Hey guys- today we’re making a little Chocolate Loaf Cake topped with cream cheese frosting, and it’s the perfect easy treat.

Chocolate Loaf Cake

I’m really into frosted loaf cakes lately because they give you all the qualities of a big ol’ frosted layer cake, but it’s so much less work. This loaf cake is basically a chocolate pound cake, and it’s so yummy. Let’s get to it!

How to Make Chocolate Loaf Cake

You can mix this cake entirely by hand, and it’s super easy to pull together. We’re starting by whisking up some sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs until well combined. Then we’re going to add in our dry ingredients and some buttermilk in alternating additions.

Once your batter is completely mixed, it’s time to throw it into a loaf pan and then it’s off to the oven. You’ll end up with a tall pound cake, and you want to make sure that it cools completely before you move on to the frosting.

I like to top this cake with a simple cream cheese frosting that comes together quickly. Cream cheese frosting is easy to overbeat, so you really just want to mix until it’s thick and spreadable- if you go to far, it can become thin and too runny. That said, it’s a fairly soft but still spreadable frosting!

Perfect Chocolate Loaf Cake

And then we’re just slicing and serving up this beauty!

High Altitude Chocolate Loaf Cake

Tips & Tricks for Chocolate Loaf Cake

This is a simple cake, but I have some tips and tricks to help you along the way!

  • You can mix the cake batter entirely by hand. I find this to be a great method here- when you’re working with batters that are thin enough, mixing by hand helps ensure that you don’t over-mix anything!
  • Do I have to use dutch-processed cocoa powder? I highly recommend using dutch-processed cocoa powder here, and in all my chocolate recipes. It gives you a much richer chocolate flavor! Hershey’s sells a “special dark” cocoa that’s available in many grocery stores that works great.
  • Do I have to use the coffee? Please do the coffee! It won’t make your cake taste like coffee, promise! It really just brings out the chocolate flavor, and it’s so yummy.
  • What if I don’t have buttermilk? You can make your own buttermilk substitute by adding about 1 tsp. white vinegar to your measuring cup before adding whole milk to fill to the required 3/4 cup. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes before using. BUT, you need to use buttermilk or this substitute for this recipe. It keeps things moist, and it affects how the cake will rise.
  • What size eggs do you use? I always use large eggs for my recipes- that’s what it most available in my area, and it works great for baking!
  • Soften your cream cheese completely before making the frosting or the frosting will become lumpy.
  • Don’t overbeat the frosting. Cream cheese frosting is delicate, and while it will be a softer frosting even when done right, over-mixing can create a thin, soupy frosting!
  • I am at about 5,000 ft. above sea level and I find that most people who live between about 3,000-7,000 ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes.

Hope you guys enjoy this one!

High Altitude Chocolate Loaf Cake
4.34 from 3 votes
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Chocolate Loaf Cake

Servings 8 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup brewed, cooled coffee
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and generously grease an 8-inch loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper on the bottom optionally with overhanging pieces for easier removal.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and coffee and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until combined, and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Pour in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, and whisk to combine. Then add in about 1/2 of the milk mixture, and repeat until all of the flour and all of the milk has been added. Whisk until just combined and smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. The cake should look set and puffed. Cool the cake completely in the pan before removing and frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, then add in the powdered sugar slowly and beat until a thick frosting forms. Add in the vanilla extract and salt and mix to combine. Frost your cooled cake generously, slice, and serve!


10 Comments

  1. Connie

    March 5, 2022 at 11:36 am

    This sound just right. It is nice to bake small cakes since we like just a little treat with afternoon coffee or tea. Thanks for sharing. Will be making this gorgeous chocolate yummy for this Sunday get together.

    Reply
    • Dough-Eyed

      March 8, 2022 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks so much!

      Reply
  2. Barb St Clair-Borrero

    March 6, 2022 at 7:03 am

    I love that you put together these lovely and simple recipes. It is true that sometimes a layer cake is too much unless we are expecting guests. This seems to be a smaller cake that would be perfect with or without frosting. Yes! Please, use the coffee it really enhances the chocolate flavor.
    Love your blog! We are at 6,600 alt and your book and blog is my go to for recipes and tips & tricks.

    Reply
    • Dough-Eyed

      March 8, 2022 at 3:02 pm

      I love the small recipes too! So glad you're enjoying the blog and book- thank you so much!!

      Reply
    • Barb St Clair-Borrero

      March 10, 2022 at 11:01 am

      3 stars
      Made this yesterday and found it surprisingly dry. At 6,660 alt I often find I must reduce baking times. I baked this for the recommended 50min and probably should have checked it at 42-45min. Or possibly added more fat or liquid. Adding chocolate chips would be a nice addition.

      Reply
      • Dough-Eyed

        March 18, 2022 at 10:45 am

        I'm sorry it came out dry for you! I did not have that issue with this cake, but you can definitely add another tablespoon of fat and watch the bake time- everyone's ovens run a bit different unfortunately. Thank you for the feedback!

        Reply
  3. Koko

    March 6, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my, this is not only delicious, it is a beautiful glossy cake with gorgeous crumb. Wow. I had some homemade fudge chocolate syrup which I used on each piece. My husband and I are really enjoying your small batch baking. It's just the two of us now, so we can make a little something wonderful in just the right amount for us. Keep it up! Thank you XO

    Reply
    • Dough-Eyed

      March 8, 2022 at 3:03 pm

      Yay, so glad to hear you liked it! Fudge syrup sounds fantastic on top too!

      Reply
  4. Linda

    March 8, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    5 stars
    This is so beautiful and delicious! I used wonderful King Arthur double Dutch cocoa powder. Wow! And thank you for this great recipe.

    Reply
    • Dough-Eyed

      March 8, 2022 at 3:03 pm

      YUM, love King Arthur cocoa, so glad you liked the recipe!

      Reply

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