Chocolate chip and sour cream coffee cake

Chocolate chip and sour cream coffee cake

I’ve been making this cake for years now, ever since I first saw it on the world’s most famous food blog, Smitten Kitchen, in 2006. It is Deb Perelman’s mother’s recipe and Deb claims it may be one of the main reasons her husband married her. This, I can believe, because this cake is worth marrying into a family for.

Chocolate chip and sour cream coffee cake

This recipe makes the most enormous amount of cake. I have thought over the years that it might be worth halving the recipe but then I thought, ‘no’, this is a cake that works best as a party cake and I only make it for serious cake eating occasions, it is not a great keeping cake and should be eaten within about two or three days of baking and is absolutely at its best eaten on the day it is baked.

Chocolate chip and sour cream coffee cake in tin

You could, I supposed, experiment with the flavors in this recipe, add some nuts, substitute some fruit or jam for the chocolate, but it would take away some of the universal appeal of it. This is one of my family’s favorites and I baked this particular cake for my sister and nephew’s birthday. I was recovering from a massive migraine headache when I made it and forgot to add about half a cup of flour. There were some in my family who said this made it even better than usual, although because the batter wasn’t as stiff, it probably caused the chocolate chips to sink more. As I was recovering from a migraine, I didn’t get to taste any of its exceptional qualities, so I’ve kept the original three cups of flour in the recipe below, until further trials.

Chocolate chip and sour cream coffee cake

This is a cake for a crowd, a real feasting cake, it may even be a cake someone will marry you for.

Chocolate chip and sour cream coffee cake

Note on the recipe: I’ve adapted this recipe to Australian metric measurements but if you want to use American measurements, the original recipe is here. The original recipe also calls for a massive amount chocolate chips (2 cups or 450 grams). I usually just use a a 375 gram packet of chocolate chips and find it chocolate-y enough. Over the years, I’ve used both dark and milk chocolate chips and, sometimes, a combination of both, and they’ve all worked well.

Chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

  • 125 grams unsalted butter cut into pieces at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 500 grams sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarb soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt

Filling and topping

  • 1½ cups (375grams chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C conventional, or 160°C fan-forced.
  2. Grease and line the bottom of  a 22 cm x 30 cm x 5cm baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1½ cups of sugar, add vanilla and egg yolks and beat until creamy.
  4. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb soda in another bowl. Add sour cream and dry ingredients in alternative batches until well mixed. The batter should be quite thick.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold through batter.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of sugar and cinnamon for topping.
  7. Spread half the cake batter over the bottom of the pan, sprinkle over half the cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips. Then dollop rest of batter over and spread evenly the filling.
  8. Cover the top of cake with the cinnamon sugar, then chocolate chips, and gently press the chocolate chips into the cake batter until they stick to the top.
  9. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Cool and cut in pan.


  1. Wow, that’s a delicious looking cake! I can see why your family loves it so much!

  2. Loved making this cake with my daughter and was also delicious. Ate way too much with cups of tea. Has a nice sugary crust with fluffy cake and then the chocolate, lovely, yum. Will add to my cake repertoire, thankyou!

    • It is hard to stop eating it – which is why I generally only make it for a crowd, that way although you never feel like you get quite enough at least you don’t feel you’ve eaten too much.

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