This Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake recipe features a moist cake studded with chocolate chips and topped with a cinnamon crumb topping and an extra large handful of chocolate chips. If you’re a die-hard chocolate lover you could add a second handful of chocolate chips to the cake and no one would be the wiser!

There is something so fun and fancy about coffee cake that just gives me all the brunch food cravings! Brunch with delicious Spinach and Bacon Quiche, Cinnamon Roll Cake, and homemade Apple Cinnamon Scones is absolutely mouthwatering! 

A Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake cut into a square resting on a spatula in front of the full coffee cake.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Moist coffee cake with sour cream. The trick to getting a deliciously moist coffee cake recipe is the addition of sour cream! It not only adds a nice tang to the flavor complex but the fat content in the sour cream does wonders to keep the cake moist. 
  • Nostalgic. There is something about the best chocolate chip coffee cake to bring all the memories back! For example, in 7th grade, one of my friend’s mom would make this easy coffee cake recipe as an after school snack. When you have such a delicious treat, you’re bound to flag those memories! 
  • The coffee cake that has it all! Since you didn’t just jump to the recipe and start making this cinnamon chocolate chip coffee cake recipe, then I guess I just need to convince you! So, we have a deliciously moist cake crumb (thanks to the sour cream and buttermilk); then we have chocolate chips studded through the entire thing! Followed by a deliciously buttery, sugary, cinnamon crumble topping. Finished off with more chocolate chips on top! I mean…need I say more? 

Ingredient Notes

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake ingredients portioned into glass bowls on a white background.
Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake topping ingredients portioned into glass bowls on a white background.
  • Buttermilk: You can use regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk, but I recommend buttermilk! It will give a lighter crumb texture due to the acidity and will provide a nice flavor and moisture to the sour cream coffee cake recipe. 
  • Sour Cream: Use full fat sour cream. The chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake gets its name because of the sour cream! It makes the chocolate chip coffee cake much more moist! 
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: While you can use milk chocolate chips if you prefer, I recommend semi-sweet chocolate chips because they have a chocolate flavor that is more bitter than milk chocolate chips which will go much better with the sweetness from the coffee cake.
  • Cold Butter: You want the butter cold because it needs to hold up when cut into the flour and sugar. You want the crumble topping to come together like a pastry would, where the butter will cut into small pieces when combined with the flour and resemble coarse sand.  
  • Cinnamon: You may think the cinnamon is a strange flavor combination with the chocolate chips, but it actually tastes amazing! The flavors complement each other so well in this cinnamon chocolate chip cake! 

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. 
  2. Cream butter and sugars. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together on medium speed until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. Once all the eggs are added, add the vanilla extract and milk. Mix to combine. 
Four photos showing how to make Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake batter.
  1. Alternate dry ingredients and sour cream. Mixing on low, add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Then add the sour cream and mix. Finish with the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  2. Fold in chocolate chips. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Four photos showing how to make Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake batter, in a glass bowl with adding dry ingredients to the chocolate chips, to stirring together.
  1. Place in prepared pan. Place the chocolate chip coffee cake batter in a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. The batter will be thick, so use a spatula to spread the batter into an even layer. 
  2. Make the cinnamon topping. Add the cold butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and flour to a medium sized bowl. Using a pastry cutter, mix until the mixture resembles course sand. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar crumble topping over the batter and top with 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
Two photos: left photo is Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake batter in a rectangle pan, right photo has a cinnamon crumble overtop of the batter.
  1. Bake. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter. Enjoy! 
Two photos: left photo has Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake in a pan with chocolate chip overtop (not baked), right photo is a golden brown baked chocolate chip coffee cake.

Recipe Tips

If you don’t have sour cream, plain greek yogurt is a great substitution.

You can add more than just 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (or even add some mini chocolate chips too!) to the top of the cinnamon mixture. You can be as generous as you’d like!

I love using Bakers Joy baking spray when making cakes. That’s what I used to grease my pan. 

Don’t over mix the batter when adding the dry ingredients and sour cream. Mix until just combined or even until there is still a bit of flour or sour cream needing to be mixed. You don’t want to over mix or else the batter will be tough and the coffee cake won’t rise correctly. 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

I would make the batter just prior to baking. 

Store any leftovers of this chocolate chip coffee cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days. 

To freeze, cut into individual slices and wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container, or tightly wrap the pan and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight or unwrapped at room temperature. 

A square slice of Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake on a white plate with a purple flower next to the cake.

Recipe FAQs

What can I use in place of the sour cream? 

This coffee cake uses sour cream in the batter, but if you don’t have it or perhaps you’d rather use something else in its’ place, plain greek yogurt is a great substitute.

Why is coffee cake called coffee cake?

Coffee cake gets its name because it is commonly served alongside coffee. It doesn’t typically include coffee in the batter. It is commonly made to be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or dessert so you will find many coffee cake recipes use cinnamon or warm flavors. 

Can coffee cake keep you awake?

Funny enough, coffee cake doesn’t typically include coffee. It received the name for being served along with a cup of coffee. Eating the coffee cake alone will not keep you awake, unless sugar helps to keep you awake! 

Can I bake it in a smaller pan? 

This cake is baked in a 13″x9″ inch pan, however, for a much taller coffee cake you can bake this in a 9×9 inch pan if you’d like. Note that if you do bake it in a different size pan the baking time will differ so keep an eye on the cake.

A fork cutting into a slice of chocolate chip coffee cake.

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A cinnamon crumble topped chocolate chip coffee cake.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

A moist cake recipe with scattered chocolate chips throughout. This cake is also topped with a cinnamon crumb topping and even more chocolate chips!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter - at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs - at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk - or buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream - see notes
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Topping

  • 4 tablespoons cold butter - cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - can use more if you'd like

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish. Set aside. 
  • In a medium size bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium speed. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and milk. 
  • With mixer on low add half of the dry ingredients, then add the sour cream, and finish by adding the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. 
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared baking dish. Use a spatula to spread the batter into an even layer. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and then top with the additional ½ cup of chocolate chips. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.

Topping

  • Combine butter, cinnamon, flour, and brown sugar in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, mix the butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and resembles coarse sand. 

Notes

You can use Plain Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream if you’d like.
This cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcal (20%)Carbohydrates: 67g (22%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 8g (40%)Cholesterol: 57mg (19%)Sodium: 299mg (12%)Potassium: 143mg (4%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 45g (50%)Vitamin A: 316IU (6%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 97mg (10%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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