Chocolate Chip Crumb Coffee Cake

chocolate chip crumb coffee cake
Ya know how you get that craving for something specific, a baked good in this instance obviously, and you want it to be exactly a specific certain way but you currently don’t have a recipe for whatever it is you have in mind and you research around trying to find what it is exactly that you’re wanting so badly but you’re thoroughly unsure which is going to be what you want it to be but you try one anyway on a whim and then…..

….aaaahhhhh the clouds part, angels sing, and rays of sunshine come pouring out of the sky?

Yeah.  That is this coffee cake. 
slice of chocolate chip crumb coffee cake
Oooophfff, I need to make this again asap.
I really lucked out.  It doesn’t happen often when my first attempt works out in such spectacular fashion. 

I’ve been on a loaf-form quick bread roll and Mike was hence enjoying them, taking hunks to work to snack on, a nudgy “hey babe this is almost gone ya know, ahem,” aka bake another.  The Cinnamon Bread, gotcha that one already; the other is slated for posting. 

Personally I suddenly desired a yellow-cake type coffee cake, oh! with hunky crumbs atop and with oh yes, definitely chocolate chips.  Taking to the internet sure turns up, heh, a slew of options for such things.  Wow.

Too, this desire came about I must admit, because I had two bags of mini chocolate chips on hand, just something I don’t usually buy.  I think in my life these are bags number two and three total ever.  
One bag Mike encouraged while shopping together, heavy-handedly “suggesting” chocolate chip cookies. 

Those chips went into ice cream instead (ha, that recipe coming soon too!).  

The other bag as I read the Target* brand of chips won a taste test.  Turns out they are not, nnn mm, remotely blue ribbon in my book, nope, but I figured they’d be fine in a baked good.  Use ‘em up!

(Oh and hey, don’t sweat it if you don’t have mini chips and no need to make a special run for them; you can use regular chips or chopped chocolate as well.)

So I went with The Merchant Baker’s version as another recipe of hers, ah the rockstar out-of-this-world obsession-worthy Blueberry Cheesecake Pie was yeah, a champ.  Considering how well that went over, I figured she wouldn’t disappoint.

Aaand she did not.

Somehow magically this could not have been any more of what I was seeking; how did she know?!  

It’s on the side of denser but it’s definitely not dense or heavy to eat.  It leans a bit drier rather than a moist fluffy yellow cake but that’s great because this is a coffee cake, not necessarily dessert so much.  

Granted, that’s likely on me too.  I used plain whole milk yogurt instead of sour cream as that’s what I had on hand.  While you can substitute one for the other, do note there are vast differences in fat content which can affect the final product. 

For me in the end, the yogurt gave me the coffee cake I was seeking but feel free to use plain whole milk or Greek yogurt or the called-for sour cream, light or regular. 

This coffee cake is also sweet enough without being kapow, over-jazzed sugary sweet in the morning.  The chocolate chips and the crumb top round this adventure out and balance everything superbly. 

Mike didn’t eat any of it.  Actually, he didn’t even try it.  I was bummed for sure but he does that.  He quietly divulged something about preferring fruit-related baked goods for breakfast, so now I know, fifteen years later.  If I want an entire coffee cake to myself, yikes haha, no fruit.  

Anywhooo, this coffee cake sure hit the spot for me.  And I don’t even drink coffee.  I imagine this would be extra spectacular for those who do. 

So start with the crumb topping which is as simple as mixing everything in a bowl. 

A little slideshow there of the steps for ya!

There is an atypical step here, smooshing everything compact then chilling it.  The result, when you crack it apart into chunks, is incredibly well-formed crumbs that hold their shape.  Worth the extra coupla’ seconds so just do it, trust me.

Next the cake portion, exactly like making a dessert cake from scratch so it’s quite simple. 

coffee cake ingredients
Amazing how so few ingredients can create such an amazing coffee cake.
Mix up the dry, set aside.  Mix up the sour cream (yogurt, whatever you’re using) and milk in a measuring cup,* set aside.

