chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

Today was my unofficial return to cubicle-land and it was great! No really! Little did I know all I had to do was fall down a flight of stairs to be overjoyed with the normalcy of showing up to work on a Monday morning. I kid, of course, they’re really very nice to me even when I don’t show up bruised, achy and slinged, regaling them with the now-familiar saga of my drunken bar scrap. But, it was an especially delightfully un-manic Monday as the sharp pain in my right rib cage has finally subsided leaving me with a shoulder that really doesn’t hurt much at all, and also, I’ve gotten this two-hand typing thing mastered so let’s celebrate! Let us eat some cake.

whip the egg whites firstadd sour creamfold egg whites into batterspread first layer of batterchocolate chips + cinnamon-sugardollop the batter over

Of course, there’s not a whole lot to say about my family’s sour cream cinnamon chocolate chip coffee cake except that a) It’s absolutely perfect in every possible way — soft, plushy bites of uber-moist goodness broken up by cinnamon-sugar crusted chocolate chips. b) Be careful biting into it as it might make you feel unintentionally wronged by every coffee cake that has crossed your palate before it. c) He hasn’t said it in so many words (except, notably, “If your mom isn’t making that coffee cake I’m not coming over for Yom Kippur.”) but I think it may be the real reason Alex married me.

the final layer of cinnamon sugar and chips
from the oven
chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake
chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

And d) I’m not even offended.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 24
  • Source: A family recipe
  • Print

There’s no coffee in this cake — by “coffee cake,” we mean something you’d serve with afternoon coffee — just lots and lots of sour cream. Yes I’ve made it with plain yogurt instead. I’ve even made it with low-fat yogurt. But mostly I make it as my grandmother and her sisters did, and am glad I did. Every time I make this, I’m convinced there’s too much cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips on each layer and each time it comes out of the oven and we try it, I am so glad I didn’t touch the amounts. It’s perfect.

This recipe was updated with fresh photos in 2018. I didn’t change the recipe below accordingly because it doesn’t actually save on dishes, but these days, I whip the egg whites first and set them aside in another smaller bowl. I then use the same mixing bowl for the rest of the batter, and fold the egg whites back in at the end as written. I also sometimes get lazy and try to save on bowls to wash by beating the baking powder, baking soda, and salt right into the butter-sugar mixture in the beginning. I then add the flour near the end as written.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces or 115 grams) at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • Filling and Topping
  • 2 cups or 12 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl. Alternately mix in sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture until both are used up and the batter is smooth and very thick. In a medium bowl with clean beaters, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold gently into batter.

In a small dish, combine the cinnamon and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar for filling and topping.

Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan and spread smooth. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon-sugar mixture and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Dollop remaining cake batter over filling in spoonfuls. Use a rubber or offset spatula to gently spread it over the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle batter with remaining cinnamon-sugar and remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

Do ahead: I do *not* cover this when storing it (at room temperature because) I don’t want to lose the crackly top.

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504 comments on chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

    1. Hila

      I didn’t know what to expect from combining cinnamon and chocolate, but I’m glad I tried. It totally works. I used semi sweet chocolate chips from Costco, nothing fancy, and it is soooooo delicious.

      1. Tedrah smothers

        This is one of the best things I have ever baked. Wow what a great recipe! It’s only me and my husband. What are your thoughts on freezing what’s left??
        Thanks for all your great recipes.

  1. jill

    Hi Deb,

    I’m a longtime reader but first-time commenter… love the site! And that coffee cake looks amazing.

    Anyway, I’m sure you get recipe requests all the time, so no obligation of course… but I’m trying to find a good recipe for pumpkin bread and having some trouble. I made a great easy chocolate-chip pumpkin bread a few years ago and can’t figure out where the recipe came from or what I did with it. Any ideas?

    Thanks so much!!


  2. Cat

    Hi Deb,
    Glad you are feeling better.
    I would like to make this cake. Silly question from the Canadian: what is 1 stick of butter equivalent to in cups?

    1. Alexandra Brashears

      Hi—Long-time reader and appreciator, but never commented! I made the chocolate chip coffee cake a few weeks ago, verbatim, and was rewarded with pillowy, velvety cake and a delicious bakery-like scent that wafted through the house while baking and cooling. So, so good! Much better than the standard Bundt sour cream coffee cake I grew up making (mom’s recipe), although I’ll always have a fondness for that, too. However, I am one of those weird folks who tends not to appreciate chocolate particularly in breakfasty or pastry items.

      So, today I made it by subbing out the chocolate chips for some homemade apricot jam…which wasn’t too sweet, a little loose and had lotsa chunks of apricots—maybe 1.5 cups, so left in full amount of cinnamon sugar. I layered 2/3 of the jam over bottom half of cake + cinn/sugar, then 1/3 on top half and threw on approx 1 c sliced almonds, with the cinn/sugar above and below the jam. The top baked up deliciously caramelized and crunchy, with some jammy pockets where it didn’t sink in. The jam below did sink a bit, but overall was fine—just too *little* fruit for my taste, since I didn’t want to overload the batter. And I decided it was too sweet overall (not something that usually bothers me!) In the future, I’d use chopped fruit, not jam. And I’d add just a touch of lemon zest. The cake itself was slightly less velvety, maybe due to over-baking a tad since middle took longer fr weight of fruit I think, and/or because I used 9 oz non-fat yogurt and 7 oz sour cream (just to use up the yogurt!) Because of the cake batter texture I thought it could support the weight of fruit but now undecided. And I missed the chocolate!! Although it is now afternoon, and we finally got some snow here (Sierra foothills near Yosemite) so chocolate is entirely appropriate! The recipe just seems made for chocolate—I had purchased some Guittard Akoma chips on sale post-holidays, and had used those with the first bake. They are pricy but better than standard chips :-)

      Any thoughts on a cake that might be able to take more fruit but have an equally beguiling crumb, scent and taste?? Or has anyone experimented with add-ins other than chocolate? Thanks for such a nice recipe!

      1. deb

        Thanks for the note and details. I’ll have to play around with it a bit with fresh fruit; I would actually love to but my family is so obsessed with the chocolate, I think they will riot. Maybe this summer… with peaches!

  3. Cat, check Deb´s tools section, it has most conversions there.
    1 stick = 4 ounces = 8 tablespoons = ½ cup

    After such high praise, I´m gonna have to make this cake (so please stop twisting my arm :P). But the problem is sour cream is not available here. At Cooking for engineers, one of the substitution choices they give is plain yogurt. Do you think I would get an equivalent result with this recipe using plain yogurt?

  4. Marce – I make pancakes with either sour cream, ricotta or yogurt and they are all good and somewhat similar. Sour cream and ricotta tend to give greater desnity and moisture in pancake texture (hard to describe) than yogurt. A suggestion. If you use yogurt, I would use some non-gelatin kind (i.e., not dannon or yoplait) and let it drain for a bit in some cheesecloth (otherwise it might increase the fluids too much). I expect using ricotta would throw off the acid balance, but since it’s baking powder on not soda maybe it would be okay, or mabe add a squeeze of lemon? Yogurt would probably be a safer bet.

    This coffee cake looks scrumptious!

  5. Deb, This looks amazing! As a teacher, occasionally I take in treats for my students after finishing big projects. This will be perfect as they are just finishing up writing a paper! As always, Thank You!!!

    P.S. You are the inspiration for my blog these days!!! I really appreciate your example! Thanks so much!

  6. Yvo

    Oh lord, your great NaBloPoMo is killing me, I have so many recipes racked up to try that I’m drowning. I”m currently doing NaNoWriMo so at this point in the month, cooking is taking a backseat (oops) but I am SMITTEN with your KITCHEN. Haha sorry that was really corny. Mmm… cake.

  7. MW

    Looks yummy!

    If you did it again, would you coat the choc. in flour so they don’t all just sink to the bottom? Or is that part of what makes it so good?

  8. So, this is totally unrelated to the coffee-cake post (but somehow, I can’t find the recipe to which I will refer…anyway, sorry for the misplaced comment).

    Last night I made the Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers, which were really good. However, I have a question…unless I missed it, I can’t figure out what I was supposed to do with the tomato paste.

    The ingredients list “3 tbsp tomato paste” – but nowhere in the recipe does it say to use the tomato paste.

    Can you enlighten me?

  9. MMmmmm yum! I made this cake this evening and it was wonderful. I did not have sour cream, so I substituted lowfat yogurt. Unfortunately the yogurt was vanilla flavor instead of plain. I was worried about it being too sweet, so I added instant espresso powder (1/4 cup) to the sugar/chocolate chip mixture and I think that helped.

    Also very much enjoying NaBloPoMo! I am quite impressed you’re doing all this with your hurt arm – hope it gets better soon.

  10. Rachael 1- Thanks for the answer. I have both ricotta and whole plan yogurt. I think I´ll go with the yogurt and let it drain for a while just in case.

    Rachael 2- Thanks to you too for confirming it works with yogurt. Mine has no sugar, so I shouldn´t have a problem with the sweetness.

    Denise- I figured the tomato paste was mixed with the couscous mix. I did it like that and it tasted great.

    Deb- I´m not trying to steal your position answering questions. I´m just nosy like that. Besides, I wanted to help, you have to do all of it with one (or one and a half) hands ;)

  11. deb

    Tanna – Usually, the top is even crunchier but mom was in a rush and covered the pan with foil just out of the oven. If possible, this made it taste better than ever.

    Jill – I actually haven’t found the perfect pumpkin bread yet either, but I did have my mother (again with the mom!) try this one, which she said was very good but needed a lot more spice. I suppose it’s a matter of personal taste, but if you like it spicier, just go ahead and double all of them. Pumpkin seems to absorb all these flavors well. And of course, you can replace the walnuts with flour-dusted chocolate chips (floured so they don’t sink).

    Jill – Looks like Marce answered first but 1 stick is a quarter pound, 8 tablespoons and ½ cup melted, too.

    Jessie – Let us know how it goes!

    Marce – I have actually made this with yogurt before and it came out just fine. Rachael’s advice below is even better. Oh, and you are so *allowed* (please!) to answer questions in the comments. I really wanted to get to these questions sooner but day job, daily posting and baking two cheesecakes tonight has been a whirlwind.

    Tammi – Hope you like it!

    Rachael – Thank you thank you. Excellent advice. I even wonder if buttermilk could work – it having that tangy dairy thing – but wouldn’t know how much to replace it with without trying it myself.

    Hilary – You should, and share it. I’d love to compare.

    Jennifer – Heh. I’ve been trying to reign in my titles, too. (This from a girl who once titled a post “conversations in the past month that have led me to say to my fiancé: i don’t know why my parents have to spend so much money on this party when we are clearly, already married.” and another “instances in the past week that have caused my husband to refer to me as a curmudgeon”.)

    Jennifer – Nope, such behavior is encouraged at the Smitten Kitchen.

    Married Girl – I brought this cake into school so many times growing up, so I can attest, it’s perfect for the cause.

    Yvo, Rebekah – Thank you.

    MW – So, I didn’t know how to mention this but my mother (sorry mom!) kind of threw the cake together in a rush and didn’t follow the half batter, half chips, half cinnamon-sugar, etc. technique which is why all the chips are at the bottom. While this was still very very delicious in every possible way, if you make it the way I describe it above, the chips don’t sink. Le voila!

    Denise – Oh no! I will fix that, though it doesn’t help you much now. I added the tomato paste but forgot to say where. I believe I just mixed it in right before I stuffed the peppers. I loved the couscous dish, it just needed a little something-something to bind the flavors together. I hope it still came out okay!

    Rachael – Was it still good? I bet this cake is pretty flexible and the coffee sounds wonderful, too.

  12. I think the yogurt worked well, though I haven’t had the sour cream so I’m not sure how it would compare (I also did 2tsp baking powder and no soda because I was worried that the yogurt was too acidic). It was definitely sweet…the coffee balanced that out a little bit, but I think next time I’d try the sour cream or plain yogurt.

    I had some for breakfast and was just as moist and yummy as the night before (receiving some arched eyebrows from my S.O. when I put a slice on his plate too! Cake for breakfast? But of course!)

    1. Heather

      This looks great and I would love to make it to use up some extra sour cream I have! Do you think it could be made as muffins? (I.e., baked in muffin tins to have little individual coffee cake muffins)

  13. Wow. I threw this together as a replacement for my raspberry-bottomed cheesecake that is always too heavy after the big meal. And it was more than a hit–it was a sensation. We tucked into it as soon as it cooled Wednesday night, snacked on it throughout Thursday, and were fighting over the crumbs by Friday morning. I’m home from family festivities now and am planning on running out to the store in a bit for the supplies to make another pan, so I can eat it every morning for the rest of my life.

    So, basically, thanks for a stupendous recipe!

  14. Wow. This looks delicious. I have 1/2 a tub of sour cream lingering in my refrigerator begging to be used. This is a must-bring to the office especially since it got an A+ at school. :) Thanks for sharing

  15. Pamela

    I made this last week, my first smittenkitchen recipe!!! They were so tasty and my coworkers enjoyed them. It was so easy that I’ll make this a standard treat!

  16. Samphire

    My first Smitten recipe to get made as well, but I think I must have got my conversions to metric a bit off, as the batter was very stiff, and I had enough chocolate chips to feed a small principality. Nice though! Served it with fresh raspberries and some creme chantille for a post BBQ pudding and it was well received. I suspect it should be moister though…

    1. I just mixed the batter and it’s borderline doughy. Had a helluva time mixing the beaten egg whites in. Reminded me of the one time I mixed cement. Followed the recipe without conversion. I hope it turns out delicious and not like a brick.

      1. deb

        The batter is very stiff and dough-like before the egg whites are added — this is correct. You can stir 1/4 to 1/3 of them in without folding, to loosen the batter a little, then fold the last 2/3 to 3/4 of them in carefully, if it makes it easier.

  17. Rebecca

    I’ve been reading for awhile yet have never posted until now. Thanks for the great recipes and entertainment on my lunch break! I made this coffee cake over the holidays and it didn’t look at all like the pictures (though the taste was delicious) – it was very cake-like and it rose a bit, and your pictures suggest a denser texture with a shorter profile. I wondered if I had whipped the egg whites too much? Anyway, I’m not complaining in the least (!), it’s a great recipe that I plan to use again, I was just curious. Thanks!!

  18. Just thought I’d let you know that I’ve made this a couple of times for my roommates and it is a favorite. I cook breakfast every Friday morning, and colossal cheer is the perfect way to describe my roommates’ reaction when they see this in the oven. When I look for breakfast ideas I come here first, and then head over to epicurious if I don’t have the right ingredients to recreate something you’ve made. Anyways, just thought I’d let you know, because one of my roommates grinned as I pulled this out of the oven, “This is my very favorite!” she said.

