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Last Updated on April 5, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
You guys. This cake! I had the hardest time photographing it because I honestly wanted to eat it all IMMEDIATELY. If you’re like me, the words “chocolate sour cream pound cake” are enough to make you run out to get the ingredients immediately! If not, let me assure you — you’re gonna want to make this cake. It has a soft, dense-yet-fluffy crumb, rich chocolate flavor deepened with espresso powder, and a luscious satin chocolate ganache glaze drizzled on top. I’m not even that much of a chocoholic, but I could honestly eat it all day long. When I baked it recently, I gave most of it away to my neighbors (after having a couple slices myself), and they said it was the BEST chocolate cake they’d ever had!
What does sour cream do to a cake?
Sour cream is a perfect addition to pound cake recipes because it adds an acidic element to the batter, much like buttermilk or cream cheese. It gives sweet treats a more complex flavor and makes the batter richer and more moist by adding dairy protein and fat. That’s why so many cakes with sour cream stay moist and velvety!
Best of all, the acid in sour cream tenderizes the gluten in the flour to produce a finer, more tender crumb. This is absolutely perfect for our purposes with this chocolate sour cream pound cake. We’re going for a tight crumb, but we don’t want it too heavy or dense. The best pound cakes find that perfect balance! So that’s why we turn to our secret ingredient — sour cream! Now let’s get into the other ingredients we’ll need.
- salted butter – your butter should be room temperature — not overly soft, but soft enough to indent when pressed.
- granulated sugar – adds just the right amount of sweetness to this chocolate sour cream pound cake to balance out the rich cocoa flavor!
- eggs – like your butter, make your your eggs are room temperature.
- vanilla extract – I definitely suggest using a high-quality vanilla extract for the best vanilla flavor! Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
- sour cream – this is the star ingredient of this chocolate sour cream pound cake! Sour cream acts similarly to buttermilk, yogurt, or cream cheese to add a moist texture, a close crumb, and a rich, complex flavor.
- all-purpose flour – It’s very important to measure your dry ingredients correctly — I would definitely recommend using a kitchen scale to measure by weight — for this recipe you’ll need 256 grams of flour.
- unsweetened cocoa – I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa for this recipe, but you can use any unsweetened cocoa (regular cocoa, not Dutch-process) that you like!
- instant espresso powder – this is a secret ingredient that brings out the chocolate flavor so much in this chocolate sour cream pound cake! The rich coffee flavor doesn’t come through in the flavor of the cake, but it works to deepen the rich chocolate flavor. It makes this chocolate bundt cake the best!
- baking powder & baking soda – these two leaveners work together to add lift to the cake batter, giving your cake its best texture and rise!
- boiling water – finally, we’ll be adding hot water to “bloom” the cocoa powder and bring out that rich chocolatey flavor even more!
Then, for that amazing chocolate ganache glaze, you’ll need:
- bittersweet chocolate – I use a Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Baking Bar for this chocolate glaze. I love the balance between deep chocolate flavor and a bit of sweetness.
- heavy cream – heavy cream adds a creamy richness to the glaze and helps it to melt smoothly.
- light corn syrup – helps to add shine and a thin, pourable consistency to this glaze. I like to use Karo light corn syrup. If you can’t find corn syrup, you could substitute agave nectar or even honey for a similar effect.
First, you’ll need your cake pan! I used this Nordicware Elegant Party Bundt Pan because I love the neat, sleek shape. But feel free to use any 10-12 cup tube pan or Bundt pan that you love! I also love the look of this Nordicware Heritage Permier Bundt Pan, and I bet it would look amazing with the glaze drizzled on top! Here are all the tools I’d recommend for this chocolate sour cream pound cake recipe!
Tips and Recipe F.A.Q.
Here’s my method: First, make sure your bundt pan is well-made, with a high-quality nonstick coating free of any scuffs or scratches. Then, just before pouring in the batter, spray your bundt pan with baking spray (the kind that contains flour), being sure to get it in every crevice. Finally, let your chocolate sour cream pound cake rest for 10-15 minutes when you remove it from the oven, then immediately turn out carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely. If necessary, tap jiggle the overturned bundt pan to loosen the cake. This is what I’ve learned to do each time, and always have great results!
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen! First, don’t open the oven door while your chocolate sour cream pound cake is baking. Try not to test the cake until it is at least 3/4 of the way done. If you test the cake and find it needs more time, be sure to quickly close the oven door to prevent losing any heat. Second, be sure to measure your ingredients carefully — too much sugar, baking soda, or baking powder can make a cake fall.
Absolutely — this cake freezes well for up to two months! Once the glaze has cooled and set completely, you can freeze the cake whole or in slices. I recommend slices so that you can thaw them individually for a single-serving treat anytime! Just freeze the cake or the slices uncovered for about 30 minutes to solidify the glaze. Then wrap in plastic wrap and then in heavy-duty aluminum foil, and freeze. When you are ready to eat your chocolate sour cream pound cake, just thaw the wrapped cake or wrapped slices on the countertop, and enjoy!
This chocolate sour cream pound cake is just a taste — if you’re interested in more chocolate goodness, check out my mini chocolate cake! It’s a 6-inch small batch cake with a similar rich chocolate flavor to this pound cake. Best of all, it’s topped with a rich, fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkled with flaky sea salt for the best flavor! A perfect dessert for two or a mini treat to feed those chocolate cravings!
Another amazing chocolate recipe for you to try: my Amarena Cherry Chocolate Sauce! This is a quick and easy recipe for a rich chocolate sauce filled with Italian Amarena sour cherries and brown sugar. It comes together in just a few minutes, and it’s perfect on ice cream, cakes, or as a topping on any dessert!
Equipment you may need
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup salted butter - room temperature (2 sticks)
- 4 large eggs - room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 oz. sour cream - room temperature (1 cup)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour - (256g)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder - (50g)
- 1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder - (1½ g)
- 1 tsp baking powder - (4g)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda - (2g)
- ¾ cup boiling water
- baking spray
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate - chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla, mixing until incorporated after each addition.
- Mix in sour cream until well combined.
- Sift in flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Fold in with a rubber spatula. Mixture should be fully combined, but do not overmix.
- Carefully pour in boiling water and gently mix to combine (don't splash any onto yourself!). Mix only until the batter is fully combined.
- Spray a 10-12 inch fluted tube or Bundt pan with baking spray, including all crevices. Pour batter into prepared pan. Carefully drop once or twice from an inch or two onto the counter to elmininate air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick entered into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
- Heat chopped chocolate and heavy cream in microwave for 20-second intervals until beginning to melt.
- Stir to finish melting until smooth.
- Add corn syrup and stir until glossy.
- If desired, allow to cool in the fridge for 15 minutes for a slightly thicker consistency.
- Pour glaze over cooled cake, allow to set, and serve.
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