Beat up the butter and sugar in a mixer then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between.

creamed butter and sugar with egg
Fluffy creamed butter and sugar, then start dropping in the eggs.
Next, just dump the whole measuring cup of liquids in there and stir it around.
adding wet ingredients
It’ll look a tad weird, maybe clumpy lumpy, but you got it, this is right.
Tap that flour mix in steadily and once it’s all in, give it a few turns of the machine then shut that off as over mixing?, bad.

Pour the chocolate atop and with a non-stick spatula,* fold it in gently without over-stirring.  It’s going to be quite thick this batter, FYI.

coffee cake batter with chips
Voila!  Nice batter, yah?
Spread that chip-studded goodness into your nine inch square baking pan* then go grab the crumb topping mix out of the fridge.  Here’s the bonus fun — bust that topping up with a dinner knife into chunks of varying size.  Ree reee reeee, you’ll feel like you’re in Psycho but probably healthier to view it as baking aggression remover.

adding crumb topping to cake batter in pan
Sorry, the chunks are blurry here but you can see the various sizes and how well they stay formed.
Dump the whole bowl over the batter once you’ve got chunk sizes you approve of, spread it out nice and even, then kinda lightly smush the chunks into the batter ever so slightly.  Feel free to dash a bit of extra chocolate atop for Instagram effect.

chocolate chip crumb coffee cake batter ready to bake
Clap clap, let’s hit the oven!
Bake ‘er up (be sure to avoid overbaking as it’ll dry out and nobody wants that), let ‘er cool, and oh man.  Happy morning to you.  Or happy snack to you.  Or just happy you. 

baked coffee cake in pan
Wow, where’s my shovel, I mean fork?
Yay!  Enjoy!

slice of coffee cake on a plate
Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Chocolate Chip Crumb Coffee Cake

Chocolate Chip Crumb Coffee Cake

9 slices
Prep time
20 Min
Cook time
40 Min
Total time
1 Hour
A superb balance of yellow coffee cake cake, chocolate chips, and a luxurious crumb topping. What a way to wake up!


  • 3/4 cup  (90 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (107 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.75 g) fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter melted (half stick)
Coffee Cake
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature (1/2 cup, 1 stick)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) regular or low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (170 g) semi-sweet mini chocolate chips or regular chips or chopped chocolate
  • extra chocolate to top optional


  1. Begin preheating the oven to 350° F (176° C) and lightly spray a 9” square baking pan with cooking or baking spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a small dish. Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl then pour the melted butter over. Mix everything together with a fork until well combined. Using your hand, flatten and compact the topping mix in the bowl until it is packed well. Place the topping mix in the refrigerator to chill.
Coffee Cake
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, fluffing lightly with a fork. Stir together the sour cream (or yogurt) and milk in a measuring cup.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes on medium to medium high speed until nice and fluffy.
  3. Set the mixer to stir or low and add one egg, incorporate well, then add the second egg and stir well.
  4. Pour the sour cream/milk into the mixer bowl and increase the speed slightly to combine.
  5. Turn the mixer back to low or stir and steadily add the flour mix in. Once it’s all in, stir until barely mixed to avoid over mixing. Scrape the bowl, pour in the chocolate chips, and gently fold to distribute by hand with a spatula. The batter will be quite thick.
  6. Scoop the batter into the greased pan and spread it level.
  7. Remove the topping mix from the refrigerator and with a dinner knife, break it into various sized chunks. Empty the bowl on top of the coffee cake batter and spread the chunks out evenly, gently pressing them very slightly into the batter.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. A toothpick tester will have a few moist crumbs on it. Cool the coffee cake on a rack completely before serving.


The crumb topping can be doubled for extra crumb-ness!

Adapted from The Merchant Baker.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

coffee cake, chocolate chip

*The glass measuring cups, silicone spatulas, and 9″ square baking pans are Amazon affiliate links.  The Target link is a general affiliate link.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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