  19. pat

    Hi Deb….love your site I think it is cook’s paradise…I would love the make the Choc. chip Sour Cream Cake but I live in Australia and we have different weights so if you could tell me how much a stick of butter is I would appreciate it very much…Keep the good work up and regards from OZ…Pat

  20. Hi Deb,

    Your food always literally makes me salivate at work – yum! I just wanted to say I tried this cake the other night and it was delicious!!! Very popular with the office, the doorman, the boyfriend, the roommate, and obviously myself. There was a problem with the eggs being beaten to stiff peaks which I chronicled on my blog (um, I tried to do it by hand, enough said), but it was awesome nonetheless! Thanks for the great recipes! (and of course I gave you credit!)

  21. kookie in London

    I’m a bit gutted because I thought this was going to be a cake “moment” for me but I foolishly did a bit of substituting and didn’t think hard enough about quantities. so I ended up with a cake that was tasty on the edges and not quite cooked in the centre. This wouldn’t be so bad except I used my stash of chocolate chips which I brought all the way from the states last year and I can’t bear the waste!! However, I will try again and succeed. BTW, although I was unhappy with my cake, several other people ate it and said it was good, so I know that success lies not far away.

    I’m jealous of all your pictures by the way, you have a way with light that I have totally failed to master thus far. Onwards and upwards!!

  22. Melissa A

    My first smitten kitche recipe. I think it turned out pretty well. My only problem was I think I didn’t portion the dough properly when I put the first layer in, meaning I put too much on the bottom, then layered the chip mixture and when I put the second layer of dough there wasn’t enough to cover the mid layer of chip mixture. I also think next time I make this I want to use mini-chips. The ones I used were just a bit too big. I was just psyched I got to use my new stand mixer three times; once for the dough, once for the egg white and once for the whipped cream I topped it with before serving.

  23. Matty

    I know this is an old recipe now, but I just saw it because of your link to the post on 31 Sept. It looks delicious!

    Quick question… the instructions say:

    “In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar,”

    Is that referring to 3 ingredients or 2? I.E. is ‘cream’ a verb or is it part of the sour cream?

    Sorry if it’s a noob question, but I’m no genius in the kitchen (yet!).

  24. Jackie


    I just made this last night – and “creaming” the butter and sugar means to mix with an electric mixture. So it’s just two ingredients. Hope this helps!
    And oh my goodness, is this ever good and addicting.

  25. Debbie V

    Hi, I was wondering if you used salted or unsalted butter. Since there is no salt in the recipe, it made me think maybe it was salted? Thanks!

  26. bethany

    (i’m a sneaky RSS reader-reader but i love the site!)

    i linked to this from the DELICIOUS apple cake post… and wowww this is delicious! random questions — why do you refer to it as coffee cake when there is… no.. coffee? and also, how long do you typically whip the eggs before they’re considered stiff?

  27. Jessica

    So I think I am behind the times and just found this recipe last week. I have made it twice and it is FANTASTIC!! Moist, just enough chocolate, and so damn good. I wish I found it 2 years ago…

  28. Tammi

    I see I commented two years ago and I didn’t make it that year for some reason. But I am in fact making it for Christmas Day breakfast at my Aunt’s house THIS year. Can’t wait.

  29. Ameia

    I made this substituting frozen blueberries and lemon juice for the vanilla and chocolate chips. It took much longer to cook this way, about 20 minutes more, but it was great and am making it again this evening so my friend can have some decent food to take to work – it will last her at least a week. ( I use organic ingredients, and reduce the amount of leavening to make it healthier than regular store-bought food.)

    I’m going to try it without the sugar topping – just want to see what it’s like with a regular crust. Yum.

  30. Liz

    Ahh, my post got cut off. Anyway, to achieve they thick consistency of sour cream that yogurt doesn’t have, you have to drain the water out of it. To do this, line a sieve with paper towel and place it over a bowl. Measure out plain yogurt (equal to the amount of sour cream needed, 16 ounces in this case) and put it in the sieve, on top of the paper towel. Put the sieve and bowl in the fridge for about an hour- you’ll notice that water will collect in the bottom of the bowl and the yogurt will be thicker. You can now use the yogurt in place of sour cream.
    (this works with low-fat and regular yogurt, but not as well with fat-free)

  31. Doris

    I just finished making this for our Mother’s Day brunch tomorrow. It looks so yummy! I’m so excited! I wish I could taste it right now, but have to wait till tomorrow. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  32. Stacey

    Oh YUM! I made this on Sunday for my boyfriend’s mum’s birthday (and the white bean-red pepper dip as a starter). Both went down an absolute treat, earning rave reviews. I love this cake- so moist, so fluffy, so chocolately! I made it in my 9″ round spring-form tin, as that is all I have. I was a bit worried, because it filled up so much of the pan, and I was anxious about it cooking all the way through. It took a little over 60 minutes, but it turned out beautifully. Best part is that my bf and I can continue to enjoy it for the rest of the week. And just in the nick of time since we just saw off the last of ‘your favourite’ chocolate chip cookies (amazing). You’re killing me!

  33. This recipe is amazing. Thank you!
    Thanks to you, I made it out to my local Y to swim off the chunks of coffee cake that have adhered to my hips….
    The recipe turned out beautifully, despite my two little helpers — almost two and five years — and they have been dancing around the kitchen, begging to have little slices for snack time.

  34. Diana

    It cooked up in 45 minutes in my oven but as soon as the cake totally cooled off the chips became hard masses of chocolate – not all of the chips completly melted and when the ones that did cooled off they became hard clumps. While it was warm it was edible but as it cooled it became “chips with cake bits around it” instead of cake with chocolate chips in it. It rose beautifully – was pretty to look at, and my chips didnt sink but its not quite edible except for the most die hard chocohalics. FYI -I used Trader Joes choc chips.

  35. kimberley

    Hi Deb: This cake was delicious! But it didn’t look at all like the photo. The top was a very pale beige, not a rich brown like in the photo. Any ideas why it would look so different? Yours is so much more appetizing-looking.

  36. I’ve been eyeballing this for a while and let me say… WOW. I feel like anything I put together from your site is a winner. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

    PS – this baked up HUGE in my oven! I was not expecting that!

  37. Tim

    I just made this last night, and I think it turned out pretty good – although maybe too much cinnamon/sugar mix on the top of the cake.

    I have to agree with Emily – mine baked up huge in the oven as well. :-)

  38. Pietro

    My mother has a varient of this cake that’s even better. Pretty much the same recipe with the exception that she adds chopped walnuts to the chocoloate chip mixture , bakes it in an angelfood cake pan, and lightly swirls all of the chocolate/nut/cinamon mixture into the batter just before baking to create a vein throughout the cake.

  39. Sarah

    Yummmm…I want to bring this to my boyfriend’s Yom Kippur break fast dinner. Would I be able to make it two days before (ie. Saturday for Monday night dinner?) Or is it best the first day?

  40. Erin

    This was the hit of the Rosh Hashana gathering. I used mini Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips which melted almost into a swirl in the center. Lovely!

  41. Tina

    I’ve made this twice in the past few weeks. The first time I selfishly kept most of it at home and shared it with a few (very grateful) coworkers and friends. It stayed in good shape for more than just a few days. The second go-round was for a weekend away with friends… that baby didn’t make it more than 24 hours!

  42. Berto

    Deb, I made these today but I did not have a pan to make them in, so I turned them into muffins! They came out great, and using chocolate AND toffee only sweetened the deal!

  43. The bundt pan worked great! It did completely fill a large, traditional bundt — one of the newer, smaller ones would probably be too small. Fortunately, there was no overflow or anything.

  44. Jenna

    nom nom nommmm! I tried this a couple weekends ago and had been craving it ever since, so now I’m waiting for another one to finish baking :) Delicious!

  45. Jen

    I am so sad that I just discovered this recipe. Seriously, out of this world!! Nothing better than that cinnamony-sugary crispy topping crunching in your mouth then the smooth burst of chocolate. Oh Oh Oh….there really is nothing better.

  46. Shelley

    Hihihiii!!!! I love your blog, so much. I’ve been working my way through your cookies and cakes for a few months now and every recipe has been one success after another. Any idea on an alternate bake time if I were to turn this into two small loaves?

  47. JenniferK

    I’ve been testing our recipes for a community ed cooking class-and this one made the cut for my coffee cakes class!! My husband was very sad this morning, when after just one piece I brought it into work (we would love to have a new cake each night, but we would gain 20 pounds!) It was polished off by 9am. Oh my goodness yummy! By the way, I used chocolate chunks, and my husband sliced a banana over the top of it, which added something fabulous. I’m thinking about making little loaf pans of this as gifts this Christmas!

  48. Kimberly

    Hi Deb– Just made this for tomorrow morning’s brunch. I am so pleased with how it turned out– just tasted a corner and it is so fluffy and delicious. Not sure why, but the cinnamon sugar on top didnt really bake in and it is kind of still loosely sitting on top of the cake.

  49. Kelly

    I love this cake because it came out exactly as you would imagine. The cake was moist and not overly sweet while the cinnamon sugar topping was crunchy. The only part that I found a to be a bit tricky was folding the egg whites into the batter since the batter was rather thick. Its a great cake for any time or occasion.

  50. lis

    first of all your pumpkin jacob is too cute!
    secondly, i made this recipe last night and i found it super easy to make, clear instructions (thank you!) and super yummy. that diet i was talking about, yea, that will have to wait til after the cake ;)

    it was certainly a crowd pleaser today at my family get together!

    i am considering the suggestion of using mini chips next time, but not sure…i kinda like the decadence of the whole chip!

    i found that i didn’t put enough cinnamon mixture in the middle of the cake so i ended up with a bunch on the top. ill prob just double it next time and put extra on both layers!

    thanks for being my fave new blog!

  51. Magdalena

    I neglected to put half the cinnamon and chocolate in the middle of the cake but it’s still tasty (though a bit top-heavy)! I made it in a 12″ round cake pan that’s 2″ deep and it filled it up nicely and baked in 60 minutes at 325 with the convection fan blowing.

  52. Megan

    I made this Friday night and it was so yummy, the best warm out of the oven or popped in the microwave for a few seconds over the next few days:)

  53. i have been making this for years (passed down from mom) and it is the best cake ever. our family actually makes it often as a birthday cake because everyone loves it so much. nothing better!!

  54. Susan

    Well, I have to say, OMG, Deb, you are my best new girlfriend. I was browsing around your site looking for something to bake. Had some sour cream, but no apples, no chocolate chips,…. But then I thought, hmmmm, I have a bag of butterscotch chips. STEP BACK, JACK!!! This cake with butterscotch chips is to die for. Now, I can’t wait to make it with chocolate chips. Peanut butter chips, toffee chips, any combination thereof,…??? The world is at my feet. Thank you so much!!!!! xoxoxo

  55. well it’s deb day in my kitchen today as I baked this cake as well as thick, chewy granola bars (my second batch in the last week! I commented over on that post as well)… i followed the recipe word for word and the result is outstanding and absolutely scrumptious eaten still a bit warm from the oven, the chocolate chips still a little soft… yum!

    and Susan, thanks for your suggestion to use butterscotch chips! I noticed a bag lingering in my baking cupboard wondering when it would get it’s chance to dazzle in something delicious… I will just have to make this cake a second time to give the butterscotch chips their due!

  56. Lulu

    I live in a sour cream-free world and just made this using my standard substitution, which is heavy cream with a Tbs of white vinegar added per each 8 oz of cream. If you are truly desperate this even works with canned cream.

    My cake looks gorgeous, and I can hardly wait for tomorrow morning so that we can cut into it at work!

  57. Amanda

    I made this cake last night, and I added about 3 tbsp of orange zest. It is so delicious: moist, chocolatey,and rich but not overwhelming. My co-workers devoured it this morning within about two hours!

  58. magpie

    This cake rocks in general but I had a very odd issue. The cinnamon/sugar mixture stayed ‘as is’;it didn’t bake into the centre or adhere to the surface. I had to brush it off the top, like a layer of sweet sand. What did I miss?

  59. caroline

    I thought I should comment since I’ve made this cake several times and it’s my go-to coffee cake recipe. This time I decided to make it into muffins, a little more work with all the layering, but a more portable product.

  60. caroline

    Oh, I also wanted to note that I usually substitute fatfree yogurt for the sour cream and it turns out just fine!

  61. My daughter bought this wonderful cake over on Easter morning. it was so good, but we don’t know why the chips didn’t melt on top. In the pictures I don’t even see the second layer of chocolate chips. She followed the directions exactly the was it wa printed.
    Does anyone have an answer?

  62. cristina

    Ellen, I agree. My cake is literally still in the oven and I can’t help but wonder how it’s possible that it will look like the picture. I too followed the direction and 20 minutes into baking those chocolate chips are still solid – does smells delicious though.

    Because I think the cake in the pictures is much better looking than mine, I was wondering if a different process was used than the one stated in the directions.

    Only thing I can think is that the all (or most) of the chocolate chips were used in the bottom layer and the cinnamon sugar was left for the top. I also wondered if I could achieve the same look using powdered chocolate for the top layer instead of the chocolate chips. Maybe next time…

  63. I made this yesterday. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you. I had a near disaster, as I took it out too early and the cake collapsed, but I put it back in the oven and the cake recovered beautifully.

  64. @ Cristina and Ellen, my chips did not melt either. It does look like in the photos above, there was only one layer of chips added. Not sure though.

    The cake, with the chips on top, looks beautiful. I just posted it on my blog. Hope you both enjoyed it as much as I did?

    1. deb

      Hey all — You are right, the photos do not match the recipe well. Ahem, well, I didn’t want to say it but here it goes: My mother made the cake that time and she had made it so many times, she never looked at the recipe and sure enough, got the steps all out of order. I’ll upload more accurate pictures of it soon; I have them, I just can’t remember which hard drive they’re on!

      I don’t remember the chips on top melting fully. I never considered this an issue, as they got soft. But then again, I’ve been eating this cake since I was a little girl and I love it to pieces so I’ve never thought it needed adjusting. If non-melting chips on top is something that would make this distastefully to you, it would also work well to pour in 1/3 the batter, layer half the chips and cinnamon sugar, another 1/3 the batter, the other half of the chips and cinnamon sugar, then the rest of the batter with nothing on top.

      Hope that helps!

  65. Hi Deb,

    Thanks for the response. I think the cake looks stunning with the chips on top. They don’t melt down, however, they do become very soft. It’s a real stunner and people will ask “How’d you get the chips to stay that way?”
    That’s my definition of “eye candy.”

    Thanks again for such a delicious recipe!

  66. Rachel

    Made this today, and it is hands down the best coffee cake I’ve ever tasted. Mighty rich, indeed, but such a nice treat. My new go-to. Thank you for sharing. I just love the way the choco chips sank inward a bit, over the sugar-y hills of the top of the cake, which puffed up to be quite the thick, moist cake, let me tell you. I just wish you had a little on-line recipe box where we could stash your recipes that are our faves. Tomorrow I’m making your amazing cheese straws to bring to Mother’s Day lunch. Yum. Enjoy your first Mother’s Day on Sunday, Deb.

