I started the journey to this chocolate cake with a chocolate pound cake as my goal. After I shared the strawberry swirl cream cheese pound cake last month, I received more than a few requests from readers asking for a chocolate pound cake recipe. I was almost as stunned as you were to realize that I didn’t have one in my repertoire yet. I set out to remedy that, but was more than a little underwhelmed by the recipes that I was finding. They were all severely lacking in the chocolate department; most just threw some cocoa powder into a regular pound cake recipe. That wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted chocolate, for crying out loud! I turned my attention to finding a fabulous, moist chocolate Bundt cake and find it, I did! I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I topped it with chocolate fudge icing. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t eat a naked chocolate cake!
Let’s be honest, here. There’s absolutely nothing worse than a dry chocolate cake. Yet, there are few things in the food world better than a dense, moist, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake. The secret? Packing the cake with moisture and making sure you don’t overbeat it. In this recipe, both boiling water and sour cream are used to ensure that the cake doesn’t dry out. They do a fabulous job, as this is, hands-down, one of the two best chocolate Bundt cake recipes I’ve ever seen (the other being the fabulous Root Beer Float Cake).
The recipe for this cake didn’t call for an icing or frosting, just a mere sprinkle of powdered sugar, but I had to dress it up. I settled on a boiled chocolate fudge icing that is very reminiscent of the icing used on Texas Sheet Cake. As in, I would prefer to just sit with the pot of icing and a spoon and call it a day.
The cake and icing combo makes for a very rich dessert, but I think it would be just perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to offset the chocolate flavor. (Somehow my new freezer doesn’t have vanilla ice cream stocked yet, a tragedy!). You could also serve the cake with whipped cream or fresh fruit. Or eat it plain. For breakfast. Bill Cosby approves and I won’t tell.
While I think I’ve officially retired my search for a chocolate pound cake recipe given the sheer fabulousness of this cake, if you have a chocolate-lovers chocolate pound cake recipe, please feel free to share it below or send it to me!
Make the Cake: Stir together the 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder until fully dissolved. Using a pastry brush, coat the entire interior of a standard 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together the cocoa powder, chopped chocolate and espresso powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the mixture and whisk until everything is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then whisk in the sour cream. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add one-third of the flour mixture and half of the chocolate mixture and mix until just incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the chocolate mixture. Finally, add the last of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium-low for 30 seconds to thoroughly combine the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 3 hours.
Make the Icing: In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the butter, cocoa powder and evaporated milk to a boil, whisking occasionally. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and whisk continuously until the mixture becomes smooth, about 30 seconds.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. (The icing will begin to harden quickly after it is removed from the heat, so it's important to work quickly with it.)
The cake can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.