Happy Birthday to The Beloved: Mocha Caramel Pound Cake

Mocha Caramel Pound CakeWhen I saw the boy with the Odd Hair sitting by himself in the dining hall the first day of freshman year, I had no idea that one day he would become The Beloved. Maybe he already was The Beloved and I couldn't recognize it. But, as soon as my roommate and I sat down with him to eat and we began to talk, I immediately developed strong feelings for him.


Truly, I was not a fan at all.

We went to a very small school, so we had many classes together. And whenever he opened his mouth to speak in class: loathing. He thought he knew everything. And he sort of did.  Very book smart and arrogant about it. I wanted to punch him in the neck.

Slowly, over a couple of years, we became friends. I'm not even really sure how it happened. And then one day towards the end of junior year, I looked at him and thought to myself, "Damn, he's pretty." Shallow? Absolutely. But there you have it.

Once I noticed him in that way I couldn't un-notice him. I would moon around him---very Coolly, understand---waiting for him to make a move. I flirted Outrageously. Shamelessly. And nothing.

My friends almost staged an intervention.

Finally, unable to take it anymore, I marched down the hall to find him, and I dragged him to my room.

Mocha Caramel Pound Cake"Come with me to my room; I have something I want to say to you."

He seemed a bit bewildered but willing, and when we got to my place, I shut the door. I was so very nervous. What if he didn't like me back? Was he just too much work? I mean, obviously the boy was not taking the hints. Maybe it was me. Maybe he was On Purpose being dense because he didn't like me back.

I swallowed hard and turned him to face me. I held his shoulders and looked into his eyes.

I couldn't breathe very deeply. My heart was in the way. But I took as deep a breath as I could.

"I just want to let you know that I am very, very attracted to you, and I'm wondering what you're going to do about it..."

Mocha Caramel Pound CakeBeat.

Heart in throat.




And then he was kissing me and there were delicious butterfly flutters in my tummy.

Oh, my.

And that is the story.

That was almost thirty years ago, and while we were not always together across those years, we found each other again eighteen years ago.

Not every couple gets a second chance. I am grateful that we did.

Mocha Caramel Pound CakeLast year, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. So maybe we were a little slow on the draw. Okay, maybe he is.

He is my balance.

I am impetuous. He is thoughtful.

I am led by emotions. He, by his intellect.

I can be a bit...scattered. He is focused.

chocolate pound cake 009I am a hurricane. He is the Calm.

It's not always easy.

But it is always worth it.

I truly do not know what I would do without him.

I asked him what kind of cake I could make him for his birthday.


What I ended up making is at first glance a simple chocolate pound cake with a vanilla glaze. But it really is more than that.  It is full of subtle layers of flavor that build on each other.

Cream cheese adds a bit of a tang. Coffee supports chocolate. Caramel brings additional depth. And a hint of spice brings added dimension.

And every day, it gets better. Fudgier.

I hope you will give it a try and that you enjoy it as much as we have.

