I have two words for this chocolate espresso loaf - chocolate overload. I cannot even communicate to you how decadent, delicious and CHOCOLATEY this thing is. This loaf cake is packed with chocolate flavor, has a hint of espresso and a luscious and smooth chocolate glaze. No mixer is required - so just grab your whisk and you're ready to go.
What is a chocolate espresso loaf?
A chocolate espresso loaf combines two classic flavors. Chocolate, of course. And espresso! What is so great about adding espresso/instant coffee to anything chocolate (cake, brownies, etc.,) is that it really brings out the chocolate flavor.
This loaf is an oil-based loaf, so there is no need to cream any butter and sugar together. This is why we don't need a stand/handheld mixer to make this.
The best part about this loaf is the chocolate glaze. The chocolate glaze is made with semi-sweet chocolate, heavy cream, and a little bit of vegetable oil to give it that shiny smooth look. I mean, I would legitimately bath in this chocolate glaze if presented with the opportunity.
For the loaf:
- Instant coffee granulates + water gives the loaf cake that coffee flavor. Plus, adding instant coffee/espresso to any chocolate baked good really enhances the chocolate flavor. This is an optional ingredient, but totally recommended!
- All purpose flour is the flour of choice for this loaf. It gives it the best texture and crumb
- Cocoa powder brings that chocolatey flavor into the loaf cake
- Baking soda helps the loaf cake rise perfectly. It reacts with the cocoa powder and yogurt
- Salt brings out all the other flavors
- Brown sugar adds a moistness and caramel-like flavor to the loaf cake that it needs
- Granulated sugar adds additional sweetness. I love a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar in baked goods
- Eggs build structure and bind the ingredients together
- Vegetable oil is the fat of choice in this recipe. This is an oil-based loaf cake, so that is why we do not need a stand/handheld mixer to make this. Plus, oil makes the cake so fluffy and moist (sorry that I keep using this word)
- Yogurt makes each and every crumb moist and tender. You can use regular yogurt or greek - either works!
- Whole milk is a common ingredient in all cake-based desserts. It thins out the batter to get a cake-like crumb
For the glaze:
- Heavy cream is a comment ingredient in chocolate ganache, which is basically what this glaze is. The heavy cream is heated and poured over the chocolate which helps the chocolate melt
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips makes the glaze not too sweet and not too bitter. Semi-sweet chocolate is preferred here!
- Vegetable oil is added just to make the glaze EXTRA smooth and shiny, as we can see in the pictures 🙂
The "unfortunate" thing with loaf cakes, like this one, is that the bake time can be pretty long. It is common to pull the loaf cake out of the oven before it has baked all the way through. Bake time can also vary depending on your oven - some ovens run too cold while others run too hot and have hot spots. Under-baking can cause the loaf cake to sink in the middle, have a gummy texture, plus a whole lot more.
Here are a few tips to make sure you take your loaf cake out of the oven at the right time:
- This is the most common answer - stick a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, you're golden.
- The center of the cake should not really jiggle too much. It should be quite firm.
- Since all ovens can vary in temperature, use an oven thermometer! The loaf cake should bake in 55-60 minutes if it is at 350 degrees. It's more common than not that your oven is not calibrated correctly. I have had ovens read 350 degrees Fahrenheit but they were really at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.... like WHAT.
- Because of number 3 above, start checking the loaf cake at 45 minutes, and then check it every 5 minutes thereafter. With that said, try not to slam the oven door closed, as this can push all of the hot air out of the oven and affect your bake time.
Other recipes you may like
I hope you guys love this chocolate espresso loaf! Here are some other recipes you may like:
Chocolate Espresso Loaf
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules + 1 tbsp water optional
- 1 ¾ cups (219 grams) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup (150 grams) brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup (100 mL) vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) plain yogurt room temperature, greek or regular works
- ¼ cup (60 mL) whole milk room temperature
- ½ cup (120 mL) heavy cream
- ½ cup (115 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and line a 9x5 inch pan with parchment paper with a bit of overhang on each of the longer sides. This will make removing the loaf from the pan easier.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the instant coffee granules and water (if using) until the granules have dissolved. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs until smooth and combined. Add the vegetable oil, yogurt, milk and coffee mixture (if using). Whisk until combined and smooth, but be careful not to overmix.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and fold together with a rubber spatula until combined. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Start checking the loaf at 45 minutes (all ovens differ) and check every 5 minutes thereafter.
- Let the loaf cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan using the parchment paper overhang and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the loaf cake has cooled to the desired temperature, make the glaze.
- Place your chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the heavy cream over low-medium heat on the stovetop until it begins to simmer and bubbles form at the edges of pan. Remove from the heat and pour the warmed heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Let this set for 5 minutes.
- Then, add the teaspoon of vegetable oil and whisk until smooth and shiny. Allow to cool slightly, 2-3 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake, slice and enjoy!
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!