Simple Chocolate Pound Cake

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A chocolate version of the classic southern cake, this simple chocolate pound cake is delicious served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and berries.

Simple chocolate pound cake starts in a cold oven.

I received a copy of Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking: A Cookbook by Toni Tipton-Martin for purposes of writing this post. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Family Around the Table possible.

When fellow blogger Culinary Adventures with Camilla asked if I’d like the opportunity to review a copy of Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin, I jumped at the chance. 

Let’s talk about the book and author before the recipe. This cookbook is a little bit history and a lot of food. Good, Southern food, made by black cooks who showcased African American cooking. Each recipe has a history that goes along with it. Maybe it’s about how the recipe came to be, when it’s traditionally served or some other interesting tidbit.

While the recipes are delicious I find the stories compelling and interesting. At the beginning of each chapter, there are stories. Like the story of Nicodemus, Kansas, one of the nation’s last black towns. Find that where the sides and vegetables chapter begins. This is a cookbook rich with history and recipes that must be passed on.

Cookbook cover

I actually made a version of the pound cake recipe. My family had been asking for something chocolate so I substituted cocoa for the mace and lemon juice in the recipe as suggested by the author. Many recipes have side note boxes offering suggestions for substitutions, a new recipe or other information gem.

A slice of simple chocolate pound cake.

This pound cake starts in a cold oven. Put the pan in the oven, with a sheet pan on the rack below to catch any drips, set to 325°F and let it bake. Don’t open the oven. Why a cold oven? Well, I explain it in my post with my Mom’s Southwest Georgia Pound Cake recipe.

Other amazing, truly Southern recipes you’ll find in the cookbook include string beans a la Creole, spicy sautéed okra and tomatoes, oven baked ribs, jam cake, chicken and dumplings, collard greens with cornmeal dumplings, cornbread dressing. This is a cookbook that should be on everyone’s must have list.

Simple Chocolate Pound Cake

Rich and decadent this pound cake is an impressive dessert.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Desserts and Sweets
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings


  • Softened butter or shortening of the pan
  • 3 cups flour; plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Fresh berries for serving optional


  • Generously coat a 10-inch Bundt pan with butter or shortening. Dust lightly with flour, then tap the edges of the pan to remove and discard excess flour.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and vanilla.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light, 2-5 minutes. Add the shortening to the bowl and beat for 2 more minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar, 1 cup at a time. Increase the speed to medium and cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl. With the mixer still on medium peed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until they are incorporated well and the batter is light.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.
  • Place the pan on the middle rack in a cold oven. Set the oven to 325 degrees F and bake until the top is golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Slice the pound cake and serve warm, garnished with fresh berries or brandy butter, if desired.

Recipe Notes

This pound cake starts in a cold oven.
Simple chocolate pound cake is perfect for a dessert buffet.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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