This Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe is moist, tender and loaded with chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts. Swirled and topped with a thick layer of cinnamon and cocoa streusel and drizzled with a sweet glaze, this coffee cake with chocolate is irresistibly rich, totally delicious and perfect for breakfasts, brunch, dessert time and every single snack in between!
Featured comment: Awesome recipe. I’ve never actually tried any coffee cake recipes before. But I am always looking for tried and true baking recipes and this coffee cake is up there on the list – it’s VERY VERY good! I can even get my coffee in the same delicious morsel. Thanks for sharing.” – David
Continue to read on for expert tips on making the best breakfast cake with coffee and chocolate! And, don’t miss the step by step photos showing you exactly how to make this chocolate cake with coffee!
Updated: This post was originally published in March 2015. I took new photos and updated the post below to include more information about chocolate coffee cake. I also tweaked the recipe to perfection and added step by step photos to show you how quick and easy this snack cake is to make!
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About this chocolate coffee cake recipe
This chocolate and cinnamon infused coffee cake is moist, tender and jam packed with melty chocolate chips! Layered and topped with a crunchy chocolate chip and walnut streusel; then finished with a smooth, sweet vanilla laced buttermilk glaze, this cake is rich and highly addictive!!
With layers of delicious, soft flavors and swirls of ooey-gooey, rich, melted chocolate, this chocolate snack cake is perfect for breakfasts, brunch, snacktime and even dessert! If you have a chocolate lover in your family, this cake is an absolute MUST!
What is a coffee cake?
By definition, a coffee cake is any type of cake intended to be eaten with coffee or tea at breakfast. Coffee cake, also known as coffeecake or snack cake, is typically moist and tender in texture with a square, round, rectangular, or loaf-shape. They are usually contain cinnamon flavor along with a steusel or crumb topping and sweet glaze. Additionally, coffee cake can also contain nuts, fruits or jam.
Coffee cake gets its name from the fact that it is intended to be served with coffee.
A chocolate coffee cake is simply a traditional coffee cake with the addition of cocoa powder and/or chocolate chips.
What’s it made of?
American coffee cakes are more cake-like in texture and typically leavened with either baking powder and/or baking soda. The exact ingredients in cake recipes will vary greatly depending on region and household.
Traditional coffee cake ingredients
- Fat – butter or oil
- Dairy – milk, buttermilk, sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Vanilla Extract
- Baking Powder and/or Baking Soda
- Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and/or cloves
- Cocoa Powder (optional for a chocolate coffee cake)
- Espresso Powder or Brewed Coffee (optional)
Coffee chocolate cake ingredients
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Leavening Agents: Baking powder and baking soda
- Sweeteners: Granulated sugar and light brown sugar
- Chocolate Chips
FAQs: coffee cake with chocolate
Do chocolate coffee cakes have coffee?
While some coffee cakes might be made with coffee as an ingredient, it is not a requirement.
Can I add coffee to this cake recipe?
You can absolutely add coffee to your cake! Cakes can be infused with coffee flavor in various ways. The addition of brewed coffee, espresso powder and coffee liqueur are common ways to add a rich coffee undertone to your cake.
Additionally, coffee is commonly added to chocolate baked goods because it actually enhances the flavor of cocoa powder, resulting in an irresistibly rich, incredibly chocolaty cake.
If you would like to add coffee to this chocolate coffee cake recipe, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for an equal amount of instant espresso powder. Unlike ground coffee, espresso powder provides a powerful punch and completely dissolves into the cake which eliminates any risk of grittiness.
How to prevent a chocolate coffee cake from sticking to the pan?
There is nothing more frustrating than baking a beautiful cake and having it fall apart as soon as you try to remove it from the pan!
Follow these tips to keep your cake from sticking to the pan
- Use homemade pan release. Non-stick sprays and shortening can be unreliable and leave a sticky residue on pans. Homemade pan release, also known as “cake goop”, is a paste that you can spread on baking pans. It prevents baked good from sticking to the pans. Goop is easy to make and absolute magic at releasing cakes from their pans!
- To make Goop, combine equal parts all-purpose flour, vegetable oil and vegetable shortening, and mix them together.
- Brush pan liberally with pan release. Use a pastry brush to evenly and generously brush a thin layer of pan release on the inside surface of the pan. Take care to make sure you have coated all the sides, corners and any nooks, crannies or crevices. Make sure you don’t grease all the way up to the top of the pan on the sides; only grease as far up as the coffee chocolate cake will rise.
- Sprinkle the pan with flour or cocoa powder. After you completely grease the pan, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of flour into the pan for a traditional coffee cake. Or, if you’re making a coffee chocolate cake, use unsweetened cocoa powder. Just make sure you gently shake and tap the pan to evenly distribute the flour or cocoa powder. And also, gently tap out any excess flour into the sink.
What is a coffee cake pan?
You can bake a coffee cake in various pans. 9×13-inch baking pans, Bundt pans, tube pans and loaf pans are commonly used to make coffee cake.
You can make this chocolate coffee cake recipe in any of the aforementioned pans. Please note, baking times will vary depending on the pan you select. Follow the tips below to know exactly when your chocolate snack cake is done baking in the oven.
How do you know when coffee cake chocolate is done baking?
Nothing is worse than a dry, over-baked cake! There are a few easy signs to look for to let you know when your cake is done. When in doubt, it is better to err on the side of caution and under-bake the cake.
- The cake is springy to the touch. If you gently press your finger against the cake, it should feel pillow-soft and slightly springy to the touch.
