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Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake

Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake

Not all chocolate cravings are created equal. Some call for a piece or two of dark chocolate, while others might need a big bite of white chocolate to be satisfied. Some aren’t satisfied by real chocolate at all and need to be treated with a slice of chocolate cake. For me, the answer to this kind of craving is an easy to make chocolate loaf cake. It takes only a couple of minutes to put together and needs no frosting, so you only have to wait for the cake to bake and cool (at least somewhat!) before indulging.

This cake was inspired by a recipe I’ve made many times before, a marbled chocolate bundt cake. That recipe is one featured in Alice Medrich’s excellent cookbook, Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts. Tasting that cake, you would never know that it is lower in fat than your average pound cake, and so I took some ideas from that recipe to come up with this one. For instance, I used yogurt to add moisture and tenderness to the cake, and opted for cocoa powder to give the cake its chocolate flavor, rather than higher fat chocolate. While my finished product isn’t too low in fat, it’s still reasonable enough that two slices can be eaten without guilt – and it tastes delicious.

It looks like a pound cake, but has a soft and fluffy texture, with a very fine and tender crumb. It is moist in the way that you expect a good sheet cake to be, but not in the same “wet” way as a carrot cake often is. I’ve had some yogurt-based cakes that do seem wet and dense, and this cake is neither. The cake has a very deep chocolate flavor, with a perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness (from the cocoa powder). Loaf-style cakes aren’t usually served with frosting, and fortunately this cake has enough presence on its own that it doesn’t need any. I like this cake plain, but if you really want even more chocolate, stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips before baking.

As usual, I used a thick low fat Greek-style yogurt. You’ll get the best results by using a low fat or full fat yogurt, rather than nonfat, just because the extra fat will contribute to the tenderness of the cake. This isn’t to say that nonfat won’t work (it will), just that your results may be slightly different and you should take a bit more care not to overbake the cake. If you don’t have yogurt, use sour cream instead because it has a very similar flavor and consistency. Regular yogurt can be used if you don’t have Greek-style yogurt and the results should turn out just fine.

Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt (low fat is fine)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and resembles wet sand. Beat in egg and egg white. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together water, cocoa powder, vanilla and yogurt until mixture is smooth. Add half of this mixture to the sugar mixture, followed by another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir in remaining yogurt and remaining flour, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully cut along the sides of the pan to release the cake and turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Serves 10.

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  • Hannah
    August 25, 2008

    Yummy! Looks good!

  • Jen
    August 25, 2008

    Ohhh, sounds fantabulous.

  • Kristen
    August 25, 2008

    Yep, another recipe from here going onto my “to make” list. 🙂

  • Billy Swordman
    August 25, 2008

    Seems delicious! I’ll pass this recipe to my wife…

  • Anja
    August 26, 2008

    I’m a new reader to your blog, and really enjoy reading it :).
    I’m interested in making low fat and calories cakes, so I’m definitely going to be experimenting with yogurt, this recipe will definitely come in handy. Thanks!

  • Sarah
    August 26, 2008

    Looks delicious! I love chocolate, & this recipe doesn’t look nearly as guilt-provoking as many others. 🙂

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    August 26, 2008

    Believe it or not, the only yogurt cake I’ve ever made was the Barefoot Contessa’s lemon-yogurt cake, and it is so moist and delicious. The only thing better than lemon is chocolate — so I’m definitely going to try this one.

  • Yasir
    August 27, 2008

    That sounds delicious AND it isnt that difficult to make.


  • Heidi German
    September 1, 2008

    Just a warning to any high altitude bakers that want to try this recipe–you will have to make adjustments! I live in Denver (5500 ft) and made this yesterday but had quite a few problems, all of which I am sure are due to the altitude. The cake fell in the middle, overflowed the pan onto the floor of my oven and failed to cook on one side, even though the top was overdone. The flavor is good, but you will need to fiddle with the ratios of leavener & flour & liquid to get it to come out right. Not a criticism, just a heads up!

  • marta
    September 2, 2008

    incredible, thanks, i used quark and creme fraiche instead of yogurt,and milk for water…impresive.

  • Sally
    September 2, 2008

    Made this last weekend, nice, not too sweet or too chocolaty the sort of thing you could have as a snack or maybe even breakfast. My cake was done at least 5 minutes early (i.e when I checked at 50 min.—probably because I used a non-stick pan—the oven was at exactly 350 by thermometer)

  • rowsew
    September 2, 2008

    Delicious! I made my on Saturday, and finished the last piece with the children today (Tuesday). It was still moist, not at all stale, and we enjoyed every last bit! I popped a pic of my effort at my blog! Thanks for another great recipe.

  • esthhr
    September 9, 2008

    Very good! Chocolatey, light and springy… just the type of cake I was looking for.

  • Lori Ann
    September 22, 2008

    Wow! Bookmarking this to try soon!

  • liv
    October 15, 2008

    Looks really good… Thank’s for the idea!

  • truffles
    March 2, 2009

    Found this recipe because I had quite a bit of leftover sour cream and yogurt in the fridge, so I made this loaf to use up the dairy. Used half sour cream, half yogurt, and used 2 eggs rather than 1 egg + egg white. It turned out very well, moist and delicate (although a bit too delicate, hard to slice without the piece crumbling). I had to bake it longer than an hour, more like 80 min, even though my oven thermometer said 350 exactly. Overall though, a really good recipe and good way to use up leftover yogurt. Thanks!

  • truffles
    March 3, 2009

    I take back the “too delicate” remark–after the loaf cooled down completely, it set nicely and was easy to slice. I’ll definitely be making this again. Delicious!

  • Heather
    May 22, 2009

    Yummy! I’m not much of a cook, but I pulled this recipe off without a hitch. Will definitely be making this one again. Thanks!

  • mommymadness
    June 15, 2009

    U seems always to have the recipes I’m looking for.
    For this recipe, is it possible if I make this without baking powder or baking soda?
    I want to reduce chemical things in my baking.
    Thanks anyway

  • SP
    January 5, 2010

    I made this tonight and it was perfect! Thanks so much!

  • Annie
    May 17, 2010

    Is this Dutch process or regular unsweetened cocoa powder? Thanks!

  • Darlyn
    November 2, 2010

    …great batter. Added 1 tsp cinnamon to the chocolate mixture just to add some oomph! Yum! Success!

  • Chelsea
    April 15, 2011

    Highly recommend this recipe – true to its title, its extremely moist, chocolaty and decadent. If you’re a big chocolate fan, add in chocolate chips where it’s quite tasty. Having baked this many times, I under-bake the loaf just a tad (2 to 7 minutes) where it has a more gooey-ish texture =P

    I suggest that first-timers to let the loaf sit until it’s cooled, it sets quite nicely, and less inclined to crumble apart.

  • Laurie
    April 3, 2012

    This is great!! I added a teaspoon of espresso powder to boost the chocolate flavor up, and the results are in: everyone loves it. Brought some to work and it was gobbled up with joy, plus my 8-year-old loves it too. Mine was done in exactly 50 minutes.

  • Emily
    July 16, 2013

    Just made this and it is sooo good! I added maybe half a cup of chopped chocolate. Texture of this loaf is perfect — tender but sturdy. And not too sweet. Thank you!

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