• Choc chip caramel loaf cake - a simple cake made using caramelised condensed milk (dulce de leche) in place of sugar. And yes, it is as good as it sounds!

Choc Chip Caramel Loaf Cake

Carnation brand condensed milk is a British institution. And like Tate and Lyle’s amber elixir Golden Syrup, we do it ever so well. Show me a British home baker who doesn’t have a can of it in their pantry and I’ll scoff at their total lack of Britishness! The tin is a beauty to behold in itself, although I do miss the tins which had the label printed directly onto them, as opposed to the paper label version we have today.

It’s a handy store cupboard ingredient and when boiled down for hours in a slow cooker or on the hob, all that sweet milky goodness turns to the most gooey, unctuous, satin smooth dulce de leche, which makes the easiest and most indulgent caramel you ever will have. And if the mere mention of dulce de leche doesn’t immediately conjure up images of Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons on their first date in Havana, you’ve had a poorer childhood than I (or perhaps one less obsessed with musical theatre – potayto, potahto).


As the worldly wise gangster Brando teaches the god-fearing, naive Simmons, dulce de leche means quite literally sweet of milk.  For those of you who live in fear of making traditional caramel by cooking sugar with all the attendant worry of third degree burns from accidental splashes of molten sugar or burning the ass out of your favourite saucepan, this is the caramel for you.

Of course, the manufacturers of condensed milk have made it even easier and faster for us as you can buy it ready caramelised in it’s can. I am busy (lazy) enough to buy it ready caramelised today. I’ve added Greek yogurt to tenderise this all-in-one method Choc Chip Caramel Loaf Cake and temper the sweetness of the caramel although do rest assure, this somehow is not an overly sweet cake at all.

This loaf makes puts all that glorious goo to work with some dark chocolate chips, to make a manila toned, understated but somehow still luxurious little loaf cake. Being a milk-based product, the creaminess comes through well in the final bake and the crumb is moist and dense, not to mention perfect with a cup of tea. Loaf cakes are often overlooked at cake counters across the country, with their dowdy, plain Jane looks being overshadowed by more elaborate and frosting overloaded layer cakes or pretty and flamboyantly coloured cupcakes.

Hungry Hubby loves a slice of lemon or vanilla scented loaf cake with a cuppa and dare I be presumptuous enough to suggest this cake may be the perfect treat for Dads about to celebrate Father’s Day here in the UK at least? Whilst I wouldn’t call it a masculine cake (if such a thing exists), you can’t deny the packaging of cupcakes and the like are very much geared towards the females of this species. Of course, if you fancied slathering a freshly baked slice with some of the leftover dulce de leche as you serve (perhaps with some raspberries to lend fruity tartness to the rich, creaminess of this bake) then I applaud and encourage thee to do so!


Choc Chip Caramel Loaf Cake
A creamy, dulce de leche rich loaf cake studded with dark choc chips. Fabulously easy to make via the all-in-one method.
Servings: 10
: 310 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 250 g dulce de leche
  • 150 g dark chocolate chips
  • 175 g very soft butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 140 g Greek yogurt
  • Seeds from a vanilla bean or 1 tsp of extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C and set an oven shelf so that the top of your cake tin comes no higher than half way up in the oven. Line a 2 lb loaf pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place all but the choc chips in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until the ingredients come together as a smooth, manila coloured batter - do not over beat and do ensure your butter is very soft before you start. Fold in the choc chips.
  3. Spoon into your prepared loaf pan and level off the top, with a slight dip in the middle.
  4. Bake for 1 hour but check as 55 minutes and be prepared to go to an extra 10 minutes if needed (domestic ovens vary a lot). The cake will be very well risen, have a deep furrow running down the centre and a skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  5. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Serving with the extra dulce de leche is highly recommended!
Recipe Notes

Either buy a can of ready caramelised condensed milk or cook it in your slow cooker completely covered in water on low for 8-10 hours. You can cook it in a pan of water on the hub for 2-3 hours instead if that is easier. Always ensure the can is completely immersed in water and never let the pan boil dry.
Ensure you butter is very soft before you start - if necessary, beat this for a few minutes until very light and fluffy before adding in all the other ingredients at once.
With regard to the yogurt - don't use low/no fat sorts as these are too runny and tart. If using a very thick brand (like Total) then beat in a little milk to make more like thick, spoonable cream rather than set yogurt in texture.

Nutrition Facts
Choc Chip Caramel Loaf Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 159mg 7%
Potassium 256mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 9.7%
Calcium 11.7%
Iron 8.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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By | 2018-02-18T20:17:58+00:00 June 18th, 2015|Categories: Cake, Chocolate, Home Baking|Tags: , , , , , , , |19 Comments


  1. Kathleen Clarke 18/06/2015 at 08:45 - Reply

    Jo, you have left out what to do with the choc chips :-)

    • Just Jo 18/06/2015 at 12:55 - Reply

      Fixed! Just fold into the batter once mixed.

