Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cinnamon-Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cinnamon-Chocolate Coffee Cake

It’s 12 o’clock at night, and here I stand in the dark over the kitchen sink eating hunks of this Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake. Suddenly the lights flick on, and my son Michael looks at me in surprise or horror, I’m not sure which one and asks “Mom, what in the world are you doing?” Oh, the shame I felt. Yes, caught in the act of scarfing down light and airy cake laced with nuts, chocolate and cinnamon. Since having this cake at my sister-in-law’s house I’ve been obsessed with it, so much so that my family has considered planning an intervention. Okay, I’ll try and get a hold of myself.

As you can see from the picture below, you need not restrict yourself to baking this in a 10-inch tube pan. If you’re feeling wild and crazy, you might want to try baking this cake in mini loaf pans or in mini bundt pans. The choice is up to you. Either way I think you’re gonna love this cake as much as I do. I just hope that if you do get up in the middle of the night to eat it over the kitchen sink, that no one catches you. It’s very embarrassing. Trust me.

Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

From My Sister-In-Law “Wanda”

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan by melting some butter and using a pastry brush, lightly coat the entire pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Add the vanilla extract. Alternately, add the flour mixture and the sour cream mixing on medium-low speed until ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Spoon 1/2 the mixture into the greased 10-inch tube pan. Sprinkle half the topping mixture over the batter being careful not to touch the edge of the batter. Next, spoon the remaining batter over and sprinkle the remaining topping over the cake.
  5. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove from pan to finish cooling on a rack.
Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Mama’s Tips:

  • Because most ovens have “hot spots”, I rotate my cakes half-way through baking so that the cake will bake evenly.
  • Be careful not to overmix your batter as it will result in a dense cake. Mix on medium-low speed and mix just until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • For cakes, butter and eggs should be room temperature. I usually take mine out about 2 hours before baking. However, if you cut your butter into small chunks it will warm up faster. To bring eggs to room temp quicker, place them in a bowl of warm water…that will do the trick.
  • For baking purposes, use the best pure vanilla extract you can afford. Avoid using anything with artificial flavors.
Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake

Recipe: Easy

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

I come from a long line of coffee cake eaters. In fact, the family motto is” we never met a coffee cake we didn’t like”. Our family’s coat-of-arms is a cheese Danish and a cup of coffee. So you get my drift, right. We like coffee cake, so much so that I can’t bake ’em as fast as they eat ’em. But that’s okay, it keeps me on my toes.

This Apple Streusel Coffee Cake is a particular family favorite. Why, because it’s all apple-y, and streusel-y, and cinnamon-y, and nut-y. I can think of no better combination of flavors. Well, maybe coconut and bananas, but that will be another blog posting.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Adapted from Gale Gand’s Brunch!

The Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored, and chopped (I like to use a tart Granny Smith apple)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a pastry brush and melted butter, grease an 8-inch baking dish.
  2. For the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or I used an electric hand-mixer) beat the egg and then mix in the milk and melted butter.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. Add the apples and walnuts to the mixture and pour into the baking dish.
  3. To make the streusel topping, mix the sugar, flour, cold butter and cinnamon in a medium bowl by pinching them together with your fingers until combined. Spoon the mixture over the top of the batter.
  4. Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden, and when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan, and then cut into squares.

Recipe: Easy


Mama’s Tips:

Not all apples fare well when added to baked goods. The varieties that I find work well are; Granny Smith, Fuji, Rome Beauty, Gala and Honeycrisp. I like to use a combination of these apples instead of just using one kind.


Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Streusel Coffe Cake

Wow, what a week it’s been. I think this was the first time in two decades I’ve been all alone in the house for an entire week. Imagine that folks. The husband was away on business in New York, son #1 was working and son #2 is away at school.  I suppose  this was my golden opportunity to do all those things a gal likes to do when there’s no one else to attend to but yourself. So, woo hoo! yippee! party time…okay, so maybe not. Did I squander my week of being unencumbered, should I just have let it rip?

Well, I let it rip okay. I spent the week on a non-stop bake fest. A real bender if you will.  Seven days of cookies, cakes and breads. I finally had to say to myself, “girlfriend, just step away from the oven”. I ended my maniacal bake-a-thon with this Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake.  What with autumn just around the corner it seemed so appropriate. So I’ve decided to give the KitchenAid a rest and return to normal activity.

Oh come on people, don’t judge me.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

From Williams-Sonoma


For the streusel:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (see note below)

For the batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan with 3-inch sides.
  2. To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Combine the butter using 2 table knives or a pastry cutter, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the pecans. Set aside.
  3. To make the batter, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix with the spatula. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be quite thick.
  4. Using a small off-set spatula, spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. With a small off-set spatula, lightly spread  the remaining batter over the streusel spreading the thick batter as best you can. Top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the pan and slide the cake onto a cooling rack.
  5. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Cut into thick wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch coffee cake.

Mama’s Tips:

To toast your pecans:  Place them in a small frying pan over medium heat tossing constantly until fragrant.

Recipe: Easy

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Tell me, do people still welcome a new neighbor with a homemade pie or cake anymore. Would you eat baked goods brought to your front door by a perfect stranger, or would you politely smile and accept it, and flush it down the garbage disposal when they left? I pondered that thought for awhile, but decided what the heck, I’m gonna bring these new folks a cake whether they like it or not. I mean, I was in the mood to bake and all, and it is the height of berry season. So, why not.

