When I was a child swirled pound cake was an utter mystery to me.
I wondered how they were able to get the chocolate batter to make such intricate designs in the finished cake. Now that I am older I understand that the oven does nearly all the swirling because as the cake bakes the batter shifts and swirls naturally. Just like snow flakes, they are all unique. So, maybe the mystery is solved, but I must admit I still get a little excited when I slice a swirl pound cake and see what design was created.
This pound cake is baked in a 10″ pan and makes a long, somewhat short loaf. I tried to bake this in a smaller pan but I was not happy with the results. The finished cake is rich and buttery with a nice balance of vanilla and chocolate. Nothing is overpowering. Maybe the best part of this cake is that the edges become delightfully brown and a little crisp adding a lovely contrast to the tender cake.
Chocolate Swirl Pound Cake Serves 12
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
Heat the oven to 325 F and prepare a 10″ loaf pan with non-stick spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about five minutes. Add the vanilla and mix well.
Add the eggs one at at time, mixing for one minute after each addition.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over-mix.
In a medium bowl add 1/3 of the prepared cake batter along with the cocoa powder and water. Mix until well blended.
Pour 1/2 of the remaining vanilla pound cake batter into the prepared pan. Pour the chocolate batter carefully over the top and gently spread until it is 1/4″ away from the edge of the pan. Pour over the last of the vanilla batter and cover the chocolate layer completely.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice and enjoy.