This chocolate pound cake made with sour cream screams indulgence! Every time I make it, I feel like I’m transporting myself back to my favorite little bakery located in the Schwarzwald - Black Forest.
This cake is super simple to make and can be served with just a little dusting of powdered sugar. But I included my favorite chocolate ganache frosting in this recipe, which tastes like chocolate truffles. This frosting brings the cake to the next level and could even be called "marry me cake" in my opinion!
From the first bite, the softness of the cake brings a smile to every face. There’s something about the combination of the velvety sweetness of the chocolate and the slight tang of the sour cream that fills my heart with contentment. I suppose this is why chocolate pound cake is a beloved classic, never failing to amaze the palate and the soul.
This cake is a true Wunderkind, a symphony of flavors and textures that will leave you wanting more. Don't miss this recipe to indulge in pure decadence, it's an absolute must-have for any chocolate lover.
What is chocolate cake called in German?
The German name for this cake is "Schokoladenkuchen" or short "Schokokuchen". "Schokolade" is the German word for chocolate and "Kuchen" is the German word for cake.
How to pronounce "Schokoladenkuchen" and "Schokokuchen" in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Schokoladenkuchen" und "Schokokuchen" in German. Der Schokoladenkuchen (m/singular) and der Schokokuchen (m/plural).
Ingredients & Substitutions
The ingredients for this chocolate cake are simple, and you most likely even have them already in your pantry and can start baking right away.
Flour - Simple all-purpose flour does the trick. For a gluten free version use ⅓ cup (50g) rice flour, 7 tbsp. (50g) corn flour, ⅓ cup (40g) coconut flour, and 1 ½ tbsp. (10g) corn starch
Chocolate - The quality of the chocolate is the important ingredient to bring your cake from standard to an exquisite level. I use Lindt or other high quality chocolate with a cocoa content of 60-70%.
Cacao Powder - Natural, unsweetened cocoa powder is used in this recipe, but you can also use Dutch processed cocoa powder instead.
Sour Cream - The addition of sour cream gives this cake a wonderful moist, soft but dense texture and a slight tang that harmonizes very well with the deep chocolate flavor. You can substitute sour cream with German Quark, buttermilk or or full fat Greek yogurt.
Baking Powder - This recipe only asks for baking powder, no baking soda included.
Apricot Jam - The secret ingredient to this moist cake is apricot jam. There is something that just works so well with the combination of chocolate and apricot jam. This combination is also used in the famous Sacher Torte. A match made in heaven!
Eggs - I use large eggs in this recipe. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature for baking recipes.
Sugar - Granulated white sugar is best for this cake better. But if you prefer, you can substitute for light brown sugar. German cakes in general have less sugar, so if you like it sweeter, you might want to adjust the sugar amount.
See recipe card for quantities.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Heavy Cream - is important to the flavor. You can substitute with plant based cream but it will not have the same flavor.
Powdered Sugar - will dissolve easier in the cream, this way you can avoid a sandy texture.
Chocolate - like in the cake, only use high-quality chocolate with at least 60% cacao content.
Butter - is like the heavy cream very important for the taste. You can substitute for margarine or coconut oil but you will not achieve the rich taste of chocolate truffles without real butter.
See recipe card for quantities.
You will be surprised how quick and easy that cakes comes together. You can whip it up in no time; it is the perfect choice when you are in a pinch or have unannounced visitors.
Step 1: Grease a Bundt cake pan and preheat the oven to 350 °F. I use my homemade, budget friendly non-stick baking paste. Chop chocolate for the cake and the frosting.
Step 2: Cream soft butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time while mixing constantly.
Then stir in the apricot jam and sour cream.
Step 3: In a medium sized bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, and the baking powder. Then sift over the batter.
Add the chocolate and gently fold everything into the dough.
Step 4: Fill the dough into the Bundt cake pan and smooth the top gently.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Step 5: Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a cooling rack.
In the meantime, add the chopped chocolate, butter, heavy cream, and icing sugar to a saucepan. Melt everything together over medium heat.
Step 6: Brush or drizzle over the cake. The ganache will set soft and create a wonderful chocolate truffle like frosting.
You can enjoy this cake in many variations. Try some of them or create your own little twist to this recipe:
- Fill the cake with German chocolate buttercream or Bavarian cream.
- Fill with a layer of apricot jelly.
- Create a Black Forest Cake inspired variation, by filling the cake with my tipsy cherry compote, add whipped cream rosettes on top of the cake and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.
- Decorate with fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries.
- Decorate with chocolate covered strawberries.
- Frost with a white chocolate ganache.
To make this cake, you don´t even need a stand mixer, but certainly can use one if you prefer.
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- hand mixer
- fine mesh strainer or flour sifter
- Bundt cake pan
How to Store
If you have a cake carrier, store the cake in it. If you don´t have a cake carrier you can just place a bowl upside down over the cake. This chocolate pound cake will keep for several days and usually it will not last that long anyways.
You can refrigerate it, but you don´t need to. Except in the summer time or if you live in a warmer climate, store the frosted cake in the refrigerator. The ganache frosting is on the softer side; if the temperatures are too high, it will melt.
But in case you want to keep leftovers longer, you can even freeze them. Allow to defrost at room temperature and enjoy!
How to Serve
You can serve this delighful cake just as is or with a dollop of heavy whipped cream or a little vanilla sauce. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a German coffee specialty like this "Pharisäer". In the winter time it is also very good with a mug of hot Glühwein - German Christmas market style mulled wine.
Chocolate Pound Cake With Sour Cream
- 9 tbsp. butter, soft
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp. apricot jelly, smooth
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder or 1 tsp. baking powder plus 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 oz. dark chocolate i.e. Lindt
- 1 ⅛ cup sour cream
- 3.5 oz. dark chocolate i.e. Lindt
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Grease a Bundt cake pan and preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Chop chocolate for the cake and the frosting.
- Add soft butter, sugar, and vanilla extract to a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time while mixing.
- Then stir in the apricot jam and sour cream.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and to a bowl, mix well, and then sift over the batter.
- Add the chocolate and fold it into the dough.
- Fill the dough into the Bundt cake pan and smooth the top gently.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In the meantime, add the chopped chocolate, butter, heavy cream, and icing sugar to a saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat, while whisking constantly, until everything is melted together.