Do you sometimes think about things so hard it almost makes them real? I think about going to a friends house , cake packed in a decidedly unglamorous container, my feet up on her couch as we drink coffee and eat Chocolate Loaf Cake and talk about anything and everything.
It's such a simple thing to miss, but one I miss so much. Funnily though it is baking that has made me feel so connected with people throughout this year. It is the remakes of the Nutella Cake, Praline Cake, Coffee Cake, Orange Cake, Strawberry Cake, Tres Leches Cake and the Caramel Custard that have helped me through this year in so many ways. It is hard to explain, but I got into blogging as a way to share recipes that felt like home, that brought some joy into my life. To see those sentiments make their way into someone else's home is truly special.
Inspiration for this Chocolate Loaf Cake
I always like to give credit where it is due and this cake was inspired by Baking Day by Anna Olson. I have tried several recipes from the book and loved them all, but what truly blew my mind was the technique in her Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake. That cake started with confectioners sugar or icing sugar and butter and it wasn't something I had seen before, but as I took my first bite of that beautiful perfect crumb it made so much sense. You see confectioners sugar is fine sugar mixed with cornstarch. Cornstarch is in cake flour and is what makes it so tender. So by using Icing Sugar you are replicating that effect in an easy simple way.
Getting the ratios right on this recipe was not so simple and it took some doing, but it was well worth it in the end. Before I proceed thought let me answer the question I always have about Chocolate Cake.
What does it taste like?
This is not the soft sweeter birthday cake friendly One Bowl Chocolate Cake I make for parties. This is for the chocolate lover who wants a cake that is deeply chocolately, has a tender crumb, but a firm texture and goes well with tea, coffee and milk more than buttercream icing. It is assertively chocolatey and just sweet enough.
Icing Sugar for sweetness and softness
Butter (because it makes eveything better)
Baking Powder and Baking Soda because the batter needs a little lift
Cocoa Powder - Frye's Cocoa in Canada is Dutch-Processed and has a strong chocolate flavour
Instant Coffee - because coffee makes chocolate better
AP Flour -
Salt - for balance
Vanilla Extract - for sweetness
Nutella because it's Nutella.
Cream (table, whipping, anything but cool whip works!)
Video for Chocolate Loaf Cake
Made the Chocolate Loaf Cake? Tell me what you think below by rating on the recipe card! I'd love to see your recreations to so don't forget to tag me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog !
- ¾ cup butter, room temp
- 1 ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup milk (or buttermilk, either works here)
- ½ cup Nutella
- 3-4 tbsp cream (start with 3 and milk works fine too)
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- ⅛ tsp salt (a TINY pinch)
Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease and flour your pan
Optional but recommended: Whisk your dry ingredients - flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt together in a bowl and set aside
Beat the butter and icing sugar well until fluffy and well combined - approx 2-3 minutes
Add the instant coffee then the eggs one by one mixing well between additions
Mix in the 2 tsp of vanilla
Then add in your dry ingredients in two batches alternating with the milk - keep your mixer on low speed and mix until just combined
Bake the cake in the prepared tin until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, check on it at 40 minutes. Mine usually take 40-45 minutes.
Warm your glaze ingredients together in the microwave (or stove top) until just warm to touch and mix well. If it is too stiff to mix then you can warm it a little further or add more cream. Store in the fridge until it's time to use.
Let the cake cool to room temperature before glazing otherwise it will melt and go right into the cake which frankly will taste awesome, but just may not look so awesome!
If you don't have ¾ cup butter, then ½ cup butter + 3tbsp oil works too. I suspect this cake will work with half a cup of oil instead of the ¾ cup butter but I have NOT tested that theory yet
If you are not a Nutella person then you can always make a simple chocolate glaze by melting half a cup of chocolate chips with 3-4 tbsp cream and 1 tbsp butter!