Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe

Know some chocoholics? If they’re not in rehab, they’re going to become your very best friends when you bring in this baby. It’s another recipe Momma gave me. I made it for the “Morning Edition” overnight staff during the month after the 2000 presidential election, when we were still wondering who’d won: Bush or Gore. At 3 a.m., the cake was on the counter. At 3:16 it was gone. The cake would have lasted until 3:20, but Newscast’s Dave Mattingly had five pieces. He said one was for Carl Kasell, but I know that was a lie.–Melissa Gray

LC Serves How Many Now? Note

The author Melissa Gray assures us that this pound cake is moist enough to slice up very thinly. This means that, from just one cake, you can provide up to 32 lucky people with a taste of chocolatey heaven. That is, of course, a good thing… but if you wanted to knock those servings back a bit, and serve up bigger slices of chocolatey heaven, we certainly wouldn’t blame you.

Special Equipment: 10-inch tube pan

Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • Serve 20 to 32


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs


  • 1. Position a rack so the cake will sit in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper, and spray the sides and bottom with baking spray.
  • 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, dry whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa together.
  • 3. Gradually add the butter, shortening, and milk and beat on medium speed until smooth.
  • 4. Add the baking powder and salt, and beat until incorporated.
  • 5. Still on medium speed, add the vanilla extract and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • 6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • 7. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan using our plate-over-pan method and flip it onto a cake rack. Continue cooling the cake.
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  1. Hi,

    Intriguing cake. I am always on the lookout for a dense, moist chocolate pound cake. Can this cake be made with all butter? I am not a fan of using shortening.


    1. Sandi, Melissa is a pretty meticulous baker and uses butter generously throughout the book. So if she specifies shortening, there’s definitely a reason. I’d say try it with shortening first, to see what she feels the cake should be, and then try it with butter, to see the difference.

    1. This is a great question because it shows that baking really is a science. In order to create the leavening action that causes a baked product to rise, an acid must be combined with a base. Natural cocoa is an acid and is used in recipes that call for baking soda, an alkali. Dutch-Processed or alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder has been treated with an alkali and so it must be used in recipes that call for baking powder, an acid.
      Thanks for asking

      Beth Price
      Director of Recipe Testing

      1. This is an excellent explanation. I always have both kinds on hand, but can’t always remember which to use when its not specified in the recipe.

        Thanks, Beth!

    1. I’m certain they can’t wait either, Debbie! Do let us know how it goes…

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