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Chocolate Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This chocolate loaf cake with cream cheese frosting is easy and elegant. Moist chocolate cake topped with decadent cream cheese frosting! Baking this cake in a loaf pan creates the perfect slice, easy to transport and serve. This is an oil based recipe, no mixer needed to cream butter! This chocolate cake bakes in just about 50 minutes and requires common pantry ingredients.

slice of decadent chocolate cake with cream cheese icing

Highlights of this delicious chocolate cake:

  • One-bowl recipe
  • Light and airy texture
  • Loaf pan creates perfect slices
  • Topped with the best cream cheese frosting
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Perfect for a celebration cake
  • Bakes in under an hour

First Steps:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla
  • Whisk well to combine
  • Gently mix in milk
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients

Tools I used for this classic chocolate cake recipe:

  • Non-stick Loaf Pan – there is nothing worse than the corners of your cake sticking to the pan, I’ve had this pan for a few years now and it is still non-stick + easy to clean
  • Parchment Paper – parchment paper is such a versatile item to keep on hand. I use this to line my loaf pan after greasing it
  • Pyrex Mixing Bowl Set – I love this set of nesting bowls, perfect for home baking!
moist chocolate loaf cake with cream cheese frosting

The most amazing chocolate cake perfect for a birthday celebration!

If you like this decadent cake with cream cheese icing, you’ll love these other recipes…

Cinnamon Snacking Cake with Maple Frosting

Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes From Scratch

Coffee Cake Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Snacking Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Easy Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

What makes this chocolate cake moist?

This cake turn out moist, light, and airy, due to no overmixing and the addition of milk. It can also help to start baking with less time and add more time as needed.

I highly recommend greasing and lining your loaf pan, even if it is non-stick! There is nothing worse than losing a corner of your cake in the pan. This helps ensure no cake sticks and the parchment helps to easily lift the cake out of the pan.

Second Steps:

  • Add combined flour mixture into the wet ingredients
  • Fold in to mix until combined
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan
  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Allow to cool completely

Grocery Store List & Substitutions for the easy chocolate cake:

  • Vegetable oil, can substitute olive oil or canola oil
  • Large whole eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk, can substitute heavy cream, half and half or a non-dairy milk like oat milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Chocolate chunks for garnish
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream cheese, softened

Top with chocolate curls or a dusting of cocoa powder for a fun look!

Variations and Serving ideas:

  • Serve as a tradition frosted cake, decorate for different occasions
  • Serve as unfrosted slices with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and chocolate shreds
  • Top with chocolate cream cheese frosting or chocolate buttercream
  • Serve with hot tea or coffee and fresh fruit for a fun afternoon treat

What can I do with leftover cream cheese frosting?

Leftover frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. Let soften at room temperature before using. Use on cakes, cupcakes, or for sandwich cookies.

Final Steps:

  • Frost cooled chocolate cake
  • Slice & enjoy

Instructions:

For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, grease and line a loaf pan*. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Slowly mix in milk.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well until completely combined, careful not to overmix. Transfer batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. 

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix thoroughly each time. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • Frost cooled cake and top with chocolate curls or a chocolate chunk. Or serve slices unfrosted topped with a dollop of frosting!

Notes:

*See image above, I always recommend greasing and lining your loaf pan even if it is non-stick. The parchment makes it easy to lift out of the pan.

*Speed up cooling time by cooling on a wire rack

This cake has loads of chocolate flavor, perfect for the chocolate lover in your life!

Pro Tips for the best chocolate cake:

  • Do not overmix cake batter
  • Grease and line baking pan
  • Start baking with less time and add more as needed
  • Test doneness with a toothpick or skewer
  • Let cool completely before frosting for best results
  • Slice with a serrated knife for clean slices
  • Enjoy as soon as possible

Chocolate Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 3 votes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Cake, Chocoalte Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting, Cupcakes, Dessert Recipes, moist cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Print Recipe
Pin Recipe

Equipment:

  • Loaf Pan

Ingredients: 
 

For the cake:

  • 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 large Whole egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup Milk or cream, can substitute a non-dairy alternative
  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Instructions:

For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, grease and line a loaf pan*. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Slowly mix in milk.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well until completely combined, careful not to overmix. Transfer batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. 

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix thoroughly each time. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • Frost cooled cake and top with chocolate curls or a chocolate chunk. Or serve slices unfrosted topped with a dollop of frosting!

Notes:

*See image above, I always recommend greasing and lining your loaf pan even if it is non-stick. The parchment makes it easy to lift out of the pan.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 207 kcalCarbohydrates: 68 gProtein: 3 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 0.04 gCholesterol: 19 mgSodium: 302 mgPotassium: 94 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 18 gVitamin A: 64 IUCalcium: 34 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

I would love to see it! Take a picture and post to Instagram with the tag @theheartylife and the hashtag #theheartylife – You can also leave me a question or comment below! If you’ve tried this recipe, feel free to give it a star rating on the recipe above.

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