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Chocolate Ripple Pound Cake


  • 6 Tbsp. natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cold eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • Finely grated zest of half of a medium orange


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 10-12 cup bundt pan or line two 6-cup loaf pans with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa, sugar, black pepper, and water until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Mix thoroughly and then sift the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixer bowl (with the whisk attachment), beat sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed, scraping the bowl as necessary, just until incorporated.
  5. Add half of the milk and beat just until it is blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour.
  6. Measure and stir 2 cups of the batter into the cocoa mixture. Stir the orange zest into the plain batter. Pour 1/3 of the orange batter into the tube pan (or divide it between the loaves) and top with 1/3 of the chocolate batter. Repeat, ending with the remaining chocolate batter on top.
  7. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes for either the tube pan or the loaves. Cool the cake in the pan(s) on a rack for about 15 minutes. Slide a skewer around the tube then slide a thin knife around the sides of the pan(s) to release the cake(s). Invert the pans and invert again, setting the cake right side up on a rack to cool completely.

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