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Double Chocolate Loaf Cake

Makes One 9-inch loaf cake

1¼ hours 20 minutes active, plus cooling

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This loaf cake comes together quickly and easily, and boasts a remarkably deep color, intensely rich flavor and a plush, velvety crumb. The recipe came to us by way of Claire Ptak, of Violet Cakes, a bakery-café in East London. To achieve the cake’s deep, complex chocolatiness, she uses a generous amount of bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. Any type of bittersweet chocolate will work, but we recommend using one that’s tasty enough to eat out of hand and contains about 70 percent cocoa solids. Serve slices with spoonfuls of crème fraîche, which has a subtle tang and creaminess that are fantastic foils for the cake. Store leftovers at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.

Makes One

9-inch loaf cake


Don’t use natural cocoa. Dutch-processed is best because the alkali used in its production gives the cocoa a richer, deeper hue and smoother taste that’s important for color and flavor intensity. If your cocoa does not indicate type on the label, check the ingredient list. If it reads “processed with alkali,” the cocoa is Dutch-processed.

1¼ hours

20 minutes active, plus cooling


  • 200

    grams (7 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (see headnote), finely chopped

  • 198

    grams (14 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into several chunks


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Celia O.
November 3, 2023
Love it!
Beautiful, cake with perfect crumb. Made it for Knit Night. Everyone ignored the others snacks. Tried the tip I read in a recent Milk Street Magazine to test for doneness with a thermometer (200 degrees). Perfect! Extra special to eat this when it is slightly warm. Someone mentioned trying Greek yogurt instead of water. The batter will not come together until the second half of the boiling water is added to the batter.
Beth S.
September 24, 2023
Fun to make
Turned out just like the photo with a very thin crust on top. I substituted semisweet chocolate chunks and 85% cacao dark chocolate. Lovely with a dollop of creme fresh.
Tamara P.
August 10, 2023
Nice velvety elegant loaf
We followed this recipe exactly as stated and the results are outstanding!
Joanna W.
June 17, 2023
Simple, Delicious
Easy to put together, very moist, dark chocolate flavor that is none too sweet.
Claudia B.
April 20, 2023
I baked this yesterday and I'm in love with this cake! I followed the directions exactly and it came out perfectly with a moist crumb and sophisticated flavor. I left it out overnight wrapped in plastic and sliced it today. Heavenly. My oven runs hot so I baked 55 minutes and then left in pan for the full 20 minutes. The center slices around the top had a tiny bit of fudgy texture but delicious. I think the risk of overcooking this is high so it's a fine line and I wouldn't cook it any longer than an extra minute, if any at all.