The Beloved's Pound Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16-20
Chocolate, but more. Enjoy. I list sugar in two places. That's because of some it ends up as caramel. Please read all the Rules before getting started.
What You Need
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 oz water
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 2 oz excellent quality Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 8 oz strong coffee
  • 8 oz unsalted butter at cool room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese at cool room temperature
  • 1 gently rounded teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Baker's Brew Coffee Spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 oz granulated sugar
  • 8 oz brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 11 oz cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • .75 oz (1½ Tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • about ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • enough milk to make a very thick, pourable glaze
What To Do
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Set an oven rack to one-below-the-center.
  2. Spray and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan (or a 10 cup swirly pan plus a small cake pan to hold the extra batter). Set aside.
  3. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the 4oz of sugar and the water to a boil.
  4. Cover the pan and let boil for 2 minutes to wash any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan.
  5. Uncover and cook without stirring until the sugar starts to get some color. Swirl the pan gently to keep the color even.
  6. Once the caramel is a deep amber color, remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the cream. Stir until smooth. Let cool to just warm.
  7. Whisk the cocoa powder and vanilla into the coffee.
  8. Whisk the coffee mixture together with the caramel mixture. Set aside.
  9. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  10. Set aside.
  11. Cream the butter and the cream cheese together until smooth.
  12. Add the 8oz each of granulated sugar and brown sugar along with the salt and Baker's Brew.
  13. Cream until very light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary. This will take about 10 minutes.
  14. Very slowly drizzle in the beaten eggs just a bit at a time until they are all incorporated. Scrape the bowl as necessary. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  15. Alternately add the flour and the coffee-caramel mixture like this:
  16. half the flour
  17. half the liquid
  18. half of the rest of the flour
  19. the rest of the liquid
  20. the rest of the flour
  21. Allow maybe 5-10 seconds of mixing on low speed between each addition. Don't worry if one addition isn't completely incorporated before adding the next. Scrape bowl as necessary.
  22. Once everything is incorporated, scrape the bowl well, reaching all the way down into the bottom. Fold gently a few time.
  23. Beat on high speed for 3 seconds to make sure everything is well mixed.
  24. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan/s.Mocha Caramel Pound Cake
  25. Bake for about an hour until well risen and a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  26. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze or refrigerate until just barely warm and apply the glaze.
For the Glaze
  1. Place the melted butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a small-ish bowl. Whisk together, adding just a tiny splash of milk at a time until you have a thick, smooth and glossy glaze.
  2. Pour attractively over the cake.


Thank you for spending some time with me today and allowing me to tell our love story. Have a marvelous day.







  1. hk mouse says

    It makes me happy to hear the stories of people finding true love in a world that seems increasingly cynical. 🙂

    • says

      Aw, I didn’t mean to make you well up, but I do love our love story! Thanks so much for stopping in and for leaving a comment, @google-0aa33f6a006bc7ea7078c50a475330a6:disqus ! 🙂

  2. Cindy Jones says

    Okay, now you’ve got me tearing up. I TOTALY love this story and it brought me a bit closer to you and the BELOVED. And, I’d really love to get closer to this cake if at all possible 🙂

  3. Nicole Shepherd says

    What is up with your ability to make me cry woman?! I absolutely LOVE your story Jenni! So beautiful, cute and romantic! I wish we lived closer so we could go on cutsie double dates, drink stout and eat cake til’ our hearts were content! You two totally deserve eachother, and nothing but the best that life has to offer! I wish you many more long and happy years with your Beloved! And what do you mean over 30 years ago? You’re only 25 😉 MUAH my friend! Now pass me a slice of that delicious lookin’ cake would ya? lol 🙂

    • says

      Aw, you are the best. You’re making *me* well up!

      Didn’t I tell you have have a Black Belt in making folks cry. I should come with a warning label or something! lol

      My Beloved is just The Best. Thank you for the wishes. And I would totally love to hang out with you, drink beer and eat cake!

  4. maggie says

    Okay, this will be my third Jenni Field cake since I got my new swirly pan. Big successess with the Guinness Stout and the citrus cakes. One question, Jenni: when you glaze the ridges of the swirly, do you use a pastry bag? Or just go for it with a spoon?

    PS: Sweet story about your re-meet with the Beloved. Similar thing happened to my mom… when she was 68 years old and her second husband had died, her first love from 50 years earlier reappeared and made her final years a joy. We should all be so lucky.

    • says

      Oh, this is a good one! I hope you love it! I glazed this cake with a spoon, Maggie. I’ve also used a pastry bag. Both ways work just great, but you can be a little less careful when using a bag.

      How lovely that your mom reconnected with her first love. <3

  5. says

    Beautiful story, beautifully told. It matches the cake in richness and impact. I loved reading it and I want this exquisite cake. Cake and story match each other.

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