  67. Jamie

    This may seem like a very silly question but should this be stored in the fridge once baked or can I just leave it out and covered? Thanks!

  68. sheryl

    I just made this cake and it was amazingly good! Thanks for the recipe. I actually made it into muffins, they were a big hit.

  69. Sarah Linley

    This coffee cake is absolutely delicious!! I made it last week in a bundt pan instead of a 9×13 and it came out perfectly. I alternated layers of batter and cinnamon sugar + chocolate chips, starting and ending with the batter. I baked it for about 50 minutes and it was perfectly done! It may take a bit longer in normal ovens, as mine tends to run quite hot. Thanks for the recipe Deb!

  70. So I lick cake batter right, and if the batter of this thing is any indication its going to be a hit at my friend’s house warming party. I never thought that sour cream in a cake could be good, but I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for a good one.

  71. b0rderlander

    Thanks for the recipe. We had it as a brunch dessert just this morning for father’s day and everyone, especially my husband, enjoyed it.

  72. RobynB

    Yum!! Made this last night for the 4th of July party, and it was a huge hit. I made it with half white whole wheat flour, and next time will use all white whole wheat as it was fantastic, you couldn’t even tell, very light and fluffy. Thanks for the recipe, as always!!

  73. RobynB

    Made this again this week with some changes as it was very sweet the first time. This time I made it using just a half-cup all purpose flour, and the rest white whole wheat. Also cut the sugar in the batter down to a scant cup, and cut the sugar/cinnamon topping to a tablespoon of sugar + a tablespoon of cinnamon, and cut back a little on the chocolate chips and added toasted pecans. OMG. The best coffee cake EVER. And kept fantastically, the leftovers were delicious the next day, and still good the third day. Moist, wonderful, my new go-to recipe – will definitely be a favorite for years to come. The best recipe of yours I’ve found, and I’ve tried many so far.

  74. Rupi D.

    I made this cake tonight for my dad’s birthday and it was amazing, if I don’t say so myself! It was perfectly moist and so delicious. I took some readers suggestions above to sweeten it less and only used 1 cup of sugar in the batter, about 1/3 cup in the sugar/ cinnamon mixture and about 10 oz of semi sweet chocolate. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe, I can’t wait to make it again!

  75. Roz

    I loved this cake when I first had it, and mourned the loss of when it turned out I inherited my mom’s gluten intolerance.

    And then, last week, I got brave — not to mention desperate for some cinnamony-chocolatey-cakey goodness.

    This was my first ever try at adapting a recipe to gluten free, and it turned out close enough to the original that no one at my husband’s office asked ‘what in the world did you do to this poor cake?’ (this being one of the cakes I routinely bequeath to my husband to take to work, so they would know)

    Now I can go back to slavering over the cake recipe section! YIPPEE!

  76. JJ

    I made this last night – exactly as written – and it looked and smelled divine. But I was a little disappointed with the taste and I think it’s because there is no salt in the recipe. Was this an oversight? All your other cakes have at least a pinch of salt in them.

  77. CM

    Made this, subbing yogurt for about 3 oz of the sour cream and brown sugar for the white sugar in the batter (about 8 oz brown sugar instead of 1.5 cups white). I also used salted butter. Usually I don’t love the cinnamon/chocolate combination, so I used about half the cinnamon. I thought the flavors worked nicely together. Even though I usually do love chocolate, I used about 8 oz instead of 12 and the chocolate chips still seemed to overwhelm the cake. Next time I’d just sprinkle one thin layer of chips in the middle and one on top.

    The cake was delicious and I’m sure I will make it again. Thanks for the recipe, Deb!

  78. CM

    Sorry, I have to amend my comment earlier! I forgot that I used a 9×7 pan instead of 9×13 (we just moved and I can’t find everything yet). I bet that explains the excessive chocolatiness, since my chocolate layers must have been much thicker than they should have been.

  79. Krista Lindwall

    I’m excited to try this! Sounds perfect for a fall, girls’ night! Can I make the batter the night before and leave it in the fridge or should I make it at one time?

  80. Jackie

    Made this last night, and I love it! Thanks for the delicious recipe — it’s a hit at the office. The only change I might make is to skip the top chocolate chip layer — the cake puffed up so much that it’s hard to store without messing up the melted chocolate.

  81. Liz L

    I love everything I’ve ever baked from your site, but this might be my hands down favorite. As I carried it to a dinner party on the metro, strangers would sway closer to sniff all that cinnamon-chocolate-butter smell, and two different people were so bold as to ask for a piece (pre-cut for sharing convenience).

    It was just as moist as my gold standard for coffee cake, my grandma’s walnut wonder, with chocolate in place of the nuts. so good!!!

    A quick question- what does separating out yolks and then beating the whites do in terms of the end result- moister cake? different structure? better crumb? I’m dying of curiosity.

    And thanks!

  82. Jeanne P

    I have never seen this recipe anywhere, besides my Mom’s own handwritten cookbook, where it was penned in circa 1969. It was a recipe shared from one of her friends and once I had a taste of it, this cake became my requested birthday cake every year. The tradition continues and at least 2 or 3 of my kids request this for their birthday each year. Your version is a little different – I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for your wonderful recipes and a trip down Memory Lane.

  83. Shannon

    Hi Deb,
    loving your recipes! Thank you for sharing them with us!
    I tried this one out this evening with a little change. I didn’t have sour cream at hand so I used 300 grams of cream cheese and added 7 tablespoons of milk. I am guessing that because of the substitution the cake need an 1hr. 10 min. in the oven. Even with the change this cake is delicious. Can’t wait to try it with sou cream.

  84. Oh, my god, Deb. Oh. My. God. Amazing. I topped off my deficient sour cream with half-and-half and threw in some raisins. Amazing. Just what I needed for finals-stress relief. Thank you… so much. The whole dorm smells so good. Thank you!

  85. Christine

    Hi!! I’ve been collecting and making your recipes..from your most wonderful and well-written blog..for almost a year now.

    In this cake/yum recipe..there’s no salt……I need salt ! for depth and balance with the sweet.

    How come no salt?


    1. deb

      Christine — There’s no salt because this recipe survived the 80s in my family, in the 80s, everyone decided that salt was evil. :) I have never missed it in this cake, but I’d probably add a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon if making it today. Which I should because it is 27 degrees out and that calls for freshly baked cake.

  86. Christine

    yeah babay!!!!! sounds good!!! it’s being made in a few….nobody’s home and I will have it allll to myself!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAaaa

    Thanks for the thinking comment! :0)

  87. Charity

    I was working in my mother’s kitchen when I made this this weekend, so I found this a little harder to compile without my KitchenAid. (It’s always easier to work in your own kitchen.) I used all the ingredients as is and I was a bit nervous about folding in the beaten egg whites since I have never done that before. But I just followed what I saw on America’s Test Kitchen and Deb’s directions.

    The cake turned out well, but I wouldn’t say I loved it. It was light and fluffy which was very nice but we just didn’t find it spectacular in taste. I think I would have liked it better if the cinammon, sugar, and chocolate chips were all mixed instead of doing layers. It rose more in the middle than the sides but I am not sure why since I spread the batter evenly. I wish there was cinammon incorporated into the batter too as I found it not very present when eating the cake.

    All in all a nice cake but not spectacular according to our preferences. I am not trying to put it down in anyway, but just stating our tastes. But I took the leftovers slices to my grandmother’s nursing home all wrapped nice and neat for the staff there!

    Looking forward to more Smitten Kitchen recipes especially the Gramercy Park Gingerbread Cake. Going to make that for Christmas Eve!

  88. Stephanie

    Hi Deb –
    I desperately want to make this cake for my husband’s birthday this weekend, but he’s a streusel-topped coffee cake lover, so I was wondering, do you think I could just add a streusel topping to this? I’m assuming I could, but a word of encouragment would be greatly appreciated! :)

  89. Erin H P

    We had an adult and a 3 yr old over for playtime this morning, and everybody, including my 2 1/2 yr old enjoyed it! He usually will pick out and eat only the choc chips, but I’m pretty sure he ate the cake, too. A big success! Thank you for this blog–beautiful pictures and lovely writing style :). It is one of the few things I make time to enjoy when my boys are both sleeping!

  90. Mariana

    Deb, Would it be OK if I substituted the butter with oil? I tend to prefer cakes made with oil. Thank You!! Love your blog to bits!

  91. Fanya

    Yummy! Just made it today and was surprised at how delicious it is even without copious amount of chocolate or fruit or nuts, which is the kind of sweets I usually make.

    Since I was half way toward making it before realizing I only had 8oz of sour cream, so I cut everything by half (as for the 3 eggs, I used 1 medium and 1 large instead of the extra larges I usually use). My baking powder is double action and I baked for 18min and got 10 muffins out of it. Unfortunately I have not mastered the skill of beating egg white until stiff (didn’t even know they can get stiff o.O), so I just beat it a couple of minutes until foamy and followed the rest of instructions. I only made half cup of the sugar/cinnamon/chocolate mixture and the muffins came out very moist and make great breakfast…I just might have second breakfasts…and elevenses…and just turn into a hobbit.

  92. Fanya

    p.s. Since I didn’t use as much sugar/chocolate chip, it also taste fantastic with coffee ice cream or fruit compote. I also used brown sugar cuz its healthier and well, when I think of cinnamon I think of brown sugar.

  93. DanielleR

    I tried this in a bundt, and all the choc chips sank to the bottom. Still delish though. I used about 8oz of choc chips and it was still too much. It took about 15 – 20 mins longer to bake. I’m curious to see your photos of this recipe instead of your mom’s improv. Or maybe you can tell us what your mom did different. Did she not put choc chips on top layer? In the photo it looks like she only put the cinnamon/sugar on top. I’d planned on taking a photo of my outcome but alas, not possible in my house. It didn’t even cool before it got devoured. I’ll just have to bake another :-) I don’t have a 9 x 13″ pan so I’m thinking to try it in the muffin pan. hmmmmm.

  94. Fanya

    Mini chocolate chip might help. It also depends on the density of the batter, but when I started throwing handfuls of mini chocolate chips in all my baking, none of it sank (except for watery ones like pancake). Also, in the picture it looks like the chocolate also sank to the bottom?

    Muffin pans work (I used mini chips and had no sank layers). Half recipe will give you 10-11 if you didn’t successfully whip the egg white =(

  95. This is such a delicious cake! I made it a few months ago for a party and am going to make it again tonight for another dinner get-together. I love it! The only thing was that last time all of my top chocolate chips stayed right on top, they didn’t sink in nicely like yours. Hum…

  96. Greta

    I made this yesterday afternoon with my friend. It was easy to make and SO delicious! I forgot the put the chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar on top of the batter in the middle, so it was all on top, but it was still amazing. The way the cinnamon sugar gets crunchy reminds me of the streusel on coffee cake, so I’ve been calling this a coffee cake. Thank you so much!

  97. Patrick

    @Fanya (specifically in response to comment #125) – Brown sugar is no “healthier” than white sugar, since brown sugar *is* white sugar – with molasses added. Do you mean “raw” sugar?

  98. Eliina

    This tasted great! The second sprinkling of chocolate chips did not sink in and remained on top (and many fell off when we cut the cake), so next time I might divide the batter into thirds to avoid that problem.

  99. Lara

    Just made this yesterday and it was really delicious. The batter was very thick though so it took spreading it around more than pouring it. But totally worth it. I might add more cinnamon next time but other than that …pure awesome!

  100. Fanya

    @Patrick (comment 131) Ah. My apologies. By brown sugar I meant sugar that are natural brown like those from sugar cane and stuff. They are less processed than white sugar so they are better for you. Growing up in China, there’s some stuff that may or may not translate well into English. In any case, brown sugar also helps increase blood circulation and is favored by girls during monthly cramps. Brown sugar and ginger boiled in water is a popular Chinese home remedy/prevention to cold (my grandma make me drink a cup of it every fall. Yuck, this is where my dislike of ginger come from).

    All in all, brown sugar (not disguised white sugar) are good for you at least according to Chinese practice. And I opt for the least processed option when possible. There are also other Chinese things like some food are separated into warm/hot and cold nature, if you eat too much food of a warm nature in warm weather, there will be negative effect on your body (nosebleed, or in my case pimples), but food of cold nature is good for you anytime. And I’ll stop before this become an essay. =)

  101. Susan

    I’ve made a couple variations of this lately. Like Greta, I forgot to put the chips in the middle since I was on the phone while making this and it still turned out great. This morning I changed it up a bit … I replaced the chocolate chips with raspberries and added mace & cardamom to the cinnamon sugar mixture. It is not as sweet or heavy and a great cake for Spring or Summer.
    Thanks for a great recipe!!!!

  102. Uh-oh. My mom made this over the weekend and it didn’t taste very good. Too much chocolate, no cinnamon flavor (and we used Penzeys!), and the cake itself tasted like it had too much leavening in it (very bitter and metallic tasting). Where did we go wrong? I’ve made several of your recipes and they’ve all turned out fantastic so I’m thinking it was us and not you. Did this happen at all to you during your experiments way back when? Any thoughts?

    1. deb

      It did! All fixed now.

      Melissa — No, it’s never turned out like that for us. In three generations! I made it again this weekend for a family event, so I’ve double checked everything recently. Nevertheless, I’m concerned! Do you use an aluminum-free baking powder? More often than not, a baking powder with aluminum in it is the cause of the bitter/metallic flavor in baked goods.

  103. Summer

    This was fantastic! I made it two days ago with my husband, and we maybe ate it all.

    The only modification we made was for the chocolate, we used 1/3rd chopped/flaked bittersweet choc, 1/3rd chopped/flaked semisweet choc, and 1/3rd milk chocolate chips. The different shapes and densities of the chocolate seemed to help distribute the chocolate evenly throughout the cake, and the flakes especially made for a pleasing appearance on the top of the cake.

    Thank you. This one will be made again and again!

  104. Nina

    I made this over the weekend and it was amazing! Everyone loved it. I ended up pouring too much of the batter in at the start (probably 2/3) and then had to make that last 1/3 stretch over the top, but it worked.

  105. Beth

    Would this be good topped with a crumb cake-esqe topping?

    Initially I was looking for a crumb cake recipe, but the only recipe is with rhubarbs (and you are one of the only blogs that I know I can go to and it will be great), but I wanted to keep it classic. I was worried that taking out the rhubarb would make the cake dry.
    So when i happened upon this recipe again (which I found on here to begin with during the holidays and could not stop eating because of how ridiculously good it was) – i was thinking, would this cake base lend me an equally delicious crumb cake if topped with the topping from your Big Crumb Coffee Cake recipe?

  106. Amanda

    I have been following your website for a couple months now, and have really enjoyed it. Thank you for so many wonderful recipes! I just made this cake for dessert tonight and it was a huge hit. My whole family went crazy for it, everyone asking for seconds on dessert! Tucking my 5 year old into bed, she announced she can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow so she can have another piece of coffee cake!
    Thanks again!

