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 vanilla cake full of delicious dark chocolate!
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 or coffee cake, simple cakes will never go out of style.
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 (image above).
- Chocolate: use good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips. Or chocolate chunks. Both work very well. The chunks distribute differently, as they are bigger.
- Flavorings: I use vanilla paste usually, but extract works well of course. Pure almond extract is my first option but if you can't find it use essence or skip it. I think it pairs really well with the vanilla, but you don't have to go out of your way to get it before making this amazing cake.
- Brown sugar: whatever shade of brown you like is fine.
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
- Beating: using an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) 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 in the lowest speed setting (image 3). 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.
- Add-ins: mix them with a spatula so they don't get stuck in the beaters and remain whole (image 4). You can also add nuts instead of chips. Or milk chocolate chips.
If you're wondering what type of pans you can use to bake a sour cream cake, let me tell you that they can be made as cupcakes, layer cakes, loaf cakes, regular and mini bundt cakes.
- This recipe today is baked in a rectangular 8x11-inch pan. A square 9-inch pan works also 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 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.
Other recipes you might like:
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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.
- 3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, at room t°
- 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 t°
- 1 cup (250g) sour cream, at room t°
- 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 tester 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 t°.
Beating: using an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) is the best option to cream the butter with the sugar and eggs.
Incorporating the flour: always beat just until it is all incorporated. Use the mixer in the lowest speed setting.
Add-ins: mix them with a spatula so they don't get stuck in the beaters and remain whole. You can also add nuts instead of chips. Or milk chocolate chips.
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.
Storing: it keeps for a few days at room t°, well wrapped. It can be frozen for a month, well wrapped.
Keywords: chocolate chip pound cake, chocolate chip coffee cake