brown sugar chocolate chip loaf cake: the cake that almost wasn’t

by jenna on October 19, 2010

This is the story of a cake that almost didn’t make it.

While baking this cake, I successfully:

  • beat an entire egg shell in with the butter and sugar
  • spent fifteen minutes picking out the egg shell pieces
  • banged the inner part of my knee so hard I cried
  • set the oven temperature way too high and almost burned the whole dang thing
  • had the cake fall apart on me when I tried to get it out of the pan

So, what this means for all of you is that if I can still bake this cake and serve it at a dinner party, after everything that almost went wrong, you can too.

And you’ll be real happy you did…promise.

This cake is like huge, sweet chocolate chip cookie bread, if you can get any better than that. I was about to tell you that you could toast it and smear some butter on it, but you’d probably think I was going a little too far.

You’re right.

It’s pretty rich, so a small piece is enough to satisfy and it’s lovely with a creamy scoop of vanilla gelato on top. And, despite the many baking blunders I just told you about, it really is very easy to make.

Actually, now that I think about it, you make this cake the same way you would make cookies. Just cream together the butter and brown sugar…

Add the eggs, one at a time (while beating on low), then the vanilla and finally the dry ingredients (pastry flour + baking powder and salt).

Then, just fold in your chocolate chips and you’re done!

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 325 for 75-90 minutes. It’s a long time, yes, but the end result is very worth the wait.

When it comes out of the oven, be careful NOT to make the same mistake as me and try to get it out of the pan before cooling.

Really. Don’t follow my lead.

But if for some crazy, random reason the same thing happens to you that happened to me, don’t lose hope!

Just let it cool in it’s ugly state and then slice into neat even slices. Your friends will be happy because they don’t have to slice the cake themselves and you’ll be happy because you don’t have to stare at this monstrosity a second longer.

Everyone wins and no one ever has to know the truth.

Didn’t your mother ever tell you it’s not lying if there are chocolate chips at stake?

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

makes 1 loaf

2 cups pastry flour (I buy mine in the Whole Foods bulk bins…get white, not wheat)

1.5 cups packed dark brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, soft

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325.

In a medium sized bowl, combine your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream together your soft butter and brown sugar. When it’s light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time (being careful not to get the shells in the butter!) and then the vanilla. Beat until creamy and well combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat only until incorporated. Fold in your chocolate chips.

Spread batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 75-90 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when stuck in the middle. The top of the cake will get quite dark…this is normal. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes before turning out and serving.

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

Bread that is like one giant chocolate chip cookie? I don’t care how it looks or if it gets stuck in the pan – that just means I get to eat it all! I am never patient enough to wait for baked goods to cool.


Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher October 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

agree! i’m not patient and it hardly matters what it looks like if it’s going to inhaled anyway!


Franziska ( October 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

I have many baking blunders myself and I even consider myself a decent baker. I made popovers recently (my hubby loves them) and they didn’t even pop! The thing about all cooking and baking is that if you do with love and good energy it will always be worth it and usually taste good too!


jenna October 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

:) it’s good to know these things happen to even the best cooks/bakers around!


cathy b. @ October 19, 2010 at 7:51 am

whoa…I could totally eat this for breakfast! And thanks for sharing your kitchen stresses…we ALL have those days…
love ya,
cathy B. @ brightbakes


Anne October 19, 2010 at 7:55 am

This looks like the toll house cookie cake!! So delicious!


Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin October 19, 2010 at 7:56 am

My gosh this looks AMAZING. I’ve been loving chocolate chips in baked goods lately because its such a nice texture change and a burst of chocolate never hurt anyone… 😉


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) October 19, 2010 at 8:04 am

This looks yummy! I would never have thought of making basically a loaf version of chocolate chip cookies…brownies, yes, but no loaf no. Genius!

Did you lightly flour the chocolate chips when you put them into the batter? This can sometimes help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf. Just wondering :)


jenna October 19, 2010 at 8:07 am

no! I’ve never heard of that before–interestinggggg


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) October 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

It really helps with everything from muffins to loaf breads–I learned it from a cookbook a while back, but here is a link with an explanation:


sherri October 19, 2010 at 8:05 am

and if it comes out of the pan in pieces just layer those pieces with vanilla ice cream in either a small trifle dish or individual dessert cups. yummy!


Marie @ ReciPeas & Musings October 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm



Alayna @ Thyme Bombe October 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

I would go right for that burnt edge! Looks tasty to me!


Heather (Heather's Dish) October 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

that loaf pan is gorgeous…where’d you get it?! i know i’ll be needing to make this bad boy soon :)


jenna October 19, 2010 at 8:07 am

Le Creuset…I’ve had it for years!


April October 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm

You can buy this brand at marshalls and tj maxx! It’s so cheap!


Elly October 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I think Le Creuset is actually pretty expensive: it’s made in France… I was lusting over a Le Creuset dutch oven forever, and finally talked my parents into giving me theirs since a new one was like 350 dollars. Yikes!


April October 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm

It is pricey! But if you find it at these stores it can be half price or more less!