  107. Keeley

    I just made these into cupcakes for a baby shower brunch! I had success baking them at 350 for 30 minutes as cupcakes, for anyone who might be wondering – they made 2 dozen.

  108. Jennifer

    This is my first Smitten Kitchen recipe and it was so delicious. Honestly the first bit was such a surprise of flavors and textures (the combo of cinnamon and chocolate!). I only had one cup of sour cream and was too tired to head back out the the grocery store, so I cut the recipe in half, using 2 eggs instead of one and everything else I divided evenly, then baked the cake in a 9 inch pan. It turned out perfect, and the perfect size too! My boyfriend and I could never had eaten the whole thing alone. Over all, YUMMY! Thanks, and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

  109. Elkie

    I’m going to echo an earlier poster that i didn’t see an answer to, does this need to be stored in the fridge or can it be kept out?

  110. Sarah F

    I just made this gluten free with a mixture of Bob’s Red Mill all purpose and almond flour. It’s fantastic :) can’t wait to serve it up to my dad for Father’s Day.

  111. Shoshana

    I’ve been admiring your blog for a while and have tried several of your recipes (Tres Leches cake, spring salad with new potatoes) but I had to post after making this cake… it was incredible. I intended on taking it to school to share with my friends, but between my Mum and I it was gone by the morning… thanks so much!

  112. I usually make Iranian food since I was brought up eating only Iranian food =) … I tried making different foods from different blogs nd sites but they never turn out good! I kind of lost hope … but ur recipes look sooo AMAZING, I can’t resist =) I will def make some of them … wish me luck! :)

    keep it up nd thanks for sharing all ur lovely recipes with us :)

  113. Jane

    Deb, this was AMAZING. Mine didn’t quite turn out as pretty as yours, but god it was yummy. We ate half of it between four of us before dinner had even finished cooking. haha!

    I am confused as to why there is no coffee in the ingredients (unless I am more blind than I realise), but it’s so delicious I don’t even care! Say thanks to your Mum for me :)

    1. deb

      Hi Jane — Glad you liked the cake. Coffee cakes are a category of cakes that were traditionally served with coffee, or at coffee time! I guess the term isn’t used so much these days. Few of them actually contain coffee.

  114. Deb,

    Just wanted to report that my husband think this cake is “one of the tastiest things” I’ve ever made (and I make a LOT of your recipes!). Kudos to your mom for a brilliant coffee cake, and thank you to you for sharing it with us.

    Have you tried the cake batter with something other than chocolate chips & cinnamon? I am guessing it would basically be amazing with anything…

    :) c.

  115. Kathryn Kapusta


    Do you think it would be possible to halve the recipe and make in an 8 or 9 inch square pan? This would help so much as 9×13 makes so much for just one or two people, unless you think it would freeze well if cut in large squares and wrapped in plastic wrap? Thanks so much for any advice.


    1. deb

      Kathryn — You could use either square pan. The 8×8 would keep the height of the cake closer to the original. I haven’t frozen the cake before. We never have enough leftover at gatherings.

  116. Elizabeth

    Hi Deb,

    Love your blog, and I recently discovered at a potluck baby shower that a whole bunch of my grad school friends are also follow you religiously. I’m just trying to clarify your response to Kathryn’s comment of July 17, 2011. You think it’s ok to halve the recipe, but that the smaller square pan would be better? And another question (sorry if someone else already asked this): What alterations, if any, would be necessary if I’m using pyrex pans? I don’t have metal square/rectangular pans–only my 9-inch cake pans are metal.

    Thanks for any advice!

  117. Izzie

    O.M.G. This cake took me back (more years than I’ll willingly admit) to my childhood, and my Bubbie’s kitchen, Erev Shabbos. Love (and nostalgia) at first bite. Thank you!

  118. Sarah

    I have had this recipe for several years from and old friend and LOVE it. I have switched to mini chips and have mixed them in with the cinnamon-sugar topping. The size of the chip and the cinnamon coating seems to help the chips not sink in the batter… OK I know I’m a food geek..I could have worse habits :-) Thanks for sharing!

  119. Lisa

    Halved the recipe and used a 9 inch cake pan, this recipe works beautifully!! Also substituted sour cream with yogurt + baking powder, result was perfectly moist. Thanks for introducing a keeper Deb!

  120. I just found your site via a friend and made this recipe the other week. As my poor husband knows, I try to never cook, so we were both pretty happy that it was delicious and tasted like a “real” cook made it. In fact, it was so good that our 2 yaer old chld barely got any….
    I will definitely make other recipes from your site, but I will have to find ones where I don’t like the ingredients because otherwise no amount of chasing a 2 year old around will balance out the calories consumed. :)

  121. Anna

    I have made this several times and it’s wonderful! I have a question, though. I was hoping to assemble this the night before and bake it in the morning – but I’ve read that baking powder loses its effectiveness if not baked right away. What do you think? Would it still rise properly?

    Good luck finishing your book – can’t wait to read it! :)

    1. deb

      Anna — I haven’t tried to assemble it the night before so I cannot vouch for if it would work. However, baking powder is technically double-acting; once when mixed, another when it hits the heat. So, you might still be fine.

  122. Alicia

    I baked this in a bundt pan and I can confirm that it fits perfectly. I split the batter into thirds and did two cinnamon/chocolate layers in the middle instead of one on top since it’s served upside down and makes a thicker cake. That worked well but I think it could use a glaze since it’s missing the cinnamon sugar top it would have if you baked it as written. I also baked it the night before to take to work in the morning and it was still nice and moist even without refrigerating it.

    I think my next attempt will take out the chocolate (I am probably the only person in the world who doesn’t like chocolate and cinnamon together) and substitute in the crumb topping from your “big crumb” cake. Doesn’t that sound good? I bet it gets kind of a crumbly/gooey streusel stripe in the middle, plus it would solve the problem of losing the crunch on top since you could put some topping into the bundt pan before the batter. Now I’m hungry again already!

  123. Rupi D

    Hi Deb- Can this cake be made in a 9inch or 10inch round pan? Would I need to change any of the measurements? It is my favorite cake of yours, it’s just delicious.

  124. Janine

    I made this cake for a friend’s birthday last night, and I totally bastardized it, and it was still amazing – absolutely amazing!!

    I thought I’d post the changes I made in case anyone was wondering if they could do the same!

    First, I halved the recipe. I used two eggs instead of trying to figure out how to make half of an egg.

    Secondly, I swapped half the flour for stone ground whole wheat, and trust me the crumb is still moist, bouncy and perfect.

    Thirdly, I skipped separating the eggs and beating the egg whites. I just creamed the whole eggs into the creamed butter/sugar. Again the cake was light and delicious with a delicate crumb.

    Fourth, I swapped sour cream for Liberte 2% plain yogurt. I used a little less than a full cup to account for the extra moisture from the extra egg. There was still a tart bite! Next time I will use sour cream though to see the difference – I just didn’t have any and no stores near me are open at midnight.

    Fifth, I greatly reduced the filling and topping, opting to only add sugar/cinnamon and chocolate chips to the top. I also used a mixture of brown and granulated for the sugar topping, and almost doubled the cinnamon. I think this worked out well because the topping is so sweet, but the cake itself is pleasantly not too sweet, so the balance is great.

    Last – I baked it into cupcakes! Halving the recipe filled a 12 cupcake pan for me perfectly, and they rose gorgeously over the top.

    I think the beauty of this recipe is that you can wonk it like crazy and it still turns out brilliant and delicious. Thanks deb! It has been loved by everyone whose tried it!

  125. dancing gal

    This was soooooooo good!!! As usual, to fit my mini-mini oven, I 2/3ed the recipe to fit in a 23x23cm pan. Also, living (and baking :p) in Paris, I followed one of David Lebovitz’s suggestions to substitute the sour cream, and used Bridelice Crème Légère (for anyone who is in France and wondering what to use) and it turned out perfect! I liked it, the boy liked it, my friend D. liked it, well we all liked it! And it keeps perfectly in room temperature, I made it on Sunday and just had a piece for dessert: it was still perfect – not as moist as the first one-two days, but still perfect!!!

    Thanks Deb, thanks Deb’s mum!!!

  126. Sharon

    LOVE! This is going into the permanent rotation. I made it for Yom Kippur, it was perfect. I liked how it was babka-esque, without the yeast dough and fuss. I used low fat sour cream (what I had in the house) to no ill-effects. Wondering how the texture would be affected if you creamed in the whole eggs til the whole thing was light and fluffy. Would save washing a bowl/additional beater. Any thoughts?

  127. I made this today and it’s perfection. Thank you so much for sharing! Delicious and it filled the house with the most comforting scent while it was baking.

  128. just made this and only had 8oz of sour cream, so added in some creme fraiche and greek yogurt to make up the difference and it turned out quite well. everyone loved it, though i thought it was perhaps missing something. saw now you’ve added in salt since i printed the recipe ages ago, i wonder if that was it??? making it again next week just to, uh, “check”. ha! also feel like i’m liking it better the next day. thanks for another great recipe!!!!

  129. Frankie

    I’ve made many many of your recipes and they’re usually fabulous. This one was no exception and I don’t know why I waited so long. Made it this weekend and it was incredible.
    I made a few minor adjustments – I was short on chocolate chips and substituted half the amount with toffee bits; used brown sugar in the filling instead of white; doubled the amount of cinnamon, and added a teaspoon or so to the cake batter.
    This is my new go-to cake. Thank you!

  130. Amanda

    This cake is AWESOME. I made it to take to a friend who had recently had a baby and everyone loved it! It was fun to make, I loved the fluffy batter. The chocolate and cinnamon flavor was super good, but i have plans to make fruit versions.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  131. Alyssa

    I just love this cake and have made it numerous times – it has officially replaced our family recipe. I often halve the recipe and put it in a 8×8 square pan – but rather than using 1.5 eggs, I go ahead and use 2 full eggs. Still wonderful and you don’t have to deal with figuring out how to halve an egg.

  132. Yolanda

    I just wanted to pop in and say that I made this for a Christmas get-together with friends and it was a HIT!! Amazing recipe, so delicious and very very easy. I never knew that coffee cake could be so fluffy and not dry/dense. The addition of the cinnamon sugar really takes it over the top. Thanks for another winning recipe!

  133. Janet

    This cake sounds great and I’m planning to bake it today for my book group….I wondered whether you think it would be okay to add dried cherries with the chocolate chips? I love a chocolate cherry combination…

  134. Elena

    I made this yesterday, swapped regular for muscovado sugar (halving the filling & topping portion as recommended by others), and used 1/3 all purpose flour, while using spelt and whole meal flour for the rest. It turned out a dark brown colour, delicious, very soft and fluffy! A great recipe, even for those who like more wholesome ingredients :)

  135. Jyotika

    This looks amazing! wanted to ask a question, though. I don’t have chocolate chips, but I do have semi sweet chocolate. so will it be okay if I cut it into small pieces and use it? or will it be better if I grate it?

    1. deb

      Missing sugar — I added it back yesterday. It gets whisked with the eggs. If you’re not seeing it, it’s probably a cacheing issue and if you clear your cache, it will appear. Or, you can trust my word: add it with the liquid ingredients. :)

      Jyotika — Chopped. Chopped is always better than chips because it gets meltier; has no stabilizers.

      Sarah — Thank you. Took you four times to read that sentence? Sounds like you were at my place too!

  136. Kim

    This is such an amazing recipe (as are all of the other ones you’ve been so kind to share with all your adoring fans)! I’ve made this twice as is, and it is completely, deliciously perfect…. but I was wondering if there is a way you can think of incorporating bananas into the batter. I’m not exactly sure how to make the substitution/add them in without changing the consistency and would love some advice! Thanks so much!

  137. Carri

    So my sister just suggested this recipe to me and I’m going to make it for the office tomorrow but didn’t see any one who had made it the night before, so I’m wondering…does anyone know how it holds up if you bake before and reheat in the morning? Is it still as yummy and delicious? Thanks!

  138. Hi Deb, I just made this cake today and it turned out wonderfully, so scrumptious! I put photographs up on my blog. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  139. Leti

    hi Deb- I know you will never see this in time, but I am making this tomorrow am early and just saw that I only have salted butter. Wondering if you ever made it w/salted butter? I just got my dry ing. together and I decreased the salt by 1/4t. Will hope for the best!

    1. deb

      If you use salted butter, skip the table salt, or just use 1/4 teaspoon, as you were thinking. Different brands will have different amounts but most fall between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon per stick. Hope that helps.

  140. susan

    It’s as delicious as promised. It’s worth washing all those ‘separate bowls’ and the batter is amazing! I used plain, unsweetened yogurt instead of sour cream (1 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup regular) and it all worked out fine. Thanks for another winner!

  141. Carrie

    My sister makes this cake for her family and it is sooooo good. Everytime I come to visit, the aroma in her house gives her surprise away. Its good anytime, but right out of the oven is fantastic.

  142. Jen

    I’m relatively new to your site, but have tried this coffee cake and your homemade pop tarts. Both ROCKED!!! This cake is heavenly……I love the “crust” that the sugars make on top. I’ve made it a few times….and am making it today, though I am going to try to cake rounds and see if I can freeze one for eating during the week! Love your blog and your photos are great too!

  143. Mary

    Just made this cake! It’s my second thing to bake in my life, after the peanut butter cookies from this site. It looks and smells amazing. I’m only hoping it will taste as good as I think it will. It’s cooling currently. The batter was definitely yummy. I’d like to echo the fact that the chips on top didn’t melt, which I think is a cute look.

    Also, how exactly do you know when cake is done. Crumbs on the tooth pick, is that a good thing. I didn’t want to overbake it. Is it best to err on the side of under or over baked?

  144. Alessandra

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. It was supposed to be for our breakfast tomorrow, I couldn’t resist and had a piece after dinner! Just perfect!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  145. I LOVE this cake!!! I’ve made it twice and it’s been devoured in record time (both times)!!! Your recipes are so easy to follow…I can’t wait for your cookbook!

  146. This recipe is flawless. You’re like the jewish mother I never had (my jewish mother never let us touch the kitchen sink because it might get wet). See you at Powell’s in Portland.

  147. Maitri

    I LOVE tihs cake. I made it for our ID function at school and it was a HIT. Many thanks for your recipe and many thanks for your awesome website.

  148. Amanda

    I just finished baking this cake.It tastes fantastic.The cake is very moist with a very delicate crumb.I didn’t use all of the cinnamon sugar mix because I just wanted a hint of it in the cake.I have to take it to work tomorrow or else I’ll end up eating the entire thing!!

  149. Sivan

    Hi, I was wondering if i could make it in an english cake pan so it would come out higher… would that work? I’m making a big 1 shaped cake for my nephews first b-day and i wanted to put it together with two different cakes – one chocolate for the kids (your everyday chocolate cake) and then thought this would be a good cake for the “adults”

    1. deb

      Sivan — There’s no reason it won’t work in a higher cake pan; if the base area is the same, however, it might need additional baking time. I find that adults and kids love this.

