Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf

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This Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf is a small batch, gluten free, and naturally sweetened loaf cake topped with a decadent chocolate glaze.  The chocolate chip loaf is made with almond flour, sweet rice flour, yogurt, and maple syrup for a soft, dense, and sublimely moist cake.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf

Yay!  Another gluten free, small batch, and refined sugar free recipe!  And this one has been on the books for a couple months now.  Without going into boring life details, it has been a little crazy in the Butter and Bliss household because we have moved (again).  Is it just me, or is moving one of the WORST experiences ever?

Anyway, back to this pretty little loaf cake.  I thought after I made the super-delish gluten free mini lemon loaf, that I needed to try a classic version with chocolate chips.  And the results were just as awesome.

  • Softly Dense – Much like its predecessor, this chocolate chip loaf is perfectly dense.  We’re talking able to hold-a-slice-in-your-hand-without-falling-to-pieces sturdy.  Loaf cakes, much like pound cakes, should be soft, yet dense.  You want to bite into something with some heft.  
  • Moist – There is that word again – but I’m dedicated to making it acceptable again!  Or another way of saying it isn’t dry as a bone – or saltine!  
  • Classic Flavor – I think of a chocolate chip muffin as being a classic – almost a staple – breakfast muffin recipe.  Put all of that into a different form – like this mini loaf – cover it with even more chocolate, and you have yourself a breakfast (or snack) recipe that will become a go-to.

Recipe Highlights

A summary of what to expect with this gluten free chocolate chip mini loaf recipe:  

  • Small Batch – The perfect size for two people, plus a couple extra slices for the next day.  Should you have that kind of self control.  Or make yourself a second mini loaf with the gluten free maple cinnamon loaf!  One for each of you! 
  • Gluten Free – It is in the name, but worth repeating.  This gluten free loaf is made with almond flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour.
  • Refined Sugar Free/Naturally Sweetened – The loaf is sweetened with maple syrup and it produces a bake that is delicately sweet.  NoteYes, I realize the chocolate chips and chocolate glaze may not be refined sugar free.  But you can always source a sugar free chocolate chip if you prefer!
  • Easy – The nature of a small batch helps to make the recipe easy.  Additionally, there aren’t any special baking or preparation techniques for this recipe, and it comes together in about 10 minutes.  
  • Try Without Swaps –  Honestly, I haven’t tested this recipe with a number of swaps – i.e. different flours or sweeteners.  And I can’t say how swapping ingredients will impact the end result.  I’d recommend trying the recipe as written, then tweak to your hearts content!
Top of a chocolate chip mini loaf in a mini loaf pan on a cutting board

What You Need To Make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf Cake

Ingredients

  • Almond Flour – I recommend blanched almond flour because it is ground finer and without the almond skins.  
  • Sweet Rice Flour – The sweet rice flour adds texture to the loaf cake.  It helps to keep it moist and perfectly dense.
  • Tapioca Flour – The tapioca flour lends to the soft texture and also works as a binder.
  • Coconut Flour – Coconut flour is more absorbent and is great when using a liquid sweetener – like maple syrup – to ensure the loaf cake has a cake texture.  
  • Baking Powder and Salt – Lift, texture, and flavor.
  • Cinnamon – The ground cinnamon is optional but I like to add it to my chocolate chip bakes because it adds subtle flavor without being overpowering.
  • Unsalted Butter – We use unsalted butter because we are controlling the salt level ourselves.
  • Egg – 1 large egg is all you need!
  • Pure Maple Syrup – Make sure to use pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup.  The maple syrup provides a delicate, and refined sugar free, sweetness to the loaf.  And no, the lemon loaf does not taste like maple syrup!  
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk Yogurt – I like to use So Delicious coconut milk yogurt.  But feel free to use any yogurt you prefer.
  • Vanilla Extract – Flavor!
  • Chocolate Chips – I highly recommend mini chocolate chips because they are less likely to sink to the bottom of the loaf pan.

