Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Chocolate chip loaf cake tastes extra moist and is loaded with chocolate chips in each bite. This easy butter cake is manageable and convenient because it’s smaller and quicker than a traditional layer or sheet cake. There’s no complicated decorating required and each slice comes with a fudge-like chocolate peanut butter garnish on top.

slices of chocolate chip loaf cake

Have you ever tasted an Entenmann’s or TastyKake style treat? You know those store-bought confections like breakfast pastries, donuts, donut holes, dessert cakes, etc? Well, we created a homemade version of those mass-produced treats. Completely not on purpose– the goal was to make a simple and scaled down chocolate chip cake, but tasting this brought us back to our childhood snacking on chocolate frosted donuts.

A very happy and delicious accident, if you will.


Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake Details

  • Texture: This is basically a super moist butter cake scaled down to fit a loaf pan. I loosely adapted the recipe from our raspberry swirl pound cake, but made today’s version much lighter. You’ll notice fewer eggs and butter and the addition of milk to lighten up the batter. Consider this a VERY light-crumbed pound cake. We recommend slicing it while it’s still a little warm so the chocolate chips are extra melty.
  • Flavor: If you love butter and chocolate, you’ll enjoy this chocolate chip loaf cake. We recommend using mini chocolate chips so you get dozens of chips in every single bite. You can leave the loaf cake plain, but we certainly didn’t regret garnishing it with a glossy chocolate peanut butter topping. Yes, this loaf cake is nearly perfect.
  • Ease: We have a basic butter-based cake on our hands and the great news is that there’s no crazy assembly or complicated decoration required. All of the equipment (mixer, loaf pan) and ingredients are pretty standard for a baking recipe. We always appreciate an easy dessert that delivers big.
  • Time: Set aside a few hours to complete this recipe which includes preparing the batter, baking, and cooling.

chocolate chip loaf cake

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake Batter

We want you to feel confident when it’s your turn to try this loaf cake recipe, so we’re explaining each ingredient. If you keep scrolling, you’ll find the full printable recipe.

  1. Butter & Sugar: Like many cake recipes, creamed butter & sugar make up the base of this recipe. Make sure you’re using proper room temperature butter. This does not mean very soft butter– rather, room temperature butter is cool to the touch. If it’s melted in the slightest, your cake is doomed from the very beginning. Feel free to borrow our trick for softening butter quickly.
  2. Eggs: 2 eggs add structure and tenderness to this loaf cake.
  3. Sour Cream: Sour cream works hard in cake recipes, making each crumb moist and tender. Even a little bit (1/4 cup) makes a big difference.
  4. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor. If you have homemade vanilla extract on hand, this chocolate chip loaf cake is a great place to use it!
  5. All-Purpose Flour: We tested the recipe using cake flour, but it proved to be much too light– the cake lost most structure. All-purpose flour is the ideal choice. We haven’t tested any gluten free variations.
  6. Baking Powder: Baking powder adds lift so this isn’t a super dense loaf cake.
  7. Salt: Salt offsets the sweetness.
  8. Milk: Most cake recipes include milk and this is to help thin out the batter so you get a cake-like crumb. For best results, use whole milk. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. If you want to use buttermilk, you absolutely could but we recommend replacing the milk AND sour cream with buttermilk. Use 3/4 cup buttermilk.
  9. Mini Chocolate Chips: You can use regular chocolate chips, but just like with our chocolate chip scones, we prefer using mini because you enjoy more in each bite. We use semi-sweet, but milk chocolate or dark chocolate work too. We’re sure white chocolate or butterscotch morsels would be tasty as well.

NOTE: The batter is a little thick and lumpy. During the mixing process, you’ll notice that the wet ingredients don’t emulsify together very smoothly– that’s ok! It’s nothing to worry about because once you add the dry ingredients, everything comes together.

chocolate chip cake batter

loaf cake before and after baking

You’ll Love This Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping

Feel free to serve this chocolate chip loaf cake plain, but if there’s an opportunity for chocolate and peanut butter, we should take it. This is the same topping we use on our no bake peanut butter bars. Made with just 2 ingredients, it’s thick, glossy, and eventually sets into a fudge-like consistency.

