I normally wouldn’t post sweets on a weekday, but this is all I’ve got. I typically don’t even bake on weekdays, but I may have been in need of some warm, chocolatey comfort tonight. You see, I’ve had a week full of AmyFails. Two dinners in a row that just…didn’t work. Two recipe posts gone badly awry. I tried to recreate a beloved dish from one of my favorite restaurants, and it was only okay…but not nearly pretty enough to photograph and not good enough to blog about. Then, tonight’s soup tasted all right but the texture was seriously off-putting due to some ill-advised added dairy. My instincts told me that the recipe wouldn’t work but I ignored them. Why do I do that?
In fact, while the soup was cooking, my cook’s sense was tingling and I had an inkling it wouldn’t turn out. So as it simmered, I whipped up this pound cake. I thought, “At least if the cake isn’t good enough to blog, it’ll probably at least be edible.” I tend to trust my baking skills enough to try almost anything…and I definitely trust my ability to eat even the most mediocre pound cake. Thankfully, this cake turned out to be anything but mediocre. It’s fantastic! I started with a low-fat chocolate pound cake recipe and lightened it up even more, which can be a tricky business. Thankfully, my experimentation worked in my favor. It’s still not diet food, of course, but it’s a much lighter way to enjoy a notoriously high-calorie treat. Obviously, this isn’t a true “pound cake” (one pound each of butter, sugar, and eggs)—we’re using Greek yogurt for much of the butter, just a few eggs and some bottled egg whites, less sugar—but it has the dense crumb and moist texture that every good pound cake has. And it’s chocolate.
And then, of course, there’s the glaze. Ohhh, the glaze. Cream cheese, espresso powder, kahlua…gah! I could eat it out of a bowl with my finger. And I won’t deny that I may have done just that. Just a little. You wouldn’t think that something that tastes so deliciously indulgent could come from cutting fat and sugar, but this one surprised even me. The cake itself isn’t overly sweet, which leaves the perfect base for this sweet, flavorful glaze. Together, the cake and the glaze make the perfect pair. You could also leave the glaze off for a lighter dessert (perhaps paired with some fruit and light whipped cream). Either way, this pound cake is an impressive and decadent treat that won’t leave you feeling quite so guilty.
Light Chocolate Pound Cake
Adapted from Bakers Royale
Makes 1 bundt cake, about 24 small slices or 16 large slices
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
- 2⅓ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup bottled egg whites
- ½ cup hot water
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray (or butter and flour well). Add melted butter, greek yogurt, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low until well combined. Beat in vanilla and salt. While mixer is running, add eggs in one at time and mix well after each addition. Add egg whites and mix until well combined.
- In a small bowl, combine hot water and cocoa powder and stir until smooth and well combined. Add cocoa powder mixture to the batter in the stand mixer and mix until combined. Turn mixer down to low. While mixer is running, add flour gradually and mix until just combined. Beat in cocoa powder.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350ºF until inserted cake tester comes out with just moist crumbs clinging, about 60-70 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto a cooling rack with the top side down. Cool completely before glazing.
Kahlua Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted from Shutterbean
- ¾ teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons hot water
- 2 teaspoons kahlua
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ⅓-½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Sprinkles, optional
Combine hot water and espresso powder in a small bowl and mix until powder is dissolved. Add kahlua, cream cheese, and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined. While whisking or mixing with a spatula, gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Add more as needed if glaze is too thin. When glaze has reached desired consistency, pour or spoon over cooled bundt cake. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Note about the nutrition facts: Since the nutrition content here is all about how you slice the cake, I’ve included nutrition information for 24 small slices and 16 large slices.