Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
This chocolate chip crumb cake is unbelievably tender, loaded with chocolate chips and topped with the most amazing crumb topping!
This cake has been a loooong time in the making. Many, many years ago, I posted a recipe for a buttermilk-chocolate chip crumb cake that I really loved at the time. However, over the years, I’ve received many comments from readers who have had issues with it, specifically with the crumb topping melting into the cake. Unfortunately, the source of the original recipe no longer exists so I couldn’t easily troubleshoot; that meant time for a brand-new recipe. I think you’re going to love this one!
My grandparents came over to visit Joseph last Friday, so I made this in the morning to have something to offer them with coffee. They raved about it, and then my husband and I proceeded to polish the whole thing off within 24 hours. An absolute keeper of a recipe!
I wanted to keep the same style of cake I had make previously – a loaf cake with a tender crumb and chocolate chips in the batter, topped with a big layer of crumb topping, then more chocolate chips and finally a dusting of powdered sugar. I turned to my favorite recipe EVER for crumb cake – the New York-style crumb cake from Cook’s Illustrated. The amount of batter was just about perfect for an 8×4-inch loaf pan, so I ran with that and added chocolate chips to the batter.
My crumb topping browned a tad bit more than I would have liked, so I would suggest checking it about halfway through baking and if it’s already starting to brown, cover with foil for the remaining baking time so those crumbs stay nice and tender.
We finished this cake off on Saturday evening and my husband suggested making another one for Sunday dinner, we loved it so much. I didn’t end up doing that (I had already made dirt dessert to go with our picnic meal!), but this is definitely an easy recipe that I’m going to be making again and again (and maybe doubling every time I make it!).
If you’ve made that old recipe and had problems with it, I hope you’ll give this new-and-improved version a try!
Four years ago: Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sandwiches
Five years ago: Blueberry Muffins
Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
For the Crumb Topping:
- ⅓ cup (66.67 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (73.33 g) dark brown sugar
- Pinch salt
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
- 1¾ cups (218.75 g) cake flour
For the Cake:
- 1¼ cups (156.25 g) cake flour
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) buttermilk
- ½ cup (90 g) mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup (90 g) mini chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugars, salt and butter to combine. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8x4-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper; allow excess to overhang edges of pan.
- Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to combine. With the mixer continuing to ru n at low speed, add the butter one piece at a time; continue beating until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary. Using a rubber spatula, fold the mini chocolate chips into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and spread into even layer. Break apart the crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over the batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until the crumbs are golden and a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes (if the crumb topping appears to be browning too quickly, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time). Immediately after taking the cake out of the oven, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
- Do not substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour in this recipe, as it will result in a dry, tough cake.
- Plain yogurt can be substituted for the buttermilk.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Very good! I did everything as written and stuck to the original recipe with the full crumble and had no issues! Really enjoyed this recipe, I loved that it didn’t taste too sweet. Thank you!
Such a quick and simple recipe. Love it! Definitely don’t recommend cutting it down the middle.
Have made several times and we LOVE it! Only issue is smelling it while it’s baking and having to wait to eat it!
I made this for my mom and sister for Christmas and the topping sunk into the bread. I was so sad. I even spilt the topping between the two loaves. Maybe I’ll try it again with 1/4 of the topping or maybe add the topping halfway through the baking.
You say in your “About” section that you’re a fanatic about weighing ingredients. Please tell me how much 6 tablespoons of butter weighs!
Delicious! I made this dairy free by using earth balance butter and making “buttermilk” by adding white vinegar to almond milk and dairy free chocolate chips. I put some of the crumbs in the middle and it turned out really yummy! Piled the rest of the crumbs on top and it was perfect. Baked for 1 hour and 5 minutes.
I made this cake with the full amount of crumb on top of the cake and it turned out perfect. I did have to bake it longer than the recipe called for but that is normal for my oven. I did cover the top part way through baking to keep the crumb from getting too dark. I think I baked it for about 15 minutes longer.
This recipe looks amazing but do not have buttermilk on hand and was wondering if
you substitute sour cream for the buttermilk and if so , how much
Thank you !
