Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

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
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

For topping:
1 ½ cups mini chocolate chips
confectioners’ sugar

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

18 Responses

  1. That is so sweet that you send baked goods to your Grandma…I should start doing that! She has a killer sweet tooth but can’t bake much. It looks fabulous!

  2. That looks good, and that’s so sweet of you! That reminds me I need to call my grandma!

  3. How are you packaging everything for shipping? I love this idea but wouldn’t want things to get crushed-or worse, stale!

  4. Hi Katie,
    I try to use a box that fits my baked goods, plus some cushioning like bubble wrap, snugly. For the cookies, I packaged them in a large Ziploc freezer bag, with wax paper between the layers. With the muffins, I wrapped each one individually in plastic wrap. And for the loaf, I wrapped it tightly with plastic wrap and then in foil. Priority Mail has 2-day shipping for very reasonable rates. This is what I have used every time and Grandma says the things get there with no problem and taste great. Hope this helps!
    🙂 Annie

  5. That is such a lovely thing to do. If I’m ever a grandma I hope my grandchildren like me enough to do something similar! The cake looks brilliant.

  6. You are soo sweet! And this cake looks just wonderful!

  7. This so wonderful, your a good granddaughter.

  8. OMG, I’ve just looked through your WHOLE blog!! You have fabulous recipes. I’ve bookmarked like 10 i want to make!! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

  9. looks sooo good!!

  10. That really is a sweet thing to do! I love this crumb cake! I may have to add this to my baking list of things for my holiday gift baskets. Yum!

  11. This looks delicious! How exactly do you ship your food? I’m interested in doing the same but aren’t sure how to make sure they arrive safely.

  12. You make me drool every time I visit your blog! I have to little boys and their grandparents are 3 hours away, so that was an excellent idea! I can’t wait to make this cake 🙂

  13. That is so fun to mail off goodies! This recipe looks fantastic!

  14. I’m intrigued by the butterscotch/orange/chocolate angle. You’re so nice to mail stuff off to your grandma.

  15. This cake looks perfect! I would love a slice right now!

  16. This looks delicious!! I will have to give it a try sometime soon.

  17. this looks absolutely amazing. Defs adding it to my list of must try recipes! Thank you!

  18. […] usual banana nut muffins but remembered a recipe for Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake which Chelle & Annie made awhile back. Its been on my list of things to try but haven’t gotten around to it yet. […]

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