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chocolate pound cake

This easy chocolate pound cake recipe is a chocolate dream!

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, this chocolate loaf 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

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 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

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake, 12 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy chocolate pound cake recipe is a chocolate dream! With a cream cheese swirl and chocolate chip topping, this is the best chocolate pound cake.


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, Chocolate Pound Cake, Pound Cake

More chocolate recipes you’ll love:

Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake
Ultimate Crinkle Brownies
Triple Chocolate Brownie Cups
Salted Brownie Cookies

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

If you love this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and review to help other readers. If you have a question, I'd love to hear from you too.

As always, thanks for your feedback!

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87 Comments

  1. This looks absolutely delicious. What a fun surprise to have a ribbon of tart cream cheese in the cake. Great photos!

  2. Oh, my gosh…that slice with the swirl of cream cheese looks so delicious and enticing!! What a marvelous cake!!!!

  3. 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!

  4. Laura this cake has me drooling this morning, I love the addition of the cream cheese ribbon. It looks so moist and chocolaty 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

  6. Baked chocolate cake twice in 3 days? Yes, it’s a very hard job indeed 🙂 Love those chocolate chips on the top!

  7. Laura, chocolate pound cake sounded decadent enough, but when I saw it had a ribbon of cream cheese through it, I fell in love!

  8. ” a ribbon of tangy cream cheese” sounds so poetic 🙂 I made a chocolate pound cake last year, I took recipe form 101 cookbooks and it was delicious. I need to rey yours as you write about it in such a lovely way.

  9. Those mini-chips on top are such a great touch. I want to take a spoon and scoop them all out and eat them!

  10. Yes, it’s hard being a food blogger. 😀
    This loaf looks delish, Laura! I love the hidden cream cheese there. Yum!

  11. 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!

  12. I want this!! Before St. Paddy’s Day I was playing around with chocolate bread and cake recipes and was striking out. This looks just perfect. Dense and rich! Pinning!

  13. Laura: As soon as I saw your pound cake in pinterest, I repinned it… I love your chocolate pound cake!!! It looks so moist. In one of the photos, that slice of cake seems to smile to me. Mmmmm! I just wish I could have it all only for myself.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. what could be better than an entire loaf of chocolate and then a smidge of cream cheese? I seriously LOVE this!! It looks so decadent and rich and just calling my name!

  17. You can’t go wrong with pound cake but adding chocolate and a cream cheese ribbon? Brilliant!

  18. That cake is so smart, I don’t even know where to start. I adore that cream cheese ribbon. Gosh was that ever the most brilliant idea ever!

  19. Beautiful chocolate pound cake Laura!!! I love your cheese cake ribbon idea-can only imagine how good this is…..

  20. 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!

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

  22. Love your artful play between the slightly sour buttermilk, yogurt and cream cheese with the cocoa and chocolate chips, Laura. Brilliant!

  23. This is my kind of chocolate pound cake, the perfect crumb. It looks beautifully yummy!

  24. Oh holy chocolate! This is decadent! But I’m loving it to the max! Who does not love a chocolate-flavoured pound cake! A pound cake!!!! Crazy beautiful!

  25. Hey namesake! Love this cake. Love the chocolate chips all over the top and the cream cheese in the middle. Yum!

  26. This cake looks so delicious and chocolaty! I love all the studs of chocolate on the top, too!

  27. I’m glad I came back. I came by before and all I got was one comment but no way to add any but it said you had 34 comments.

    I had chocolate pound cake for dessert tonight but I doubt it was this good. 🙂

  28. Beautiful pound cake Laura! Love the peek of cream cheese and the simplicity of the chocolate chips on top! : )

  29. 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!

  30. Gorgeous cake! Love the rich chocolate taste with the cream cheese ribbon in the center!

  31. That looks incredibly good and what a bonus that it is made with yogurt and buttermilk and only 205 calories a slice! 😀

  32. Laura I want to be your taste taster:) Love the sound and look of your pound cake. The cream cheese swirl was a great touch.

  33. Wow, I think this is the most beautiful pound cake I’ve ever seen! All those chocolate chips baked on top look SO tasty.

  34. All I can say is that this is a perfect recipe! I absolutely love recipe! Your photos are mouthwatering!

  35. I love a good chocolate pound cake–been meaning to experiment with my go-to recipe but I may have to borrow yours. I really like the cream cheese ribbon and the buttermilk and yogurt in this batter.

  36. Ooh, what a beautiful loaf! Those mini chocolate chips were an awesome call. So was the cream cheese. Cream cheese just makes everything better!

  37. Laura, this is a perfect chocolate pound cake!!! I love the cream cheese ribbon! SO pretty!!

  38. 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!

  39. 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! 🙂

    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!

  40. Just finished making your delicious chocolate pound cake!!!! Fabulous recipe and thank you so much.

  41. This looks amazing! I want to make it tonight. I have everything on hand, except the Greek yogurt. Could I substitute with sour cream? Thank you!

  42. I don’t have a food processor – what if I just use mixer to combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla?

  43. Hi! Can you make this using regular plain yogurt if you don’t have greek yogurt? I’m pretty sure it would work the same, but I wanted to ask! I’d love to try this, it looks so delicious! Thank you! 🙂

  44. Hi Laura, I came across your recipe on Instagram and knew I had to make it! It was absolutely as delicious as you described it to be. Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂
    I was wondering if I were to make it in mini loaf tins, how much lower should the the temperature and baking time go?

    1. I’m so glad you tried this recipe! 🙂 The baking temperature will remain the same. The baking time will depend on the size of the mini loaf tins, so it’s hard to give an exact time. I would say approximately 25-35 minutes (depending on pan size), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached and cake springs back to the touch.

    1. Yes, you can use a splash of milk or heavy cream, just enough to help the cream cheese smooth out in the food processor.

  45. 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!