February 26, 2024| By

Chocolate Pound Cake with Sour Cream

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
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This Chocolate Pound Cake with Sour Cream is an elevated version of the classic pound dessert with a moist, tender texture and delicious chocolate ganache glaze. Indulge in this chocolatey treat that will have everyone clamoring for another slice!

For more chocolate cake recipes, try my chocolate ganache cake and strawberry chocolate cake.

chocolate pound cake with chocolate ganache on a wire rack topped with strawberries
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This chocolate pound cake recipe is made entirely from scratch! Chocolate sour cream pound cake is a southern-inspired dessert, rich with a deep cocoa flavor and complemented with a dark chocolate ganache on top.

This is seriously the best chocolate pound cake you'll ever have. Each slice melts in your mouth and packs a smooth chocolate flavor that is like sunshine on a rainy day! The outside has a nice crust and the inside of the cake is incredibly soft and chocolatey, with that signature buttery texture that you look for in a classic pound cake. 

If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I'm very particular about chocolate. It has to be done right. Chocolate cake has to be a balance of chocolate flavor that's smooth and rich but not overpowering. And that's exactly what this cake is - balanced, not overly sweet, and super moist. Let's bake!

Why You'll Love this Recipe

  • Not overly sweet, with smooth chocolate flavor!
  • Super moist and melt-in-your-mouth texture!
  • Tastes even better the next day!

Chocolate Pound Cake Ingredients

chocolate pound cake ingredients on a white surface in small bowls. Flour, sugar, butter, pudding mix, eggs, baking soda, espresso powder, cocoa powder, bittersweet. chocolate, heavy cream, sour cream, and whole milk

(full list of ingredients and quantities in the recipe card below)

  • Chocolate Pudding Mix - this adds a smooth but rich chocolate flavor. The pudding mix also makes for a nice moist cake that melts in your mouth. Trust me on this one, it's a game changer!
  • Vanilla Extract - vanilla provides balance to chocolate. It's a must!
  • Sour Cream - use full-fat sour cream for best results. Full fat greek yogurt works here as well. Sour cream enhances the texture and flavor of the cake, giving it a velvety soft crumb. 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder - I used a dutch-processed cocoa powder because I love the smooth flavor. It smoother than traditional cocoa powder, but that also works here too. 
  • Heavy Cream - this is for the chocolate ganache topping.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate - this is also for the chocolate ganache glaze for the top of the cake. You can also use dark or milk chocolate here.
  • Whole Milk - you can also use hot water instead but I like to use whole milk because it provides extra fat making this an extra moist pound cake.
  • Espresso powder - this enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake.

Also of note, you will need a 12-cup bundt pan for this recipe.

Expert Baking Tips

a slice of chocolate pound cake on a plate with a strawberry and a fork
  • The best way to measure your ingredients is to use a kitchen scale (in grams). It's far more accurate then using a measuring cup! Metric measurements are provided in the recipe card.
  • Use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise stated)! Across the board, from the butter to the sour cream - this is imperative! Using room temp ingredients ensures that the batter comes together smoothly without becoming a lumpy mess. This also ensures a better textured cake 
  • I know it is tempting but do not slice the pound cake too soon! A warm cake will dry out and crumble if cut too soon. So, let it cool completely before slicing it.
  • Wrap leftovers with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Store it at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • If you are a true chocolate lover, add some chocolate chips on top of the cake for a triple chocolate cake!

How to make Chocolate Pound Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. 
  • In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil, then add the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Whisk together until smooth and all of the cocoa powder is incorporated. Allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes, then whisk in the sour cream. Whisk until the mixture loosens. (Image 1)
hot milk, cocoa powder, and espresso powder whisked together in a glass pan
  • Whisk together all purpose flour, chocolate pudding mix, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside. (Image 2)
flour, cocoa powder, chocolate pudding, kosher salt, and baking soda whisked together in a large mixing bowl
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add unsalted butter and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Then add sugar and cream together for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flat spatula and begin adding eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each egg is fully incorporated prior to adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another 30 seconds. (Image 3)
butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract creamed together in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment
  • Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients and mix. Then add half of the chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix together. The batter may split, this is normal, don't worry! Add another ⅓ of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Then add the remaining half of the chocolate/sour cream mixture, mix together, and then add the remaining of the flour mixture. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another 30 seconds. (Image 4)
chocolate cake batter in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment
  • Pour cake batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth into an even layer. Tap on the counter to pop any air bubbles, then bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. (Image 5)
pound cake batter in a bundt pan

-Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn over onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  • Once the cake has cooled, make the chocolate glaze by add heavy cream to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Chop up the chocolate and add the hot cream and whisk until the chocolate is fully melted, then add corn syrup and whisk until fully incorporated. If the chocolate hasn't fully melted, microwave for another 10 seconds and continue to whisk. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
  • Pour the glaze on top of the cake and serve. I like to top mine with fresh strawberries but feel free to get creative with toppings!
chocolate pound cake topped with chocolate ganache on a wire rack

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to a good pound cake?

