Chocolate Pound Cake

I don’t remember exactly when I was given the recipe, only that I was.  I was in yiayia’s kitchen helping her with her baking, and as she was putting one recipe card back in the box, she handed me another card for Basic Cake, saying: “This was your mother’s.  Take it.”  So I did.  I took it home, put it in an envelope marked “recipes”, and left it there.  It was valuable to me because it one of the few items I had in my mother’s handwriting.

Last winter I wanted to make a chocolate cake, so I started looking for a recipe.  I didn’t like anything I found in my recipe books, and a short internet search proved just as unsuccessful.  So many recipes expected me to actually melt real chocolate, and I had no interest in doing anything that difficult.  I was ready to give up, when I remembered my Basic Cake recipe card.  I knew exactly where it was, tucked away in a white envelope inside my Audrey Hepburn cookbook.  I pulled it out and looked at the ingredient list, in my mother’s slightly cursive English writing (so that’s why yiayia had given it to me!  She couldn’t understand it!)

simple cake

This I could work with!  I had all the ingredients, and by this point I had spent enough time in yiayia’s kitchen that the lack of instructions didn’t bother me.  I could figure out how to mix all the ingredients.  To make my chocolate cake, I skipped the lemon rind and added cocoa powder and chocolate chips.  I also swapped oil for butter, and milk for coconut milk, for a final recipe that looked like this:

Prep time: 15-20 minutes; Cooking time: ~45 minutes

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 360F
  2. Melt butter on low heat
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add egg yolks and melted butter and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and egg whites, and mix until egg whites start to form peaks
  5. Add sugar and egg whites to large bowl, along with coconut milk, and mix
  6. Pour half the batter into a baking pan (or two loaf pans), and sprinkle ¼ cup on chocolate chips (and 1 tbsp coconut flakes). Add remaining batter, and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips (and coconut flakes).
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife can slide cleanly through the cake
  8. Makes 2 small loaves

The result is a tasty and moist chocolate pound cake.  I have since successfully made vanilla, cinnamon and almond pound cakes.  The variations continue, but at their core are the same 6 simple ingredients (I always skip the lemon “grind”).

What variations will you come up with?