The sour cream and extra-virgin olive oil in this chocolate sour cream pound cake make this cake incredibly moist. Topped with a chocolate ganache that includes both semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate make this dessert divine. While it looks fancy, it’s a breeze to whip together!
Chocolate cake is my favorite dessert. I’m never not in the mood for chocolate, and the mere thought of a moist chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache about sweeps me off my feet.
So, when I came across a chocolate pound cake recipe in my great-grandma’s recipe book, I knew I wanted to make it–but with some important changes.
First things first, I wanted to take out the butter and add olive oil. If you’ve been around here even for a little bit, you know I love to do this as evidenced with my buttermilk cornbread, tahini banana bread, and white chocolate raspberry blondies.
I also substituted brewed coffee for water and sour cream for sour milk. The result was pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Making this cake is quite simple!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple to Make – Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix and pour into a Bundt cake pan. The Bundt cake does the work for you by being beautiful thanks to its shape!
- Incredibly Moist – The extra-virgin olive oil and sour cream keeps this cake very moist!
- Coffee – The coffee in this recipe adds a ton of flavor. While the cake bakes the taste of the coffee will bake out.
- You Don’t Need Fancy Equipment – While the directions call for a hand mixer, you don’t need one. I’ve made this cake with a whisk and a spatula and it came out beautifully.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- All-Purpose Flour – You could also use cake flour for this recipe. I wanted it to be accessible and easy to make, which is why I used all-purpose flour. I have not tried this with a gluten-free flour, but let me know if you do try it!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – I’ve also used half cocoa powder and half dark cacao powder and the cake turned out fantastic!
- Baking Powder – This leavening agent helps the cake rise and get its form.
- Baking Soda – Another leavening agent.
- Salt – Helps complement the sweet flavor.
- Granulated Sugar – This cake uses mostly granulated sugar, with a little bit of brown sugar included.
- Brown Sugar – I used dark-brown sugar in this recipe. You can also use light-brown sugar!
- Vanilla Extract – I’ve made this cake with and without vanilla extract. It turns out lovely either way, but adding it helps with flavor.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – This helps make the cake moist. Make sure you use extra-virgin olive oil because it has a lighter flavor. If you don’t have olive oil, you can also use vegetable oil or melted butter.
- Sour Cream – This also helps make the cake moist! If you don’t have sour cream, you can also use plain greek yogurt (full fat).
- Coffee – This adds complexity to the recipe and is something I like to add to all of my chocolate cakes! I didn’t fuss about it being hot coffee. I had a cup of coffee in my pot that was brewed earlier that morning and that worked beautifully. You could also use water if you don’t have brewed coffee on hand.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
The chocolate ganache makes this cake indulgent and so good! You certainly don’t have to make it, though. You could top the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar or chocolate frosting and still get a delicious tasting cake! The kiddos and I enjoyed it plain during recipe testing and it was so moist and incredible without anything on it!
- Milk Chocolate Bar – I used 4 ounces of this bar. I chose to use half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet to make a sweeter ganache. You could also use all semi-sweet chocolate bars.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar – 4 ounces of this bar was used also. You could also use half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, though I highly recommend a good quality chocolate bar!
- Heavy Cream – This helps thicken the ganache and gives it its glossy look.
- Vanilla Extract – Gives the ganache flavor and depth.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sugars in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Step 2: Add the eggs, vanilla extract, extra-virgin olive oil, sour cream, and coffee to a separate mixing bowl and whisk together.
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together with a hand mixer, making sure to scrape the sides with a spatula to incorporate all the ingredients.
Step 4: Prepare a Bundt pan (I use a 12-cup Bundt pan) by greasing it and sprinkling some cocoa powder around the inside.
Step 5: Add all the ingredients to the bundt pan. Bake for about 55 minutes (50-60 depending on your oven). The cake will be ready when you get moist crumbs sticking to a toothpick when you stick it in the center of the cake. If it still has wet batter on it, bake the cake longer.
Step 6: Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring upside down on a wire rack. Some times, I’ll fit a butter knife in between the cake and the inside of the pan to help release the cake from the pan.
Step 7: While the cake is cooling, make the ganache. Break up the chocolate bars and add them to a saucepan along with heavy cream and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat while whisking continuously.
Step 8: Once all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is thick and glossy, (about 5-7 minutes) it is done. Pour over the cake, serve, and enjoy!
Hint: Pour the warm ganache on the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides of it. No need to use a spatula to apply it. It turns out beautiful with very little work.
Store this cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you want to freeze it, make sure it’s in an airtight container and it will be good for up to 3 months. Before eating, allow it to thaw back to room temperature.
Make sure to not overbake this cake! It is rich and moist thanks to it being baked *just right*. Testing the cake with a toothpick will ensure you get the cake baked for long enough. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, it needs more time in the oven. If it comes out with some moist crumbs still stuck to it, it’s ready to come out.
You can! But make sure not to overfill the cake pan. Leave about 1/2 an inch between the batter and the top of the pan. Keep the oven temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake time will decrease, since the pan isn’t as tall as a Bundt pan. I’d start checking on the cake at 30 minutes and work from there.
Serve it alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or berries.
Yes, you can make it a day ahead. Just make sure to keep it in an airtight container. I prefer making it the same day, though, because that’s when it is most moist and fresh.
Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup coffee brewed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
For Chocolate Ganache
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bar
- 4 ounces milk chocolate bar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 12-cup bundt cake pan by greasing it and dusting it with cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, vanilla extract, sour cream, and coffee with a hand mixer.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Pour the cake batter into the bundt pan. Bake for 55 minutes (or 50-60 minutes). This time will vary depending on the oven. Check the cake by sticking a toothpick in the middle of it. If there is still wet batter on the toothpick, it needs to bake longer. If there are moist crumbs on it, it's ready to come out.
- Allow the cake to cool in the bundt pan for 10-15 minutes. Then flip the pan on to a wire rack to allow it to cool longer. If you're having trouble releasing the cake from the pan, use a butter knife to gently work around the cake and coax it out. While it cools longer, make the ganache.
- Over medium heat on the stove, break the chocolate bars into pieces and add them along with the heavy cream and vanilla extract to the saucepan. Whisk continuously as the chocolate melts and the ganache thickens. Once thick and glossy, remove from heat. Pour over the cake and serve.
Looking for More Chocolate Goodness?
Check out these old-fashioned fudgy brownies: