolate flavor. This chocolate pound cake is a true treat for chocolate lovers!
  • Moist chocolate pound cake. Sifting the dry ingredients together, then aerating the wet ingredient mixture by adding eggs one a time along with the addition of buttermilk results in a delicious cake that’s incredibly moist, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth. 
  • Silky smooth chocolate ganache. Follow my directions to get a silky smooth chocolate glaze! The trick is to not touch the cream and chocolate chips for 3 minutes, then stir. 

Ingredient Notes

Chocolate Pound Cake with a glaze ingredients on a white marble background.
  • Unsalted Butter: I use unsalted butter in baking so we can control the amount of salt in the recipe. 
  • Flour: Regular, all-purpose flour is what you’ll need. Be sure to fluff your flour before measuring it. 
  • Dutch Process Cocoa Powder: For more information on the different types of cocoa powders, when to use them and why, read my post on the Best Cocoa Powder for Baking and my Black Cocoa Powder Guide. Dutch process cocoa powder will give you a deep chocolate flavor. 
  • Buttermilk: The buttermilk will provide a moist texture and tender crumb thanks to the acidity in the buttermilk. 
  • Eggs: The eggs will be added one at a time and mixed after each addition. This helps to provide a light texture to the batter. 
  • Heavy Cream: Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl until simmering. Pour it onto the chocolate and let sit without touching it for 3 minutes. This will ensure a smooth texture. 
  • Chocolate Chips: You can use 4 oz of a baking chocolate bar, just be sure to cut it into chip-sized pieces.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the pan. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with parchment paper. Let the parchment paper hand over the sides to make removing the chocolate pound cake from the bread pan easier after baking. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray as well. Set aside.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup dutch process cocoa, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1 cup unsalted butter for 3 minutes on medium speed. Butter should be light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and mix for 4 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Add eggs, one at a time. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/3 cup buttermilk and mix until combined.
Four images showing the beginning making of the best Chocolate Pound Cake, each image is a glass bowl with varying ingredients, top left is flour and cocoa powder, top right is butter and sugar, bottom left has egg added to the batter, and bottom right has buttermilk and vanilla added.
  1. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  2. Pour into pan and bake. Pour the chocolate pound cake batter into the prepared pan then bake for 50-55 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
  3. Let cool. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Grab the parchment paper and lift the cake from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. 
Four photos showing how to make Chocolate Pound Cake, top left is brown dry ingredients in glass bowl, top right is Chocolate Pound Cake batter in a glass bowl, bottom left is Chocolate Pound Cake batter smoothed into gray bread pan, bottom right is baked Chocolate Pound Cake in a bread pan.
  1. Make the chocolate ganache topping. Place 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips to a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup heavy cream to a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer (or microwave until bubbling). Remove and pour over the chocolate. Let sit without stirring for 3 minutes. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil or coconut oil to the chocolate and cream. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Glaze the chocolate pound cake. Let the glaze rest for a few minutes. Then drizzle it over the chocolate pound cake. The glaze will set the longer it cools. Wait a little bit before slicing it so it doesn’t fall off the sides. Slice and serve. Enjoy! 
Overhead photo of a chocolate glazed Chocolate Pound Cake on a white background.

Recipe Tips

For an extra fancy touch, sprinkle chopped nuts or grated chocolate on top of the glaze before it sets.

To achieve the best texture, use room temperature eggs, butter, and buttermilk.

Sifting the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt) not only removes any lumps but also helps to aerate the mixture. This can contribute to a lighter and fluffier pound cake. (I know pound cakes are iconically dense, but this one isn’t overly dense.) 

When creaming the butter and sugar, be patient and let the mixer run for the full recommended time. Creaming incorporates air into the mixture, which helps create a tender and moist crumb in the cake.

Mixing eggs: Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. This gradual incorporation ensures a smooth batter. If the mixture starts to look curdled, don’t worry—it should come together once you add the dry ingredients.

If you’d like a chocolate topping that sets, use this homemade magic shell recipe instead of the chocolate ganache.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, use an electric mixer and a large bowl. Just be sure to really get things mixed with the wet ingredients! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store any leftover pound cake in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or in the refrigerator for a bit longer.

To freeze, I would recommend freezing the pound cake before glazing. Let the chocolate pound cake cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Remove the chocolate pound cake from the fridge and let come to room temperature. Make the chocolate ganache and glaze. 

Slices of chocolate glazed Chocolate Pound Cake on a white parchment paper.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch processed cocoa?

While the recipe calls for Dutch processed cocoa, you can substitute it with natural cocoa powder (aka unsweetened cocoa powder) if that’s what you have. Just keep in mind that the flavor and color might differ slightly.

Can I add mix-ins like nuts or chocolate chips to the batter?

Absolutely! Feel free to customize your pound cake by adding mix-ins like chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or even dried fruit. Just fold them into the batter gently before pouring it into the pan.

What if I don’t have buttermilk? Can I use regular milk instead?

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a simple substitute by adding 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1/3 cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until it curdles, then use it in the recipe.

My cake sank in the middle. What could have caused this?

Sinking in the middle can be caused by various factors, such as opening the oven door too early, overmixing the batter, or underbaking. Make sure to follow the instructions closely and avoid opening the oven door during the first half of baking.

How do I prevent the ganache from dripping off the sides of the cake?

To prevent the glaze from sliding off, make sure the cake is fully cooled before applying the ganache. Additionally, you can wait a bit longer for the ganache to thicken slightly before drizzling it over the cake.

Slice of moist Chocolate Pound Cake on a white plate.

More Chocolate Cake Recipes

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Slices of Chocolate Pound Cake on a white background.
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Chocolate Pound Cake

A chocolate pound cake is a rich and decadent dessert that combines the classic buttery texture of a traditional pound cake with the irresistible flavor of chocolate. This cake has a dense and moist crumb, and topped with a rich and smooth chocolate glaze/ganache, making it perfect for satisfying your chocolate cravings!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients
 

Pound Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs - room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze/Ganache

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - about 4 oz (can also use a chopped chocolate bar, just make sure to chop into small pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Instructions
 

Chocolate Pound Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9×5” loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over the edge for easy removal once the loaf is done baking. Spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
  • To a medium bowl sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, Add the sugar to the butter and mix for another 4 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix to combine. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, but no wet batter. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use the parchment paper ends to lift the cake from the pan and transfer it to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before glazing. 

Chocolate Glaze/Ganache

  • Make the glaze: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. 
  • Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan, or in a microwave safe bowl. Bring to a simmer (or microwave until bubbling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 3 minutes before touching it!
  • Add the vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Let the glaze sit for a few minutes before drizzling overtop of the pound cake. (The glaze will begin to set the longer it cools, so don’t wait too long… but wait long enough that when you pour it over the pound cake it won’t immediately slide off the sides). (I know, I know… it’s a balance! But you’ll know when it gets there… trust your baking intuition). 
  • Pour the glaze over the top of the pound cake, slice and serve!

Video

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate and is based on there being 8 slices, 1 slice per serving. You can make the slices smaller or larger but nutritional information will change.
Store the cake at room temperature, covered for 2-3 days for best results. Can store for longer in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Calories: 544kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 51g (17%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 37g (57%)Saturated Fat: 22g (110%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 167mg (56%)Sodium: 201mg (8%)Potassium: 340mg (10%)Fiber: 5g (20%)Sugar: 32g (36%)Vitamin A: 1014IU (20%)Vitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 83mg (8%)Iron: 3mg (17%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!

Recipe adapted from Browned Butter Blondie.