Sometimes less is more, no? Well, when it comes to these mini chocolate loaf cakes, that’s definitely the case. No adornments here. Pure chocolate. Simple and perfect. This is my go to recipe when I need to whip up a quick dessert. This batter is reliable, unbelievably simple, and extremely versatile.You can whip these into mini loaf cakes as I’ve done here, make a dozen cupcakes or bake it into a full size bundt cake.

I like to think of these cakes as the chocolate chip cookies of the cake world. They’re effortless to put together, you only need one bowl, and after you make them a few times it’s likely you’ll remember the recipe by heart.


I made these last week to celebrate an early birthday for my husband. I knew he wasn’t going to be in town on his big day and I’d promised our four year old we’d have cake and sing to him before he left. It was a long hectic day and quite honestly, I’d forgotten I promised him we celebrate. Not wanting to let the little man down, I threw these together at the last minute and let them bake while we ate dinner.
Saved, again, at the last minute.
By the time we got to dessert, the kids were in full melt down mode so we didn’t have much of a celebration. Which is fine since my husband only likes to celebrate his birthday (or anyone else’s) ON their birthday. Fine by me. This recipe makes 5 loaves and I enjoyed them over the next few days– I have no problem celebrating anything if it means I get chocolate cake!

Mini Chocolate Loaf Cakes

These simple chocolate loaf cakes can be made in mini loaf pans, a few regular sized loaf pans or one large bundt cake. Topped with vanilla ice cream, this cake is an old reliable in my recipe box!


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coffee warm (or 3/4 cup warm water + 1 teaspoon dried espresso powder)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 5 mini loaf pans; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  4. Add eggs, warm coffee (or warm water and espresso powder if using), buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and batter is well mixed.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among prepared loaf pans. Bake about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely


Adjusted for high altitude this cake batter is super versatile and the only one you really need. It can be adorned with mix ins of your choice to make it your own!
Connect with Mountain Mama Cooks on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter!

12 Responses to Mini Chocolate Loaf Cakes

  1. Leslie says:

    Love the idea of baking in mini loaf pans! I never would have thought of that. Does the coffee just give it a great layer of flavor?

  2. Mini is always better. These look wonderful.

  3. Agreed! Simple is so often the most delicious way. This weekend I made roasted lamb, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and wine! simple. delicious.

  4. Renee D. says:

    For non-coffee lovers, can you leave out the coffee and just use water??

  5. Leslie says:

    I made these tonight, in my mini heart shaped cake pans. Absolutely delicious! Simple, unadorned, and perfect.

  6. Jim says:

    Very easy to make and great flavor. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!! I added a half cup of chocolate chips to the finished batter. I’m thinking about adding cranberries next time.

  7. Jim says:

    Today was the day. I replaced the 3/4 cup of coffee with 3/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. I added a tablespoon of grated orange zest, a half cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of cranberries. I thought that the end product was very tasty.
    Thanks again for providing a wonderful and flexible recipe for all to work with!!!!

  8. Bonny says:

    Thank you for the recipe, Kelley! I would love to make this with a German Chocolate frosting for my husband’s birthday. Quick question: If you make it in a large bundt pan (my plan), how do you recommend altering the cooking temperature and time? Thank you for the help!

    • Kelley says:

      I would do the same oven temperature and increase the baking time by double or even three times. You’ll have to keep checking it to see when it’s done. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *