Chocolate Swirled Coffee Cake Bread

chocolate swirled coffee cake bread

You want some chocolate?!

Baby I gotchu some chocolate right here.  Breakfast chocolate at that.  Yeah!  

Holy bah-jeebers, this thing is otherworldly.

It’s a bread, or more bread than a coffee cake, more bread than cake, more bread than pastry so the original name is a bit of a misnomer.  There is yeast involved.  

This is a good-portion-of-the-day adventure but it is not any more complicated than say, cinnamon rolls.  Most of the time is rise and bake time.  But you absolutely have to have to have to carve out some time to make this.  Trust me.  Truuuuust me. 

This is like The Ultimate Brunch (Breakfast Snack Anytime) Swirly Bread Cake Chocolate-Bomb Thing.  It even comes with a crumb topping!  I know, right?!?! 

This is the kind of thing you whip out for your favorite guests.  Or who am I kidding, treat your damn self, you deserve it. 

Growing up my mom would swing by Country Maid Bakery, aw man I miss that place, and pick up a coffee cake for special occasions, or on occasion, or no occasion at all.  Our favorite, the one she bought 99.9999% of the time was a flaky tender Danish type, long and flat with a heavy coating of chocolate and chocolate chips. 

After I went to college, my mom would swing through the bakery when I came home for visits.  Every visit.  She bought it for my brother too until the bakery eventually closed. 

What a sad time that was, that closing.  I haven’t found anything quite like it since nor a recipe that’s similar.  Oh believe me, that search is ongoing.  But the level of chocolate here is similar.  Chooooocolate.  Chocolate.

I digress.  Right, so this staggering blue-ribbon of a recipe, oh my gosh.

Now ordinarily, I have not had the best of luck with many Martha Stewart recipes but every once upon a while, I do hit on one that’s a killer therefore I do keep an eye out for others.  For the most part, strangely enough, they’re off which is terribly confusing.

Not this time though, wowzers.

Start with the coffee cake bread part, which is quite simple in that it’s, as I said, essentially a bread.

Bloom the yeast in your mixer bowl* with warm milk.

blooming yeast in mixer bowl
Top, the active dry yeast getting ready to boogie.  Bottom, oh yes, it’s boogie-ing and about to get the next ingredients.
While that’s popping, assemble your dry ingredients in a bowl and in another small bowl, mix up the sugar and egg stuff.

When the yeast is ready, pour in the sugar/egg stuff, stirring it by hand with a spatula or whisk* then dump in the flour combo and blend that up again by hand.  Once it’s sorta mixed, put the bread hook* on the machine, toss in the butter, and whirl.

adding flour to bloomed yeast in mixer bowl
Dump the flour in and give it a start by hand.

kneading and kneaded dough collage
Start up the mixer then toss in the butter and you end up with this wondrous dough.

Let that puppy rise in a greased up bowl* and relax.  Or, wait, mix up the chocolate filling and the crumb topping then go kick your feet up for a bit.

first rise of dough
Before and after.  It wasn’t the warmest, or heh, most well lit day.
The filling, easy as pie, just mush everything around in a bowl together.  Done.

mixing filling ingredients together
Easy peasy lemon squeezy, just mix it all together.  Be sure to scoop out half a cup for the topping.
The crumb top, same dealio, mush everything together.  Add that half cup of reserved filling to the topping bowl then pop in the fridge.

mixing crumb topping together
Smush the butter into the other stuff like you’re making a biscuit dough, with your fingers or a couple of forks.  Add that half cup of filling now so you don’t lose track.
Ok!  Party time!

Roll* out the dough to a square, about eighteen inches square.  Dabble* the egg wash along the edges and dump the filling ingredients atop, spread that out nice and even.

rolling out of dough then adding filling and rolling up
Clockwise from top left: roll, wash, fill, roll.  Tada!  Easy!
A little dough fun for you next:  shape it into a U then twist the ends together.

shaping rolled dough into U and twisting
Super simple, just skootch the dough log into a U then twist it up.  You’re making way cool swirls and layers this way.
Plop it into your prepped loaf pan,* wash the top with the rest of that egg wash you’ve got and load up, I mean, load up the top with the crumbs and remaining filling.  Whoa, whoa is definitely right.

sprinkling crumb topping on dough in loaf pan
Uh huh.  Are you just dying over this yet or what?
A brief brief rise and bake!  I followed the original instructions but never got that bakery uber way golden brown but who the mmmrff mmrrff cares, oh my gosh, look what came out:

side view of freshly baked bread in pan
What, am I in Scandanavia with this lighting now?  heh

view of baked coffee cake bread in pan from above
That crumb top….amiright?!

sliced chocolate swirled coffee cake bread
Don’t go too far to try and get an overly brown top as you’ll dry out the bread portion by the way.

I can’t even begin to describe how good this is, I mean, words just fail me.

But, if you want an indication of how good this recipe is….Mike headed out to visit his folks for a couple days so I kindly packed slices for him to snack on (ahem, aka, keep him awake while driving).  He gave some to his mom who loooved it and asked if it was an old family recipe.

another image of the bread inside
The lighting was so weird that day; here’s my moody version for you.
Bingo!  Right?!  There ya go.  So!  Enjoy the heck outta this one!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Chocolate Swirled Coffee Cake Bread

Chocolate Swirled Coffee Cake Bread

Prep time
45 Min
Cook time
1 H & 15 M
Inactive time
1 H & 30 M
Total time
3 H & 30 M
Up the breakfast ante with this unreal combination of yeasted coffee cake bread and an explosion of cinnamon-tinged chocolate swirls.


Coffee Cake Bread Dough
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 g) active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (37 g) plus a pinch of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) warm milk 110° F or 38-43° C
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups (213 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (43 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed


Bread Dough
  1. In a mixer bowl, add the yeast, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar, and pour the warmed milk in. Allow the yeast to activate and foam up, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the flour and salt to a small bowl, fluffing to combine with a fork.
  3. In the meantime, in another small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of sugar with the egg and egg yolk. Whisk to combine and when the yeast is ready, add this to the mixer bowl and whisk by hand with the yeast.
  4. Add the flour/salt mixture to the mixer, stir a few times by hand with a spatula or whisk, attach the bread hook to the mixer, start it on low then add the butter. Knead the ingredients on low for about 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and knead briefly by hand on a lightly floured surface to bring the dough to a smooth rounded ball.
  6. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat the surface with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to double in size in a warm spot for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  1. In a small bowl, add the filling ingredients, the chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon, then cut in the butter, rubbing it in with your fingers. It will be quite chunky. Scoop out 1/2 cup and set both aside.
  1. In a small bowl, add the crumb ingredients, the powdered sugar, flour, and butter. Combine in the same fashion as the filling, cutting in the butter with your fingers. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of filling to the topping and set aside in the refrigerator.
  1. Punch down the risen dough, flour a work surface, and transfer the dough to it. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes to rest. Mix up the assembly egg wash, the egg and cream, whisking well with a fork.
  2. Roll the dough into an 18” square and brush the edges with the egg wash. Spread the filling ingredients evenly over the dough. Be sure to leave a 1 inch border around the edges.
  3. Roll the dough into a log, pinching the seams together. Form the dough into a U shape then twist the U ends together to form a twisted type braid.
  4. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper, ensuring the edges of the paper hang over. Lightly grease or butter the paper and place the dough in the pan. Brush the remainder of the egg wash onto the top then sprinkle the crumb topping with the 1/2 cup of reserved filling. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 20-30 minutes, until the dough rises about half.
  5. Begin preheating the oven to 350° F (175° C) then bake for about 55 minutes, until the top is golden. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Lower the oven temperature to 325° F (163° C) and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes to reach a deep golden color.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.


Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Nutrition Facts



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

bread, coffee cake, chocolate

*The stand mixers, whisks, bread hooks, mixing bowls, rolling pins, pastry brushes, and loaf pans are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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