Unfortunately, I didn’t read your note before I made the cake 😔 When I was putting the crumble on, I really should have used my common sense. Lol I used the whole amount of crumble. It took my cake an hour and a half to bake. I haven’t eaten it yet (and I really hope it is cooked all the way through – my tooth pick wasn’t long enough…lol). I’m sure it will be delicious! But, I recommend changing the recipe itself. I don’t always read the whole blog when I make a new recipe. Although, I may start…lol
I made this cake this afternoon and as others have said, the crumbs sunk to the middle (not as concerned about the chocolate chips sinking, but I had to use regular size). I did follow the directions and I do know how to bake, so contrary to an earlier comment I don’t think that was the issue. I was also surprised the crumb topping had more flour in it than the cake itself, and there was a lot of it, though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though this type of crumb topping wasn’t my favorite. Maybe the crumb topping wasn’t cool enough before putting it on top and that’s why it sank?
I love crumb cakes! Yours looks so delicious and perfect for the weekend!
I made this for Mother’s day this weekend – it was already in the oven when I read all of the comments and realized so many people had the same issue with the crumbs sinking into the cake and chips sinking to the bottom. Needless to say, I was nervous, but it came out perfectly! There were a lot of crumbs – definitely more than pictured, but can there ever really be too many crumbs?
Followed the recipe exactly and would suggest you do the same!
I’m a big fan of crumb cake, and this is the BEST ever! Followed recipe (with full crumb topping, of course!) with no problems… It’s gorgeous– and makes a great Easter treat– my family LOVES it. Thank you so much, Michelle!
I made this cake after reading everyones comments and turned out amazing!
First, I halved the ammount of topping. I didnt put the topping over the cake from the begining. Instead, I put the cake in the oven for about ten minutes until it had a light crust, then took it off and spread the crumble topping.
This way it didnt sink in the batter, didnt burn, because it was baked for less time and was beautiful and crispy.
Everyone loved it!
I followed this recipe exactly. I was very disappointed. The crumbs melted into the cake and the cake didn’t rise well. I was wondering why there wasn’t a bit of baking powder included. Also I think the crumbs should be refrigerated before using.
If you actually know how to bake and follow directions DO NOT CUT THE TOPPING IN HALF, it’s the best part, oh so wonderfully crumbly!
I just made this yesterday for a bbq at my in-laws and it came out perfect with the original recipe michelle laid out. Simple an easy. If anything I would say break up the topping after it has cooled, then make the batter, and sprinkle over the top just as the directions say. It will be perfect, no sinking, not too much crumb, like there is even such a thing.
I made this this morning and it is absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making it again!!
I attempted to make you chocolate chip bread with crumb topping and I must agree with the other bakers in regards to the topping sinking. I cut the topping in half and while cooking it rose up and over the loaf pan and then all the topping sank to the middl. The actual cake was tasty but unfortunately not very presentable. Any suggestions?
Hi Kathy, I’m honestly not sure, I’ve made this cake multiple times, as written above, and have not had that issue :(
Just made and tasted this loaf cake. I used 3/4 of the amount of crumb topping and this was adequate. The cake has a nice flavor but very disappointed that all the chips sank and It created a chocolate candy bar on bottom. I would try this again but would flour the chips which directions did not say to do. I should have known better even though they are mini chips they sink big time. Not one chip was in the cake itself.
I just made this, and I tried reducing the cake flour in the crumb topping to 1+1/4 cups, since so many people commented on problems with the crumb. Unfortunately, the crumb topping came out rock hard. Such a shame! I’ll have to just pick it off each slice. The cake itself is delicious, though. If I make this again, I’d make only the cake or try to find another crumb coating from another site to put on top of this cake recipe. The cake really is good.
Did you use cake flour for the topping, as well? One time I ran out of cake flour for the topping of ATK crumb cake and just substituted AP flour. Topping came out hard.
I made this last night with a couple girlfriends and we all loved it!! I used a 9×5 pan. In the crumb topping, I reduced the cake flour to 1 1/4 cups but left everything else the same. The crumb is one of the best parts! Thanks for a great recipe Michelle!
