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Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

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Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

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This chocolate loaf cake from Ina Garten tastes as rich and chocolaty as a brownie.

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 buttercream 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!).

What you’ll need To Make Ina Garten’s Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

Cake ingredients including eggs, butter, and vanilla.

How to make triple 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.

Coffee, chocolate, and water ingredients in a measuring cup.Stir until the chocolate melts, then set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Measuring cup filled with a coffee mixture.In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt.

Bowl of unmixed dry ingredients.

Whisk well and set aside.

Whisk in a bowl of dry ingredients.

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

Chocolate chips tossed in flour.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together.

Butter and sugars in a stand mixer.

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Stand mixer of creamed butter and sugar.

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

Egg in a stand mixer with a butter mixture.

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

Vanilla in a stand mixer with a butter mixture.

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

Flour being added to a chocolate mixture.

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.)

Chocolate batter in a stand mixer.

Add the chocolate chips to the batter.

Chocolate chips in a bowl with chocolate batter.

Fold with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Spatula in a bowl of chocolate cake batter.

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

Two loaf pans filled with chocolate batter.

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.)

Two chocolate loaf cakes.

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

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Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

This chocolate loaf cake from Ina Garten tastes as rich and chocolaty as a brownie.

Servings: Two 8x4-in loaves


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, best quality
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey's
  • 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


  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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (24 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 251
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Sugar: 24 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 128 mg
  • Cholesterol: 46 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • The best chocolate loaf I ever made, now it is my family’s favorite! Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Mira on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • I baked the loaves yesterday and after cooling I had a slice. It was absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe to the letter except I had 8.5 inch pans instead of 8 inch and they still came out beautifully.

    • — Virginia Lehner on September 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just finished baking these loaves and look just like your picture. I made them with the ingredients that you listed. I can’t wait to taste . Thank you Jen & Ina.

    • — Virginia Lehner on September 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • My low rating is based on appearance. One loaf fell and both loaves had several pieces fall off when removed from loaf pan 😕. I’m too disappointed to try a slice right now — will do that tomorrow.

  • This was just Wow!
    This reminded me very much of a European cake, which I love because it’s all about the flavor rather than the sugar or fat. My cakes were definitely tender and soft, while at the same time I found it a bit of a “cakey” cake than a fudgy one. I won’t use the word “dry,” but there was a certain denseness to the crumb that comes from using the unsweetened cocoa, which I just loved. I did use successfully use whole wheat pastry flour, which doesn’t have a strong or bitter taste and my husband and I didn’t even notice it was there. A definitely sophisticated dessert. I will make this again!

  • I’m a bit confused by this recipe. Generally if natural cocoa is used (as in this recipe) then baking soda is used as the leavener. Here the recipe calls for natural cocoa and baking powder. Is this correct? Also, I have dutched/alkalized cocoa on hand. Will it work in this recipe. Thanks!

    • Hi Diane, I know it’s unconventional, but because this is not my recipe, I’m not sure what Ina’s reasoning was for choosing baking powder instead of baking soda. And for the most predictable results, I’d stick to the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  • Love this because it’s good and it makes two loaves, one for eating and one for sharing. Try adding a heaping tablespoon of flour before the third egg. That should eliminate that curdled look!

  • I’ve made triple chocolate loaf several times and have been very happy with the outcome. So easy to make and so full of chocolate! My family love it and ask for it often.

  • I’m a chocolate connoisseur and this is the perfect chocolate cake ever! Love that dash of coffee and salt in it.

  • What can I substitute for the instant ground coffee?

    • Hi Ellen, you can just omit it. It will still be delicious!

  • It was really really decadent and delicious 😋! The only problem I had was that the chocolate chips settled at the bottom.

  • Hi. I have been enjoying your recipes as we have been hunkering down. I have cocoa, bittersweet chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips on hand, but no no bittersweet chocolate. How can I best substitute? Thank you!

    • Hi Anita, Glad you like the recipes! While chocolate chips aren’t optimal here, if that’s all you have on hand, I think you can get away with using them in place of the bittersweet chocolate. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

  • Hi, can i use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. It’s all i have. Thanks!

    • — Rowena Van Slooten
    • Reply
    • Hi Rowena, If you have any all-purpose flour, I’d suggest starting by using half whole wheat and half all-purpose to make sure you like the texture. If you don’t have any all-purpose flour, you can try it with whole wheat, but the texture is likely to be pretty heavy and dense. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jen,
    Could I freeze the second loaf?


    • Yep 🙂

    • Hi is it possible to use “real” ground coffee? We don’t typically have instant coffee but grind coffee beans.


      • Hi Linda, I wouldn’t recommend ground coffee here as I don’t think it will dissolve, but instead of the boiling water, you can use boiling brewed coffee. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

  • Jen, I would like to make these but my loaf pans are 9 x 5. And one of them is ceramic. 1) how would I adjust the timing and 2) am I correct that the timing in a ceramic pan is different from the metal and if so, what would the timing be in that pan.

