best food photographers austinNothing brings friends together more quickly than a text message saying “I’ve baked a cake! Come help me eat it!” And this cake, in particular, is the most perfect get-together-cake I’ve ever made. It’s so easy to make. And the best part is that you can make it ahead of time. The night before, or even two nights before, a dinner party.

I know because I made this Chocolate Pound Cake for a BBQ that got canceled! So I had this huge cake on my hands and no one to help me eat it! So I spent the rest of the week bringing cake to every happy hour I attended. And that’s when I realized I may have just stumbled upon the perfect cake for dinner parties because it keeps so well for a few days. The only trick is to sprinkle the powdered sugar on right before you serve it so it doesn’t soak into the cake.

chocolate pound cake recipe

I had never made this recipe before, so I loved discovering how incredibly moist and dense the cake is. The recipe veers from the traditional steps of cake-baking. So if you’re familiar with baking methods, this recipe has very particular steps to keep air from getting into the batter. Also, you’ll need to add the rising agent right before you put it into the oven. This way, there’s less time for it to react with the liquids, which will prevent the cake from rising as much.

The result? A decedent, moist, thick pound cake.

I know it’s a little odd to say this about cake, but I don’t like my deserts to be very sweet. So the other great thing about this pound cake is that it’s not too sweet. It really makes for a perfect dish for a coffee date with your girlfriends. It goes so well with coffee or a pot of tea. Or, as I discovered last week, it goes well with wine at a happy hour or as a late-night desert with friends!chocolate pound cake recipeOk, here is the recipe, with my modifications and observations about what worked well and what didn’t.

Enjoy! Try it out! And if you do, leave comments in the comment section below. I’d love to hear how other people tweaked the recipe or improved upon it!

INGREDIENTS

3 cups all purpose flour

3 cups cane sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 1/2 cups of butter (The original recipe called for a mixture of shortening and butter, but I don’t like using hydrogenated oils, so I used all butter and it turned out really well. I also used European butter that has a higher fat content than American butter. And it was also made from cows that have an all-grass diet. And I love how it turned out!)

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1/2 tsp baking powder (I used aluminum free baking powder)

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla (The original recipe called for 1 tsp, but I always add a little extra vanilla)

5 large eggs

**NOTE: Plan ahead! You want your eggs and butter and milk to be room temperature. This will yield a much better cake! **

food photographers austinDIRECTIONS

1. Pre-heat your oven to 325; make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven. And prepare your bundt or tube pan (10-inch pan): Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan with butter, using a little bit of butter and a paper towel. Make sure you get the butter into all the little grooves or else the cake will stick to those spots!

2. Stir together the flour, sugar, and cocoa. Then, gradually add the butter and milk. Beat on medium until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

3. Add the baking powder and salt. Just stir these two ingredients in until mixed. Don’t beat the batter too much more or you’ll incorporate more air into the mixture than you want!

4. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time. Only add the next egg when the previous one has been fully incorporated. (You’ll need to walk the line between fully incorporating and over-mixing.)

5. Bake it! 🙂  Slide it into the oven. The original recipe says to bake it for 1 1/2 hours. However, I found that I needed to bake it for 35 minutes. The sides were pretty well done but the center was still gooey. So I used my mother’s old trick: I turned the oven off but kept the cake in the oven. I checked the center parts of the cake every 10 minutes by inserting a toothpick. Once the toothpick came out clean, I removed the cake.

Then I left it on a cooling rack overnight for it to cool! The next day, I flipped the cake pan over onto a plate and the cake slid right out! You can cover it up and store it for a day or two, or serve right away. Just make sure to add the sprinkled powdered sugar right before you serve it. As a nice little touch, if you’re plating the cake, you can add a fresh sprinkle of powdered sugar over each slice.

camille stallings photography

The original recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, All Cakes Considered, although I did modify a few things like quantities etc. If you like this cake, there’s so many more amazing recipes in All Cakes Considered! Plus, the pictures in the book are just amazing.

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Camille Stallings