As much as I adore chocolate, I’m not always the biggest fan of standard chocolate cake fare. I usually find either the flavor or the texture lacking in some way. But, this rich and dense pound cake is one of my favorites.
It gets its rich chocolate flavor from a big helping of cocoa powder. As I tend to do, I will now mount my Good Ingredients Soapbox. You definitely want to use the very best cocoa powder you can find for this cake. I personally like Scharffen Berger’s unsweetened cocoa powder. I’ve been using it for years and have always been pleased with it. There are many other great brands out there, so just find the kind you like best.
Now, back to the cake. It’s absolutely delicious all on its own, but it also benefits from a little something extra.
I topped the cake off with a simple vanilla glaze for a little sweetness to complement all the richness of the cake. The glaze features another of my favorite ingredients, Vanilla Bean Paste. You’ll get a bit bolder vanilla flavor from paste versus extract. Plus, it has all those lovely vanilla bean specks!
For a lot of you, half of the glaze recipe will suffice. I like lots of glaze, so I use it all. In lieu of the glaze, you can also top off slices of this cake with berries or a even a little smear of peanut butter.
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
- 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 325°. Generously grease a 9”x 5” loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
Decrease mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in three portions, alternating with sour cream. Begin and end with flour mixture.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze:
Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. If mixture is too thick to pour, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until pourable. Pour glaze over cooled cake. Allow glaze to set.