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**Recipe updated Feb 2020**
This Easy Chocolate Loaf Cake is my go-to bake. It’s perfect when you want a moist and tasty treat, without having to put too much effort in.
This is basically the only chocolate cake recipe I use nowadays. When I make a big celebration cake, I just increase this recipe so I can do 3 round layers. When me and the kids make chocolate cupcakes, we reduce this recipe to make 12 chocolate cupcakes. It’s so simple, it works well in different shapes and sizes and tastes absolutely glorious.
I also use the same buttercream recipe for everything. I top cupcakes with it, I put it in between layers or bigger cakes, and I cover my Easy Chocolate Loaf Cake with it for a wonderfully sticky chocolatey treat.
It’s great when you find a chocolate cake recipe that works for you, that you can adapt to different cakes and styles. Because, really, what is better than a nice mouthwateringly good chocolate cake?
This Easy Chocolate Loaf Cake is my go-to treat. It’s perfect for pudding, a delightfully naughty afternoon treat, and a fab after school reward after a particularly tough day. We don’t have cake all of the time, but when we’re craving a soft, spongy chocolate cake, this is the one we inevitably bake.
If you prefer, you could top your cake with a simple chocolate sauce or glaze, or even leave it uncovered, the cake is moist enough to be enjoyed on its own.
Another option is adding some flavour to your buttercream. Skip the chocolate and add freeze-dried strawberries or a dollop of jam for a fruity twist, or keep the chocolate and add a little Bailey’s for some extra flavour.
Baking Times and Temps
When I bake a cake, of any size or shape, I bake it low and slow. I find you get a more even rise, and it stays scrumptiously moist. I bake my cakes at 140 degrees in a fan assisted oven. A loaf cake like this is quite deep, so it takes between 50 minutes and one hour to cook through.
If your oven isn’t fan-assisted, I would increase it to 160 degrees. But, I really recommend getting to know your oven and how it bakes, as they are all quite terrifyingly different.
How Long Will Chocolate Loaf Cake Last?
Kept in a sealed tup or lidded cake stand, this Chocolate Loaf Cake will last for around 3-4 days. The icing will harden slightly, and it won’t be as moist after day two, but it will still taste wonderful.
I don’t think a cake has ever lasted for longer than four days in our house, so I honestly couldn’t say after that!
Can I Freeze a Chocolate Loaf Cake?
You can freeze Chocolate Loaf Cake. It actually freezes really well. But, it will work best if you freeze the cake before putting the buttercream on. I’d wrap it in cling film, a sandwich bag, or if you are being environmentally friendly, a beeswax wrap (Ad) or biodegradable film, to avoid freezer burn. Then pop it in a sealed tub for extra protection. You could also slice it first so that you can defrost it in portions when you are ready.
Just make sure you thaw it slowly in the fridge.
Does Buttercream Freeze?
You can freeze buttercream. I’ve read loads of people say that it doesn’t freeze. But I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve normally got a tub of buttercream in my freezer because I have a tendency to make way too much.
When it thaws, it can seem a little bitty. Just add a little splash of milk and give it a good mix and it’s fine. I just wouldn’t freeze it on the cake, or you are stuck with the inconstant texture.
The buttercream in this recipe is for quite a big portion, so if you don’t want to put it all on the cake, freeze the leftovers for next time, in an airtight tub.
Should You Use High-Quality Chocolate in a Chocolate Cake?
You can use very high-quality chocolate, by all means. But, you don’t have to. If you put cheap and cheerful cooking chocolate in it, it will taste great. Use what you’ve got, what you can afford, or what you like. You can also swap milk chocolate for dark if you prefer a richer flavour.
Chocolate Loaf Cake with Sticky Chocolate Buttercream
For the cake:
- 75 g Milk chocolate
- 170 g Margarine or room temperature butter – plus extra for greasing
- 170 g Caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence
- 140 g Self-raising flour
- 30 g Cocoa
For the chocolate buttercream:
- 50 g Milk chocolate
- 75 g Margarine or room temperature butter
- 100 g Icing sugar
- 25 g Cocoa
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees (fan assisted – 160 if not)
- Grease or line a 9×5 (or similar) loaf tin
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a small pan, and leave to one side to cool slightly
- Cream together the margarine and sugar
- Add the eggs, mixing in one at a time
- Stir in the vanilla
- Sift in the self-raising flour and cocoa and fold until smooth and even
- Pour in the cooled chocolate and gently mix in
- Pour into the cake tin and spread evenly
- Bake in the oven for 50mins – 1 hour, checking the centre is cooked using a skewer.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream:
- Melt the chocolate and leave to one side
- Mix together the margarine, icing sugar and cocoa until there are no lumps
- Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until smooth
- If it’s a little too stiff, add a tiny splash of milk and stir through
- When the cake has completely cooled, use a palette knife to spread the buttercream on top. There’s enough here for a thick layer, but use less if you prefer and freeze the excess.