This easy chocolate chip loaf cake recipe was created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking (Week 41: Pantry Challenge). The challenge was to bake something out of things you already have at home.
It’s a given that I’m always ready to bake a chocolate chip pound cake. You can be sure you’d find butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate chips in my house. But I might have cheated a bit with that orange zest.
What is a pound cake?
The pound cake is one of the oldest classic cakes. It’s called a pound cake because the recipe should have a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour. Or, in the case of my “half-pound cake,” you’ll find a half-pound of each. It’s the easiest baking ratio to remember at 1:1:1:1.
Just like with the other ratios, you can take this chocolate chip loaf cake recipe and change flavors and add-ins and make it your own. Please let me know what you try!
Tips and tricks for this recipe
Butter and line just the bottom of the pan with parchment for easier release (Panel #1 below). Panel #2 and #3 show the creaming of the butter and sugar. Traditional pound cake recipes don’t use leavening agents like baking powder, and so they rely on physical leavening to get air pockets that expand with the heat from the oven.
One of the most common mistakes beginner bakers make is not beating butter long enough. I’ve also added a smidge of baking powder to this recipe to get a bit more lift, resulting in a softer loaf cake that’s a bit less dense than a traditional pound cake.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat them in well to prevent curdling (panel #4). If you want to lighten your pound cake even further, you can separate your eggs, whip the whites, and fold them in gently at the end. But I personally find that to be more complicated than it’s worth.
Add the dry ingredients on low speed (panel #5), and then put the mixture into your prepared pan (Panel #6). Give the pan a few thwacks on the countertop to even out the batter, and then sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on the top for fun.
For those of you who are perfectionists, it’s important to know that pound cakes crack. The guidance from Southern Living is “Don’t worry about it!”
FAQs about this chocolate chip loaf cake recipe
No, but it’s so much easier to make this “half” pound cake recipe when you know you need a half pound (8 ounces) of everything!
Yes. Bleached all-purpose flour has slightly more gluten, so it will just be slightly less tender, but it will work perfectly well in this recipe.
I don’t think this cake needs anything else, but you could use this chocolate ganache or make an orange glaze by combining a tablespoon or two of orange juice and a cup of confectioners’ sugar.
Absolutely. Just double wrap the unadorned cake tightly in plastic wrap, put it in a freezer bag, and squeeze out all of the air. To defrost, just let it slowly come to room temperature.
Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 9" x 5" loaf pan
- 1 ⅞ cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, softened plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces or 227 grams) granulated sugar
- zest of one small orange
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper.
- Sift or whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.1 ⅞ cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) cake flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- Cream the butter, sugar, and zest together until it is light in color and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.16 tablespoons (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces or 227 grams) granulated sugar, zest of one small orange
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium for one minute between each addition, scraping down the bowl as necessary.4 large eggs, room temperature
- Add the vanilla and beat in.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients and mix in on low or stir in by hand just until mixed.1 cup chocolate chips
- Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Transfer the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and give it a few thwacks on the countertop to even it out.
- Bake for 65 to 70 minutes in the middle of the oven until the top is a light brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. You may need to test a few places to avoid hitting a chocolate chip!
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a rack. Let the cake cool for at least one hour before cutting.
- Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to one week.
- skip the orange zest or replace it with lemon zest
- skip the baking powder to make a traditional pound cake without chemical leavening
- get a slightly lighter cake by separating the eggs and whipping egg whites
- top the cake with a chocolate ganache or orange glaze
- make it your own and let me know!
Make another pound cake like this coffee and walnut loaf cake. Or check out other uglyducklingbread cakes and quickbreads like this blackberry lemon quickbread, raspberry loaf cake, or chocolate chip banana bread.
If you make this chocolate chip loaf cake or have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment or a rating. Or share a pic with me on Instagram!
I’ve started a new Facebook group for home cooks, bakers, and cocktail makers. Please join the conversation!
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of a favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – chocolate chip cookie (butter challenge)
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake (plus a bonus sourdough discard apple cake)
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart
Week 25: Bagels and donuts – maple donut cake
Week 26: Surprise inside – surprise heart yeast bread (pending)
Week 27: Local favorite – Rainier cherry crisp
Week 28: Seasonal ingredients – blackberry lemon bread
Week 29: French dessert – peanut butter banana clafoutis (a classic with non-classic flavors!)
Week 30: Savory baking – pizza
Week 31: Unusual ingredient – juniper lime drizzle cake
Week 32: Gelatin (homemade marshmallows) and 33: Picnic – peanut butter Rice Krispie treats
Week 34: Brunch – spinach and feta muffins
Week 35: Laminated dough – puff pastry cinnamon twists
Week 36: Friendship challenge – chocolate chip marshmallow cookie bars
Week 37: Sweet and salty – salted caramel chip chocolate cookies
Week 38: Decoration challenge – royal icing
Week 39: Buns and biscuits – challah buns
Week 40: West Indies – mini banana muffins with coconut
Next week: Celebrity or Trend