Baking Equipment

  • Mini Loaf Pan – These are the mini loaf pans I use.  They are small – 3 inches x 5.75 inches.  You could certainly make these into muffins, and the batter may yield about 4 muffins. 
  • Mixing Bowls

Chocolate Glaze For Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf

The chocolate glaze for this mini chocolate chip loaf is certainly optional, but why would you pass?!  It would be like saying I’ll skip the chocolate coating on a thin mint cookie or a vanilla donut.  The chocolate glaze for this mini loaf is literally the icing on the cake!

You only need a couple of ingredients to make the chocolate glaze:

  • Chocolate Chips – Feel free to use semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips.  I used semi-sweet because I added a little extra powdered sugar.
  • Coconut Oil – The coconut oil helps the chocolate to melt smoother, and adds a tiny bit of shine!
  • Powdered Sugar – I used a little powdered sugar to help the glaze set up.  

And to make the chocolate glaze, there are two methods which you can use:

  1. Microwave Melt – Simply put the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe dish, bowl, or measuring cup.  Melt in about 30 second increments, stirring after each.  You want to heat the chocolate until it is mostly melted.  The residual heat from the chocolate will melt any remaining lumps.
  2. Double Boiler – This is my preferred method because I can control – and see – how the chocolate is melting.  The double boiler consists of a small saucepan and a heat-proof bowl (glass mixing bowl).  The bowl should be large enough to sit on top of the saucepan without touching the bottom, or the water in the saucepan.  Bring about 2 inches of water to a rolling simmer, set the bowl on top, add the chocolate, and heat the chocolate.  Again, until it is mostly melted.

Tips For Making Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf

ingredient tips

  • Blanched almond flour is my preference – This is because it is ground super fine and without the almond skins.  And it makes an appearance in most of my gluten free baking recipes.
  • Make sure it is sweet rice flour – The sweet rice flour is what lends to the soft texture of this mini lemon loaf.  With that, I can’t say with authority what other rice flours would do in this recipe.  By my research, I would say it may make the loaf too dry.
  • Try unsweetened coconut yogurt – Versus a sweetened, or flavored, yogurt.  We are adding enough flavor with the butter, vanilla, and chocolate chips and we want those ingredients to organically shine!
  • Maple syrup is the liquid sweetener of choice – I can’t recommend honey as an alternative for this recipe.  Honey does not behave like maple syrup in baking.  It requires a lower temperature because it browns quickly, longer bake time to compensate for the lower temperature, and fine refinement of the other ingredients to compensate for the acidity.
  • Use mini chocolate chips – I have tested this and can say that large/normal size chocolate chips will most certainly fall to the bottom.  Even if you sprinkle them with a little extra flour.  The mini chips are lighter and therefore will defy gravity better and stay suspended in the loaf cake.

baking tips

  • Use a mini loaf pan – If you want the result to be a mini loaf, then you need to use a mini loaf pan.  However, you could make this recipe into muffins.  It may yield about 4 muffins.
  • Line the mini loaf pan – For this recipe, I like to line to loaf pan because it will lessen the likelihood of the chocolate chips sticking to the pan.  Cut a piece of parchment long enough to hang over the sides of the pan.  This overhang works like a handle to gently lift the loaf out of the pan.
  • Rest the batter before baking – Because of the rice flour, we want to give the batter some time to hydrate before popping it into the oven.  Otherwise, the loaf may turn out with a more spongy crumb.
  • Allow the loaf to cool completely before pouring on the glaze – May seem obvious, but it is worthwhile noting!  We don’t want the glaze melting off the loaf!

chocolate glaze tips

  • The powdered sugar is optional – It does add a little extra sweetness to the glaze and will help it to set up a little more firm like a glaze.
  • Give the glazed loaf some time to set up – The chocolate glaze is like a delicious chocolate shell on the loaf.  Give the chocolate a little time to set up and harden.  I’d say at least 10 minutes – if you can wait that long!

common questions for making mini gluten free chocolate chip mini loaf

Can this recipe be doubled?