  150. Heather

    I made this last week, and it was indeed the best coffee cake I’ve ever had! I did find that it took a little longer to cook than I anticipated, but it was worth every extra minute in the oven!

  151. Mahnoor

    Hey! would it be alright, if i bake this recipe in two loaf pans? and what would be the approx. baking time?

    i just LOVE your website!! have tried so many things, and all of them turned out great. ( banana bread, everyday chocolate cake, buttermilk chicken, moms apple cake, cream cheese pound cake, lemon yogurt blueberry cake, classic brownies, best cocoa brownies, my favorite brownies,chocolate pudding..:D)

  152. Jen

    Yesterday at the Brooklyn public school where I work I got one of the best teacher gifts in my career. What was it? A loaf of this coffee cake! It was so special because I am usually cooking/baking your recipes for others (which, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lot) and this time it was baked for me by a mom who shares my love for your blog.

  153. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    OMG this is so good! Such a yummy treat for anytime of the day and perfect for our New Year’s brunch. I made this in a tube pan as my 9X13s are glass (and I don’t prefer them for cake baking). I also split the batter in thirds and used 1/2 of the cinnamon/sugar mix and chips between each layer, ending with batter. So, so good! Thanks for (another) fabulous recipe.

  154. Jackie

    Today I baked this scrumptious coffee cake for the fourth time. Yes, fourth time. The second time onwards, after folding the stiff egg whites, then I divide the batter into two. Half is mixed with chopped dark chocolate and half is plain as it is. After it’s baked, it looks like black and white coffee cake (topped with dark chocolate morsels). Beautiful and yum, yum. Thank you so much for the recipe and I’m a big fan of your blog.

  155. Hindie

    Thank you for this! I have this cake in the oven right now (at 6am!) and my house smells just like my Bubbie’s kitchen. The memories this rich, delicious smell evokes are reward enough…the fact that the cake tastes heavenly is just an added bonus. I’ve searched for and tried many a coffee cake recipe, but none were ever quite right. This is it. This IS the perfect coffee cake.

  156. Adrianne

    Deb, thank you for your love of everyday cakes. I love them too, and they’re the perfect reason to take a break from studying for my finals. You keep me sane, Lady.

    Thank you.

  157. Aylah

    Hi Deb,
    i just wanted to thank you for inspiring me with your recipes! I am a 19 year old college student and love experimenting with your recipes on the weekends ( when i’m not studying of course:)! You are such a cool lady and I hope that one day I can become as creative a cook as you are! You came to Denver last Monday ( I go to school in Boulder) and I was so bummed I couldn’t come, I was stuck dissecting a pig in lab and the worst part is they didn’t let us eat it afterward ( not not that a nice Jewish girl like we would ever conceive of such a thing hehe!)!

    PS: I really want to make a vanilla layer cake with mixed berry cream filling and lemon curd, do you have a recipe for that?

    Thank you!!


  158. Rachel

    Just wanted to pop in and say that I just baked this and loved it! Didn’t have any sour cream on hand, so I substituted creme fraiche and it turned out wonderful anyways :)

  159. Katy Belle

    Another winner! I told my boys I was going to bake another “everyday cake” and they complained, because they wanted the Everyday Chocolate cake. But making it 3 times in as many weeks, I decided to change it up. They LOVED this one too! I used milk chocolate chips, so yummy! Thanks Deb!
    PS…I have a Jacob too. He will turn 18, 18! in five days! He’s awesome and your little Jacob is awesome too! I’ve loved watching him grow!

  160. Kris

    It’s lovely! I halved the recipe to make it in a regular narrow loaf pan, and it worked fine – I just did 2 eggs and left out a little bit of both the whites and the yolks to try to approximate 1.5 eggs, and it worked fine. Soooo good right out of the oven!! Planning to have some for breakfast tomorrow….

  161. Jessica

    Commenting on this as I wait for my bacon fat to freeze for maple bacon biscuits from your book… is a desperate attempt to keep myself from burning my mouth further on the coffee cake that is not cooling fast enough!

    I’m treating myself to some quality SK time as a BOOYAH in the face of our DIY kitchen remodel (we’re crazy), and tomorrow I will treat my loved ones to the fruits of my labor (and your genius). I think my 1.5 year old is going to fah-reak!

    Tonight TWO batches of biscuits are in the works, one with Meadowfoam honey and the other with Grade B maple syrup. TASTE TEST! Also, thanks for making the pages of your book Quality, in that sticky sweet things will wipe off! I was very pleased to discover that lesser known feature.

    You must get hundreds of comments on your fair blog these days but thanks for letting me wrap here for a minute. Here’s hoping that fat has solidified by now.

  162. Brianne

    Deb, I may be 6 1/2 years late trying this, but I just made it for a Mother’s Day brunch tomorrow, and it’s phenomenal! I love, love, LOVE how gorgeously your recipes always turn out, and love your book! Thanks for giving so much of yourself to all of us.

  163. I made your chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake for our family’s Mother Day dinner and it was fantastic. It was great fo a large gathering but is quite a big cake. Do you have a half recipe that i could make for a smaller event.

  164. Vix

    Cant wait to make this tonight! But am I crazy? I can’t seem to see where the coffee comes in? Viewing your recipe fr an iPhone. Do you add it to the cinnamon/sugar topping? Thanks!’

  165. Margaret

    I have just discovered your website and everything looks so gorgeous. I fixed on the coffee crumb cake and found my feet leading me to the kitchen to start baking. I had no sour cream but did have a large pot of plain yogurt, so used that instead. The cake’s been ten minutes out of the oven and is half gone! Really delicious. Next time I will add all the chocolate in the middle, not on the top, as that made it a bit too sticky. I live in England and am always impressed with the magnificence – and size – of American cakes. I’ve had to buy special large pans. Will definitely keep an eye on your website for further lovely creations. Thanks Deb.

  166. Liz

    just made this, and holy crap. it was amazing. i’ve been working through the cakes on your site and distributing the spongey deliciousness to my new neighbors. i’m pretty sure they think i am crazy, but they keep answering their doors when i come bearing baked goods…

  167. Hi! Sometimes this comes out perfect and sometimes it is a little dense. Thoughts? Could I be overmixing the batter initially? You said it should be smooth… Or could it be later when I fold in the eggwhites?

    Thank you thank you.


    1. deb

      Rollie — I’d fold the egg whites in as little as you think you can get away with. Even if you see tiny (pea-sized) pockets of unmixed egg white, you’ll be fine.

  168. It totally worked, Deb. You rock. Now I’m just waiting for you to post a recipe for lemon, orange or some kind of chicken I can keep in my pocket to pull out on Friday nights at home. I know you don’t like chicken breasts. But shouldn’t every good Jewish mother…

  169. philly gal

    Love this cake! We’ve been making it for years in our family. It’s my adult daughters annual birthday cake! Came upon your recipe when I was unable to locate mine quickly one night and couldn’t get a hold of my sisters or mom. We, however, use MINI CHIPS in our version. They spread a little better throughout the batter!

  170. holland

    I was surprised that the website copied this recipe in 2011 and never gave credit to Smitten Kitchen who wrote it here in 2006! The only reason I found it was that it was part of a link on Huffington Post. I made a polite comment on their website that it might have been an oversight that they didn’t credit Smitten Kitchen. Instead of correcting their error they continue to show it as their own invention and deleted my comment. Not classy!

  171. Christy

    I made this last night for the first time, and it came out looking EXACTLY LIKE THE ONE IN THE PHOTO! It may have been the proudest moment of my life thus far. And it tasted every bit as good as promised. Thanks!

  172. Charlotte

    I split this recipe into two 8×8 pans, which in my oven required 40 minutes of baking time–it’s nice to end up with one to keep and one to share (or freeze). Thanks, Deb!

  173. Colleen V.C.

    I baked this this morning and it came out beautifully! I accidentally only put in 1 cup of sour cream (versus 2 cups) and it was still moist, stringy, and mouth watering. :)

  174. Jessica

    This is my sister’s favorite cake. we got it from a Pillsbury cookbook and haven’t been able to find it anywhere. Thank you for posting this.

  175. Heather

    Wondering if I could halve the recipe and put it in a loaf pan? Trying to make a smaller version of this amazing cake.


  176. Sabrina

    Hi, I just stumbled upon this blog and can’t wait to try this recipe. For some reason, I couldn’t see where/when the coffee is added – is it mixed in the topping?

    1. deb

      Sabrina — The recipe doesn’t contain coffee; “coffee” cakes are a variety that are traditionally served with coffee, or the coffee portion of the meal. :)

  177. Katie

    I have a quick question – is it ok to let this coffee cake cool in the pan, or am I supposed to turn it out onto a cooling rack? I just made it and it looks fabulous, but when I turned it out of the pan to cool, I accidentally cracked it in half. (clumsy cook) It obviously won’t affect the taste, but the cake does look slightly less pretty now so I wanted to know if the cake can cool in the pan next time I make it. I know this is an old recipe on your site so I’m not sure if you’ll get this question, but I can’t find anything about it in the comments.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog – I made your peach pie last week and blueberry crumb cake the week before that. I’ve never commented before, but many of my favorite recipes come from your site. (Your burst tomato galette… oh my god, I’m making Homer-Simpson-meets-donut noises. It’s a late summer favorite, and single-handedly got me over my fear of pie crust.) Thank you for sharing them!

    1. deb

      Katie — I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the site. You know, we almost always serve it in the pan and I’m not sure why. I think my family usually lets it cool in the pan and then, maybe right after dinner, cuts it into squares and puts it on a platter. I could definitely see losing some chocolate chips when inverting, although they could always be patched back on. It should, however, be invert-able; definitely line it with parchment paper for better insurance.

    2. Carol

      I just made the cake for the first time and thinking of your experience, after greasing the pan, I put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom but large enough to up over the long sides of the pan (often called a sling). Then I greased the parchment too. After the cake baked and cooled I was able to lift the entire cake out of the pan without difficulty by holding onto the overhanging parchment. Also since I knew I was planning to cut the cake in half anyway, I ran the knife down the middle of the cake before lifting it. So no ‘cracks’. Then with a spatula I was able to slide it between the cake and parchment to isolate the cake for serving.

  178. Rebecca

    I made this earlier tonight and the actual cake part was delicious. The problem was that all of the chocolate chips sank to the bottom in the oven, so the bottom quarter or so of the cake was totally saturated with chocolate and there was none anywhere else. I’m so disappointed — I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for weeks and had such high hopes! Any idea what could have happened?

  179. Anne

    Hi Deb, I read all the comments but did not find a suggestion to replace the cinnamon. Do you have any ideas? I don’t like cinnamon but I would really like to make this cake, it looks delicious! Would skipping the cinnamon entirely work? thanks very much.

    1. deb

      Anne — You can skip it. For me, it would be very confusing because I’ve only ever had this with it, however, this cake is as much about the delicious crumb and chocolate as it is the cinnamon. Best to make it how you’ll like it, though. Happy baking!

  180. anne

    Thanks, Deb. This is the third of your recipes in the oven tonight. I found folding the egg whites in the batter very hard as the batter was so thick. But the cake in the oven looks amazing. I don’t think this is an easy cake but it’s a beautiful one.

  181. Joanna Banana

    Thank you for this delicious and classic recipe. I love the crunchy, crusty cinnamon topping. It’s a rather large cake to sit on the kitchen counter of a two-person family, but I’ve managed to “force myself” to eat it for breakfast and dessert for the past three days. (Clearly I eat a healthy and balanced diet! Thank God for the gym!) I plan to make it into muffins next time, so my husband can take the leftovers to work!

  182. Rebecca

    Just made this for guests and my 14 year old exclaimed that it was way too big for the 10 of us. Happy to report that it is all gone! Some guests had 4 pieces and licked their bowl! And it looked just like the pic. Thanks for another great recipe.

  183. Sara

    Not sure why this recipe popped up in my newsfeed but your mm has never let me down before! Thanks to chocolate chip brioche being fantastic ( my fav recipe from you cookbook!I finally cracked that person at the office who didn’t really seem to like me. Can brioche be credited for a promotion?

  184. Lauren

    Hi Deb, this looks fantastic! Nosy question: do you have a day job? I thought the colossal success of Smitten Kitchen would be a full time job! I’m surprised to hear you say you are returning to cubicle land!

    1. deb

      Hi Lauren — No, this site (plus freelancing and sometimes books!) has been my day job since June 2008. This was one of the first recipes I shared here, way back in October 2006!

  185. Barbara

    Hi Deb! My mom made a similar recipe for “treasure cake”. It has 1 stick butter,1 stick margarine,1cup sugar,2 cups sifted cake flour, 2 eggs, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 cup sour cream, and 1 tsp salt. It also has 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and chocolate chips for sprinkling on the middle layer and on top. The directions are so similar! It’s my family’s favorite recipe too! I can’t wait to try your version!

  186. B Lee

    WOW! Awesome coffee cake.

    I made it as written with the full 2c of chocolate chips, next time I may make it with 3/4c so it isn’t as sweet, or perhaps replace them with fresh blueberries, or just the cinnamon sugar with chopped pecans

    With the multiple steps laid out, my kids were able to help me put it together. I let each of my kiddos ages 3 and 4, take turns sprinkling the chocolate chips, and the older mixed the cinnamon sugar mix and sprinkled on the cake when called for.

    I really like that your recipes are written in a way the are easy to follow, and are can easily tweaked for personal family preferences. It makes them so much more adaptable than other recipes I’ve tried where there is just no room to personalize it for your tastes.

  187. Dana

    Can you please clarify what you mean by stiff egg whites? Do you mean that they hold a peak when you lift the beater? Or should I beat them for longer?

  188. Mindy

    Saw this recipe on Instagram yesterday and decided to bake it for my little break fast for today. My DH had to have a slice before his fast as it looked so good. Since it was a last minute decision I didn’t have sour cream so substituted plain Greek yogurt thinned with almond/coconut milk. I had only enough white sugar for the batter, so used dark brown sugar for the filling/topping. In my convection oven it was perfectly done at 350 for 40 minutes. It is very moist. I sent a picture to my DS and I think that’s what convinced him to join us to break fast! So thank you Deb, for keeping my family together and well fed.

  189. Jodi

    I just made this for YK yesterday. OMG, so good. I found whipping the egg whites first was easier, then I placed them in a bowl until I was ready for them. That way I was able to use my kitchenaid for both without interruption.
    This was amazing. Everyone loved it and I have already sent this recipe to 2 people. Made exactly as is.

  190. Sarah

    Hi Deb, You may have covered this in another comment but do you think that you could freeze this finished coffee cake? I am just trying to get a leg up this holiday :)

  191. tara

    Anyone make this in a bundt pan? My MIL loves this cake and we’re celebrating her birthday so I though I’d make it into a bundt…Deb, any recommendations on changes or just leave as is? I was thibking of sprinklING the first layer of cinnamon sugar and chips in the bundt pan before luring the batter and then continuing the layers.

