A moist and tender chocolate cream cheese pound cake requiring only 20 minutes active time. Quick and easy to prepare, even for the novice baker. This cake is perfect for afternoon tea, picnics, potlucks and parties.
Easy & Tender Chocolate Cake
After developing the recipe for matcha cream cheese pound cake, I made it several times more as I needed to bring over a quick treat to my loved ones during this stay at home period. I just loved how easy it was to put the pound cake together and how little manipulation it needed after baking, there was no filling to be made and no frosting that needed to be applied. It used ingredients that could be found in every grocery store, minus the matcha powder. It's such an easy delicious cake that one reader even made over 40 of them to raise money for charity. I decided I really needed a chocolate version of this as I know matcha powder may be hard to come by in some parts of the world and everyone loves a scrumptious chocolate cake! Here is the new recipe for a tender chocolate cream cheese pound cake. (Btw, cheesecake lovers, here are a few more cheesecake recipes you might want to check out: no-bake pumpkin cheesecake & earl grey Japanese cheesecake.
Using Couverture Chocolate in Pound Cake
Since this cream cheese pound cake relies on chocolate for the overall flavor, using a good chocolate is ideal. Ready to eat chocolates usually contain stabilizers that are not the most desirable for use in baking as it can throw off the proportions in a recipe. However, this can depend on the recipe, pay attention to the specific type of chocolate to use.
On the other hand, couverture chocolate is a higher class of chocolate containing a higher percentage of cocoa butter than compound eating chocolate, giving baked goods a more complex flavor and better texture.
For this recipe, try to procure a better chocolate if possible, if not, you can use regular chocolate chips. But know that some compound chocolate chips are not meant for melting into recipes because they are made for folding into a batter and baking without losing it's shape. Nevertheless, for testing purposes, I have tried baking this chocolate cream cheese pound cake with regular Hershey's chocolate chips you can find at every grocery store and it still turned out delicious. It comes out a bit sweeter, less rich and complex but it was only noticeable because I was tasting the two of them side by side. If you want to use regular chocolate chips found at any grocery store, that's totally fine.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cake flour or pastry flour - cake flour is a low protein flour which will help make this cookie softer than if using AP flour. It usually has a protein content between 6-8% while pastry flour, also a lower protein flour, has a protein content between 8-9%. Grocery stores usually sell a combination of cake and pastry flour at 7-9% protein. It can be substituted with all-purpose flour but the cake will be a little tougher than if using cake flour. I recommend having a bag on hand in the pantry, in addition to use in cakes, cake flour can also be used to make fancy soft chocolate chip cookies too!
- Sea salt - salt brings out the flavors in the chocolate and contrasts well with the sweetness. If using regular table salt, use half the amount.
- Baking powder - this is the leavening agent. Traditionally pound cakes are naturally leavened by the air created in the batter when creaming the butter and sugar together. Adding baking powder helps by giving the cake additional lift in case there are any weaknesses in the batter.
- Dutch Process Cocoa powder - Dutch cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that have been treated with alkali to neutralize its acidity, making it less acidic tasting than natural cocoa.
- Instant coffee powder - Coffee/espresso powder is the secret ingredient that makes chocolate cakes taste and smell amazing! We use only a small amount here to highlight the chocolate and make the flavors pop. You won't really taste the coffee but you'll notice that the flavors and aromas it adds to this chocolate cream cheese pound cake will make it almost addictive. I've tried making it without the coffee powder and I think it really makes a huge difference. Try to get some if you can. Instead of espresso powder, I chose instant coffee powder for this recipe because it's easy to find at every grocery store. It usually comes conveniently packed in small single servings, allowing it to stay fresher for those who use it only occasionally for baking. Espresso powder is more concentrated and can be substituted with half the amount the recipe calls for.
- Brown demerara sugar - other types of soft brown sugar and white granulated can be used but will change the taste and texture slightly.
