Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chocolate Loaf Cake

I don't know if it's because Valentine's Day just passed by, but I've been craving chocolate like whoa. I even bought one of those small chocolate samplers (half-price of course...I love post-Valentine's Day candy sales!). And I may or may not have devoured it in two days. Still, this didn't really put a dent in my chocolate craving.

This weekend, I woke up and decided that I would finally do something about this. I navigated my way to Julia's Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body blog. Julia recently had a beautiful baby girl, but somehow she's still blogging. I'm not exactly sure how she's doing this, but I don't ask questions. Especially since she blogged about a gorgeous Chocolate Loaf Cake that I had to have.

I immediately ran into an issue: I hadn't gone to the grocery store recently. I usually stop by the store prior to doing any baking or cooking because I typically don't have all the ingredients on hand. Welcome to the life of a traveling consultant. I can't have fresh food in my refrigerator because at least 50% of it will go bad before I get a chance to use it. I realized that I had most of the ingredients that were called for though. The problem was the sour cream that the recipe required. I only had a 1/4 cup of sour cream left over in the fridge, but the recipe called for 1 cup of sour cream.

Enter the internet. Yup. The world wide web reached out and saved me on this one. Did you know that, when baking, you can substitute sour cream with buttermilk and melted butter? Seriously. 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/3 cup of melted butter will replace 1 cup of sour cream in a recipe. I was excited to put this new information to good use.

Well. Little did I know this was going to be a test of my mathematical skills.

I first had to create buttermilk because I don't keep it around. So I made it (pretty easily, I might add) by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a 1 cup measuring cup, then filling it the rest of the way with milk (I use 2% milk but you can use whatever you have). Let it sit for 5 minutes and you have a cup of buttermilk at the ready.

Melted butter? No problem. Melt some butter in the microwave. Ta-dah!

The problem started when I had to combine the sour cream, buttermilk, and melted butter. Because I wanted to use 1/4 cup of sour cream, I only needed 3/4 cup of the sour cream substitute. So of course I should add 3/4 cup of the buttermilk and 3/4 of the melted butter, right? Well, wrong. Because I totally forgot that I only needed 3/4 cup of the buttermilk in the first place. So I should have added 3/4 of 3/4 cup of buttermilk...

OK. I see that I've lost you. Suffice it to say that since I had already added too much buttermilk to the wet ingredients, I compensated by adding a few more teaspoons of flour to the dry ingredients. I then removed a few teaspoons of the wet mixture before combining the wet and dry to finish the batter. Heck, I can't even follow what went on with this thing.

So what did I learn from this experience? Get off your lazy butt and run to the corner store for a container of sour cream. It will take less time in the end.

This has turned into a really long blog post. All I really want to tell you is that, even with my measurement snafus, the chocolate loaf cake was phe-nom-e-nal. It was moist, super chocolate-y and pleasantly gooey when it was still warm. This was a great quick fix recipe to stave off those chocolate cravings.

Chocolate Loaf Cake
slightly adapted from Fat Girl In A Skinny Body's Chocolate Loaf Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream (or 3/4 cup buttermilk + 1/3 cup melted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9in x 5in loaf pan. Or you can use a non-stick spray. It's easier.

2) In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. If you're using the sour cream substitute, then add the buttermilk and melted butter instead. Whisk.

4) Add the liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.

5) Mix until just combined. Don't go crazy and overmix the ingredients.

6) Add the chocolate chips and give the batter a stir to distribute them throughout.

7) Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.

8) Cool the cake for at least 15 minutes in the pan before removing and slicing.


  1. That first photo is beautiful! Nice work...and welcome to the world of chocolate cravings. It's the story of my life.

    Christina xo

  2. Yummo! This post had me cracking up - you're so funny! An alternative substitution I use for sour cream is Greek yogurt - I usually sub about 1/2 of the sour cream called for with an equal amount of Greek yogurt. It works very well - not to mention it decreases the overall fat in the recipe, and increases the protein quite a bit.