Other options are chocolate ganache (halve the recipe), salted caramel (halve the recipe or keep leftovers), or serve each slice with fresh whipped cream and berries.

chocolate peanut butter topping in glass bowl and on a loaf cake

butter loaf cake with chocolate chips

Enjoy More Chocolate Desserts

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slices of chocolate chip loaf cake

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This super moist and buttery chocolate chip loaf cake uses basic baking ingredients and tastes unbelievable with a 2 ingredient fudge-like glaze on top.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips

Optional Topping

  • 1/2 cup (90g) mini chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) creamy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and generously grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and beat on high speed for 1 minute, then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. The mixture will be very lumpy and appear curdled– that’s ok. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer to low speed and as the mixer runs, slowly pour in the milk. Beat on low speed just until all of the ingredients are combined. Do not over-mix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no large lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour and spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake for about 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. That time is a guideline— all ovens differ, so keep a close eye on the cake after 55 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly on top, loosely tent with aluminum foil as it bakes.
  6. Cool cake in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan. Feel free to continue cooling it directly on a wire rack or slice and enjoy then. (It will still be slightly warm.) You can drizzle the topping on the cake when the cake is still slightly warm after that 1 hour of cooling or wait until the cake has cooled completely to top it.
  7. Optional Topping: Stir and melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove or in a heatproof bowl using the microwave. We usually use the microwave and melt in 30 second increments, stirring after each until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Topping sets into a fudge-like consistency after several hours.
  8. Cover leftovers tightly and store cake (with or without topping) at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Topped or plain cake freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or serve cold.
  2. Sour Cream & Milk: Feel free to replace the sour cream with lowfat plain yogurt. For best results, use whole milk. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. If you want to use buttermilk, you absolutely could but we recommend replacing the milk AND sour cream with buttermilk. Use 3/4 cup buttermilk.
  3. Chocolate Chips: 1 standard 12 ounce bag is enough for this recipe. You can use regular size chocolate chips in both the cake and topping. We prefer using mini because you get more in each bite and for the topping, they melt down easier. We use semi-sweet, but milk chocolate or dark chocolate work too. We’re sure white chocolate or butterscotch morsels would be tasty as well.
  4. Peanut Butter: For best results, use processed creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. We do not recommend oily or natural style peanut butter because the topping will separate.
  5. Topping Options: See blog post for other topping options.
  6. Cupcakes/Muffins: We haven’t tested this recipe as cupcakes, muffins, or mini muffins, so let us know if you do. We imagine it would work just fine, but aren’t sure of the quantity. We recommend following the same baking instructions (steps 1 and 3) as our banana muffins.
  7. 1 layer cake: This batter will fit in a 9-inch greased square pan and take about 45 minutes to bake through at 350°F (177°C). The batter will not fit or bake evenly in a 9-inch round cake pan.
  8. Bundt Cake: We haven’t tested this recipe as a bundt cake, but we recommend doubling the batter and using a 10-12 cup bundt cake pan. Bake at 350°F (177°C). We’re unsure of the best bake time. The batter, without doubling, would yield a very short bundt cake.
  9. Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together properly. Read here for more information.

Keywords: chocolate chip loaf cake

88 Comments

  1. Yum yum yum Sally. You always come up with the BEST ideas! You can bake these with cookie batterand honestly just dip- mmm! If I asked my pastry chef uncle if that was possibel, he’d say even a cheesekake could do !

  2. Oh my chocolatey goodness, this looks heavenly! I hope you’re doing well, Sally. You have been so MIA since around the start of the year (at least on Instagram) and that’s unlike you, so I’ve been worrying about you and keeping you in my thoughts. Can’t wait to make this recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Victoria. Let us know if you ever try this loaf cake!

  3. Oh. my. goodness. I mean you had me at chocolate chips but the peanut butter topping looks…incredible! Thank you Sally! Every time you post a new recipe i get so excited! Can’t wait to try this.

    1. Can we replace the eggs with any substitute? I am a vegetarian

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Sunita, we haven’t tested this recipe with any egg substitutes, but let us know if you give anything a try.

  4. Do you think bananas could be added into this recipe successfully? I’ll definitely be giving it a try!

    1. Haven’t tried it! That sounds delicious. You may enjoy this banana chocolate chip crumb cake.

  5. I love loaf cakes! This one looks delicious. My American loaf pan finally died and I can’t find an economical replacement. I actually have all the ingredients in my house and will give it a try with my small loaf pans. I’m sure it will be super tasty!

    1. If you have a Costco membership, watch for Nordic ware loaf pans. I found a double pack of this brand of loaf pans for a great price at Costco this past fall.

  6. Sheila Calnan says:

    PB and chocolate! How can you go wrong?
    Think I’ll add these to my list for the fund raiser, but in mini loaf pans.

    1. Hi this looks amazing! Can’t wait to try! Is there a different option for frosting other than peanut butter?

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Mona, see heading “You’ll Love this Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping” for more topping ideas — enjoy!

  7. I am excited to try this and loved all your extra notes on the recipe. But I like to make mini loaves. With other loaf recipes, I can get 3 mini loaves out of one batch. With just two of us, it is a better choice and I can give the other two away. Do you think this would work with this recipe?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pat, Yes you can use this recipe for mini loaves. We are unsure of the bake time but bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

  8. Katriona Brownlow says:

    This sounds exactly like what my O.R. crew needs!! Your recipes NEVER disappoint! Thanks Sally!