  192. June

    Oh my goodness, this recipe is delicious! Seriously, bakery quality coffee cake. So glad I got around to trying it out after keeping it tabbed on my computer for forever! Kudos!

  193. Felicia

    I made this cake on Saturday having friends coming over.
    I huge success. Even my daughter loved it so much that she said “this needs to be done again.” And she doesn’t like cakes or or other sweets :)
    Thank you!

  194. Diane

    I was actually looking at another recipe of yours (one of the three cakes you do for your family- the chocolate roll one which happens to be gluten free) and checked this one out as well…looks amazing! So, my question is, have you ever made this gluten free before? If so what changes did you make to accommodate?
    Would love to bring this for Shabbat, but someone needs gluten free.
    Thanks so much!

  195. Diane

    I made this cake (as is) for my brother and sister-in-loves visit and it was a hit!! So delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, which I’m sure I will make again and again.

  196. Leti

    This is a wonderful cake and have made it many times.I often like to make it for breakfast and it seems to take me awhile to prepare it so wondering, beyond prepping ingredients before hand, is it possible to make the whole cake then place in refrigerator for the night and bake the next day? Thanks

    1. deb

      I wouldn’t mix the batter too long before you’re going to bake it because the leavener starts working right away and the egg whites won’t keep their fluff forever. However, the cake keeps just fine at room temperature already baked.

  197. Diane

    I honestly can’t believe there are so few comments under “I made this”…this is my second time making it…in the oven as I type and it will be gifted to some neighbors. First time I made it I actually made it in two smaller baking dishes with the thought that I would have one for when my brother and my sister in law visited and then I could give the other half away…guess what never happened. But this time I am making it as a 9 x 13 for a family. It’s a great coffee cake and I know one day…one day very soon, I’m going to make this for Shabbat.
    Thanks again for the recipe. Oh, and just wanted to say…I really do think those egg whites and of course all that yummy sour cream (most recipes only do 1 cup! They do not know what they are missing!) makes this the most incredible texture. So delicious.

      1. T. Hammer

        I have made this too many times to remember since 2012 to give as christmas gifts, birthday presents, and just because. It always receives rave reviews! It ships and keeps very well. My daughter who tends to prefer less chocolatey baked goods loves this coffee cake version the most! Also, thanks for the updated tip on whipping the whites first and reusing that bowl to mix the remaining ingredients. On another note your recipe for “Our favorite chocolate chip cookies” is also our favorite!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories and recipes!

  198. Olivia

    Made this for the first time this week, and I deeply regret all the years of my life I could have been making this and wasn’t. The texture of the cake is amazing, and the flavor has such depth. It was essentially inhaled at the event I brought it to, and I will be making this again and again! Followed the recipe exactly up to the proportions for filling the pan: I put more like 2/3 of the batter in the pan first before the first filling layer, which helped those chocolate chips sink a good bit less (though it was still practically at the bottom), rather than half and half.

    1. Tara

      I made this in a bundt pan and it was OK but I much prefer it in a baking pan…came out a touch dry in bundt form. And I find bundt cakes usually aren’t dry.

      1. Vic

        I’ve made this many times and it’s perfect as written, absolutely delicious. I have a question about freezing, because I need to make it ahead of time. I see in the comments that it can be frozen. Is it best to freeze whole and covered in plastic wrap? What is the best way to defrost it? Is it best to leave in the refrigerator over night? Will it be defrosted enough to eat the next morning? Does anyone leave it on the counter to defrost? Thank you for the recipe Deb!

        1. deb

          You can probably defrost it at room temperature; it might just need a couple hours. Not sure offhand how long it will take in the fridge; it could be overnight, it could be a full day. Freezing it whole is better since there will be fewer places for freezery air to get in.

  199. Julie

    I’ve made this numerous times over the years since Deb first posted it — always a joy, from first bite to last. I’ve created a couple of variations, my favorite of which is to use a browned-butter/brown sugar/flour (wheat free in my case)/toasted pecan streusel along with the chocolate chips instead of cinnamon sugar. This makes it into a kind of Toll House Coffee Cake, which is kind of luscious — like getting the best of plush, cushiony cake and best-ever chocolate chip cookie in one. I made this variation yesterday — AND made it GLUTEN-FREE which is my new dietary shift, and makes me feel great every day. GLUTEN FREE variation — for 3 cups of flour, use 1 1/2 cups cassava flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 1 cup fine almond flour. Delish!

    1. MarahaK

      Hi, i know this is old but can you please share how you make the pecan streusel topping with measurements or weights?


    2. Elinor

      This cake is incredible. I really do not bake (last time I almost set the kitchen on fire) but the directions were easy to follow and the ingredients simple. Only sub was to use dark chocolate chips. The end result was just delicious. 9 x 13 pan almost gone with family less than 12 hours later.

  200. Eileen

    Delicious! Love the crunch of the sugar on top. It is really a very tall cake. I was afraid it was going to be very heavy because I didn’t think I had whipped the whites properly. Came out yummy!
    For the middle layer, I coarsely chopped up some fresh cranberries and mixed with the cinnamon/sugar. About 2-3 cups would be right for the cranberries. Pretty red layer for a festive holiday party.

  201. Rose Kovalsky

    I just made this and wonderful cake but used 5 eggs because my eggs are from Costco and substantially smaller than the eggs I would usually buy at a grocery store. I also used a bundt pan and did 3 layers instead of two of batter. The time was obviously altered because of it but this cake is a definite repeat!!! It was loved by all and it’s a keeper!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  202. Kristie

    Made this in a bundt pan and it was done in 45 mins. The funny part was the bottom was so crispy and pretty that when I flipped the cake out of the pan I ended up reflipping it to display the flat side. Loved the crunch on the top! I wish the whole thing was like that ;-)

  203. Viv

    I made this yesterday and my 2 kids (7 and 10) have had many pieces and eaten it every chance they got… they LOVED it (as did I!). They asked me to promise to make the next one as soon as this current cake is close to being all eaten up!

    Wanted to thank you for the amazing recipe and share just how much our family enjoyed it. I’ll be making this many many times in the future!

    1. Elissa

      Love this cake and wanted to post about a variation that works well if you are making it for a crowd. Rather than 2 layers in a 9×13, you can do a single later in an 11×18 half sheet pan (reducing the baking time by half). I find assembly easier because you don’t have to spread batter on top of the cinnamon chocolate mixture, and it’s easier to cut into small squares if you’re serving it as part of a larger spread.

  204. Sarah

    This was delicious, Deb! I made for Mother’s Day and it was a huge hit with kids and adults. Easy to pull together. I read you have a coffee cake in the new book – can’t wait to see if it tops this one.

  205. Malena

    I just made this recipe for the first time today, in a muffin pan. Half a recipe yielded 12 exactly, and they were ready in 18 minutes. They are delicious, but I noticed that they didn’t really brown on top very much. They look a bit pale actually, but the cinnamon sugar mixture on top (I used brown sugar) helped to give them a bit of color. I was a bit distracted and forgot to put any filling in the middle, but they are tasty anyway. The batter is really not too sweet, so the sweet topping brings a nice balance.

    Next time I will make this as the baking gods intended, as a big, golden-brown, beautiful cake. Thanks Deb, for another awesome recipe :)

  206. Amy Tekie


    I regularly make your cakes for birthdays and they are always a hit. That mosaic cheesecake – wow. Thanks for all the love they get me :)

    My son wants chocolate chip cake for his birthday this year, and I immediately thought of this recipe – have seen it on your site for a long time. Any suggestions on how to birthday-fy it – other than making it bigger and adding frosting? I am thinking maybe as a layer cake but wondering that that’ll work with the consistency / crumbly top. I haven’t made it before (and don’t really have time to do a practice run before next weekend) and so I am just conjecturing…


    1. deb

      Hm. The top is so lovely, it would seem almost sad to lose that cinnamon-sugar crunch and chocolate dimpling. I wonder if you could 1/2 or 2/3 the recipe and bake it in a 9-inch round cake pan with tall sides (3-inch). If you don’t have one that tall, definitely only halve the cake. Then maybe split the layer and put the frosting in as filling. You could frost the sides too. This might look weird, I know, but it would keep the top intact.

  207. Carol

    Just made this cake. It is delicious and has been a huge hit. I cut it in half and put half in freezer for family gathering part two this weekend. Family gathering part one has already devoured the first half (I only brought it yesterday evening). Even non dessert people were nibbling away at the cake after and inbetween meals. Followed your recipe exactly. Used a mix of semi sweet and bittersweet morsels. Seems to fit all tastes. By unanimous vote, it’s a keeper recipe. Thanks for another winner recipe.

  208. Alice K.

    I’ve made many of Deb’s cakes and I’ve loved many, but not this one… Things just didn’t turn out well… The chips sank to the bottom (all of them), so my cake doesn’t look anything like Deb’s photo of the cake. The cake is fairly dry, even for a coffee cake. But as I say, I love most of Deb’s cakes, so I’ll just make other ones and not this one… I’m sad…

  209. Katie

    I love this recipe and come back to it time and again. I always make it in a bundt pan for some reason, and it is lovely. Thank you!

  210. Elaine Scott

    I’m hoping to make this cake tomorrow. I can’t see any coffee in the ingredient list. Am I missing something. I do have what we call in the uk, senior moments, is this one of them?

    Just wanted to mention that every recipe I’ve made from your site has always been a success.

    So thank you.


  211. This was exquisite! I will say, I was nervous as I folded in the egg whites, because the batter was so thick that it felt like I was losing all of the air from the whites as I tried to incorporate them.I probably stopped folding too soon, and the batter wasn’t an even consistency when I poured it into the pans (I used two 9″ rounds) but the finished product turned out perfectly anyway and tasted divine. Thanks for this winner!

  212. Miki

    A couple of weeks ago I began baking this family favorite when I discovered that the chocolate chips had disappeared. Just three spoons left 😱
    Running to the local store at closing time I managed to grab the last *white* chocolate chips. The brown chips Decorated the top while inside the white chocolate melted into the mix. No one could guess what made the cake so delicious. Gone in 30 minutes.

  213. Paola

    It hasn’t cooled off yet and a whole chunk is missing. Happy faces in the house too.
    I did cut the sugar 50 grams and mixed brown and white- I always do – and it’s just great. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  214. Melanie

    Has anyone made this with white chocolate?? I imagine it’d be too sickly sweet but wanted to check as my kids don’t like regular chocolate (crazy!). Thanks!

  215. This is fantastic! I divided the cake dough between two 9 inch round cake pans, with the bottoms lined with parchment. Flipped it on a plate and then flipped it again on a new plate so the chocolate chips were on top. Everyone loved it and had it the next day too. I will cut the sugar/cinn topping next time, just to suit our family’s taste. Sour cream makes baked goods amazing! Thanks Deb!

  216. Laura

    This cake really does have the perfect texture, and it bakes so evenly that it looks great, too. I love chocolate and cinnamon together! All in all, it’s a wonderful coffee cake. However, like several other commenters, I think this would be even better with a crumb topping. Next time I’ll add some and maybe try the suggestion of using muscovado sugar in the filling. Excellent recipe!

  217. Michelle

    I have made this a few times and it is outrageously good! The recipe is perfect and whenever I serve it for a group, it gets raves.

    I’m thinking of making this and pouring it into mini loaves to give out as gifts for the holidays. Do you see any reason that wouldn’t work? Thanks!

  218. Sy

    My 9×13 was in use so I divided this between two round cake pans (8″?) and baked for 40 min. They turned out great, and we have a new years eve cake for tonight, as well as one to bring to a brunch tomorrow. This was a great way to finish off the huge container of sour cream I had leftover from Hanukkah too.

  219. nancyljacobson

    Hi! Huge fan! Can this be made in a bundt pan? How would oven temp and or baking time be affected? Thanks!

    p.s your brownies are the ONLY brownies I will bake – because they are the best!

  220. Joanna

    Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t believe this recipe has been on your site all this time and I’ve never noticed it. My family has the exact same recipe! 30+ years ago, when I was newly married, my husband’s sister gifted me with a whole pile of her favourite recipes. This coffee cake was one of them, and it has never failed to please. Easy and delicious, what more could one ask. My version doesn’t whip the egg whites, nor mix the topping into the middle (BRILLIANT, thank you). I have no idea where my recipe originated but I’m thrilled to see it on your wonderful site! do you know where yours came from, Deb?

  221. Linda

    This does look like the coffee cake to beat all coffee cakes. We host a monthly men’s prayer breakfast and they would absolutely love this! Will be making it near the end of April. Thank you!!!

  222. Hello Deb Perelman,
    I’m sorry to hear about your Dads recent passing. All of those wonderful memories you’ve accumulated over the years, well, that is what makes it bearable. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful Dad too.

    Thank you for posting your family recipe for Chocolate Sour Cream Coffee Cake. We thoroughly enjoyed the cake and I have been craving it ever since. My new favorite recipe, the one you would take on a desert island where you can only eat one thing for the rest of your life favorite. My excuse for making it again this weekend, well, it’s raining out! Must bake!

    Any chance you might make us a cinnamon sugar biscotti? with chocolate??

  223. Courtney Sanchez

    Would it be possible to substitute buttermilk for sour cream, or are those too different in texture? I’m hoping to save myself a trip to the store. Thank you!

    1. deb

      I haven’t done it, but if this were another cake, I’d tell you it should probably work. With this one, my concern is that if the batter, which is very thick, gets thinner, the chocolate chips could fall to the bottom. But hard to say if that will happen here.

  224. Kates

    I made this and did not change a thing and it was SO SO GOOD. I was skeptical of the the cinnamon and chocolate chips together in this, even though I love cinnamon (including in hot chocolate)….I thought I was a coffee cake purist. Alas, Deb did not steer me wrong. Not even embarrassed to say two of us finished the entire thing in 4.5 days. Make it and see if you can resist! Thanks Deb!

  225. I made this yesterday (using homemade yogurt instead of sour cream), and then figured I shouldn’t keep the entire thing in the house for just the two of us to eat, so brought half to work with me today.

    They were very thankful.

  226. Tiffany

    Ok, I just made this and oh my god it is SO GOOD. I was honestly skeptical of the recipe, but it is seriously a revelation. It’s light, fluffy, crunchy, and the flavor is insane. Currently trying not to eat the entire pan.

  227. Ferne Barishman

    This sounds so delicious that I’m tempted to make it, despite the fact that I’m supposed to be on a diet and I’m usually a lousy baker. But this cake recipe is too tempting to resist. I’ll be sure to report my results. Thanks Deb.

  228. Katie M

    This cake is delicious even if you forget to add the egg whites. Oops! I whipped them first and apparently set them too far away. I used mini chocolate chips and added cinnamon to the cake batter as well. I think this will become the base for a cream cheese strusel topped coffee cake that has been in the back of my head for a while.

