Homemade Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate pound cake with slices on plates.
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 92 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
393 Calories
22g Fat
47g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 393
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 164mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 4g
Calcium 80mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This chocolate pound cake is baked in a tube pan. It's an excellent cake for a special occasion. It is moist and delicious plain or with a scoop of ice cream, but feel free to add a chocolate glaze or dust it with powdered sugar. It's a great cake to take to a party or bake sale.

Dutch-process cocoa powder produces a cake with great flavor and excellent deep brown color. If you plan to use natural cocoa powder instead of the Dutch-process, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the recipe to balance the acidity.

If you take it to a party, take a few copies of the recipe! 


  • 1 cup butter (room temperature (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1/2 cup shortening (room temperature)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (13 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder (Dutch-process)
  • 1 cup milk (8 ounces)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chocolate pound cake.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Heat the oven to 325 F. Butter a 10-inch tube cake pan and dust it with cocoa powder (or use flour).

  3. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and shortening until creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

    Butter, shortening, and sugar mixture, creamed.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until well blended.

    Eggs added to the batter.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; use a whisk or spoon to blend thoroughly.

    Sift and combine the dry ingredients.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the batter. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 cup of the milk and beat until blended. Repeat with another one-third of the flour mixture and the remaining milk and beat until blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until blended. Do not overbeat.

    Chocolate pound cake batter.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared tube cake pan and spread evenly.

    Spread the chocolate batter in the tube cake pan.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Bake for about 70 to 80 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Don't open the oven until the cake has reached the minimum time of 70 minutes.

    Test the cake with a skewer or toothpick.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  9. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; carefully turn the cake out onto a rack to cool completely.

    Chocolate pound cake.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  10. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or dust with sifted powdered sugar.

    Slice of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray


  • Most of the leavening in pound cake comes from the air incorporated into the fat and sugar mixture. Make sure you beat the butter, shortening, and sugar until they are light and creamy, and don't overbeat when adding the remaining ingredients.
  • Pound cake is cooked at a lower temperature than many other cakes. If the oven temperature is too high, the cake could be soft or undercooked in the center.
  • If your pound cake is dry, it could be for one of two reasons: too much flour or overbaking. Weigh the flour if at all possible, and check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer.
  • Reducing the sugar or fat can alter the texture and flavor.
  • The pound cake batter is dense, so a cracked top is normal. As the exterior of the cake bakes, the cake rises and the top cracks to release steam.