Desperation Baking

With the stress and anxiety surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been doing a lot of what I call desperation baking lately. But this week I did a little celebration baking. It was my friend Susie’s birthday, and virus or no, I believe in celebrating birthdays. My grandmother and mother were big cake bakers in their time, but now, the birthday cake baking baton has been passed to me. I always try to bake the celebrant’s favorite kind of dessert for their birthday. My son-in-law Mark actually prefers Mississippi Mud Pie or Key Lime Pie instead of cake. Granddaughter Molly asks for a strawberry-topped cheesecake. But Susie loves chocolate, especially the chocolate pound cake her late mother Muv used to bake. I didn’t have that recipe, so I turned to Pinterest, where I found a recipe from The Southern Lady Cooks. I omitted the nuts and used semi-sweet chocolate chips for both the cake and the glaze. No birthday party this year, so my daughter and I made a secret pact with Susie’s family. They were sitting on their front porch enjoying cocktail hour when we pulled up with our trusty Tupperware cake-taker. We managed to leave the cake at a socially distant six feet away, and later they texted us a photo of the birthday girl enjoying her cake. One caution about chocolate pound cakes—do not overbake!

Celebration Baking for Susie: Chocolate Pound Cake


4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 cups chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Cream butter, sugar and eggs with a mixer. Add vanilla extract and buttermilk, keep mixing. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave about 1 minute or until when stirred they are smooth. Add to creamed mixture. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Add to creamed chocolate mixture and mix with mixer just until all ingredients are wet. Fold in nuts. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour in the batter. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until center tests done. Makes 1 bundt cake. You can add your favorite topping or the chocolate chip glaze below. Enjoy!

For the Chocolate Glaze: Melt ½ cup chocolate chips in microwave safe dish with 4 TBSP butter. Let cake cool completely before drizzling on top and sides.