Chocolate Walnut Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Espresso enhances the rich chocolate flavor of this cake. And combining chocolate, walnuts, Kahlua and honey makes a wonderful taste sensation. Serve either plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with a chocolate-Kahlua glaze. If you prefer a cake without nuts, simple omit the walnuts; this cake is equally delicious either way.
Recipe type: Dessert | Butter Pound Cake
Serves: 12 to 14
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee (espresso powder)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup Kahlua liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted, broken into ¼ inch pieces
Chocolate-Kahlua Glaze:
  • 1½ ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1½ ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
  • 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons hot water
Garnish (optional):
  • Grated chocolate
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one 9 inch Bundt or fluted tube pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the instant espresso coffee and boiling water. Stir to dissolve, and let sit to cool a bit. Add the cocoa powder, Kahlua, honey, and vanilla; stir until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture, mix about 1 minute until well blended.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the walnuts into the batter.
  8. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a large spoon. Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Chocolate-Kahlua Glaze:
  1. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water; add butter and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and Kahlua; stir until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and stir until completely blended and smooth. Add 2 teaspoons hot water and stir until smooth. Add additional teaspoons of hot water if needed to make a good drizzling consistency. The glaze should be like a soft icing, but thin enough that it will run down over the sides of the cake.
  3. Drizzle glaze over the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides.
Garnish (optional):
  1. Decorate with grated chocolate if desired. Let the glaze set before serving.
Adapted From: Walter, Carole, Great Cakes, Random House, New York, 1991
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9" Bundt or Fluted Tube Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 325° Storage: Covered, Room Temperature

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