I have not tested a larger batch, so I can’t say for certain how it would turn out.

Is it truly refined sugar free with the chocolate chips and chocolate glaze?

You can ensure it is truly refined sugar free by sourcing sugar free or refined sugar free chocolate. Hu Chocolate or Lilly’s are some options.

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour blend work instead?

I (personally) find the 1:1 blends to be too dry. And they may need some other ingredient refinement to achieve the same loaf texture.

What does the sweet rice flour do in the loaf cake?

The sweet rice flour helps to keep the loaf moist, and it also lends to the ‘dense’ texture we look for in a a loaf cake.

Can I replace the maple syrup with a different sweetener?

I haven’t tested other sweeteners and can’t say for certain. You could try a coconut sugar or granulated sugar. The only sweetener I don’t recommend is honey, because honey behaves extremely different than maple syrup when baked.

Why do I have to let the batter rest before baking?

I find that using sweet rice flour requires giving the batter some time to hydrate. Otherwise, your loaf cake may end up a little drier and crumbly.

My chocolate for the glaze seized up. Can I save it?

Unfortunately, no. You could certainly try to loosen it with milk or cream, but then it won’t set up like a glaze.

Can I use the batter to make muffins instead of a loaf cake?

You can. The batter will likely yield about 4 muffins, or you could try the gluten free chocolate chip muffins recipe already on the blog!

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5 from 2 reviews

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Loaf

Yield: 1 Mini Loaf
This Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mini Loaf is a small batch, gluten free, and naturally sweetened loaf cake topped with a decadent chocolate glaze.  The chocolate chip loaf is made with almond flour, sweet rice flour, yogurt, and maple syrup for a soft, dense, and sublimely moist cake.
Prep15 mins
Cook35 mins
Total50 mins

Equipment

  • 1 – 3 x 5.5-Inch Mini Loaf Pan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon - optional
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 large egg - room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut yogurt - or dairy yogurt; room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Sweet Chocolate Glaze

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease a mini loaf pan, and line it with parchment paper – cut long enough to hang over the sides of the pan. Note – The mini loaf pan is 3.5 inches x 5 inches.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (if using).
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the butter. Using a hand held mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add the egg and beat until it is incorporated. Then add the maple syrup, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat on on medium speed until the mixture is fully incorporated. The mixture will be lumpy from the butter, and that is ok.
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. Beat on medium-low speed until no dry streaks remain. The batter may still be lumpy from the butter, and that is ok. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Tip – To keep the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom, use mini chocolate chips AND sprinkle a little tapioca flour over the chips in a small bowl and toss to coat them.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Let the batter rest in the pan for 5 minutes. This allows time for the batter to get hydrated. Bake for 33 to 35 minutes, or until the loaf feels springy to the touch, a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan and look golden brown.
  • Cool the loaf in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then carefully lift the loaf out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang, and allow the loaf to cool completely on the wire rack. If necessary, use a knife or offset spatula to run along the sides of the loaf to release it from the pan.

Sweet Chocolate Glaze

  • Melt the chocolate using the double boiler method – In a small saucepan, bring about 2 inches of water to a rolling simmer. Set a glass bowl that is large enough to sit on top of the saucepan without touching the water. Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat the chocolate until it is mostly melted, and remove the bowl from the heat. Any small pieces will melt with the residual heat. Do not overheat the chocolate, otherwise it may seize up.
  • Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Let the glaze cool for about 2 minutes before drizzling over the loaf. Allow the glaze to set up for a few minutes on the loaf before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
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Notes

  • Refined Sugar Free Chocolate/Chips – If you want a true refined sugar free chocolate chip for inside the loaf and glaze, try Hu Chocolate, or Lilly’s Chocolate.   If you can’t find mini chips, you can chop them up into a smaller pieces.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

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