In my continuing efforts to bake things for others, I have been mailing various baked goods to my grandma every few weeks. She loves to cook and bake herself, but she has awful arthritis that prevents her from being very active, so she doesn’t spend nearly as much time in the kitchen as she would like. I send her a package of goodies, as well as a card and some recent pictures of our family since we don’t see her often. She really loves this and I love being able to make her so happy. If you have a grandparent you don’t see often, do this for them! I guarantee you will make their day. First I sent her iced pumpkin raisin cookies, then lemon poppy seed muffins, and now this. Ever since Chelle suggested we try making this cake together, I was all for it. It looked beautiful and sounded delicious, and I realized it would probably also ship well. Perfect!
I made two loaves, one to send to Grandma and one to keep here at home. We really enjoyed this. I especially love the crumb topping. During the long baking time, it ends up tasting a lot like butterscotch. Yum! Next time I make this I might omit the orange zest. I think orange zest is great and I like the flavor it provides, but it seemed a bit out of place in this cake. If you are a big fan of the orange-chocolate combo, you might feel differently. Also, the amount of crumb topping might seem like a lot when you are preparing the cake, but go ahead and add it all. You will be glad you did – it’s the best part!
Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
Yield: 2 loaves
For the crumb topping:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
1 ½ cups cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cake:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ cups mini chocolate chips
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tbsp. orange zest (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease two 9×5” loaf pans.
To make the topping, thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Drop in chunks of butter. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla extract over the top, and knead into the mixture using your fingertips, until moist, clumpy lumps form. Do not overmix.
To make the batter, sift the plain flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredient mixture. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in orange zest, if using. Mix in sugar in three additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Alternately add in the dry ingredient mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Stir in chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans. Spread evenly and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake batter, making sure that the whole surface is covered. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The baked cake should pull slightly away from the sides of the pan.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top while cake is still warm. Allow to cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before slicing and serving.
Source: adapted from Piggy’s Cooking Journal