  2. Sandy 18/06/2015 at 09:37 - Reply

    Was just going to ask the same question.

  3. Maureen Irvine 18/06/2015 at 12:33 - Reply

    This is such a luscious recipe. I bet the yogurt makes it very creamy and the texture would be wonderful.

    • Just Jo 18/06/2015 at 12:55 - Reply

      It does indeed – I consider yogurt my secret weapon in making better cakes!

  4. Melanie 20/06/2015 at 14:22 - Reply

    Jo, is 170c for a fan oven?

    • Just Jo 21/06/2015 at 15:35 - Reply

      Hi Mel sorry for the delay, this comment ended up in my spam folder and with being away this weekend I’ve only just been able to login on my laptop.
      Anyway – I never use the fan in my oven, all temperatures are without on the blog – always x

  5. Helen @ Scrummy Lane 27/06/2015 at 20:50 - Reply

    Mmmm … I love the idea of the dulce de leche being stirred right into the loaf batter. This sounds like it’d have a wonderful flavour!

    • Just Jo 28/06/2015 at 06:05 - Reply

      It’s got a lovely rich taste, more complex than using ordinary sugar alone :)

  6. jodance78 08/07/2015 at 13:03 - Reply

    Wow – this cake is totally amazing! I made it for Father’s day and it was really enjoyed by everyone. It’s probably the most moist cake I’ve ever made – and the little bit we did have left over kept really well – I’ll be making this again definitely!! In fact – I’d really like to try it out as cup/fairycakes – do you think this would work – any suggestions on how to amend the cooking time etc to keep them as fresh and moist please??? Thank you!!

    • Just Jo 08/07/2015 at 13:21 - Reply

      Hello Jo – thanks for trying the recipe and stopping by to let me know how it went. So pleased it worked well for you. I haven’t as yet tried it in cupcake form but imagine it is possible – I usually cook them on 170-180˚C and check at 20 minutes when I am creating a new recipe so suggest that as a starting point. It’s a rich and moist recipe so they shouldn’t dry out. Let me know how they go x

  7. jodance78 11/08/2015 at 15:03 - Reply

    Hi Jo – I made these as cupcakes and they worked a treat! I followed your suggested directions and they were amazing, and stayed moist for several days – there’s only two of us so it takes a few days to get through a batch of cupcakes (and these were just too good to share!). I’d send you a pic, but I don’t know how – they were brilliant, just a bit volcanoey on top, any ideas on if there’s a good way to get them to have a flatter top so they’d be easier to ice please? I so want to add some Dulche de Leche swirls of buttercream to the top of them :D x

    • Just Jo 11/08/2015 at 20:57 - Reply

      Hi Jo – thanks for letting me know the loaf works as cupcakes, that’s great to know. I think you could reduce the baking powder to 1tsp for cupcakes hearing that they volcanoed a bit – it’s usually a sign there is too much raising agent. And in retrospect, cupcakes wouldn’t med as much as a loaf which tend to be denser and cook for longer. You can email me a photo or find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All links are at the top and bottom of the blog :)

      • jodance78 12/08/2015 at 10:06 - Reply

        Hi Jo Thanks for the advice, on the baking powder, I’ll give that a go soon :) Here’s a pic for you – pretty rubbish one as it was just a snap from my phone before the hubby snaffled them all ;) and clearly I have some work to do on presentation!

        Thanks for the amazing blog, I always look forward to finding out what you’ve been working on next, you’ve inspired quite a lot of meals for me:)

  8. Fiona 13/08/2015 at 21:19 - Reply

    Hi Jo
    Have you any tips for making the chocolate chips behave and are evenly spaced?
    Last time I tried to make a chocolate chip loaf all the chips sank to the bottom.:-(

    • Just Jo 13/08/2015 at 21:27 - Reply

      Hi Fiona. You shouldn’t have a problem with this particular loaf cake as the batter is thick and stiff. It’s much harder to suspend chocolate chips in a looser batter, that could have been the issue. They don’t have any “traction” like when you’re trying to suspend fruit pieces and can do so by coating in flour before mixing them in…

  9. Lynn 19/02/2016 at 08:01 - Reply

    Is it possible to substitute vegetable oil for the butter, or would I be heading for disaster?


    • Just Jo 19/02/2016 at 08:09 - Reply

      Oh now I’ve never done that to this recipe but I don’t see why you couldn’t try. I’d reduce the oil to 150g and keep an eye on the baking time as it could be different for a more liquid batter. Also make sure the yogurt is nice and thick, not that nasty runny sour “natural” stuff! Best of luck Lynn, let me know how it goes :)

      • Lynn 19/02/2016 at 15:03 - Reply

        Thanks Jo, I will give it a try and report back. Have a lovely weekend.


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