Tender, nutty and super chocolatey this chocolate loaf cake recipe yields a tall, bakery style loaf studded with tiny bits of hazelnuts. It combines two wonderful flavors in every delightfully moist slice.
I think loaf cakes are my favorite thing to buy from bakeries. The cookies and scones are always a bit dry, the brownies are too sugary. Aside from pastries I wouldn’t dare to make at home, it’s the loaf cakes that usually pull me in. The thick, dense breads tend to be moist and so FULL of flavor. I am very unlikely to share a slice with my family and typically hide it in the paper bag in my purse while I snack on it so they don’t ask for any. When I make loaf cakes at home, getting that bakery-style is always the goal.
My favorite banana bread is a spin on one of the most popular banana bread recipes; I use ground hazelnuts in place of some of the flour to give it more texture and taste. It’s hard to top the chocolate hazelnut combination but other nuts could work as well (cashews or peanuts – pb choc loaf cake!).
You don’t have to use rye four here, all-purpose flour would be great. I do think it adds another dimension though so I love it. Just like in these rye brownie cookies it’s almost indistinguishable from all-purpose but it adds a bit of nuance to the cake’s flavor profile.
Since this recipe is heavy on ingredients that typically dry out a cake (esp the cocoa) I used kefir to ensure it stays nice and moist. It’s creamy and acidic like buttermilk so it tenderizes the gluten and makes sure it stays soft.
This post is sponsored by Lifeway Kefir. All opinions are my own.
Rye flour: Use a medium or light rye here. Dark is do-able but it’ll make the bread dense and heavy. And in my husband’s words, they’ll make it “taste healthy”, lol.
Hazelnuts: If they are raw, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes on 350 F until they are fragrant. If they are roasted, give them 3-5 minutes at the same temperature, to freshen them up.
Cocoa: Dutch process cocoa for this. If you use natural, it can affect the texture and rise of the cake. I used Guittard Rouge here.
Kefir: A lot like buttermilk, kefir is the reason the cake remains so tender despite all the cocoa, flour and nuts. Lifeway Kefir is my go to, the low-fat bottles for this recipe. If you can’t find it, use buttermilk.
Eggs: The eggs and yolk give the bread structure and help it stay tender. They can’t be omitted. If you remember, take them out so they are room temperature. If not, set them in a bowl of warm water right before you begin.
Sugar: granulated sugar. Don’t use brown sugar here as the acidity of the molasses can affect the rise. You can try to go down to 1 cup but it might make the bread a bit dry.
Butter: unsalted and softened. The butter needs to beat for quite a while with the sugar so starting off with room temperature butter is best. No substitutions for the butter.
Share & tag me on instagram @buttermilkbysam