Premier Pastry’s Chocolate Bourbon Pound Cake

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A rich, dense, dark chocolate bourbon pound cake recipe from Chef Paula Stadtmiller of Premier Pastry in Rochester.

Today we are adding another local recipe from Upstate New York to the collection, and this is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Premier Pastry, owned by Paula Stadtmiller and Philip Duquette opened for business in 1989. In 1991, they purchased the building on South Ave. that is currently home to their thriving business in the South Wedge neighborhood. Premier Pastry may best be known for their stunning wedding cakes, but the bakery also offers beautifully handcrafted cookies, petit fours, cupcakes & tarts.

Premier Pastry Storefront view from street via Google Maps

Today’s recipe comes from Paula Stadtmiller, who attended the Culinary Institute of America from which she graduated in 1985. Paula then spent several years in the pastry departments of four- and five-star hotels, including the Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Nigel, California. I found the recipe in the Taste of the Town cookbook which was published as a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels in 2005.

An excellent chocolate cake recipe is like the little black dress. Everyone should have at least one in her wardrobe ( or recipe box) to reach for when the occasion arises. This is my little black dress of chocolate cakes. Deep, dark and chocolatey, this might not be a cake you will bake frequently but when you do, you are sure to receive compliments. Serve this to guests with fresh whipped cream and berries for an easy and elegant dessert.

Tips for making Chocolate Bourbon Pound Cake

  • Many recipes call for you to dust your greased baking pan with flour. This helps with getting a clean release after baking. This recipe utilizes cocoa powder to get the job down. The cocoa powder works in much the same way the flour does but also gives the cake an extra chocolatey flavor.
  • Use room temperature ingredients, particularly the eggs! Eggs at room temperature (as opposed to cold from the fridge) will mix up fluffier and will emulsify in the batter better, which will also help the cake rise properly.
  • Be patient while unmolding this cake from the pan. The cake shrunk away from the sides of the pan fairly cleanly once it had cooled, but I still had to finesse the cake out of the pan. What seemed to work best for me was holding the cake at a 45-degree angle and gently loosening the bottom of the cake from to pan with a slight prying motion with a butter knife inserted around the edge of the cake. It may be worth cutting parchment paper to fit the bottom of the tube pan for easier removal.
Premier Pastery's Chocolate Bourbon Pound Cake

Premier Pastery's Chocolate Bourbon Pound Cake

Yield: 10-12 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 2 seconds
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes 2 seconds

A rich, dense, dark chocolate cake from Chef Paula Stadtmiller of Premier Pastry in Rochester.


  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 275° F. Butter a 9" tube pan and dust the bottom and sides with cocoa powder.
  2. Heat coffee and bourbon in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and butter and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir flour with baking soda and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture in thirds, stirring well between additions.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, and stir until smooth. Pour into pan.
  6. Bake approximately 1-1/2 hours. Cool completely before unmolding.

To unmold:

  1. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, set a plate over the pan, and invert the cake onto the plate. Then, set another plate on top of the cake and flip the cake onto the plate. Its top should be upright.


Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Substitute equal amounts of coffee for bourbon if you would like to omit the liquor.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 3gSugar: 34gProtein: 5g

Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

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  1. Looks delicious and hoping to make it this week, but I just want to verify the temperature. The recipe reads 275, is that correct? Thanks

    1. Hi Trisha,
      The low oven temp threw me off the first time I saw it also! But yes, it is 275 F, but it has a longer cook time (1 1/2 hours). The exterior of the cake has a more fudgy texture than a traditional chocolate cake, I think it may be in part because of the long and low baking.