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. It’s fun to serve for a small special occasion like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or whenever you want a treat alongside coffee, tea, or a tall glass of milk!

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

122 Comments

  1. I made this without the optional topping and it was very easy and came together quickly. My fiancé and I cut it up into slices and ate it with coffee during breakfast. I think this would be a very easy dessert to bring to a gathering because it’s very portable, just slice and serve – no worrying about icing falling off/melting, etc. Good recipe!

  2. Very moist and yummy. The topping is a must! My family really liked it. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  3. Can we use grated or chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips for the topping?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharmila, absolutely — same amount (90g).

  4. Delicious and rich- Have a glass of milk ready!

  5. Patricia Eleonore says:

    Hello Sally

    Thank you so much for your awesome recipes.
    Regarding the chocolate chip loaf cake, can I replace the sour cream by a yogurt?
    Beast regards
    Patricia

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patricia, sure can! Use a plain yogurt, same amount.

  6. My loaf pans are slightly smaller than 9×5. I think they are a 8×4 or maybe 8½x4½.
    I noticed, with bread, even the slightly smaller loaf pans made a difference. Therefore, I’m uncertain as to how to adjust for cakes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Al, You shouldn’t need to adjust the recipe. However your loaf will be slightly taller so it may take an extra few minutes of bake time. If you notice the cake is browning too quickly on top before the center is baked through, loosely tent with aluminum foil as it bakes.

      1. Thanks, Stephanie
        Also, where I stay, all-purpose flour is not available. I always use cake flour for all my baking, but I see here it is said not to use Cale flour. Any help?

  7. Second time I made this, it was so good! Was craving something with chocolate chips but didn’t want to make cookies and didn’t want to fuss with muffin tins. The loaf is one easy pan and the recipe is so quick to make. Can tell this will be a favorite of mine! Thanks!

    1. Hello, I live in Taiwan,I made this cake yesterday, also the yummy topping, it’s very delicious,, we love it very much ,thank you for the recipe!

  8. Hi! Can this be frozen after it is made and if you have tried it how to you recommend wrapping it and how long do you recommend freezing it?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa, absolutely. Topped or plain cake freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or serve cold. To wrap, we recommend following the method from our how to freeze cakes post.

  9. A delicious loaf cake! I used finely chopped chocolate (they had no chips at the store) and yogurt instead of sour cream and it came out wonderfully! I sliced it warm and I’m having a bite right now; I love it.
    Thank you for your recipes Sally, they work out for me all the time and I really appreciate that you put the ingredients in grams next to the cups and teaspoons 🙂

  10. Al Maqdisi says:

    Update:
    I made the cake (and I’m eating it now :))
    Its deeelicious! Soft, moist and chocolatey…

    1. I only had cake flour so that’s what I used and I’m happy to report that my loaf didn’t lose structure and came out beautifully. Maybe different brands?
    2. I only had 140g of chocolate chips so filled in the rest with chopped chocolate. I don’t think 40g less would’ve made much difference though. I didn’t have mini choc chips so I coated the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate in 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture. That did the trick.
    3. I used my 8×4 loaf pan and baked it for either 67/72 minutes – can’t remember which. About 25 mins into baking, I had to cover it with foil as it was already brown. The edges got harder than I’d like, but no big deal.

    All in all, a fantastic recipe and definitely recommended.

  11. I made this yesterday. It is very rich and I may have slightly under baked it. I think I personally could cut back the butter a little. I used milk chocolate, white and butterscotch chips and a few mini simi-sweet chips I had leftover. I skipped the topping and think it would be too much for me and I have a real sweet tooth.
    This loaf cake was kind of hard to slice and kind of fell apart on the edges.
    I will try it again with a little less butter.

  12. Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe..one quick question..Can this recipe be halved to make a smaller cake?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We don’t see why not!

      1. Trinia, thanks for your response.. appreciate it. I tried it and it turned out amazing. Just perfect

  13. I made it gluten free and it came out great! Everyone loved it!

  14. Bakereygirl says:

    Loved the cake.. just a small observation.. I think coating the chocolate chips with flour could have prevented my chips from sinking to the bottom.. mine looked a bit plain on the top.. however ur pic looks perfect with the chips distributed so well

  15. Jisha Jacob says:

    I want to make this as a 2 layer cake for a birthday . Can i double the recipe and bake it in a 9 inch round cake pan? What would you suggest?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jisha, unfortunately, this batter will not fit or bake evenly in a 9-inch round cake pan. It should, however, work in a square 9-inch pan — you could make two separate batches for two square 9 inch layers. Hope this helps!

  16. I made this cake for Father’s Day. I followed the recipe exactly but increased by 1/2 to add to a small bundt pan. It was delicious and very buttery. My husband loved it as did everyone else. My husband doesn’t care for icing so we skipped it. Not a problem at all because the cake is so yummy by itself. Thanks for sharing. This one is a keeper for sure!

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