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Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

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Chocolate Loaf Cake

An everyday chocolate loaf cake seems easy enough to bake but, in cooking, the simplest things are often the hardest to get right. The challenge is that most chocolate cakes get their chocolate flavor solely from cocoa powder. This works well in a layer cake when you have a thick chocolate frosting to add richness and flavor, but in a naked loaf cake, cocoa powder alone leaves you wanting. This chocolate snack cake from Ina Garten’s latest cookbook, Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks (Clarkson Potter, 2018), calls not just for cocoa powder, but also bittersweet chocolate and chocolate chips. The result is a luscious snack cake that tastes as rich and chocolaty as a brownie and needs absolutely no frosting. I don’t normally post Ina Garten’s recipes on my blog because I figure everyone already has them, but this one is just too good not to share. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day — and the recipe happily makes two cakes, so one for your family and one to give away (or stash in the freezer for your next chocolate fix!).

how to make chocolate loaf cake

To begin, pour the boiling water into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and add the bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee granules.

how to make chocolate loaf cakeStir until the chocolate melts, then set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.

how to make chocolate loaf cakeIn a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Whisk well and set aside.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

In another bowl, toss the chocolate chips with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and set aside.

how to make chocolate loaf cakeIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Add the vanilla; the mixture may look at little curdled at this point; that’s okay.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Alternately in thirds, add the flour mixture and the chocolate mixture.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

You want to begin and end with the flour. (Don’t worry if there are a few bits of unmelted chocolate in the chocolate mixture.)

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Add the chocolate chips to the batter.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Fold with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Test in a few places because you might hit a warm chocolate chip.)

how to make chocolate loaf cake

Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack, rounded side up, and allow to cool to room temperature.

how to make chocolate loaf cake

My Recipe Videos

My Recipe Videos

Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

Servings: Two 8x4-in loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, best quality
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules, such as Nescafé
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, best quality
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease two 8x4-in loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy or Pam with Flour.
  2. Pour the boiling water into a 2-cup glass measuring cup, add the bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee granules, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, toss the chocolate chips with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture may look at little curdled at this point; that's okay. Alternately in thirds, add the flour mixture and the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. (Don't worry if there are a few bits of unmelted chocolate in the chocolate mixture.) Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Test in a few places because you might hit a warm chocolate chip.) Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, turn out on a cooling rack, rounded side up, and allow to cool to room temperature. Slice with a serrated knife.

Reviews & Comments

  • This was DELICIOUS! The crumb turned out perfect – so moist and tender, without being too sweet. New family favorite! Happy Valentine’s Day! 💗

    • — Steph on February 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Happy Valentine’s Day 💖 Everyone!!!
    I made this loaf cake this morning to serve after dinner tonight. Forgot the instant coffee but honestly, I can’t imagine this being better than it already is without it. Good thing it makes 2 loaves because it’s disappearing fast…Two Thumbs up!!

    • — Carl on February 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    I made your Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake last nite. I followed the instructions to the tee. However, for some reason when I sliced it is was crumbly and falling apart. I am very careful about not over cooking it. I’m thinking it needed more liquid.
    Any hints?
    Thanks!
    Sara D

    • — Sara Dolan on February 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sara, Did you let the cake cool before slicing? It’s definitely harder to slice when warm. I find that a serrated knife helps to prevent crumbling. I’m curious if you found the cake to be dry or just crumbly? I’ve made it several times and always found it to be moist.

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2019
      • Reply
      • Jenn…I let the cake cool over night. It was a bit dry and crumbly. Sara D

        • — Sara Dolan on February 15, 2019
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I tried this recipe tonight. My batter looked just like your photos. I used fresh ingredients and followed the recipe exactly. The kitchen smelled amazing during the baking. After 45 minutes of baking time the tester came out clean and I removed the loaves from the oven. Unfortunately, the rise on each one was only about an inch and looked nothing like what a loaf cake should resemble. They were also dry. I am unsure what could have gone wrong as I measured carefully and the oven was set correctly. Do you have any ideas what might have gone wrong? Thanks.

    • — Faye on February 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Faye, Are your pans 8 x 4-in or 8.5 x 4.5-in? As you can see here, Ina uses 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5-in pans so her cakes in the book are a little shorter than mine. I’m not sure what could be causing the dryness; I’ve made these several times and they’ve always been very moist. Are you using the spoon and level method for measuring the flour?

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2019
      • Reply
  • A great alternative to making a cake! We wasted no time in trying this recipe and it was VERY good! The texture and flavor were excellent. My husband felt it was a tiny bit dry and would benefit from some ice cream or berries or whipped cream. We used Espresso powder instead of instant coffee. Not sure if that made a different or not. I will definitely make this again. It would also be a great hostess gift baked in small loaf pans.

    • — Susan on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    Do you think I can make mini muffins with this batter. If so, what temperature would you recommend and how long should I be baking?
    Thanks, Jo

    • — Jo on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jo, Mini muffins should work here. I’d keep the oven temp the same and start checking them at 12 – 15 minutes. Please let me know how they turn out if you try them!

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2019
      • Reply
  • I am wondering how this might work as a bundt? Thoughts? Thanks!

    • — Sara on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • I’ve tried it, Sara, and it turned out beautifully. Cook time is about the same.

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • In baking I like my recipes in ounces or grams and you, I do believe, show some recipes by weight. Why not all? Thank you for all your recipes they are GREAT! I’m going to try this recipe and then I’ll rate it.

    • — Thomas Schoettle on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Thomas, Most of my recipes (especially the newer ones) have metric measurements. If you look in the top right corner of the recipe, there’s a button that allows you to toggle between metric and cup measures. If you find a recipe without metric, feel free to email me and I’ll update it ASAP. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • This sounds yummy. Is bittersweet chocolate the same as “unsweetened?”

    • — Linda on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, It is not the same – bittersweet chocolate is about 60% cacao while unsweetened is 100%. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi – For dairy free what would be the best substitute for the butter? Or would it alter the taste so much so that I shouldn’t do?
    Thanks,
    Lauren

    • — Lauren Mayer on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, Although I haven’t tried it, I think you could get away with using coconut oil here. Keep in mind that it may give the bread a bit of a coconutty flavor, though. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2019
      • Reply

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