Cafe Ladro’s Espresso Chip Pound Cake


Cafe Ladro Espresso Chip Pound Cake

This month I’m diving into this really fun book, Signature Tastes of Seattle by Steven W. Siler. It’s a cookbook of restaurant recipes from our area and the first one I’m sharing is from the renowned Seattle coffeehouse, Cafe Ladro.

Really, besides salmon (recipe coming up this weekend!) what tastes more like Seattle than coffee? Not much!

The original Cafe Ladro opened on upper Queen Anne back in 1994. Now there are 14 area locations and, lucky for us, there is a Cafe Ladro just a couple of miles from my house in West Seattle, (7011 California Ave SW, Seattle).

Usually I’d order a vanilla latte at Cafe Ladro, but this week I stopped in for six shots of expresso in a cup to go, because I wanted to make one of their signature items – Espresso Chip Pound Cake.

This recipe is big, bold, dense and, yes… loaded with caffeine.


I talked to the barista at Cafe Ladro in West Seattle and found out that the Espresso Chip Pound Cake is one of the most popular items in the pastry case and it sells out daily.

I had hoped to run a little taste test today when Joy and I met for coffee, but sure enough, the Espresso Chip Pound Cake was all sold out, so we just enjoyed a piece of my homemade. It was amazingly good!

cafe Ladro coffee

Here is the recipe. It makes more than enough batter for a bundt pan. You’ll have leftovers to make a few muffins or a small loaf, too.


Cafe Ladro’s Espresso Chip Pound Cake
Author: A Passionate Plate – from Cafe Ladro, Seattle
Serves: 12+
This recipe comes from Seattle’s Cafe Ladro. It’s rich, dense and full of coffee flavor. Unless you have a very large bundt pan, you’ll probably have extra batter to bake a few muffins or a small pound cake loaf, too.
  • 1 lb. butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup espresso shots, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • confectioners sugar for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a large bundt pan (or spray with baker’s spray)
  3. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a stand mixer, starting on low speed and then on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until the eggs are just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on low speed until just combined.
  7. Add the sour cream and buttermilk and mix until just combined.
  8. Add the espresso and mix until just combined.
  9. Add the chocolate chips until just combined.
  10. Scoop the cake mixture into a large, prepared bunt pan. Fill the pan 3/4 full. If your bundt pan is not big enough, scoop the remaining batter into prepared muffin tins or a small loaf pan.
  11. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  12. Let the cake cool, then remove from the pan and garnish with confectioners sugar before serving.



  1. Margretta says:

    Omg…this looks so good! It’s not fair to put in now when spring and smaller clothes are almost here.

    • MaryMiller says:

      Hi, Margretta! So great to hear from you! Yes, those smaller clothes are right around the corner… but this cake was worth an extra trip to the gym. 🙂

  2. rosemary willman says:

    just double checking 275, just seems low for this size cake, but cook time is up to 2hrs so maybe it works?

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