Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake Recipe

This chocolate chip loaf cake recipe is for anyone who’s a fan of both pound cake and chocolate chips. And who isn’t?

The recipe makes the softest chocolate chip pound cake using pantry staples in the classic baking ratio of equal amounts of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. It’s perfect for a simple dessert, an indulgent breakfast, or any time you’re procrastibaking.

a chocolate chip loaf cake cut into slices.
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The backstory

This loaf cake recipe was created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking (Week 41: Pantry Challenge). I’m always ready to bake a chocolate chip pound cake. You can be sure to find butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate chips in my house. I might have cheated a bit with that orange zest.

Baking ratios

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. You’ll find a half-pound of each in the case of this chocolate chip loaf cake and my coffee and walnut pound cake. It’s the easiest baking ratio to remember.

Ratios? Yes, many baking recipes start with standard baking ratios. You can find examples in these orange and poppy seed muffins or this blackberry lemon bread or these lemon lavender cookies.

Just like with the other ratios, you can take this chocolate chip loaf cake recipe and change up the flavors and add-ins to make it your own. Please let me know what you try!

Ingredients

There are no unusual ingredients in this chocolate chip pound cake. You’ll find the expected butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.

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. I’ve 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.

The orange zest adds fragrance and flavor to the pound cake and plays off the richness of the chocolate. You can see this combination in my blueberry chocolate chip muffins, chocolate rugelach, Nutella babka, and of course my fudgy chocolate orange cake. But you can skip the orange zest if you like.

Variations and substitutions

  • skip the baking powder to make a traditional pound cake without chemical leavening.
  • get a slightly lighter cake by separating the eggs and whipping the egg whites.
  • top the cake with a chocolate ganache or orange glaze.
  • make it your own and let me know!

Recipe tips and tricks

Butter and line just the bottom of the pan with parchment for easier release (Panel #1 below).

Panels #2 and #3 show the creaming of the butter and sugar. One of the most common mistakes beginner bakers make is not beating butter long enough.

six panels showing the steps in making this chocolate chip loaf cake recipe.

 

Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, and beat them in well to prevent curdling (panel #4, above). 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), mix in the chocolate chips by hand, 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.

Baking pound cakes

Bake until the top is a light brown. A toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean as long as you avoid hitting a chocolate chip.

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!”

That’s pretty consistent with the uglyducklingbakery philosophy. Don’t worry if your baking looks homemade. It will taste delicious.

baked chocolate chip pound cake in a loaf pan.

Recipe FAQs

Do I really need to weigh my ingredients?

No, but it’s so much easier and quicker to make this recipe when you’re weighing out a half pound of everything!

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?

Yes. Bleached all-purpose flour has slightly more gluten, so it will just be slightly less tender. All-purpose flour will still work perfectly well in this recipe.

Could you add frosting or glaze to this chocolate chip loaf cake?

I don’t think this cake needs anything else, but you could use the chocolate orange ganache from my chocolate orange cake. Or make a quick orange glaze by combining a tablespoon or two of orange juice and a cup of confectioners’ sugar.

Can I freeze this pound cake?

Absolutely. Just double wrap the cool, unadorned cake tightly in plastic wrap. Put it in a freezer bag, and squeeze out all of the air. To defrost, let it slowly come to room temperature.

a chocolate chip loaf cake with three slices and a bread knife.

Check out other Ugly Duckling Bakery cakes and quickbreads like:

Do you want chocolate chips in everything? Try them in:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

5 from 1 vote
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 9 1 inch slices
Calories: 453kcal
This chocolate chip loaf cake recipe makes the softest chocolate pound cake using the classic ratio of equal amounts of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan

Ingredients

  • 1⅞ 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

Instructions

  • 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.
    1⅞ 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 to 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
  • Beat in the vanilla.
    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.

Notes

Variations
  • 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!

Nutrition

Serving: 1inch slice | Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 728IU | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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