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Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

This Chocolate Pound Cake is a must-bake for chocolate fans! Enjoy it just as it is or top it off with a simple vanilla glaze.

slices of Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze on a cutting board

As much as I adore chocolate, I’m not always the biggest fan of standard chocolate cake fare. I usually find either the flavor or the texture lacking in some way. But, this rich and dense Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze is one of my favorites.

Chocolate sour cream pound cake topped with vanilla glaze

It gets its rich chocolate flavor from a big helping of cocoa powder. As I tend to do, I will now mount my Good Ingredients Soapbox. You definitely want to use the very best cocoa powder you can find for this chocolate pound cake recipe. I have a few favorites, like Scharffen Berger and Valrhona. I’ve been using those and a couple of others for years and have always been pleased with them. There are many other great brands out there, so just find the kind you like best.

Now, back to the cake. It’s absolutely delicious all on its own, but it also benefits from a little something extra in the form of a simple vanilla bean glaze. It adds a little sweetness to complement all the richness of the cake.

The glaze features another of my favorite ingredients, Vanilla Bean Paste. You’ll get a bit bolder vanilla flavor from paste versus extract. Plus, it has all those lovely vanilla bean specks! All that being said, you can certainly use vanilla extract if that’s what you have on hand.

Chocolate sour cream pound cake topped with vanilla glaze

I prefer to use a small amount of the vanilla glaze just drizzled on top of the cake. If you’d like more than what you see in my photos, feel free to scale the glaze recipe to suit your tastes. I also find that a thicker glaze works better with this cake, so add the milk to the sugar slowly so you get just the right consistency.

This Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze is just the thing for a simple dessert or to wrap up for a homemade gift. Or just grab a slice to go with your cup of coffee or tea. I think you’ll love its flavor, texture, and simplicity.

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Chocolate and Vanilla Desserts

Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Yield 12-16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Chocolate and vanilla are a perfect pair in this Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze.

slices of Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze on a cutting board


For the cake:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (170g) sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup (36g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9”x 5” loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Decrease mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with the sour cream. Begin and end with flour mixture.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons of milk, and vanilla.
  2. Mix until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add more milk, a small amount at a time until pourable. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

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    24 Comments on “Chocolate Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze”

  1. Perfect with the mid morning coffee!

  2. That looks delicious. I don’t have vanilla bean paste; however, I do have vanilla and vanilla beans, so I’m sure I could figure out the substitution.

  3. Looks like a delicious loaf, I’m with you on loving chocolate but not usually a chocolate sponge, bet the vanilla is a great addition!

  4. ooooh that so looks like something I need to make . . . on a pantry challenge till vacation and just used up all my sour cream on muffins – after our trip I’m making this FIRST

  5. I so want to make it today. The one hitch is sour cream….not available easily (if at all) in my part of the world & has to be a homemade version which takes time. Do you think I could get away with using buttermilk instead?

  6. Pooja, buttermilk will likely work well enough. Let me know if you try it!

  7. I love pound cakes, this mixture of chocolate and vanilla sounds brilliant!

  8. I’m not a big fan of cake either, but this looks so moist and dense. Something I do like! 🙂

  9. chocolate pound cake is the best when it’s used in a strawberry shortcake parfait
    i have vivd memories of it, eating it in mass quantities during the summer
    i don’t know why i had to share that with you

  10. I like any kind of chocolate cake. This pound cake looks really worth trying.

  11. I recently re-discovered the joys of baking pound cakes. Adding chocolate & vanilla glaze to the mix seems a winning combination. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Tried this recipe yesterday and it was very yummy! Could I add some choc chips to give it some “crunchiness” … or would they sink to the bottom of the cake? thanks!

  13. Katia, you can add chocolate chips. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the measured flour and toss the chips in that. That will sometimes prevent them from sinking.

  14. Thank you! Will try that 🙂

  15. Oh I have all the ingredients for this (minus the extra good cocoa powder) although I do always have cocoa powder in the house. I think I will make this tomorrow!!

  16. Got the email this morning with this recipe so I decided to make it straight away.  It’s easy to make, nice, good amount of flavor.  It was a bit dry but I had to put it in extra time as it wasn’t done after 60-70 minutes.  I used yogurt as had no sour cream, I do that a lot and it always substitutes well. The extra ten minutes to cook it through dried it out a bit I think.  Thanks for the recipe.

  17. I added about half cup of chocolate chips and it came out great. The trip is to put the chips in the flour before adding to batter. I believe coating the chips is flour helps keep them dispersed throughout the cake. Excellent recipe I’m keeping.

  18. This cake looks so beautiful and mouth watering. Chocolate is love for everyone. Amazing recipe, thanks for sharing.

  19. Oh… this cake is simply beautiful and sounds so delicious. I’m definitely putting this on my holiday bake list. Thank you so much for sharing yet another one of your fabulous cake creations. I have great confidence in your recipes… you never disappoint!

  20. Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?

  21. This is a really nice cake. It is not dense and heavy. It is a tender crumb and not too sweet. I really liked the texture. I used an alternative vanilla cake glaze so my comments are just about the cake. This is a delicious “coffee cake;” excellent with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. I used Nestle Cocoa Powder,

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