Traditional pound cake is made with one pound each of four key ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Pound cake is rich, buttery, and dense but should never feel too heavy or dry. The key to a good pound cake is the proper ratio of the main ingredients. But the inclusion of sour cream or another acid is the ultimate key to a good pound cake. Have you ever bit into a cake and it had a perfectly dense yet fine texture? It probably had either sour cream, greek yogurt, or buttermilk in it! Acid tenderizes the gluten in the flour, making for a finer crumb and a moist, delicious cake.

What is the difference between a bundt cake and a pound cake?

A bundt cake is simply a cake that has been baked in a bundt pan whereas a pound cake has a specific ratio of ingredients. I used a bundt pan to make this Chocolate Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze so technically, this pound cake is also a bundt cake. Bundt pans are ideal for dense desserts like this and it creates a beautiful shape before you even add the peanut butter glaze.

Why is my pound cake still wet in the middle?

This means that the cake wasn't baked long enough. Ensure that your oven temperature is correct by using an oven thermometer. Also, make sure that a toothpick comes out of the thickest part of the cake with only a few crumbs or completely clean. This will ensure that the cake is baked all of the way through.

How long do you let a pound cake cool before removing from pan?

It's imperative to wait at least 10 minutes prior to removing the cake from the pan. This allows the cake to firm up fresh out of the oven so that it stays intact and finishes cooking all of the way through. It also allows your cake to stay moist!

More Pound Cake Recipes

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

chocolate pound cake with chocolate ganache on a wire rack topped with strawberries

Chocolate Pound Cake with Sour Cream

This Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe with Sour Cream is an elevated version of the classic dessert with a moist, tender texture and delicious chocolate ganache glaze. Indulge in this chocolatey treat that will have everyone clamoring for another slice!
Serving: 10 slices
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Calories: 918kcal

Equipment

  • 1 12 cup bundt pan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Whole Milk (hot)
  • 1 ¼ cup Cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp Espresso powder 
  • 1 cup Sour cream (room temperature)
  • 2 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 1 ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • cups Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

  • cup Heavy Cream
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate or 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 2 tbso Corn Syrup
  • Strawberries (for garnish - optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray generously a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.
  • Pour milk into a medium sized mixing bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until hot. Add the cocoa powder and espresso and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, then add in the sour cream and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, instant chocolate pudding mix, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  • Add unsalted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat butter for 2 minutes, then add sugar and continue to cream together for 3 minutes.
  • Begin adding eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each egg is fully incorporated prior to adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another 30 seconds, then add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix together. Then add half of the chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until combined. Repeat, adding another third of the flour mixture and then the remaining chocolate mixture. Finally, add the last third of the dry ingredients and continue to mix until fully combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for 15 seconds.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour and 15-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn over onto a wire rack to cool completely.

How to make Chocolate Ganache (Glaze)

  • Add heavy cream to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute.
  • Roughly chop up chocolate and place into the warmed cream. Whisk together until melted. If the chocolate doesn't fully melt into the cream, microwave again for 10 seconds until fully melted (be careful not to burn the chocolate)
  • Add the corn syrup and whisk until combined. Pour on top of the cooled cake. Garnish with strawberries.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • The best way to measure your ingredients is to use a kitchen scale (in grams). It's far more accurate then using a measuring cup! Metric measurements are provided in the recipe card.
  • Use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise stated)! Across the board, from the butter to the sour cream - this is imperative! Using room temp ingredients ensures that the batter comes together smoothly without becoming a lumpy mess. This also ensures a better textured cake 
  • I know it is tempting but do not slice the pound cake too soon! A warm cake will dry out and crumble if cut too soon. So, let it cool completely before slicing it.
  • Wrap leftovers with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Store it at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • If you are a true chocolate lover, add some chocolate chips on top of the cake for a triple chocolate cake!

Nutrition

Calories: 918kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 785mg | Potassium: 449mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 78g | Vitamin A: 1394IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Cakes, Pies, Tarts
Cuisine: American

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