- Butter, unsalted - it’s very important to have the butter at room temperature for it to cream properly with the sugar allowing the mixture to trap in air which will then help the cake expand when baking. This will give the cake a nice soft texture. To speed up the process of bringing it to room temperature, cut it into small cubes and microwave it on low for 6-8 seconds at a time. It should be soft enough to indent with your fingers but still holds its shape.
- Cream cheese - use the brick type as cream cheese in a tub is too soft for use in this cake. It needs to be softened to a spreadable consistency, microwave it on medium at 8-10 second intervals. Make sure it is no longer hot when it is added to the batter.
- Eggs - it’s important for the eggs to be at room temperature as well. If cold eggs are added to the butter, it will make the butter solidify, the butter melts once baked resulting in unsightly tunnels and large holes in the cake. To speed up the process of bringing cold eggs to room temperature, soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet couverture chocolate callets/chips, melted - Using a better chocolate will make this chocolate cream cheese pound cake richer, tastier and with more depth. It can be subbed with ready to eat chocolate chips regularly used for baking chocolate chip cookies. Make sure it's no longer hot when it is added to the batter.
- Semi-sweet couverture chocolate callets/chips - there are 2 sets of chocolate chips listed here. This second set is for adding into the batter at the end. Dispersed in different parts of the finished cake, it gives this chocolate pound cake a delicious gooey chocolate goodness.
Tips for Making This Pound Cake
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so they can be easily incorporated into a smooth evenly textured batter. This will give the cake a nice soft texture and prevent tunnels and holes.
- Triple sifting the dry mixture will ensure that the leavening agent is dispersed evenly throughout the mixture, again, preventing holes and tunnels. If you don't have time to sift it so many times, stir the powders together very well with a whisk.
- After adding the dry ingredients to the wet batter, use the lowest setting (“stir” on some machines) to stir the batter until just incorporated. There will be some flour left on the side of the bowl, use a spatula to fold in the rest by hand. This will ensure the batter doesn’t get overworked resulting in a tough cake.
- After transferring the batter into the cake pan, drop it on the counter several times to remove all the excess air in the batter.
- Line the cake pan with parchment paper for a clean release and quick cleanup. Parchment paper is not the same as wax paper, it does not have a wax lining so it can be composted. Check with your local authority if you're unsure.
- Pound cake is a denser and richer cake that tastes amazing on it's own. If you're looking for a softer, fluffier cake style, try my Super Fluffy Chocolate Cake Roll or Coffee Cake Roll with Kaluha Cream.
- This is a very easy to put together cake, however, if you're looking for something sweet that's even more fool-proof, try Japanese Coffee Jelly.
Step By Step Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Melt the first set of chocolate in the microwave on medium heat until just melted, do this at 20 second intervals. Stir each time to check the consistency. Let cool.
Soften cream cheese in microwave on medium until it achieves a spreadable consistency, around 10 seconds. Set aside to cool. It should no longer be hot when added to the batter.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and instant coffee powder. Sift 3 times to ensure leavening agent is evenly dispersed throughout dry mixture. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a counter mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until it looks lighter in color and fluffy.
Check that the chocolate and cream cheese are no longer hot. Add the softened cream cheese and mix on medium-low until just incorporated. Pause mixer.
Add the melted chocolate and mix on medium until homogenous.
Add the eggs one at a time, mix until the mixture looks smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla extract. The mixture will now look glossy and creamy. Pause mixer, add the flour mixture into the wet batter in 3 separate additions. Mix on the lowest setting ("stir" on some machines) until almost all of the dry ingredients inside bowl are no longer visible.
Add the second set of chocolate chips and stir until chips are evenly dispersed throughout.
Turn off mixer, take the bowl out and scrape down the sides, gently fold in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand. This will prevent overmixing, resulting in a tough cake.
Transfer batter into an 8.5" X 4.5" loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Use a bit of the batter to help secure the paper in place. Bang the pan on the counter several times to remove excess air.
