Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

When I was little, my Mom would host coffee hour for her friends and fellow mothers. It was basically playgroup.  To be honest, I remember wanting to have coffee and chat with the adults almost as much as play with my friends. Barbies, “house,” and “teacher” were awesome, but those were things my friends and I would do during normal playdates. Coffee hour meant you were surrounded by multiple grown-ups at the same time. You could have a large, attentive audience for your hot-off-the-press dance choreography. You could eavesdrop on their conversations ;) Coffee hour also meant Mom would make … coffee cake.

I really do love coffee cake. There aren’t many foods that are as comforting as a big slice of warm breakfast cake (think about it … breakfast cake, cake for breakfast!). I’m a huge fan of the traditional NY-style crumb cake (thank you Grandma for always having Entenmann’s on hand). Or any kind that has cinnamon.

I was hesitant about the chocolate chips in this recipe. As a coffee cake traditionalist, my first instinct was to leave them out.

But I’m glad I ignored myself, and trusted in Deb and my growing appreciation for the pairing of chocolate and cinnamon. This coffee cake is mega-good!

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake – Smitten Kitchen


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 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 (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt

Filling and Topping

  • 2 cups or 12 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate bars
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. If not nonstick coated, cover the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Set pan aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Sift 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, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold into batter.

In a small dish, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for filling and topping.

Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan. 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. With the palm of your hand, ever-so-gently press the chocolate chips a bit into the batter. No need to submerge them, you just want to make sure they adhere a bit.

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

Yield – 8-12 servings

Note – I served this for a brunch this summer and had a couple of people (including the husband) say that they didn’t like the chocolate chips in their coffee cake.  Meanwhile, myself and another more worldly friend, consumed 3 slices each.  Just a warning :P


3 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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