Monday Night Means Dessert: Monday Night Chocolate Cake

As far as Mondays go, this one is not so bad. It’s finally sunny. It’s not snowing – or hailing – both of which it did this weekend, at the end of April. I am not panicked about any specific issues relating to any of my children (at the moment – this could change at any time). Today is also a bit of a monumental day as we are getting new counters in our kitchen. We have lived in our 100+ year-old Victorian for 12 years and we are not a family that moves into a house and immediately re-does it top to bottom. Quite the contrary. We had originally budgeted for one house project per year which afforded, among other projects, extensive interior and exterior painting, refinishing hard wood floors, and some carpeting. That schedule was abandoned as our kids got older and our expenses escalated. And we needed a new roof, among other necessary home repairs, which trump “improvements” unfortunately.

I like to think of our house as charming, but dream about a bathroom with a walk-in shower with a glass door while I continue to shower with the clear liner clinging to my legs. Our kitchen counters are an 80’s slate blue linoleum, with some peeling edges secured with scotch tape. To say I am thrilled on this Monday as our new counters are being installed is an understatement – I literally live in our kitchen.

I managed to whip up a cake this morning, keeping with my Monday night dessert routine. This is the perfect Monday dessert – made in one bowl and baked in a loaf pan. You can choose to top with powdered sugar. Or whipped cream. Or ice cream. Or berries. Or all of the above. I think it would be completely acceptable to toast it with some peanut butter for a snack – or let’s be honest, breakfast.

Monday Night Chocolate Cake (adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe)

(Click here for printable recipe)


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, let sit for 10 minutes at room temp and shake or stir)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup Dutch Process or partially Dutch Processed cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a butter-flour spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk (or substitute) and vanilla. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not over mix. Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended. Fold in chocolate chips – do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out of pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar and other toppings if desired.

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Rachael Ray