Marie @ ReciPeas & Musings October 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I saw a 5 qt dutch oven at TJ Maxx last month for $139. Out of my price range, but much more affordable. And the 5 qt is the one I lust over… it was even the beautiful Cherry red color… so hard to put it down and walk away.

The Blue-Eyed Bakers October 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

See, that just proves our theory that even with a few baking mishaps, butter, chocolate, sugar, eggs and flour pretty much always come together into something completely delicious!


Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) October 19, 2010 at 8:11 am

MMMM giant chocolate chip cookie loaf 😀 Looks great Ange.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 19, 2010 at 8:14 am

That looks great! It’s comforting to know that even chefs like you have baking blunders from time to time! 😀


Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher October 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

yes, and what hope is there for the rest of us?! 😉


megan @ whatmegansmaking October 19, 2010 at 8:24 am

so good to know these things happen to you too! I’ve done so many things wrong in recipes before! But if they turn out well, then nobody has to know. As Julia Child said – no excuses, no explanations! :)


Lauren at KeepItSweet October 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

yum, chocolate chips in bread work for me:-)


Meaghen October 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

I think the chances of me making this and it actually making it to the oven are pretty slim. I loooooove raw chocolate chip cookie dough!! And the picture of that dough has me drooling at my desk!


eatmovelove October 19, 2010 at 9:10 am

I was thinking the same thing! Forget about the cake – pass me the dough :)


The Wife of a Dairyman October 19, 2010 at 8:46 am

Looks good! I consider myself more of a cook than a baker {even though I do bake} Baking is definitely a special talent in my book:)


Ashton Keefe October 19, 2010 at 8:47 am

I have to ask you, where are the bulk bins of flour in Whole Foods?! I want/need that too for my cooking!


Estela @ Weekly Bite October 19, 2010 at 8:50 am

Anything that tastes like chocolate chip cookies is good with me :)


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman October 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

Chocolate chip cookie bread? Holy crap, that’s genius.


Natalya (Deliciously Suite) October 19, 2010 at 8:59 am

At least you get to keep the not so cute parts all to yourself. More chocolate for you!


katie October 19, 2010 at 9:03 am

but it still looks yummy! i must make this bread this weekend!!!


Moni'sMeals October 19, 2010 at 9:04 am

This is amazing! Great job. I will be making this one.
Why aren’t you my neighbor…boo! :)


eatmovelove October 19, 2010 at 9:08 am

Okay, so I kinda want to be your friend just so I can get the “goods”. ;).

I love that even YOU make kitchen mistakes.

Did you start over though and make a new one to get it “just so” for the blog – or do you just “go with it” and post whatever happens??!


Krystina (Organically Me) October 19, 2010 at 9:09 am

I have no patience to wait for things to cool, so I understand.


Lauren October 19, 2010 at 9:10 am

I think you’ve mastered the quintessential bread with this one. Who wouldn’t like a bread that resembles a warm chocolate chip cookie? Yum!!


Rachel @ The Avid Appetite October 19, 2010 at 9:23 am

For every delicious baked good that I make, there’s a blunder not far behind it. Most recently I burned pumpkin pie tartlets that I was sure would change my life (for the better). They were unsalvagable and I’ve yet to give it another go. It’s great that you could save this fabulous bread!


Sarah October 19, 2010 at 9:28 am

I had a baking blunder this weekend trying to make Beth T’s choc chip cookies. I still don’t know what I did wrong but they didn’t taste right. I knew they were bad when my boyfriend said “I think I prefer the ones you make from the mix!”
I will try and redeem myself with this cake.


Jasmine @ Eat Move Write October 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

My husband would love that. I can’t imagine baking something for that long. Looks good though!


Helen October 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

This looks yummy! I make muffins with my cookie batter. My kids love “cookie” muffins. I will have to try the loaf on them and see how they respond.


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

That is like a cookie loaf!!! i <3 it!


Laughter-Loving Stacy October 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

Holy moly. Even though it’s really sweet, I know I would end up eating too much of it. Ahhh chocolate.


Marina October 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

Can I use regular flour instead of pastry flour in this recipe?


jenna October 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

Pastry flour keeps it light and gives it a nice, crumb-like texture. I’d recommend hunting for it because it’s always good to have on hand for further cake adventures!


Krista October 20, 2010 at 10:49 am

To turn all-purpose flour into pastry flour you just have to replace some of it with cornstarch. About 10% would be right (this is what I use when making genoise). I’m usually making much bigger quantities and weigh ingredients with a scale but for this recipe use 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Make sure to whisk or sift these well with the leavener and salt. Have fun baking, it’s one of the best stress relievers out there and I get to do it 12-14 hours a day :)


Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

It even looks good right out of the pan! Looks delicious 😀


Kt. October 19, 2010 at 10:17 am

off topic, but what kind of camera are you using,,,,the pics are great, looking for a new one with a zoom lens.


jenna October 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

thanks! I use a 60 mm macro lens…it’s a fixed lens (not a zoom lens) but I love it!