    1. Julia

      Good to know! Mine is in the oven now and I forgot to add in the egg whites, too. It looks beautiful though, and glad to hear it will still taste delicious :)

  229. Patty

    Perfect in every way. I wasn’t sure about the chocolate chips (love chocolate but seemed like a lot). I was wrong.
    Texture is divine. 40 minutes in my oven was the magic number. Used the one bowl trick for egg whites and batter. The crusty top is magical. Very easy to put together. I can see this as my go to for a new neighbor or a friend breakfast or just me. DON’T CHANGE A THING – recipe is perfect as written.

  230. Deb! This cake is amazing! I made it last Friday night when we had a friend over for dinner, me and my husband finished it by Sunday night (maybe that’s not something I should share). Leaving it on the counter uncovered had us cutting pieces off every time we passed!
    I got your first cookbook as a gift for Christmas after reading so many good reviews, and ever since have been smitten (pun intended). Every time we have people over for dinner I spend a copious amount of hours browsing the blog or cookbook for recipes.
    I just wanted to say that I adore you and your wittiness and look forward to working my way through your recipes for as long as they’re here. Keep cooking, you inspire me often!

  231. Alice K.

    I made this today. When I tried to whip the egg whites, nothing happened! I was using a powerful electric stand mixer, but the egg whites never became more than what they were when I first put them in the bowl to beat. I am inexperienced with egg white – whipping, so I don’t know what I did wrong. I finally poured the mixed but not peaked whites into the batter and hoped for the best. The baked cake looks gorgeous, but it will not be eaten for a few days (I’m bringing it to a family gathering this weekend). Any ideas why the egg whites did not whip properly???

      1. Alice K.

        Not sure… I know about not having yolk in the whites, but I didn’t know the eggs have to be fresh. I’ll be careful about that next time.

  232. I love, love, love this cake. I made it for the first time when friends came over for brunch and everyone still raves about it. A few days later, we were going over to one of their homes for dinner and when I asked if I could bring anything, the answer was clear: “Do you have more of that coffee cake?”

    Question: I made this for the second time today – it’s still in the oven. When I sprinkled the second layer of chocolate chips in, I automatically pressed them into the cake with my palm as I did last time. I swear I read this instruction the first time I made the cake (March 2018). But I don’t see it now?

    I stand by this technique as it makes for a pillowy look and prevents the chips from falling when cutting/eating.

    Am I crazy, Deb??

    1. deb

      I think I ditched that instruction when I refreshed the recipe this time because I didn’t find it necessary — the cake still rises up around it and anchors them in. But no harm in doing so!

  233. Kelly Stallard

    I cannot believe that I waited so long to try this recipe. Holy cats, you guys, the texture is perfect, and I also wondered for there was too much sugar or too many chocolate chips (spoiler alert: there was not). My only deviation was this: because I did not have quite enough sugar, so I used dark brown sugar for about half of the crumb topping. *finger kiss to mouth* Delicious! Will do again.

  234. finnbot2

    I made this yesterday and it is delicious but for me the abundance of chocolate chips, even semi-sweet, makes it more like dessert cake than coffee cake. But I really like the sour cream cake part and the technique so I think I will try again with a crumble between and on top instead of the sugar/chocolate combo. Also, I didn’t cover it because Deb said it makes the sugar topping soft but it is a little stale today, just one day later, so take that into consideration if you have leftovers.

  235. Stephanie

    Hi. Just wondering what kind of chocolate chips do you like to use? The ones in the picture appear bigger than regular chips. Thank you.

    1. deb

      I use whatever our store has at the time but I believe these are Ghiradelli, maybe 60%. One of their chocolate chip varieties are wider, not sure why.

  236. Jenn

    My 13yo daughter is getting into baking and has made two of your recipes. (I just finished a gooey cocoa birthday brownie!!) She wants to make this for Yom Kippur. Can she make it ahead and freeze it?!

  237. Grace

    I just made this and was wondering how you would suggest storing the leftovers. Does this mean you wouldn’t cover them to preserve the crispy top? Or was that solely for when it’s made ahead of time?

    1. deb

      Sorry I didn’t see this sooner but indeed I do not cover it. You can either leave it in the baking pan uncovered or maybe wrap the sides (a belt of foil, so to speak) with foil. But leave the top exposed.

  238. Jill Orenstein

    It reminded me of a recipe my mom makes, but with walnuts and chocolate chips in the middle layer and baked in a tube pan. I didn’t want to fool with the chemistry or baking time, so no changes were made. This was a big hit at our house, last Sunday. Very little leftover.

  239. tia gata

    folks, she is not kidding about the 9″ x 13″ pan. the one I used was smaller, which seemed fine until the batter started to rise and overflow the pan, and the neighbors thought the building was on fire! my husband still loved the cake though (whew)

  240. Lisa Lainer

    I just finished baking this and have served it to my family. It was a big hit!! This is probably the best coffee cake I have ever made! Really moist and delicious! The secret has got to be all of the sour cream and whipped egg whites. The sour cream gives it creaminess and richness and the egg whites really lighten up the batter. Make this NOW!

  241. Allie

    While it was a lot of prep, it was certainly worth it! The chocolate chips make it unique from other sour cream coffee cakes. My friend who normally doesn’t like coffee cakes gobbled it right up. 10/10 would make again!

  242. Wanda

    Loved this. I didn’t have enough crème fraîche on hand, so I had to substitute some 2% fat yoghurt, which was unfortunately all I had. It was still delicious, very fluffy and since I used dark chocolate chips there was a nice bitter hint to counter the cinnamon sugar.

  243. Debbie

    Just made this and it was so delish! i needed to make it dairy free so I could serve it at a meat meal. I used soy sour cream and butter and it was still so good! I’m worried about not covering it though. Won’t it get stale fast?

  244. Katherine

    This turned out wonderfully! I made it in a bundt pan so technically served it upsidedown. My guests loved it and it’s going fast! To lighten it up and use what was on hand, instead of sour cream, I used two servings of vanilla Greek yogurt, a wad of cream cheese and some milk. Thanks for the recipe!

  245. Randi

    I have made this many times and it always comes out great! I made it to put in the goodie bags for my daughter’s wedding and people loved it! Thanx for the great recipe. Oh and I use mini-chips, melt better.

  246. gracepark1

    I have made this many times but I make a couple of mistakes…one I always use too much batter for the bottom layer so I don’t have enough for the top, and this time i didn’t beat the sour cream into the butter mixture so it’s lumpy. It’s in the oven…hopefully it comes out ok. Usually this works perfectly and is yummy.

  247. Mary

    I would normally flip right past a coffee cake recipe that called for beating the egg whites separately. What could possible come from more work and dishes? But since it’s you and you are efficient without ever compromising the promise of a great outcome, I paid heed. So glad I did! This cake was perfection! Beloved by all who have eaten it. Thank you! A blueberry version (sub berries for chips) is in the oven right now. Just sayin.

  248. Carrie

    Oh this sounds delicious! I’m curious… have you ever made it w/o whipping the egg whites? Just adding the whites with the egg yolks…I wonder what would be different, and maybe you know.

      1. Deb (too!)

        So I have made it just putting all the egg components in at the same time (accidentally – I forgot to separate the eggs and then went oops). It was still delicious, but it was not as fluffy as when I separate and whip the whites.

  249. Robin B

    VERY good…well worth the effort (not that there’s a ton needed). I accidentally added 3 teaspoons of vanilla, but didn’t notice it. The “crumb” is pillowy soft, and the taste is so delicious. The batter is more like a really sticky loose dough, or at least it was for me. I split this amount between one square and one 8″ round cake pan, baked at 350 for 30″. Perfectly done.

  250. downtowndtown

    Deb. I just made this cake. My first baking adventure since welcoming our second child three weeks ago. It is stupidly good. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I will note that it did collapse after I pulled it from the oven – likely because of my own errors. If you have any tips on combating the dreaded post-bake-deflate I’d be all ears.

  251. Amy

    Deb, is it possible to halve this recipe? “Asking for a friend” so there isn’t an entire absurdly delicious cake sitting around. (My main concern is the eggs.)

  252. Dana

    Ok, so I have been burned too many times on Pinterest recipes that promise something amazing and the end result is frankly disappointing. I was hesitant to try this recipe because it had no ratings/stars. But I had a lot of outdated sour cream in the fridge that I wanted to use up and this recipe called for a lot of sour cream. And a lot of chocolate chips. I love chocolate chips, especially a lot of them. Plus you won me over by telling me it was your moms recipe.

    I was slightly annoyed by needing to separate the eggs and beat the whites,but decided to go with the program and not modify it, especially the first time. The result…. heaven! The cakes baked up so thick and moist. My fiancé (who is on a diet) said he is going to listen to the inner elephant in this case and bypass self restraint.

  253. Lisa

    I’ve made this twice. The first time, perfect, looked like the pictures, tasted amazing.

    Tonight (the second time) the top looks totally different – very brown but yellow in some places and all the chocolate chips on top sunk into the batter and can’t be seen? Hopefully tomorrow it still tastes ok but feeling a bit disheartened that it won’t get that great crackly lid on top that distinguishes it so nicely. Do you know what I did wrong?

  254. Anna

    This cake is a life changer. It’s my boys’ favorite and I’ve promised to make it this weekend as a back to school treat. Comes out perfectly every time.

  255. Deb (too!)

    I have made this cake a million times and it’s always a big hit, however I am planning to make it for a break fast in a couple of weeks and it looks like the menu is going to be deli rather than bagels. The crowd keeps kosher style for holidays (though does not keep kosher the rest of the year) so I’d prefer to bring a parve version of this cake if possible. Are there good substitutes for sour cream out there? I do the margarine substitution frequently and know all the dairy free ones (both bad and good), but sour cream is tough.


  256. Melaura

    Apologies in advance for committing a recipe-blog sin: I haven’t made this recipe, but I made the sour cream coffee cake in Smitten Kitchen Everyday, and I’m not sure where else to post about it online. It was delightful (even if it took a while, calling for two rises) and came out with a sturdy but light crumb, and a slight tang from the sour cream and yeast. I did add chocolate chips between the layers, inspired by this recipe, but I think if I had added more than a few the chocolate chips may have helped the crumb layer separate from the cake layer when it came to eating a piece. Still though, really delicious, will probably repeat for the holiday season.

  257. Sharon

    I needed something simple to bring to a break fast. I don’t know what took me so long to find this recipe. It was wonderful.

  258. Linda

    OMG I have had this recipe since I was a child. My mom also said it was part of our family. I started baking this cake when I was 16 in 1980 lol. As with you people love this and always ask me to bake it.

  259. Georgia

    Put a little flour in bag. Add the choc chips and coat.

    This will prevent middle layer from sinking to bottom.

    You are welcome! 😜

  260. datesbacon

    I’ve made this a few times – love it so so much and it is literally inhaled when I bring it to work – but the first time I made it, I found that the chocolate chips on the top started to burn before the cake was done. It could be the type of chocolate chips – I live in Belgium and they’re a bit tricky to find. Anyway, now I cover the cake with foil if it looks like the chips are getting a bit dry on top. Perfect!

  261. Danielle

    I made this for the first time this past weekend (after having it bookmarked for ages). It was incredible. I cannot wait to make it again! Thanks for another hit!

  262. Anna Solowiej

    Deb, So I made this as I was doing three other things and talking on the phone tutoring a student. So…I forgot to separate the eggs! I realized it after I creamed the butter and sugar and then started adding the eggs. Well I didn’t want to waste two sticks of butter, a sin, so I continued on.
    The cake was a bit more dense of coarse, but still delicious and everyone at work loved it for our all-staff meeting!
    Next time I will do one thing at a time!

  263. Meg


    Going through your always reliable recipes to cheer my family in the time of coronavirus. Quick question on this one – what do you recommend instead of cinnamon here? Can’t use cinnamon.

      1. k

        Nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice mix, cardamom, and/or mace, among other warm spices or spice mixes, could be tasty substitutes. I would maybe not use the same amount as the recipe indicates, though. Could also increase the amount of vanilla extract or use another extract in place of cinnamon; almond and lemon could be delicious.

  264. Rhonda

    Hi Deb, I made this recipe for the first time this weekend. I was confused about two things. One, the recipe calls for alternating in the sour cream and flour mixture. I wasn’t sure in what amounts i should add the flour, and i think the overall product got overmixed. In what increments should i add the flour and sour cream?

    Also the cake deflated after being out of the oven for a while! Why do you think that is?

    Thank you!

    1. deb

      You can just eyeball a little at a time, usually 3 parts is the standard. I’m not sure why it deflated; that’s never happened to use. Could the egg whites have been overwhipped? (When they are, it’s less stiff peaks and more crumbly/firm ones.)

  265. Maraha.k

    I made this last week and oh my word! The whole 9×13 pan was empty the next morning. It’s absolutely a dream. I only had 1 cup sour cream so replaced full fat greek yoghurt for the other 1 cup. I also replaced 1 cup of chocolate chips with finely chopped pecan nuts. My family absolutely loved it!

  266. Debra Lynn Ross

    I just made the Chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake, and it was as awesome as you wrote!! Kudos!! The quick question I have is how long does this keep if you are not covering it or keeping it in an air tight container. How does it freeze? Thanks Debbie!!

    1. Barbara A Barnes

      It freezes well. Sliced, placed in freezer container, it will be good for at least a couple of months. I always freeze the pieces immediately, but it’s ok on the counter for probably 2-3 days, if it’s covered tightly.

      1. deb

        Parchment paper goes across the bottom, or at best, up a side or two (if tight), this ensures no spots are missed. I usually focus on the corners and any sides that might be bare.

  267. Jen

    I made this a little while back to use up sour cream left over from making your layered cheesecake, and wow. I always feel cakes that require cleaning the beaters and bowl in between to whip the whites separately a bit of a hassle, but day-yum, the texture of this cake is luxuriously pillowy and unique. Worth it.

    1. Jen

      for the record, this is definitely amenable to substitution on the chocolate or cinnamon front. I used drizzled leftover salted caramel sauce from another baking project in lieu of chocolate chips, and omitted the cinnamon sugar topping. So it didn’t have a crust. It was still awesome. I could have done just sugar on top for a crunchy lid (I thought cinnamon was discordant with caramel,) but I also thought adding more sugar was gilding the lily. But seriously, people asking about substitutions: just try whatever sounds good to you. Substitutions to the main cake batter is dicier, but changing toppings/filling should absolutely be something you feel free to experiment with.

  268. Gina

    Could you make this without the chocolate chips? We love any type of cinnamon coffee cake but my husband isn’t a fan of chocolate chips in breakfast cake/muffins. Great for cookies, but not coffee cake. Could you use cinnamon chips or too much cinnamon?

    1. Barbara A Barnes

      I have used blueberries, raspberries and rhubarb at different times. Same amount as chocolate chips. BUT, the berries sink to the bottom, so I only put them and the sugar sprinkle on top. One less step, and it comes out exactly the same as when I put half in the middle.