Oh my gosh this looks just amazing!! I love crumb cake faithfully, especially in summer, but have never had a chocolate chip one.
I finally tried this over the weekend and was very pleased with it. The cake is very light, soft, and springy. Easy to make and the instructions were easy to follow. I was surprised with the amount of rise it had also. I only had a 9″x5″ and it still came out to a nice height. With the extra surface area and cutting the topping recipe in half as the recipe advises I still had at least a third of the topping left over. The topping was a little sweet for my wife and I. Maybe the brown sugar puts it over the top? It does making it a little more addicting for sure. Another great recipe and again loved the soft spring back texture!
This cake looks delicious! I might try to call it a breakfast “bread” and serve it to my Sunday School Class. Thanks for posting!
I made the old version by mistake; that post came up when I went back to print off the recipe at home. If you can, could you delete the old version?
I and now am trying this version. There have been so many comments about the topping that I left it off. If this cake is good, I’ll add a streusel topping.
Your note on the recipe is unclear to me. Should I cut the ingredients you list in half, or did you already do that?
A followup. The cake, without the topping, is excellent. Will try topping next time.
Hubby loved it.
Hi Judy, Since the recipes are different, I am reluctant to delete the old one. I have done that in the past, and some folks prefer the old recipes and were upset that they were gone. I will put a note with a link at the top of the old one. I did not halve the ingredients, so if you wish to do so, just cut everything in half that is listed for the topping.
This cake was just ok. There was so much crumb topping that before I piled it on I checked the comments on this site and decided to only use half. We were not wowed by this cake. It was a bit time consuming with an egg yolk and slowly adding butter. The rolling of the crumb “peas” took a long time too. It just wasn’t anything fabulous, so I won’t make again. I have made another recipe which uses cream cheese which I prefer. I don’t love all of the butter in this recip,e and I feel like it is more buttery than sweet. Thanks any way.
This is so tasty!!! It seriously tastes just like a chocolate chip cookie!!! My kids absolutely loved this as well!!! Just be sure to refrigerate the crumb topping while making the bread and add the crumb topping after the bread has baked for 20 minutes!
Where do you find an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan? Mine are all 9 x 5 – I have looked on line and I see 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 but not 8 x 4 .
Hi Susan, When I looked, it seems as though 8×4 and 8.5×4.5 are written in recipes sort of interchangeably.
i made this last night, It came out amazing! I made a few changes based on others reviews and my circumstances.
1. Used a 9×5 pan because I did not have and 8×4, checked it every 10-15 minutes for doneness. Took about 55 minutes.
2. Did not have dark brown sugar, used light. Still delicious.
3. I refrigerated the crumb mixture while making the cake batter and took another reviewers suggestion and baked the cake for 10 minutes before putting the topping on. I broke the pieces up as recommended into large pea size pieces and placed them gently. Honestly did not use it all, most but not all.
4. I tossed the chips with a little flour before adding.
It was perfect, no sinking crumb, no sinking chips. It was a winner!
I made this last night for a pigout at work today and I’m a little disappointed. I was expecting it to be like a coffee cake texture. it’s denser. tasty but just okay in my book. There was a ton of crumb topping and I had to bake it longer than indicated for the middle to be done so the crumb topping, though not overly brown, was quite crunchy. chocolate chips on top made cutting it a pain as they stuck to the knife and gather up in clumps instead of staying in place. unfortunate.
This cake came out delicious, however, even though I cut the crumb topping recipe in half, the crumb topping did sink down into the cake. I used an 8″x4″ loaf pan and thought maybe it would not have happened in a 9 x 5″ loaf pan? Any suggestions/recommendations?
Hi Allison, Hmmm I used an 8×4 and mine didn’t sink at all. I’d make sure you’re just sprinkling it on top and not actually pushing it onto the cake batter.
This cake was fantastic, the crumbs did not sink into the cake. The cake was so tender I almost ate half of it. I love this cake and will make it again and again. Thanks for a great recipe.
