Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake

Sometimes there is nothing more homey and comforting than a loaf cake. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love me a multi-step cake every once in a while, but a simple loaf cake that takes 10 or 15 minutes to prep is just what life calls for more often than not.

And this everyday chocolate loaf cake really lives up to its name. There are no apologies about this cake – it’s humble, straightforward, and fabulous.  The texture is similar to that of a pound cake with a tight crumb and a little on the dense side.

It’s exactly how I hoped it would be and we both had trouble keeping our hands off it!


Like most everyday baking recipes, this one includes a standard list of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder (the darker the better) 
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Table salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Buttermilk – liquid buttermilk, not dried
  • Pure vanilla extract

Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake

Is Dutch-Processed Cocoa Absolutely Needed?

Yes, it is for this recipe.

Please don’t try to substitute Dutch-processed cocoa for regular unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. Dutch-processed will react with the baking soda and buttermilk to help the soft texture of this cake.

How to Elevate this Loaf Cake

I thought about running a swirl of peanut butter through the cake batter, and also about schmearing the cake with some peanut butter frosting but it’s just not needed.

Much like the “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake, I wanted uncomplicated chocolate and that’s what I got with this cake. 

It’s a classic and in-your-face chocolate cake. A truly excellent one, at that!!

If you Love This Chocolate Loaf, You’ll Love These Other Loaf Cake Recipes!

Lemon Buttermilk Loaf Cake | Peanut Butter Cup Hot Fudge Banana Bread | Blood Orange Poppy Loaf Cake | Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake

Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Chocolate loaf cake is a fantastic and easy "everyday" type of cake to make. You can whip the batter up quickly and it's delicious alterntive to banana bread.


  • 6 ¾ oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 ⅝ oz Dutch-processed cocoa powder (the darker the better)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ⅞ oz firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with butter and flour or baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer with a large bowl, cream the butter at medium-high speed until smooth. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg until combined then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. At this point, the batter will look like it's separating but that's ok. Add in the dry ingredients and stir by hand with a rubber spatula until just combined, taking care to scrape up the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spread the top out evenly, and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a long toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (My cake needed upwards of 75 minutes.) Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove it from the pan and allow the cake to fully cool on the rack before slicing and serving.


adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from At Home with Magnolia)

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Leave a Comment

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    April 26, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Love this chocolate loaf cake! So comforting 🙂

  • Sarah Keil
    April 26, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    i could definitely eat a loaf cake like this everyday! amazing.

  • Young Chang-Miller
    April 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Looks delish! Thanks for sharing.

  • Pam
    April 26, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Sounds great! Thanks for including the measurements by weight!

  • Mel
    April 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    It’s chocolate cake in bread form.

  • April 27, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    What a fabulous treat!

  • Pranita
    May 31, 2020 at 4:37 AM

    Can u please tell ingrediants in cups or grams. I dont understand in oz.

    Thanx in advance.

    • Tara
      June 20, 2020 at 12:26 PM

      I’m sorry but I don’t convert all of my recipes into cups or grams. You can check Google for how to make the appropriate conversions.

  • Verbena
    July 3, 2020 at 10:38 PM

    Google will give you conversion for FLUID ounces. You are looking for weight (oz). Get a little scale. They are great to have.

    • Tara
      July 15, 2020 at 9:04 AM

      Google will also convert grams to weight ounces. You just have to ask it to. 🙂