Oh, the amazing versatility of pound cake, this time with sour cream and chocolate chips. The crumb is tender and tight, the crust is crunchy and is very easy to make, of course. It can be adapted to different pan sizes and is the perfect snack cake.
I'm excited about a plain cake with sour cream and chocolate chips. Because we all need a simple chocolate chip cake that tastes homemade and amazing!
I think it's in the simplicity of flavors that the best recipes come through. This pound cake - with hints of coffee cake due to the sour cream - pretty much embodies that, with semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chunks) and no glaze.
I have been making this recipe for years. So many years, more than 30. It's one of the first cakes I made and kept making.
It was so good it became a staple at my house and was very frequently asked to make it. So I can confidently say it's been tested, haha! Whether you call this a pound cake, a sour cream cake, or a coffee cake, simple cakes will never go out of style.
I made this cake so many times I lost count! It is always, always a hit! And when I don’t have chocolate chips I add some pecans. Delicious! Thanks for this recipe Paula.Macarena, a reader
Origin of pound cake
Pound cake originated in France and was made with only four ingredients: butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.
A pound of each! Can you imagine that? Heavy would be a big understatement I imagine. This was before ingredients like baking powder were discovered.
It is the famous French cake quatre quarts (which means four quarts) due to the number of ingredients and the fact that it was a quarter (or pound) of each.
The recipe today is an adapted version, which uses some sour cream, an ingredient commonly found in coffee cakes. So let's say it's the offspring of both.
They are mostly, if not all, pantry staples that you probably have right now.
- Chocolate chips: traditional semisweet chocolate chips that are used for cookies. I usually use Ghirardelli semi sweet Chocolate chips and Hersheys semi sweet baking chips. You can also use semisweet chocolate chunks.
- Sour cream: regular, full fat.
- Unsalted butter.
- Eggs: large, fresh.
- Sugar: both white and brown sugar (light or dark) are used for this recipe.
- All purpose flour.
- Baking powder and baking soda: both act as leaveners. Make sure they're active and not expired.
- Salt: I use kosher salt for my baking, but table salt also works.
- Vanilla - I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Almond extract: I love how it adds another subtle flavor, but you can omit it if you don't have it. Don't buy it just for this cake. I use Simply Organic pure almond extract or Nielsen Massey pure almond extract.
- Beating: using an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment) is the best option to cream the butter with the sugar and eggs (images 1-2).
- Incorporating the flour: always beat just until it is all incorporated. Use the mixer at the lowest speed. The more you beat the flour the more the gluten develops and that makes for a tougher cake. We don't want that, do we? You can also use a spatula for this part so there's not a chance of overbeating.
- Chocolate chips: mix them in with a spatula so they don't get stuck in the beaters (image 4).
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Variation: add nuts instead of chips. Or use milk chocolate chips. Add a spice like ground cinnamon or a different extract like coffee. Or a tablespoon or two of a liquor like Amaretto or Kahlua.
- Storing: it keeps well for a few days at room temperature as long as it's wrapped or covered with a dome.
- Glaze: you can drizzle a simple powdered sugar glaze on top before serving. Simply mix a cup of powdered sugar with a tablespoon of milk, a liquor, or cream until smooth and thick enough to drizzle.
If you're wondering what type of pans you can use to bake this sour cream cake, let me tell you that they can be made as cupcakes, layer cakes, loaf cakes, in a regular bundt pan, or as mini bundt cakes.
- This recipe today is baked in a rectangular 8x11-inch pan. A square 9-inch pan also works and the batter is enough for 2 loaf pans (about 8x5-in each), 15-18 cupcakes, 1 tube cake, 2 or three layers (8 or 9-inch, depending on how thick you make them), or 10-12 mini bundt cakes. If you use a larger 9x13=inch pan the cake will not be as tall. These are approximate, but you get an idea.
The crumb will hold really well if you want to fill and frost it (I suggest you make it the day before and keep it refrigerated so the crumb tightens and you can fill it more easily), or decorate it if making cupcakes.
Sour cream in cakes
Sour cream substitutes some of the butter and/or milk, it adds incredible moisture to the cake and makes for a tight crumb.
So the cake is dense (in a good way) and moist which makes it perfect for road trips, picnics, potlucks, and as a snack cake. The sour cream adds a slight tanginess that balances the amount of sugar and other sweet ingredients.