    • Hi Macky, 9 x 5“ loaf pans will work – – they’ll just give you shorter, wider loaves. And the one in the ceramic loaf pan may be done a few minutes earlier than the other one so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

      • Thank you very much.

      • Hi jenn, I love all of your recipes! I was wondering if I could use almond flour for this recipe to be more keto friendly? Thanks!

        • Hi, So glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend almond flour here as I think it would significantly impact the texture of the cake — sorry!

  • I loved this recipe ..it hits the spot and is not so sweet you regret eating it … lol. I have made this several times and love the texture and the taste is divine

  • Hey, what can I substitute instead of eggs? And in what quantity? My husband does not eat cake which have eggs so I am looking for a good substitute to try your recipe.

  • I posted a question a few days back, but since I don’t see it here, I’m posting is again:
    How do I reduce the ingredients and baking time for just 1 cake instead of 3 at a go?

    • Hi Vasudha, Sorry we missed your first question! This loaf recipe makes just two loaves, not three. So to make one, you’d cut all the ingredients in half. Baking time will be similar if not just a few minutes less so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

  • I have a European pan that is 12″ by 4 1/2″. Is it too risky to put all of the batter into this pan?Thank you!

    • I wouldn’t recommend it, Erena — sorry!

    • Is it possible to make the batter a day ahead before baking?

      • Unfortunately, it won’t work to make the batter in advance as the cake won’t rise well when you go to bake it. If you’d like, you can mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine them and proceed with the recipe when you’re ready to bake it.

  • it was so moist and the perfect balance of chocolate and sweetness! will be making this again!

  • So YUMMY and Moist!!! Will use this recipe, and share with family & Friends!

    • — Oakgrovecitygirl
    • Reply
  • I went ahead and made this as a bundt. Like a few others, I found this recipe to be a little dry and crumble. I was expecting it to be moist, so it was disappointing. Oh well! I usually love Ina’s recipes.

  • Second time I made cake in a week. Made cake according to recipe with one exception, used 2 duck eggs, next time I’ll try 3.

  • Hi Jenn, do you think this could be made in a bundt pan rather than split into two loaves? Thanks!

    • Yep, I’ve made it that way and it works well. Cook time is about the same. 🙂

  • I made this cake with the following changes: (1) I used 1 c. light brown sugar plus 1 TBSP. molasses because I didn’t have dark brown sugar, (2) I used 1 tsp. espresso powder for the instant coffee because that’s all I had on hand, and (3) I baked this in a 10″ bundt pan because I don’t own 2 loaf pans. This cake was so moist and delicious. Absolutely loved it! I baked it for 55 minutes at 350, let it cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and then turned it out to cool on wire rack. Delicious!

  • Haven’t tried the recipe yet but all your recipes have come out FANTASTIC! My question do you have to use extra large eggs or can I use large?

    • Hi Gail, Ina always uses extra large eggs for baking. I used large, since that’s what I keep on hand, and didn’t have any issues. Hope that helps!

  • Jenn,
    Your recipes turn out awesome every time just like Ina’s, so of course I was going to bake this cake. I used what I had on hand-2 extra large eggs and 1 large egg and semi sweet chocolate chips for the bittersweet chocolate plus my 9×5 loaf pans. The cakes turned out great just like I knew they would. Thanks for providing the recipe.

  • Jenn – I intend to make and consume this decadent cake. That being said, I have what is really a chemistry question. With normal cocoa powder, you normally use baking soda as the base to interact with the acid present in the cocoa powder. Baking powder has both baking soda and cornstarch for the base and acid components. Does the use of baking powder with normal cocoa powder result in a slightly more dense cake in this recipe?
    Thank you – Michael

    • — Michael A. Smith
    • Reply
    • Hi Michael, Because this is not my recipe, I’m not sure what Ina’s reasoning was for choosing baking powder instead of baking soda. I do know, though, that it produces a pretty dense cake. Hope that clarifies at least a little and that you enjoy the cake!

      • This is a fabulous cake. Very easy and very delicious. Do you think nuts would be a good edition?

        • So glad you enjoyed it, Mary! Yes, Ina’s original recipe calls for 1 cup chopped walnuts. I only left them out because my kids prefer everything without nuts. 🙂

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

  • 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!!

  • 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?
    Sara D

    • 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…I let the cake cool over night. It was a bit dry and crumbly. Sara D

  • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • I just made this and it was sooo dry. I did use smaller pans that I coated w/oil and sugar. The cake stuck to my non stick pans but not to my alumium throw away pans but it was still dry. I shortened the baking time (30 min) and I aways season my cake pans w/sugar & oil. Your pictures look like your cakes are dry also. I am a retired chef and followed the recipe to the T.

    • — Thomas Schoettle
    • 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

    • 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!

  • I am wondering how this might work as a bundt? Thoughts? Thanks!

    • I’ve tried it, Sara, and it turned out beautifully. Cook time is about the same.

  • 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
    • 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. 🙂

  • This sounds yummy. Is bittersweet chocolate the same as “unsweetened?”

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

  • 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?

    • 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!

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