Chocolate Ripple Coffee Cake

This is one seriously impressive coffee cake. It bakes up super tall, the streusel topping is gorgeous, and cut slices reveal a cinnamon-chocolate-pecan swirl that runs throughout the ultra-moist, buttery cake. Is your mouth watering yet??

There are quite a few steps here, but this cake is honestly very easy to put together. I baked one up this past weekend for Easter brunch, and it was a big hit - I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

Chocolate Ripple Coffee Cake

Yield:16 servings


  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (chips are just fine)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3 oz (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 11 1/4 oz (3 cups) sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 oz (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11 1/2 oz (1 2/3 cups) superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 oz (2 cups) sour cream

Preheat Oven & Prepare Pan

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (325F is using a dark, nonstick pan).
  2. Generously grease a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable shortening (Crisco).

Prepare Filling

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until chocolate is finely chopped, about 12-14 pulses. Set aside.

Prepare Streusel

  1. Melt butter, and allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, pecans, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Pour butter over mixture, and stir until evenly moistened and crumbly. Set aside.

Prepare Cake

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, and cream until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, blending completely before adding the next. 
  5. Beat in vanilla extract.
  6. On low speed, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Assemble Cake

  1. Spoon about 2 cups of batter into prepared pan. Smooth evenly with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup filling over the batter.
  3. Cover the filling with another 2 cups of batter, dropping dollops of batter around the pan, and spread evenly over filling.
  4. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup filling over the batter, and cover with another 2 cups of batter.
  5. Sprinkle on another 1/2 cup filling, and cover with the remaining batter (you'll have four layers of batter, and three layers of filling, with an additional 1/2 cup filling for the top of the cake).
  6. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the batter, and then sprinkle on the remaining chocolate filling. Press the toppings lightly into the cake.


  1. Bake on center rack in oven for 70-75 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  2. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for at least 1 hour before removing from pan.


Run a knife around the edge of the pan, as well as the center cone. To remove from the pan without losing all of the streusel, cover the top of the cake with plastic wrap or foil. Poke a hole into the middle where the hole in the pan is. Press plastic or foil gently into the top of the cake. Invert, remove cake from pan, and flip over.

Cake will keep for up to 5 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Source: Fine Cooking Breakfast & Brunch, Spring 2013

Print Recipe


Dina said...

very pretty!

Kristen said...

Thank you, @Dina! I LOVE how tall this cake bakes up - it's really quite impressive, especially when placed on the table on a pretty stand for breakfast or brunch!