Emilie October 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

Mmmmm, loaf cake. I might try this with cinnamon chips or craisins and crystallized ginger, nix the “cake” part of the title, and call it breakfast. Thoughts?

Thanks for the recipe :).


jenna October 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

Cinnamon chips! Cinnamon chips!

Can I come over for breakfast?


Emilie October 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

ANY time. i’m just a quick jog to the north (portland) ;).


Krista October 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

I have never heard of cinnamon chips before. Is this because I live in Alberta? They sound SO delicious! Where do you buy them?


Emilie October 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm

i’ve found ’em at the really huge grocery stores with the widest selections! supertarget, maybe? they’re in bags sold with other baking morsels (chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, etc). if you *really* want, i just tracked em down online:


Kelly October 19, 2010 at 10:29 am

I am TERRIBLE at letting my baked good cool before trying to remove it from the pan. I am so impatient!


Ida October 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

you had me at brown sugar! I like the idea of getting a cookie taste without having to spoon out the batter onto a try- just dump it in the loaf pan and call it a day.


Sarah October 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

Can you make them as muffins? I dont have a loaf pan but they look SO SO good!


jenna October 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

Hmmmm yes, I think so! Just pour into greased muffin tins (no liners) and bake for about 30-40 minutes!


Natalia - a side of simple October 19, 2010 at 10:57 am

This is a love/hate relationship now. :)


April October 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

Hi Jenna,

I know you get a lot of comments these days so I understand if mine gets lost in the mix! I’m really struggling with a hip injury. Usually when I get injured I walk rather than run, but I can’t even do that (It’s from the impact). Do you have any videos you would recommend that give a really good workout? Like yoga or pilates ones? The ones I have just don’t keep my attention. I HATE that I can’t feel like I do after I run after other exercise. What did you do when you were injured? Love your blog :)


jenna October 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

I don’t know of any dvds but you could try yoga podcasts!


April October 20, 2010 at 6:22 am

Thanks! I actually thought to look on netflix, since my sister subscribes to it…there are tons of free workout videos to watch online! I hope fall is treating you well! Do you ever miss Florida? I recently moved to Lakeland :)


Jessica@tastyandtrim October 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

I always try to take baked loaves out of the pan too soon and then they fall apart. All that matters is that it still tastes good! That loaf sounds amazing – like a chocolate chip cookie in cake form!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) October 19, 2010 at 11:07 am

Omg what an ordeal you had…that sounds like what happens to me with things. The simplest things, or the things that SHOULD be simple, turn into an exercise in patience and dare I say, I make extra work for myself…in things that just normal other people would never have happen to them.

Your knee.. OUCH! I am rushing around so much in life, trying to multitask like a maniac, that I slam into door jams and give myself bruises around the house…sad but true. Universe’s message to me to slow down…hah!


Caitlin October 19, 2010 at 11:09 am

My bff’s mom used to bake us “Go Fast Cake” for every swim meet, and it is juuuust like this cake, except for it has sour cream in it and bff’s mom always processed the chocolate chips into tiny pieces. Best Cake Ever.


Jenny October 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

I love bread! I love chocolate! this could be dangerous..


Anne October 19, 2010 at 11:52 am

Is the suggested time right? It looks a little dark around the edges. I like things a bit singed, but wanted to verify. Might make it this afternoon!


jenna October 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

hahahah the time IS right…mine is dark because I had the cooking temperature set too high. 325 is perfect!


Maran October 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Jenna, I have to tell you. I made your Bohemian Wedding Cake and Best Frosting last night for a co-worker’s birthday. 10 people were in attendance. My oven was acting funny. I didn’t let the cake cool long enough before I frosted it. I didn’t have vanilla so both my cake AND icing were missing it.. BUT. They both came out PERFECT! Oh and we have a coworker who can’t eat anything besides fruit, veggies and nuts. I baked him an apple, per your instructions, on my lunch break. Threw in some cinnamon, walnuts and honey. He licked the bowl clean. Thanks so much for your recipes. Even us novice cooks can look like heroes to our co-workers.


Victoria (District Chocoholic) October 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Looks delish. One suggestion that Nick Malgieri has for getting chips/chunks to not clump at the bottom of a cake is to toss them in a bit of flour. That might help your falling-apart-upon-removal issue.


Imwaytoobusy October 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Looks amazing! I am a sucker for anything that contains chocolate chips!


MMiller October 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Jenna you have been making me laugh so much lately with your posts! I would have dumped it after the egg shell! But you still succeed! You seem to make everything seem so easy!


Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Ohhh that sounds perfect. Anything with chocolate chips is worth making 😀


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 19, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I can’t believe you picked out all the egg shell pieces by hand! That is dedication!


Emme October 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Brilliant idea! Where have you been all of my life?!? Gonna give this a try soon. I made your Bohemian cake last week for my Grandparents 64th Wedding Anniversary. Thank-you for such wonderful recipes!


Sana October 19, 2010 at 9:04 pm

You wrote the wrong title! Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake should be SLICE cake! Duh jenna!


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