Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Chocolate Swirl

As you can probably tell from my other dessert posts, I’m a die hard chocolate fan, but also love a good coffee cake. How can you complain about a sweet that you can eat for breakfast OR dessert? And because I do love chocolate so much, this has a touch of cocoa powder that swirls through this yummy sour cream cake.

I’ve made this a few times for family gatherings – once when I met John’s sister Lauren for the first time and once when John and I went to my parents for an early Easter dinner. It makes a lot, so it’s perfect for serving a big group.

Now, this isn’t your typical coffee cake as the crumb topping is heavily nut based vs. just having a ton of sugar on top. I love it because it adds a nice flavor and texture – a bit more of a rustic look.

So bake this one up next time you’re heading to a party or hosting a brunch – big crowd pleaser.



Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Chocolate Swirl
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 15 servings
  • Crumb topping:
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • Cinnamon and chocolate swirl:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cake:
  • 3½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter cut into chunks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  1. Begin with the crumb topping, adding the flour, salt, sugar and nuts into a food processor and pulse for about 10-15 seconds until combined and nuts are finely chopped
  2. Add butter and pulse until incorporated (it will look like the top image of this post)
  3. Cover and place in the refrigerator
  4. Then begin the cinnamon and chocolate swirl by adding the sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon into a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside
  5. Onto the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter (cover the bottom of the pan and the sides)
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside
  7. In a large bowl, add the butter and mix on low-medium speed until it's a smooth consistency
  8. Scrap down bowl and add the sugar
  9. Beat until mixture is smooth
  10. Add eggs one a time, beating until combined
  11. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until incorporated
  12. Add the flour mixture in thirds, scraping down the bowl after each addition (make sure not to over beat!)
  13. Take your pan and add ⅓ of the cake mixture, using a spatula to spread the mixture out evenly across the pan
  14. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon and chocolate mixture evenly over the top
  15. Take half of the remaining cake batter and spread over the top (be gentle so you don't disturb the cinnamon chocolate layer too much - use your hand if you have to!)
  16. Top that layer with the remaining cinnamon chocolate mixture and layer on top the rest of the cake batter
  17. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top
  18. Bake on the center rack of the oven, rotating once 30 minutes in, for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (warning - this will rise!)
  19. Let cool completely before serving


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