It’s always a bit unnerving walking up to someone’s front door uninvited, but I was however, bearing gifts. Would they be happy, would they feel welcomed.  When the woman neighbor opened her front door, I think at first she thought I was selling something, cakes probably. But when I explained who I was and my reason for holding said blueberry crumb cake, she seemed quite pleased. After a quick chat I departed without said cake, and it was what we call in the business a “kumbaya” moment. Yes, good feelings all around. I’m telling you, you can never go wrong with cake, it’s a proven crowd pleaser.

Blueberries are gorgeous now. Go bake your neighbor a cake, even if they’ve lived next-door for ten years. It’ll make you feel good!

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Barefoot Contessa at Home

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (3/4 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
  2. For the streusel: combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
  3. For the cake: Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter just until incorporated. Be sure not to over mix. Gently fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula.
  5. Spoon the batter in the prepared pan. I use an offset spatula to spread it evenly in the pan.
  6. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. 
  7. Cool completely and serve with powdered sugar sifted on top.

Mama’s Tips:

  • Make sure you pick through your blueberries before using, and pull off stems and discard any moldy or mushy berries. They can be a bummer.
  • Let your butter and eggs sit out overnight for best results.
  • Use a non-stick pan for the cake (if you’ve got one) and make sure you butter and flour it so the cake will easily exit the pan.

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Recipe: Easy

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chips & Pecans

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

You’ve gotta love the Southern California winters.  It’s two days before New Year’s and Jimi (my doggie) and I are strolling around the neighborhood in summer clothing. Well, I was the one wearing the summer clothing, but it was hard to believe it was 73 degrees in the dead of winter.  Every New Year’s for about the last ten years, we’ve gone to my friend Cindy’s house to celebrate with a fun group of people. Gone are my  disco days of the 70’s of ringing in the New Year at some loud nightclub until 3 am. Now I’m home in bed by 12:15, and I kind of like it that way. Yeah, I’m getting old.

Anyway, I was asked to bring a dessert to this gathering and I decided I would bring this sour cream coffee cake. If you’re looking for something to bring to your New Year’s gathering, this cake is a winner. It’s easy, and I never met anyone who didn’t like it.

To all my friends who have followed this blog for the past year, I thank you for reading, I hope I’ve entertained you, and I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Sour Cream coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chips & Pecans

Adapted from Heirloom Bakery & Cafe


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, chocolate chips, pecans and butter, set aside. Make sure butter is cooled, so it does not melt the chocolate chips.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until incorporated, then beat in the sour cream and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the butter and egg mixture. Continue folding until no lumps remain.
  5. Spray a 9-inch baking pan, and spoon half the batter into the pan, then layer with half the topping. Layer with the remaining batter, and remaining topping. Bake until the cake is puffed and golden and when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Check this out and many other recipes at: Crumbs & Chaos
Recipe: Easy

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

This dessert is as easy as pie…uh, I mean cake. Everyone should have a basic coffee cake recipe in their repertoire. This one is simple, and the results are tasty. I love the contrast of the tart berries and the sweetness of the streusel topping. You can actually substitute other kinds of fruit for the raspberries, such as blueberries or peaches.

This week I got invited to a potluck brunch and I’m going to bring this cake. It makes a really nice presentation in a pretty baking dish. Hopefully I won’t pick off all the streusel topping before I get there. I do that sometimes.

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

From Breads Quick & Fancy

  • 2 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1 c fresh or frozen raspberries

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all cake ingredients except raspberries. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed ( 1 to 2 minutes). By hand, gently fold in respberries. Batter will be thick. Spread into greased and floured 9-inch square baking pan. In a small bowl stir together all topping ingredients except butter. Cut in butter until crumbly; sprinkle over batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Yields 9 squares

Recipe: EASY

Too Big To Fail

No failing grade here, I give this Sour Cream Coffee Cake a big, fat A+. You’ll never guess where this recipe came from. I got the recipe out of the Los Angeles Times, and they got it from the LAUSD. That’s right, the Los Angeles Unified School District. Can you imagine. I always think of school cafeteria food as being inedible, but this is actually one of my all-time favorite cake recipes. This cake has been served in Los Angeles school cafeterias since 1959. With all the problems we have with the schools here in Los Angeles, at least they have good cake, right?

To me this is the ultimate comfort food. A big slice and a hot cup of tea! The cake is light and fluffy, but very moist because of the sour cream. And then, the double whammy of the nuts and brown sugar through the middle of the cake and on top. Yeah, I know, who gets this excited about cake.

However, this is a great cake to serve for a brunch because it’s not overly sweet. I also like to bring it to parties when I’m asked to bring a dessert. It’s usually the one cake that always disappears.



1959 LAUSD Sour Cream Coffee Cake

From the Los Angeles Times

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream


1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup butter

Mix together flour, sugar, salt and nuts.  Add butter in small pieces. Rub in by hand until mixture is crumbly. Do not overmix.

All ingredients should be room temperature. In a bowl mix together flours, baking soda and baking powder. In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until flour is blended. Blend in sour cream, then remaining dry ingredients.

Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Spread half of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping and spread with remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.

Perfect to bring to a brunch