Chocolate Fudge Loaf

This rich and fudgy cake is topped with a thick blanket of dark chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cacao nibs and flaky sea salt.

Chocolate Fudge Loaf
Chocolate Fudge Loaf. Photo:

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 50 mins

This intensely rich and fudgy cake with deep chocolate flavor and a tender crumb from Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Miro Uskokovic deserves a spot in your repertoire. Ingredients like coffee, rye flour, and crème fraîche enhance the robust, nutty, and slightly sweet aroma of Dutch-process cocoa. However, the real secret ingredient here is salt. A generous dose of salt acts as a flavor enhancer and balances the brown sugar for a decadent, not overly sweet loaf. While the cake alone is fantastic, the thick and creamy blanket of dark chocolate ganache makes it irresistible. Use coffee in the cake batter for a robust cake with bitter notes, or try swapping in English breakfast tea for a sweeter and more floral flavor.


  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot strong coffee or black tea (such as English breakfast) (see Note)

  • 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa (such as Valrhona or Guittard)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted

  • 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup canola oil

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur) (about 6 3/8 ounces), sifted

  • 2/3 cup dark rye flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill) (about 3 ounces), sifted

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao) (from 3 [2-ounce] bars) (such as Valrhona or Guittard)

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish

  • Cacao nibs, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Spray parchment lightly with cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Whisk together coffee, cocoa, and butter in a medium bowl until smooth and well combined; let stand 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, oil, and 2 teaspoons fine sea salt to coffee mixture; whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs and 1/2 cup crème fraîche; whisk until batter thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Add all-purpose flour, rye flour, and baking soda; whisk until all dry ingredients are just incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until cake forms a crust, cracks in the center, and springs back lightly when pressed, 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Run an offset spatula around edges of cake; using parchment overhang as handles, remove cake from pan. Transfer cake to wire rack, and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Remove and discard parchment paper.

  4. Cook chocolate, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup crème fraîche, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt in a saucepan over low, whisking constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool until thickened and spreadable, 15 to 20 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes.

  5. Spread chocolate mixture on top of cooled cake, letting some drip down cake sides. Let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with flaky sea salt and cacao nibs.

Make Ahead

Cake can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

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