Leasey’s comment on June 1 was absolutely right. The crumb topping sank into the batter. Speaking of the batter, there was very little of it. What little cake there was, was very tender. I will try this again, doubling the batter and halving the crumb topping. As someone else questioned, why was there more flour in the topping than in the cake?
Hi Michelle! Have you ever baked this recipe in muffin pans? Just made the loaf and it is divine. I baked it for 10 minutes before adding the topping, to prevent it from sinking….worked like a charm!
Hi Dawn, So great to hear you loved the cake! I haven’t made it in muffin tins, but I think it should work!
The crumb topping melted right into the cake. What a disappointment. I’ll stick to my old crumb cake recipe from now on. There probably shouldn’t be more flour in the topping than in the cake.
This is my go-to blog for anything and everything baked goods and it has never let me down! Made this recipe yesterday for some family and friends – everybody could not stop raving about how it was the best thing I’ve made yet! Definitely make this if you’re considering!!
I had a similar concern as Leasey. There is more flour used in the crumb topping than in the actual cake. Is this right. I am in the process of making it and noticed this. I have never made a crumb cake before so perhaps this is the portions. It looked so good. I was eager to try.
I made this! it was horrible. Way too much crumb topping. More flour than the cake! The suggested pan size was way too small. It dripped over the top of the pan.
Go for another recipe!
Disappointed…somewhat dry. The crumb topping was too much and I agree, the pan size too small. With the parchment overhang, I was able to quickly move it to a larger pan. It took longer to bake than it said. U fortunately, I had planned to serve to my bed and breakfast guests…I ended up making muffins instead.
Such a delicious cake ! Can i add vanilla maybe it will be effective more than chocolate ?
Do you find that cakes with butter get stale really fast?
Hi Rachel, No, I have not noticed that.
This cake looks delicious! You can never go wrong with a good crumb topping:) Can’t wait to try out the recipe!
XO – Sarah
Made this last night, but I obviously did something wrong because I had a TON of crumb topping. I went ahead and packed it all on and the crumb topping sank down into the cake, making its own layer. I also didn’t have mini chips so I used regular size and they all sank to the bottom and barely melted on top. It was delicious, but looked nothing like yours!
I had the exact same problem.
I have to try this! I grew up on crumb cake and haven’t had it for years. This looks delicious.
This chocolate crumb cake looks sooo goood! What a great picture, the crumb cake just jumps right out at me and makes me want to eat a piece right now. I am definitely going to make this!
I LOVE the Cook’s Illustrated NY Crumb Cake. My brother and his wife just welcomed Baby #4 and I was planning on making it for them when I meet my new niece. Perhaps I will do this one instead! Looks delicious!
This looks like such a delicious treat! Loving the crumbs!
Oh my gosh, this looks scrumptious and I can’t wait to make it. I’m wondering if you double the recipe would it bake well in a bundt pan?
Hi Kathleen, I don’t think this would work well in a bundt, since when you turn it out the crumb would be on the bottom. But you could double it and bake it in a 9×13!
The crumb cake you sourced this recipe from truly is the best. Crumb cake. EVER. This looks delicious!
This looks scrumptious, Michelle! I can see why it was devoured so quickly! I’ve always been a fan of crumb cakes, and adding chocolate chips seems like a no-brainer! :)
Cake flour is something that I don’t keep in my pantry. Have you tried the substitute of 2 T. cornstarch & 14 T. all purpose flour = 1 c. cake flour? Thanks. This recipe looks yummy!
Hi Martha, I have not tried the substitute since I always have cake flour, but I think it’s a pretty standard substitution and should work just fine.
This looks like the perfect mid-afternoon snack (of course when I’m not eating as healthy as I need to be ;) ). Your crumb topping looks perfectly browned . . . you’re an excellent baker, so it’s hard to imagine anything that is even a tad too browned :) Looking forward to trying this in the not so distant future.
I can’t wait to try this! You can’t go wrong with CI! (Your first Buttermilk Chocolate Chip bread is originally from Lisa Yockelson’s book, ChocolateChocolate, but it is doubled and for a 9×13 and baked at 350.)