for when you want to slightly indulge: healthier chocolate loaf

One of the things I have learned about my body is learning to listen to cravings.  Normally with water or tea a craving will go away.  But then there are the cravings that you have for days.  Some people say cravings signify a deficiency of some nutrient in your body, and while that may be true, sometimes cravings are just your body's way of telling you: hey! how about a little bit of happiness in a fork?!

And here is the thing I've found out: when I have a craving for that long the best thing is to address it, have a taste and it will be gone.  I had been having this craving for almost a week-- not just chocolate but chocolate cake.  I am not a big cake person, to tell you the truth.  But put a slice of chocolate cake in front of me and I cannot say no.  So I went ahead and made a healthier version of King Arthur's Flour Chocolate Loaf Cake. 


It is a super simple and super easy recipe

Chocolate Loaf 

  • 4 tablespoons butter, preferably at room temperature for easiest mixing (or 8 tbsp if you are not minding fat/calories)
  • 4 tablespoons apple sauce (skip if using 8 tbsp butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground vanilla bean 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa or baking cocoa
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a loaf pan: either 9" x 5", or 8 1/2" x 4 1/2". Remember that the smaller pan will yield a higher-crowned loaf. 
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, apple sauce, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa.  The batter will be sort of clumpy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the flour to the bowl, beating at low speed to combine.  Then add all of the milk, beating at low speed to combine.  Add the remaining flour, beating gently just until the batter is smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3) Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top may look a tiny bit damp; that's OK. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the center will register about 205°F, while just under the top will register about 195°F.
4) Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges, wait 10 minutes, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Store completely cooled cake well wrapped, at room temperature.

This loaf is really delicious and moist.  And my favorite part is that it is not overtly sweet which can be a put off for me.  Try this or serve it at your next get together and I promise you, you will get rave reviews.  I am a big believer in moderation and I think the small changes made on the recipe really provide a good compromise of healthy yet delicious!


  1. Yep... I'm pinning this!! yummy!!!
    Is that a steel loaf pan??? I've never seen one before. Nice!

    1. Rebecca, it is not but is sure feels like it.

  • Yes, chocolate cravings and I are best friends, so this recipe is right up my alley... I love the healthy ingredients you used. I had never heard of ground vanilla bean before. Do you grind it up yourself? Anyway, thank you for the recipe. You are my inspiration in the fit and healthy department.... :)
    x Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

    1. Awe, thanks! You are too sweet! I bought the ground vanilla bean from Williams-Sonoma and it is basically the whole vanilla bean grounded to a grounded coffee like consistency. The bean pod has so much flavor and oils that it is a waste not to use it.