It is normal for pound cakes to have a crack after baking because it is a denser cake and the exterior finishes cooking first forcing the batter to rise, creating a crack on the top. If desired, place a thin strip of cold butter into the center of the cake. This will guide the air to escape through there, resulting in a beautiful center crack once baked.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake springs back in the center when gently pressed and a skewer inserted comes out clean. The cake will look deep brown in color. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
How to Serve
This pound cake is so flavorful and tastes great on its own as a tea cake. It can also be served with fresh fruit like strawberries and raspberries or with something richer like ice cream or real chocolate frosting, chocolate American buttercream or mascarpone whipped cream. It maintains its shape very well so it's perfect for cutting into cubes which can then be added onto ice cream and other desserts.
How to Store and Freeze this Cake
For the most tender pound cake texture, keep cake at room temperature for 2-3 days in an air tight container once cooled. If placing in the fridge, let it come back to room temperature before serving, about 20-30 minutes. This cake also freezes beautifully, just wrap with plastic wrap and then with aluminum, it will keep well for 2 months. It's convenient like one of those frozen cakes you can buy at the grocery store, but better! You'll always have a delicious homemade chocolate cake on hand to entertain surprise guests or devour after a long day at work. Enjoy!
- 160 grams cake flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 160 grams brown demerara sugar*
- 180 grams butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 140 grams cream cheese, softened*
- 90 grams semi-sweet couverture chocolate callets, melted*
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50 grams of semi-sweet couverture chocolate callets*
- Pre-heat oven to 325F.
- Melt the first set of chocolate in microwave on medium heat until just melted, do this at 20 second intervals. Stir each time to check the consistency. Let cool.
- Soften cream cheese in microwave on medium until it achieves a spreadable consistency, around 10 seconds. Set aside to cool. It should no longer be hot when added to the batter.
- In a small bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and instant coffee powder. Sift 3 times to ensure leavening agent is evenly dispersed throughout dry mixture. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a counter mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until it looks lighter in color and fluffy.
- Check that the chocolate and cream cheese are no longer hot. Add the softened cream cheese and mix on medium-low until just incorporated. Pause mixer.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix on medium until it is just incorporated together.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mix until the mixture looks smooth and creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Pause mixer, add the flour mixture into the wet batter in 3 separate additions. Mix on the lowest setting ("stir" on some machines) until almost all of the dry ingredients inside bowl are no longer visible.
- Add the second set of chocolate chips and stir until chips are evenly dispersed throughout.
- Turn off mixer, take the bowl out and scrape down the sides, gently fold in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand.
- Transfer batter into an 8.5" X 4.5" loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bang the pan on the counter several times to remove excess air.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake springs back in the center when gently pressed and a skewer inserted comes out clean. The cake will look deep brown in color.
- Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, keep cake at room temperature for 2-3 days in an air tight container. If placing in the fridge, let it come back to room temperature before serving, about 20-30 minutes. To freeze, wrap with plastic wrap and then with aluminum, it will keep well for 2 months. Enjoy!
Some ingredients are duplicated, use in the order listed in instructions.
Brown demerara sugar can be replaced with white granulated sugar and other types of soft brown sugar. The texture and taste will vary slightly from original recipe.
Use brick style cream cheese as the tub versions may be too soft for use with this recipe.
If possible, use a good quality semi-sweet couverture chocolate. It can be substituted with regular chocolate chips.
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Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, 7 Single Serve Packets (Pack of 12)
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, 4 ounces
Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour, 5-pound
Belgian Dark Couverture Chocolate Semisweet Callets
Green and Blacks Organic Fairtrade Cocoa Powder
USA Pan 1140LF Bakeware Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan, 1 Pound, Silver
Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers
Cooptop Premium Silicone Spatula Set of 3 - Heat Resistant Baking Spoon & Spatulas - Pro Grade Non-stick Silicone with Steel Core (Dark Grey)
PaperChef Culinary Parchment Multipurpose Non-Stick Paper, 205 sq ft
Dr. Oetker Baking Powder, 0.5oz.(Pack of 6)
Amount Per Serving Calories 480Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 136mgSodium 251mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 1gSugar 30gProtein 6g
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although indulgewithmimi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.