I personally think sour cream in a cake is one of the best things ever discovered! Love it, and is probably the recipe I would choose as my first option. The index in this blog has some of my favorites like the lemon pound cake, chocolate bundt cake, blood orange mini cakes.
I decided to go for a simple chocolate chip pound cake, as I told you before, baked as a snack cake in a rectangular pan, sort of a sheet coffee cake if you will.
- Pound cakes can be frozen very successfully and this chocolate chip recipe is no exception.
- Make sure you wrap it first in plastic, then in foil, and label them (date and what it is). It will keep for a month. Or maybe more, but it starts to get a bit of the famous freezer burn flavor.
- Defrost it at room temperature if whole, or cut it in slices before freezing and warm them in the oven individually before eating every time you want a snack.
Related recipes you might like:
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Easy Chocolate Chip Cake
A simple pound cake studded with chocolate chips. Bake it as a snack cake, cupcakes, loaf cake, or even layer cake to be frosted and filled.
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 squares
- 3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (200g) white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional but very good)
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (250g) sour cream, at room temperature
- Scant 1 ½ cups (250g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- Preheat oven at 350°F /180°C.
- Spray or butter an 8x11-inch rectangular pan or similar, line the bottom with parchment paper if you want to, or sprinkle with fine dry breadcrumbs or flour.
- Take a tablespoon from the flour amount and mix it in a bowl with the chocolate chips (to prevent them from going to the bottom of the cake).
- In a large bowl beat the butter until creamy and add both sugars gradually, beating for 2-3 minutes total.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and almond extracts, if using, and mix.
- Add sifted dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt - in 3 parts alternating with the sour cream in 2 parts. I have the dry ingredients measured and sift them directly into the butter mixture, but you can sift them first in another bowl if you want to.
- Mix well but don't beat too much, only until just incorporated.
- Add chips and cream and mix well. I recommend doing this with a spatula.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- If some cake stuck to the sides carefully run a smooth blade knife around the sides before removing it from the pan.
- Serve at room temperature.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Variation: add nuts instead of chips. Or use milk chocolate chips. Add a spice like ground cinnamon or a different extract like coffee. Or a tablespoon or two of liquor like Amaretto or Kahlua.
Storing: it keeps well for a few days at room temperature as long as it's wrapped or covered with a dome. It can be frozen for a month, well wrapped.
Glaze: you can drizzle a simple powdered sugar glaze on top before serving. Simply mix a cup of powdered sugar with a tablespoon of milk, a liquor, or cream until smooth and thick enough to drizzle.
Cake pans: the batter is enough for 2 loaf pans (about 8x5-in each), 15-18 cupcakes, 1 tube cake, 2 or three layers (8 or 9-inch, depending on how thick you make them), or 10-12 mini bundt cakes. These are approximate, but you get an idea.
- Prep Time: 40
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 553
- Sugar: 45.1 g
- Sodium: 266.7 mg
- Fat: 27.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 72.3 g
- Protein: 8.4 g
- Cholesterol: 113.5 mg
Keywords: chocolate chip pound cake, chocolate chip coffee cake
I’ve made this twice already and love it! Just made another for today’s July 4th get together. I also love love love the lemon pound cake! Thanks!
Paula Montenegro says
SO happy to hear that Wanda! Hope you had a great celebration today!
Hi..can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? If yes, is the quantity the same? Thank you.
Paula Montenegro says
Hi Lorinner! I never tried it in this recipe but you can substitute the same quantity. My experience is that some cakes with yogurt tend to be moister so I would not add the tablespoons of cream stated in the ingredients. Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy the weekend!
what bake time would you recommend for 3-8" layers?
Paula Montenegro says
Hi Charna, I would say between 20-30 minutes.
Lynn A Sochon says
Looks Fabulous. But I don't have whipping cream. Can I substitute milk? Or something else?
Paula Montenegro says
Yes Lynn, use milk!
Marielle Dupré says
I have a question! The whipping cream seems to be added in liquid form according to the recipe, but in the ingredient photo it looks like it’s whipped. Am I crazy? Thanks!!
Paula Montenegro says
Hi Marielle, you're not crazy! The whipping cream I used was so rich and thick it did look like sour cream. I will add that as a note in the recipe. Thanks for the heads-up and enjoy the weekend!
Marielle Dupré says
Wow, great! Thank you for the info and the speedy reply!