- The sides pull away from the pan. The cake is done baking when the sides of the cake just start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the outer edges look slightly dry.
- When a toothpick comes out clean. If you insert a toothpick or thin skewer into the center of the cake, it should come out clean with no streaks of batter. A few small crumbs are normal and okay.
- When the internal temperature of the cake reaches 210 degrees Fahrenheit. When in doubt, you can always use an instant-read thermometer. The cake is done baking when the temperature in the middles reaches 210 degrees.
How to make the best chocolate coffee cake recipe
This chocolate snack cake is rich with chocolate flavor, easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom, Bundt pan or 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Then, dust the inside of the pan with cocoa powder and gently tap out the excess.
- Prepare the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine all of the streusel ingredients and mix. Then, set the bowl aside.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine before setting aside.
- Wet ingredients: In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugars, oil and eggs. Beat on medium speed until light in color. Next, add in the buttermilk and vanilla, and beat until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until JUST combined. Then, gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Layer cake: Pour half of the coffee cake batter into the pan. Sprinkle ¾ cup of the streusel evenly over the batter. Repeat by adding the rest of the batter to the pan, followed by the remaining streusel.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the chocolate coffee cake from the pan, place on a wire rack, and allow the cake to cool.
- While the cake is baking, make the glaze: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar with buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk until the glaze is smooth, then set it aside.
- Serve: While the coffee chocolate cake is still slightly warm, frost it with half of the glaze. For best results, let the cake cool completely (30+ minutes) before drizzling with remaining glaze. Slice the cocoa coffee cake using a serrated knife, serve and enjoy!
Step-by-step photos: making the recipe for chocolate coffee cake
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)
Serving coffee cakes with chocolate
Serve your chocolate coffee cake warm or at room temperature.
Pairs well with: hot coffee or iced coffee, lazy mornings, couch snuggles, mimosas, breakfast and brunch dishes, or more desserts.
Storing chocolate coffee cake recipes
How to store chocolate and coffee cake?
Allow leftover coffee cocoa cake to cool completely to room temperature before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. Store in a resealable bag to prevent the cake from drying out. Store chocolate coffee cake on the counter at room temperature. Properly stored, it will keep well for up to 5 days.
Do I need to refrigerate chocolate cakes with coffee?
Whether your espresso coffee cake is cut or uncut, it is fine at room temperature. Chocolate coffee cakes do not need to be refrigerated. Refrigeration is only necessary if your kitchen gets very hot during the day.
Can I freeze coffee cake with chocolate?
Coffee cake with espresso freeze beautifully! To freeze, wrap the coffee cake with chocolate chips tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then place the cake into a freezer-safe, resealable bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.
How to crisp and reheat chocolate breakfast cake?
If the cake made with coffee is frozen, allow it to thaw at room temperature in its original plastic or aluminum wrapping. You can eat the chocolate snack cake as is or reheat it in the oven.
To reheat this recipe for coffee chocolate cake, wrap it in aluminum foil and heat it in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until warm throughout.
Rich, moist, packed with chocolate and infused with cinnamon, this cake made with coffee and chocolate will satisfy all your sweet tooth cravings!
Until next week friends, cheers! To eating coffee in cake!
More chocolate cakes!
The best Chocolate Cake with Coffee👇
Chocolate Coffee Cake
- 1 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Handheld Mixer
- 1 Baking Pan
Chocolate Coffee Cake
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour – spooned & leveled; sifted (SEE NOTES)
- 2 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - sifted, plus more for pan (SEE NOTES)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar - packed
- ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 1/4 Cup Buttermilk - (I use low-fat, but do not use skim!)
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chips - (use high quality such as Ghirardelli) (about 6 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom, Bundt pan or 8x8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or pan release (SEE NOTES). Dust the inside of the pan with cocoa powder and gently tap out the excess.
- Prepare the streusel topping: In a medium mixing bowl, make the streusel by combining all of the streusel ingredients together. Season with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside.
- Prepare the cake – dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Prepare the cake – wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugars, oil and eggs. Beat on medium speed until light in color and well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until combined.
- Add dry to wet, then add chocolate chips: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until JUST combined. Very gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Layer the cake: Pour half of the coffee cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle ¾ cup of the streusel evenly over the batter. Repeat by adding the rest of the batter to the pan and then evenly top with the remaining streusel.
- Bake: Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely.
- While the cake is baking, make the glaze: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and all the vanilla. Whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. For a thinner glaze, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Set aside.
- Glaze and Serve: While the cake is still slightly warm, drizzle the coffee cake with half of the glaze. Let the cake cool completely (30+ minutes) and drizzle with remaining glaze. Slice, serve and enjoy!
- To Use Coffee in your Coffee Cake! You can replace 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder for a richer, more chocolaty flavored cake.
- You MUST sift the flour and cocoa powder. The cake will come out dense and dry unless you sift those ingredients. Likewise, do NOT over-mix the batter when you add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir them until JUST combined and then very gently fold in the chocolate chips. Over-mixing will produce a dense cake.
- Do NOT over-bake the cake! Bake the coffee cake until the top feels pillow-soft and slightly springy to the touch.
- Store Coffee Chocolate Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4-5 days, however coffee cake tastes best the first 2 days.
- In a bowl using a whisk or handheld mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- To use, dip a pastry brush in the mixture and coat baking pan with a generous layer of pan release. Be sure to get the mixture into the nooks and crannies of pans. Note: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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