  9. Janet Hammond says:

    What size loaf pan is used in this recipe? I have 2 sizes, 8×4 inch and 9×5 inch.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Janet, see step 1 – you need a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Hope you love it!

  10. Sally, I read it again and saw the other options for toppings. Thank you. All set regarding prior question. Guess I just missed that part lol. Note to self—slow down! (hehe).

  11. Thanks Lexi. Much appreciated suggestions for alternate toppings. Making tomorrow morning!!

  12. I made this with my daughter to celebrate being fully vaccinated today! It was amazing, as expected with Sally.

  13. I made this for dinner and it was delicious! Thank you pregnancy cravings. My sides and bottom got a little overdone and tough, so I’ll check next time at 55 minutes. I got a new loaf pan so it might have been user error with a new piece of bakeware. Love all your recipes! I rarely bake from any other website since I can always rely on your recipes to be delicious.

  14. Can I double this recipe?
    All of the dishes I have made from your website are amazing!
    Thank you.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, for best results, we recommend making twice rather than doubling. Let us know how you like it!

      1. Thanks Lexi.

  15. I can’t wait to make this! I don’t like peanut butter (I know, what’s going with me) so I’ll probably just add either chocolate ganache or dark chocolate frosting

    1. Made this yesterday, went the buttermilk route per your alternative recommendation, and it turned out great! I didn’t add any topping, and it’s still delicious! Thanks!!

  16. It turned out gorgeous! But make sure to spray your pan super good… I sprayed mine very well and still sadly when I try to get it out part of it stayed in the bottom. But I just put it on a plate and slathered it with the delicious topping and called it good! My friends are still loved it!

  17. This was a lovely easy tart recipe. Lemon with blueberries are one of my favorite combinations for desserts. The blueberry sauce was a nice addition. I will definitely be making more of your desserts in the future!

    1. Just wanted to let you know, I think you may have posted this comment in the wrong recipe? Did you mean to put this comment in the lemon blueberry tart? Again, just wanted to let you know, not trying to be rude!

  18. lori @ Lori-ize it! says:

    My son and I baked this yesterday. So tasty. He decided it tasted like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a quick bread… a Brea-kie? Well in taste anyway. I blogged about it today.

  19. Can I ask the difference between using the milk and sour cream versus the buttermilk?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Clara! Using sour cream & milk will yield a slightly sturdier loaf cake than using buttermilk. Both are delicious!

  20. It does taste like a donut…a delicious gourmet donut! Love the peanut butter, chocolate drizzle. I used a bunt pan. Looks great! I will definitely make it again. Next time, I will use less sugar and less chocolate chips (just a personal preference). Thanks for the great recipe.

  21. Absolutely delicious! Moist and chocolate! Easy to mix. Perfect dessert for a chicken noodle soup day. 5 stars easily! Thanks Sally! The pb and chocolate was the ‘icing on the cake!’

  22. Thanks for sharing. I must try this recipe

  23. Love the taste and texture but the choc chips sunk to bottom it still tasted I doubled your mixture my loaf pan in uk is much bigger but took 75minutes the Sally another great recipe

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mandy, you can try lightly tossing the chocolate chips in flour next time to help with any sinking. Glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  24. Big hit at my house! Everyone loved the Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake. My grand daughter declared “this is the best bread ever”! It was also very easy and a well well written recipe.

  25. Sally, yummy! This is my next baking project, maybe for this afternoon or tomorrow. I use mini-chocolate chips in several of your cake recipes, such as Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake. I love your “tips.”

  26. Hi Sally, I love your recipes! They are always spot-on and tested to come out tasting delicious! I made the loaf this morning and OMG, scrumptious!!! I did not want a chocolate peanut butter topping so I just opted for sprinkling pecans and turbinado sugar on the loaf top before baking it for 55 minutes. It was just right for my taste preference. Take care and keep on baking!

  27. Been eying this up on social media all week and had to make it today. I just pulled it out of the oven and it turned out beautifully! Mine took about 55 mins to bake. I followed the directions to a T, I love all your recipe notes. Can’t wait to have a piece!!

  28. Chocolate lovers dream. This is delicious and super easy. Definitely check at 55 minutes as I should have pulled mine out just a smidge earlier but still tastes great. We ate it all for breakfast one morning

  29. Your recipes on baking have got me through the horror of last year, Sally! my first baking experience has been your Triple Chocolate Cake. I’ve been following and trying out most of your cake recipes through 2020 with excellent results. Consider me in love ❤️ And this loaf cake is so yummy. Simple yet scrumptious. Thank you for such deliciousness!

  30. I can’t wait to make this later today. I’ll update with a rating when it’s done! Also, a quick question- should the milk also be at room temperature? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie, it certainly doesn’t hurt! Hope you love this one

      1. It turned out SO GOOD!! Everyone loved it. I ended up baking it in a 8×8 square pan and took it out after 30min and it was perfect. Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!

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