Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

I have had this crumb cake bookmarked for quite some time; as soon as I saw it sitting in my Google Reader it drew me in. I have developed a great preference for cakes, quick breads, and muffins/scones that use buttermilk – it definitely seems to bring out all of the other flavors and provides a richness that most other ingredients can’t accomplish.

I was trying to pinpoint the smell and flavor for the longest time and couldn’t figure out, and then I realized that it tastes like a donut! I’m not sure what contributes to that flavoring, but it definitely takes on the smell and taste of a donut. It goes without saying then that this is a fabulous cake and the crumb topping makes it absolutely delectable.

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Butter Crumb topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Batter:
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cake flour
1 stick butter
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1½ eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling on top of the cake
Powdered sugar, for sifting on top of the cake

Directions:

Preparation:
1) Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) Lightly grease a 9x4 inch loaf pan, and line the inside of the pan with parchment paper or foil, and then grease it as well.

To make the topping:
3) Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla extract over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.

Mix the batter:
4) Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.
5) Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
6) Add in the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
7) Add in egg and beat for 45 seconds.
8) Mix in the vanilla extract.
9) Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
10) Stir in chocolate chips.
11) Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.
12) Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
13) Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
14) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.
15) Let the cake cool completely. Use the parchment or foil to lift the cake out of the pan, then sift some powered sugar on top of the cake. Serve.

(Adapted from Piggy's Cooking Journal)