Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate, the main most important reason to make cake is because it can double as a dessert and/or breakfast food. That’s definitely the only benefit of slaving away in the kitchen whipping up batter and baking and cooling the cake, aside from it’s delicious taste of course. Sometimes you’re in need of something sweet after stuffing your face with food for dinner, the answer is cake. Or sometimes you need a treat first thing in the morning, the answer is cake. You’re feeling peckish late at night before bed, cake. You’re getting sleepy at work, typing away on your computer during the middle of the day, cake. You’re stuck in traffic right smack in the middle of peak rush hour, CAKE! You had a bad day at work, cake, cake, cake and CAKE!
Anyhow, I’ve determined that pound cake is called pound cake because you get to eat a pound of cake at a time and it’s totally acceptable. No one will give you dirty looks for eating too much cake, and if they do, it’s only because they’re incredibly jealous of you and your superior life choices. My advice to you is to not give it a second thought and just continue living your life by eating pounds and pounds of cake right when you wake up or whenever you want because you’re living your life and no one should tell you how to live it.
This cake has quite a few steps (so say that I didn’t warn you, but I promise they’re all worth it and you won’t even notice them because in the end you’ll be eating slice after slice of the best pound cake you’ll ever eat. It’s layered with quite a few flavors so that each bite is different. You don’t want a cake to be exactly the same with each other, because then it becomes boring and monotonous. No one want’s that. So get creative and forget about all of your fears in the kitchen because you’re the boss. Y0u got this, I believe in you.
Let’s start by making the streusel crumb topping for the pound cake. You’re more than welcome to leave this part out if you want just a straight forward pound cake, but I like that added texture to the cake. You get the softness from the cake itself with the crunchy coating of the streusel topping. It’s the perfect balance. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Toss in the mini chocolate chips and almonds.
Set the streusel off to the side, while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
**Tip: The crumb topping can be made a day or two in advance, and stored in the fridge until ready to use. I even make a big batch of this stuff and keep it in the freezer for months at a time. That way, I can just reach in whenever I’m making muffins, cupcakes or this pound cake.**
Soak the dried cherries in hot water and a few splashes of rum to reconstitute them, which basically just means to plump them up.
**Note: This step is completely optional if you don’t like rum, or if you don’t want to go through the hassle. Adding the dried cherries as they are will be just fine. I do this to infuse them with flavor!**
Now onto the actual cake part. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Once that is fluffy, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, a little bit at a time, alternating between both.
**Tip: For the perfect texture to your pound cake, or any cake for that matter, the best thing to do is to start and end with the dry ingredients. So you want to add a bit of the dry, then a splash of buttermilk, then a bit more of dry and then a splash more of buttermilk and so on and so forth until both are used.**
Once the batter is done, remove about a third of it and place it into a medium bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder until well combined. Then fold in the plumped up cherries (drained with the water discarded) until evenly distributed.
Pour half of the cherry batter into a well greased and floured tube pan. Add half of the chocolate batter in spoonfuls and then swirl around with a long toothpick.
Top with the remaining cherry batter and dollop with the remaining chocolate batter. Swirl once again, and then sprinkle on the streusel topping we made earlier.
**Tip: If you don’t have a tube pan on hand, you can also do this in 2 standard loaf pans.**
Make sure the the top of the cake is completely covered in streusel topping.
**Note: Do not press down on the crumb topping thinking that it will help stick to the cake better. It wont. All that will do is squish your topping and make it look weird. You don’t want weird looking cake trust me.**
Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
**Note: If you find your cake to be browning too fast, while the inside still isn’t cooked, reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.**
Once finished, remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan. Detach the inner tube part of the pan and let the cake cool completely before cutting and serving.
Cut the cake into even slices and serve. If you don’t want to serve this right away, make sure to wrap it up really well in plastic wrap (once completely cooled) and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, until ready to eat.
There are so many great flavors in this pound cake that work so well with one another. I tried hard to think of ingredients that pair perfectly together. The chocolate really brings out the tartness from the cherries, and the almonds compliment both the chocolate and cherries, so it all works together so nicely.
I’m always one to say that you can eat cake for breakfast without question. It’s one of those things in life that just makes total sense. You make cake for dessert and it’s incredible, but the real greatness is knowing that you can have some the next day for breakfast. It’s great with coffee, if you’re into that of thing. I don’t like coffee, but I hear the cake is amazing with a cup of joe.
I like this cake a lot because of the dried cherries, it means you can make it all year ’round. You don’t have to worry about an ingredient being in season or not, because you can find dried cherries whenever! It’s great for when you’re really craving something sweet.
If you’re in need of something sweet to leave Santa Claus behind, take it from me, he’ll love this way more than a pile of boring cookies. He told me so. He said, “I’d rather have a big ole piece of Chocolate Cherry Streusel Pound Cake than have a pile of boring cookies.” Exact words. Listen to Santa. He knows what he’s talking about.
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly firm and diced
- ¾ cup chocolate chips, mini
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan, set aside.
- To make the streusel topping, in a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter. Using your hands crumble the butter into the dry ingredients until resembles coarse crumbs, the size of peas. Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds. Set aside.
- In a medium bow, combine the cherries, boiling water and rum. Make sure that the cherries are completely submerged. Set aside to plump up and cool down.
- In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture along with the buttermilk in batches, alternating between the two. Make sure to start and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined after each addition.
- Transfer about a third of the batter into a small bowl. Add the cocoa powder to that third of batter and stir until well combined. Drain the cherries and fold into the bigger portion of batter until evenly combined.
- Pour half of the cherry (main) batter into the prepared pan. Dollop half of the chocolate butter by the spoonful and swirl with a long toothpick. Pour the remaining half of the cherry batter on top and dollop the remaining half of the chocolate batter. Swirl once again with the toothpick. Sprinkle with the streusel topping.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for about 20 minutes. Separate the tub pan and let the cake cool completely before cutting and serving. Cover any leftovers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!