Chocolate-Pomegranate Cakes


Chocolate-Pomegranate Cakes

There are bound to be at least a few chocolate lovers on your holiday guest list. And nothing will make their night like a rich, personal-sized chocolate cake.

Expect oohs and ahhs when people discover that there are actually three cake layers inside — which are only as thick as a baking sheet — plus a jelly-like filling that bursts with pomegranate flavor. To make these babies easy to assemble, you’ll actually create a single cake, then cut it into squares. Glaze and garnish each individual slice to achieve the look of stand-alone cakes.


15–18 cakes

Total Time

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Test Kitchen Tip

After filling and layering the cake, pop it into the freezer until it’s firm so it’s easier to cut into squares.


Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 11×17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.

For the cake, whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt in a large bowl until no lumps are visible.

Combine water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; whisk into dry ingredients only until flour is no longer visible. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet, spreading to edges.

Bake cake 15 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a rack, then turn out onto another sheet of parchment paper. Peel original parchment paper from cake.

Trim edges from all sides of cake. Cut cake into thirds to form three 5×10-inch rectangles.

For the filling, combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1½ cups, about 10 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and 3 Tbsp. pomegranate juice in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into reduced juice mixture in saucepan.

Boil pomegranate filling to thicken and cook out the flavor of the cornstarch, 12 minutes. Transfer filling to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

Spread half of the chilled filling onto one cake layer. Top cake layer and filling with a second cake layer and remaining filling; top with final cake layer.

Cut cake into 1½-inch squares. Transfer squares to a cooling rack placed over a parchment-paperlined baking sheet, leaving space between individual cake squares.

For the glaze, heat cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium until mixture boils. Place semisweet and bittersweet chocolate in a bowl; pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let cream and chocolate stand 3 minutes, then whisk until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth.

Pour 1 Tbsp. glaze over each cake square; spread on tops and sides to cover completely. Let glaze stand until firm, 30 minutes. Garnish each cake square with pomegranate arils.

Make-Ahead Directions: Bake the cake and make the filling up to 2 days before serving. Glaze cakes a few hours before serving them so the glaze has time to set up.


Cut the cake into thirds, then trim the edges of the cake pieces to ensure even sides and level layers.


You can either smooth glaze over the tops and sides of cake squares or allow it to drip down the sides.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per cake

Calories: 299

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 18g 27%

Saturated Fat 6g 30%

Cholesterol 15mg 5%

Sodium 113mg 4%

Carbs 39g 13%

Fiber 2g 8%

Protein 3g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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