  269. Susanna Oh

    Just made this recipe, and it is absurdly delicious! I followed the recipe as is. The best investment I’ve ever made is a little food scale, takes away the constant internal guessing game of “should
    I pack more flour in?”. It’s made all the difference in my new journey into baking. The cake is moist, and the top perfectly crisp. Will be sure to make it again!

    1. Barbara A Barnes

      The sugar is listed separately for the cake and the sprinkle topping. One and one half cups of sugar is the correct measurement for the cake, itself. Hope that helps clarify.

  270. Marcy Sacks

    I just made this today, and all I can say is I WISH I HAD NEVER FOUND THIS RECIPE! It is so delicious; I’m going to devour it all.
    I bake so many things from this site, but this may be the best of them all. The texture is fantastic, and the flavor is equally so. Yum!

  271. Justine

    Deb, this is crazy delicious and so comforting. My teenage daughter declared she’d prefer this to any birthday cake. Thank you for sharing!

  272. DeLynn

    Thank you for another great recipe, Deb! I can’t believe I never saw it before as I am a huge fan of your site!
    It was done baking a little before I expected (38 or so minutes)–and I made the error of not trusting my judgment and left it in for another couple minutes. The good news is that everyone loved it–so I will make it again and take it out a bit earlier!
    This will definitely be going into my recipe book! Thank you again.

  273. Marcy

    If anyone is wondering, I made this with gluten free AP flour and it was amazing. Like a big fluffy chocolate chip cookie. Thank you for sharing!

  274. Barbara A Barnes

    I make this every 2-3 weeks, but with blueberries instead of chocolate chips. I know, horrors…however, I eat it for breakfast and chocolate tastes good to me only after lunch. It makes a spectacular blueberry coffee cake. 🙂

  275. Lynn

    I just made this recipe again, and halved it. Still delicious! I first separated the eggs and weighed the whites and yolks and used half of each. The rest I put back together and scrambled for breakfast.

  276. Barbara A Barnes

    Can I make a confession? This is now my go to yellow cake recipe (minus the chocolate chips and top sprinkle crinkle). It can be made with 9×13, two round 9” pans, or my big grill pan. Most of my baking is GF, and this recipe is the most reliable I’ve ever come across.

  277. Caroline Wallace

    This was absolutely perfect. Baked up so light, not dry at all. I was worried it would be too little cinnamon but it was just enough. My only complaint is the chips kept falling off the top, but they were so good to pick up. Gave half to my dad for Father’s Day, and my roommate has already eaten most of the other half in 24 hours.

  278. Lynn N.

    I have made this recipe 6 times now and it is the very best coffee cake ever! Thankfully it makes such a large amount or I would be baking every day!

  279. Kim

    This is delicious! Stiffening the eggs and folding them in brings a lovely lightness to this cake. I used two 9″ round pans instead of the 9 x13 and it was the perfect treat from my socially distanced backyard BBQ. I’m adding this to my go-to ‘bake and take’ list of treats for family and friends. Thank you!

  280. Jess

    Thank you to all who posted about gluten-free substitutes. I was just diagnosed with celiac and this was my first gluten-free baking experiment. Based on comments, I substituted 1 cup almond flour and 2 cups gluten-free flour (Cup4cup). It turned out moist and delicious with a very faint almond flavor that went with the chocolate and cinnamon.

    Thank you all so much! There is life after gluten.

    1. Jess

      Update: I’ve made this a few more times and learned more about gluten-free baking, so today I only used half the sugar in the batter (same amount on top of course). GF flours are sweeter and react differently with sugar so typically you need less sugar. That was the case today – it was still delicious and I wouldn’t know it had less sugar. I took it out at 40 minutes but next time would check it at 36ish – less sugar = less moisture so the edges were a little dry. This is a great recipe that adapts to all of these tweaks and still tastes amazing!

  281. Heather A.

    I’ve made this about a half dozen times, and each time it’s been wonderful. I made it as written the first few times, but made some tweaks to my personal tastes the next few. I double the cinnamon in the topping and sub brown sugar for white. I add about a cup of crushed walnuts along with the chips, which I switch out for mini chips. Absolutely wonderful recipe that has become a favorite!

  282. Nelangi Pinto

    Hi Deb or anyone else, do you know how you should adjust this recipe for altitude? I found an adjustment for your amazing banana bread recipe in the comments. Living between 5-6000 feet has done a number on my baking results sometimes!

  283. Dennie Raviv

    Hi Deb, have been a fan since way before Jacob was born and you are my go to blog for everything. . I am 66 and have been baking a similar cake for over 50 years. I bake it is a springform pan, it has a cup of sour cream, not 2 , I do not separate the eggs and the choc chip mixture has cinnamon, brown not white sugar and an
    additional cup of walnuts. It is the best cake in my repertoire. If you wAnt the recipe, I am happy to share, but not online.

    1. deb
  284. Amy

    Omg this cake was fantastic!! I was looking for something to eat with my coffee and this cake exceeded all my expectations. It’s sweet, buttery, chocolate, and with an insane scent of cinnamon sugar. Absolutely recommend this recipe!

  285. Mary Green

    BEST Coffee Cake. Made for late dinner dessert. High praises and that TOP! Beautiful cake! Delicious! I used one cup of the new Espresso chips and One cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Yum!

  286. Becky

    Quite the tasty treat! Thanks for the easy to follow recipe. I baked it in two loaf pans and loved the chocolate chip cin sugar layers.

  287. Ana

    Hi! This is in the oven right now and I’m wondering how thick the batter should be? It was thicker than expected after I added the 3 cups of flour (I used the weight measurements vs volume). The raw batter tasted fine (is it strange to love raw cake better…idk but I’m one of those people) and not too floury but it was a tad trickier to spread compared to a regular cake. Is this normal for this coffee cake? Love all your recipes!

  288. Jessica M.

    FYI for anyone looking into make this with gluten free flour: works great!!!I have made this cake with regular flour and now gluten free. Honestly, if someone gave a piece to me I wouldn’t have known it was gluten free. I used cup4cup which I find to gets baked goods closest to regular flower cakes. Cannot speak about other gluten free flours but expect that they would work too.

  289. Andrea

    Holy heck the texture of the cake is just perfect! SO GOOD! If chocolate chip cookies were in fluffy cake form, this would be it. The crunchy cinnamon top provides just the right texture contrast! I only wish I’d made this earlier. Thank you, Deb!

  290. Rhonda

    Can this recipe be cut in half and how would you alter the eggs? Do you have the calories and nutrition information on this recipe?

  291. Procrastibaker in Dublin, OH

    My cake looked exactly like the pictures posted! I did put like 2/3 of the batter for the first layer as suggested by another reviewer. I thought the cake was lovely and plush, and would have liked to taste more of the cake itself. The chocolate dominated the flavor which was good depending on your taste. Next time I would reduce the chocolate by half a cup, and go all bittersweet.

  292. Missy

    A couple people asked about halving the recipe but I didn’t see any replies so wondering if it’s wise to literally cut all ingredients by half?

  293. Susan

    I finally made this cake a few weeks ago and wow, is it fantastic! I took most of it to the college athletics department where I work. I often bake for the coaches and staff, something they have missed dearly while we were all working remotely. The football coaches absolutely went nuts over this and can’t wait for me to make it again. The crunchy cinnamon topping is just wonderful.

  294. araminty

    I have made this about four times now, I think. I have definitely streamlined it. I do everything in the mixer bowl. I don’t separate the eggs, just chuck them in after creaming the butter and sugar. I have replaced some of the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt. I also add the leavening after the eggs, and weigh the flour and sour cream (or sub) straight on top. I find the batter too thick to easily spread over the filling, so I just chuck all the choc chips on top and press them down a bit so the cake spills up over them. I also change up the spices a bit, adding some nutmeg and ground cloves. Thanks for the very forgiving recipe :)

  295. Julia

    This is delicious but I had to freeze part of it because, as it turns out, I have no self control and would have a piece in place of a meal. Good Job Julia.

    I successfully made this with 230 grams of sugar in the cake, which is the sweetness to my liking. I also could have made less cinnamon sugar for the filling and topping, as there was a LOT left over. I think I will do 70 or 75 grams of sugar next time.

  296. Aurora

    I will be getting sour cream on the wY home. Looks marvelous. Our family recipe takes pecans but this looks like a great change.

  297. I just made your coffee cake and it looks just like yours online. OMG!! Can’t wait til it cools down. thank you for sharing..
    I’m going to serve it thursday- today is saturday- obviously I’ll have to freeze it– how do I get it crispy again or you can’t? Im sure it will still be delicious if frozen.
    Any suggestions?

  298. Kerstin

    I made this last night, and I definitely thought there was too much sugar and too many chocolate chips-but I trusted the recipe. Then I tried a piece-And you’re right! It works so well! This is a wonderful recipe to bring to a gathering, as it makes a lot of cake. It was an easy coffee cake to make, with impressive results. I can’t wait to share it today.
    I’m eating some with coffee right now!

  299. Julia

    I meant to make this again, but in a 9×5 loaf pan, since I loved the idea of getting slices, like pound cake. But I don’t think I made your cake.

    Unfortunately, I broke a yolk when I was separating the eggs and instead of doing that step over, I just beat the eggs in whole. I followed the rest of the instructions and still made it in a loaf pan. I bumped the temperature down to 325 and would just check on it until it was done. Since I cut the sugar down to 220g for the whole loaf, it was mildly sweet (just the way I like), but because I didn’t whip in the egg whites, the loaf was denser and not as airy.

    Good food experiment tho, still tasty, but I’ll have to try it again.

  300. Giorgiana

    I halved the recipe. I used 2 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar and then just halved everything else. I used yogurt mixed with a little left over labne (it’s what I had on hand). It turned out perfectly great. My only regret is not just making the full recipe because it’s so good and going fast. Thanks,Deb, for yet another one blown out of the park

  301. Joan Levy

    Hi Deb,

    I love your recipes and use them all the time! Just wondering…I am making your coffee cake a day before I plan to use it. I really shouldn’t cover it?

  302. Natasha Griffiths

    Made this yesterday and very pleased with it (although I accidentally used milk chocolate chips and I think darker as in the actual recipe would have been better!)

    We’re only 3 at home though so this size is far too big for us – I made myself popular with neighbours by giving away the excess!

    If I wanted to make a smaller size, what would you advise? An 8×8 pan and half the mixture? How best to halve the 3 eggs?

  303. Caitlyn

    Loved the cake part of this – super moist, perfect density, and nice flavor. I also loved how easy it was to make and what a big cake it made (gave some away and froze some and still had plenty!). I found the chocolate chips overwhelming, though, and the cinnamon underwhelming. I’d like to try it again, cutting the chocolate chips way down and adding walnuts and more cinnamon. Actually I’d really love this cake with a crumb topping. Yum!

  304. Michele

    I’ve made this delicious cake many times. Since we’re down to a family of two, I make two smaller cakes-eat one and freeze the other. It freezes very well. I was thinking of making small loaves to give to the neighbors for the holidays. My loaf pans are not very deep. To those of you who made muffins out of this recipe, did you make them with one layer or two? If one layer, were the muffins just as wonderful as the two-layered coffee cake? If you did two layers, was it difficult to determine how much batter to use for the bottom layer? Has anyone mixed the chips into the batter instead of layering them on top and then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture just on the top? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.

  305. Robin

    This was a huge hit with adults and teenagers alike. It came together easily, although I must admit it was a three bowl cake for me 🙂.

  306. Melissa

    This recipe is perfection! Thank you Deb for helping me recreate a favorite food memory of mine from childhood that I can now share with my family.

  307. Ali

    I don’t have the pan size required for this cake and not sure I want to try to split the recipe in half. What other pan sizes can I use? Would glass baking dish be OK?

    1. Michele Boyer

      Hi Ali. Because we’re a household of two, it’s difficult for me to make the recipe using the pan called for. For years now, I make the recipe and divide the batter between two large loaf pans. I bake both. Once they’ve cooled, My husband and I enjoy one and freeze the other for later. It doesn’t have that super crispy crust after it’s defrosted, but it’s still delicious.

      1. Ali

        Thank you! I went through all the comments and saw some people baked it in two 8in pans as well. I can’t do muffins, sounds like too much work lol

  308. Lise Corson

    Hi Deb,
    Being a prolific baker, home cook I’ve made my share of coffee cakes and am experienced in the ways of baking/cooking. I’ve never seen whipped egg whites/meringue folded in to a coffee cake batter. I’m intrigued. What is the reason for this? What does it “do” for the cake?
    thanks so much! Love your recipes, books and videos!!!

  309. Chris

    This popped up as popular right now. Are we related, Deb? Because this is also my family’s recipe dating back to the early 70’s(?). It is THE cake recipe most requested for every occasion. The go-to recipe for bringing to dinners, church socials, funerals. We also had a version with ground walnuts but not nearly as good. We lived in Queens. I believe my mom got the recipe from her best friend and the story was that it won a big bake-off contest though I’ve never found out if that is true. It’s the best, glad you shared so many more people can now indulge!!

  310. Lucy

    This is hands down my favourite every-day cake recipe! Everyone I make it for raves about it, and I keep extra slices frozen. It freezes / defrosts extremely well, so I love to have some on hand for when I get a craving.

  311. Laura

    I’ve made this quite a few times. This time for some reason my middle layer of cinnamon sugar/chocolate chips kind of disappeared into the rest of the cake. Any idea why? Still super yummy!!!

    1. Michele

      Yes, you absolutely can freeze this cake. The top isn’t as crispy as it is first from the oven. Since we are a family of two, I make the full recipe and divide it between two smaller aluminum tins. I bake both at the same time. Then we eat one tin over a couple days and freeze the other. It lasts for several months. I currently have three tins in my freezer. I should pull one out for tonight!

  312. Casey

    Made this yesterday (exactly as described) and it is delicious! Will be keeping this on my list of recipes to repeat, I think it is even better on day 2.

  313. Giorgiana

    What are your thoughts on making it into muffins? Freezing them and taking out servings as needed? Iv made it as a cake several times and love it!

  314. Gwen Werman

    Can the sour cream coffee cake be frozen? I know you said you never froze it. It’s been a while and was wondering if anyone had frozen it and how did it turn out?

  315. Anat

    I was looking for a light cake but with the consistency of crumb cake , this recipe is easy to follow and the cake is delicious.
    Thank you for sharing

  316. Aisha

    Made a half batch in an 8″ square pan (used 2 eggs, tossed off a bit) with the addition of lemon zest and maldon sprinkled in with the sugar, and some black pepper on top. It has a lovely texture, the zest and salt balance out the sweetness for my taste, but I would cut back on the chocolate chips next time — you can barely taste the cake!

  317. M

    Delicious! For those wondering about a muffin variation, I made a third of the recipe and divided the batter into 8 muffins. Probably could have gotten away with 6, but this gave a nice batter to cinnamon sugar/ chocolate chip ratio. Didn’t measure the chocolate chips, just sprinkled them on. Used whole milk Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and the texture was lovely.