Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

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.

Chocolate and vanilla are a perfect pair in this Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze. - Bake or Break

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!

Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze is a simple cake with big flavor. - Bake or Break

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.

Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12-16 servings

Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze


    For the cake:
  • 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
  • For the glaze:
  • 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.

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  1. Holiday Baker Man February 5, 2013 Reply

    Perfect with the mid morning coffee!

  2. Jennifer February 5, 2013 Reply

    That looks delicious. I don’t have vanilla bean paste; however, I do have vanilla and vanilla beans, so I’m sure I could figure out the substitution.

  3. Becca February 5, 2013 Reply

    Looks like a delicious loaf, I’m with you on loving chocolate but not usually a chocolate sponge, bet the vanilla is a great addition!

  4. cherie February 5, 2013 Reply

    ooooh that so looks like something I need to make . . . on a pantry challenge till vacation and just used up all my sour cream on muffins – after our trip I’m making this FIRST

  5. Pooja February 5, 2013 Reply

    I so want to make it today. The one hitch is sour cream….not available easily (if at all) in my part of the world & has to be a homemade version which takes time. Do you think I could get away with using buttermilk instead?

  6. jennifer February 5, 2013 Reply

    Pooja, buttermilk will likely work well enough. Let me know if you try it!

  7. Jenny @ BAKE February 6, 2013 Reply

    I love pound cakes, this mixture of chocolate and vanilla sounds brilliant!

  8. Liz February 6, 2013 Reply

    I’m not a big fan of cake either, but this looks so moist and dense. Something I do like! :)

  9. vanillasugarblog February 6, 2013 Reply

    chocolate pound cake is the best when it’s used in a strawberry shortcake parfait
    i have vivd memories of it, eating it in mass quantities during the summer
    i don’t know why i had to share that with you

  10. Medeja February 6, 2013 Reply

    I like any kind of chocolate cake. This pound cake looks really worth trying.

  11. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory February 13, 2013 Reply

    I recently re-discovered the joys of baking pound cakes. Adding chocolate & vanilla glaze to the mix seems a winning combination. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Katia March 10, 2013 Reply

    Tried this recipe yesterday and it was very yummy! Could I add some choc chips to give it some “crunchiness” … or would they sink to the bottom of the cake? thanks!

  13. jennifer March 10, 2013 Reply

    Katia, you can add chocolate chips. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the measured flour and toss the chips in that. That will sometimes prevent them from sinking.

  14. Katia March 11, 2013 Reply

    Thank you! Will try that :)

  15. Lori August 5, 2014 Reply

    Oh I have all the ingredients for this (minus the extra good cocoa powder) although I do always have cocoa powder in the house. I think I will make this tomorrow!!

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