This chocolate sour cream pound cake recipe is moist and tender. We like to bake it in a Bundt pan, so it emerges straight from the oven looking ready to take on center stage of our dessert buffet. The secret ingredient in this cake is the hot coffee. The hot liquid ensures that the cocoa powder is melted, rather than clumpy. The bitter coffee flavor softens the sweetness of the cake.
A Short History of Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipes
Pound Cakes originated in Northern Europe in the 18th century. Early recipes were called “pound cakes” because they contained a pound each of four key ingredients – butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. This made the recipes easy to remember but, because they were leavened only with eggs, tended to be on the heavy side. The original version of the recipe is still made in France, where it is called “Gateau Quatre Quarts” or “Four Fourths Cake.” The cake contains equal weights of the same four ingredients. The recipe traveled to the United States, where the first published version appeared in the 1796 cookbook “American Cookery.”
By the 20th century, cooks began to tweak the recipe. Bakers introduced chemical leaveners like baking soda and baking powder to make the cake a bit lighter in the 20th century. A variation, “Sour Cream Pound Cake” also emerged, in which some of the butter is replaced with sour cream. The addition of the sour cream reduces the sweetness of the cakes slightly, and makes it all the more tender. Our version today is only a slight variation thereof, with the introduction of some cocoa and brewed coffee to make it all the more delicious. Pound Cakes are traditionally baked in either a Bundt pan or in a standard loaf pans.
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Ode to Chocolate Cakes
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Useful Tools for Making this Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe
Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe
- bundt pan
- stand mixer
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup salted butter – at room temperature
- 4 large eggs – at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz sour cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup brewed espresso or hot coffee
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar to decorate
- Heat oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a electric mixer, combine butter and sugar. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, mixing on medium speed until well combined after each addition.
- Add in the sour cream and beat on low speed to combine.
- Remove bowl from mixer stand and sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda) into the wet ingredients. Stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overbeat to ensure a moist cake. Add in the hot coffee and stir until well combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Carefully tap the filled bundt pan on the counter several times to eliminate all air bubbles from the cake batter.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester in the center of cake comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn the cooled cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream spiked with a little sour cream or vanilla ice cream to offset the rich chocolate flavor of the cake.
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