chocolate pound cake

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Photos and recipe updated February 2019
Last week I realized I was lacking a go-to chocolate pound cake recipe, so I baked one twice. In three days. Oh, the life of a food blogger! Fortunately, my chocolate pound cake is lightened up with buttermilk and Greek yogurt, yet its decadent taste (think devil’s food chocolate!) will satisfy even the most devoted chocoholics.

Chocolate Pound Cake

Slicing into the pound cake reveals a ribbon of tangy cream cheese that makes a nice counterpoint to the rich chocolate. A scattering of semisweet chocolate chips is all the adornment this cake needs.

Chocolate Pound Cake

Why this is the best chocolate pound cake

Unsweetened cocoa powder gives this cake the rich chocolate flavor that you expect from a chocolate cake. The addition of melted chocolate chips (or melted chopped chocolate) bumps up the decadence even further!

How to make a lighter pound cake

Creamy Greek yogurt replaces some of the fat in this recipe, creating a moist chocolate pound cake that’s tender and flavorful. We also use buttermilk to make each slice springy and light.

Make your own buttermilk

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, it’s easy to make your own buttermilk substitute: Mix 3/4 cup room temperature milk with 1 teaspoon acid (lemon juice or white vinegar). Stir, then let stand for 10 minutes before using.

Chocolate Pound Cake

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Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake


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Ingredients

Cream Cheese Ribbon

  • 3 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room remperature
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

Topping

3 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Combine yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture, beating just to combine. Add yogurt mixture, then finish with remaining flour mixture. Fold in melted chocolate.
  3. Pour half the batter into prepared pan; tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles. Dollop with cream cheese mixture and swirl layers together with a knife or wooden skewer. Top with remaining batter, smooth with an offset spatula, and tap pan sharply. Sprinkle the batter with chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached and cake springs back to the touch. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Keywords: Chocolate, Chocolate Chip

74 comments
  1. When I saw the first half of the top picture, I was already drooling. When I scrolled down and saw the ribbon on cream cheese, well, that just did me in. SOOO making this. As soon as possible. It looks amazing! Thanks for the recipe, pinned!

  2. You’ve just made me realise that I’m lacking in a go to chocolate pound cake recipe too! This looks great and I’m loving that it’s lightened up, but still tastes intense! Definitely be making this real soon 🙂

  3. Don’t you just Love being a food blogger – the trials, the errors, the dishes, and, best of all, the tasty rewards of persistence? 😀

    This cake looks so silky with chocolate – I’m almost tempted to taste my screen!

  4. The smattering of chocolate chips across the top of your Chocolate Chip Pound Cake was all I needed to keep reading and devour your recipe! love that it is a “lighter” cake and still loaded with chocolate goodness.

  5. You’ve just killed me with this stunning pound cake Laura. I thought to myself, what a beautiful loaf when I saw the first photo and after seeing the cheese ribbon I can not stop drooling and wishing I had a slice right now.
    Thanks for sharing and thank you for participating to this month chocolate party

  6. Oh. my. God. I’m definitely a hardcore chocoholic so I’m most definitely freaking out (in a very good way) over this chocolate pound cake. Just beautiful!

  7. Oh, wow. This is my kind of chocolate cake:)Thanks for sharing a great recipe to bake when I get my chocolate craving, Laura.

  8. I wish I had this recipe ions ago. I used to send my kids out the door with a slice of a chocolate bread that I bought at a local bakery. It looked like pound cake but they called it a bread. Yes, I was a bad mom but I know they ate it!

  9. The sacrifices we must make to be food bloggers! So rough isn’t it?! 🙂 Beautiful loaf and I love the fact that it’s lightened up. It looks so very moist and I bet that cream cheese makes it even more so!

  10. Two of my favorite flavors…hmmm. I wasn’t planning on a chocolate post this month, but would love to participate. There’s always room for a detour into chocolate! Be back soon.

  11. Great cake. Wonderful chocolate flavor. Almost like a brownie–but better. I made it without the cream cheese ribbon-just wanted chocolate flavor–and it was delicious. Also, since it didn’t have that layer, I also decreased the baking time to around 45 minutes.
    Thanks for the recipe–I’ll be making this one again soon!

  12. Made this last night! So yummy and moist, and the cream cheese ribbon put it over the top!! I’m so happy I found your blog. All your pictures are so pretty and inviting. You should be so proud of your hard work. Every time I receive a new post, I can’t wait to open it up and see what you’ve posted. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  13. Made these today as 3 mini loaves topped with a mix of slightly salted white and regular chocolate chips, came out really well (had them in the oven for 30 minutes). The cream cheese added an interesting twist to the decadent chocolate cake. Great recipe!

  14. Can this be made without the cream cheese layer? My husband doesn’t eat cream cheese, what a bummer. He loves chocolate though and this looks delicious. Could I substitute nutella in the center?

    1. Hi Karen, yes – you can absolutely leave the cream cheese swirl out. And Nutella sounds delicious! I’d use about 1/3 cup Nutella in place of the cream cheese layer. Let us know how it turns out! 🙂

  15. Re: Chocolate Pound Cake recipe

    In your narrative about this recipe you say you used “Greek yogurt”. Yet the list of ingredients says “plain fat-free yogurt”.

    Does it matter which is used?

    Thanks. Love your site and love your recipes.

    1. Hi Anne, yes you can freeze this pound cake. I usually like to slice loaf cakes or breads, and let the slices freeze on a baking sheet for an hour before wrapping the slices individually and placing them in a freezer bag for longer storage. Hope that helps!

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