Chocolate Crumb Cake

Oh yea, two of my favorite things combined into one fabulous dish, chocolate and crumb topping!  How can you go wrong…you simply can’t.  🙂

My Perfect Crumb Cake came out so amazing so I wanted to experiment with how I could incorporate chocolate into that traditional crumb cake recipe.  This chocolate crumb cake came out a-maze-ing!  Can you picture me singing that to you?  Hopefully not because I’m not the greatest singer.  Lol.  The chocolate cake layer is dense, moist, and rich and it’s covered with a layer of cinnamon and sugary crumb topping and miniature chocolate chips.  If you’re saying “oh my!” then you’d be right!

06=1Chocolate Crumb Cake

Chocolate Crumb Cake Recipe
(9 inch round pan, about 8 servings)


For crumb topping:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (equivalent to 1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For cake:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • crumb topping, see ingredients above
  • sprinkling of miniature chocolate chips

For Crumb Topping:

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the white sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter.
  3. Add the flour and stir until combined.  This works best while the butter is still hot.
  4. Set the mixture aside to cool, at least 10-15 minutes.  (You have plenty of time while you work on the cake layer.)
For Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 inch round pan and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add in the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract, and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  5. Stir in the boiling water last. The batter will be thin.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased pan.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Take out the cake, keeping in mind it’s only partially cooked.
  9. Using your fingers, break the crumb topping into chunks and try to form small balls with it that are about 1/2 inch in size (like plump blueberries) and drop them over the cake batter (do not mix them into the batter).  The crumbs do not have to be uniform in size.
  10. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  11. Let it cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle miniature chocolate chips over the top of the crumb topping.
  12. Let the crumb cake rest for about an hour before cutting into it.

Store it at room temperature or wrap it in tin foil, place in a zip lock bag and store in the freezer.


I start with making the crumb topping first because it has to rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes.  That resting time is the time I take to make the cake layer.

01Chocolate Crumb Cake

This homemade chocolate cake is as easy to make as a box mix, but I think this tastes better!  It’s important to note that the batter will look thin.  I was skeptical when I first made it, but it came out amazing.

03Chocolate Crumb Cake

It’s important that you do not layer the crumbs on the cake batter yet because since the batter is so thin they will sink (trust me, I tried).  Bake the chocolate cake layer for only 20 minutes.  Then take it out of the oven and adorn it with the beautiful crumbs.  Don’t worry, the cake layer will not be cooked all the way, but now when you add the crumbs, they’ll stay happily on top.

04Chocolate Crumb Cake

To make the crumb topping, use your fingers, break the crumb mixture into chunks and try to form small balls.  Place the cake back in the oven and bake it until it’s done (about 20 additional minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean).

05Chocolate Crumb Cake

Like with all the cakes that I bake, I let it rest for a bit before I cut into it so that it holds it form when it comes time to slice it up.  I know, this part was hard for me too!  My empty dish is anxiously awaiting a slice of heaven.

07Chocolate Crumb Cake

I don’t know which layer I love more.  The delicious sugary and cinnamon crumbs (or the sheer crazy amount of them).  Or the decadent layer of sweet chocolate cake.  I call it a tie because both layers together make this crumb cake freaking amazing!

08Chocolate Crumb Cake

I love all of the different textures going on here.  The chocolate layer is so fudgy and moist, which is a lovely contrast to its thick crumb coating.

09Chocolate Crumb Cake

Can we talk about how sweet this creation is?  The sweet chocolate from the cake layer with the cinnamon and sugary are an amazing combination of flavors.  Cinnamon is rather famous as a great ingredient to go with chocolate goodies and this one is no exception.

10Chocolate Crumb Cake

If you’re longing for that light vanilla delicious crumb cake then the Perfect Crumb Cake is what you’re going for.  This chocolate crumb cake is heavier and sweeter.  While this is technically a breakfast goodie, I can’t help but to be reminded of Bill Cosby’s Chocolate Cake for Breakfast skit.

11Chocolate Crumb Cake

I love crumb cakes.  Period.  In fact, you will likely see other crumb cake recipes from me.  If I had to pick a favorite so far, I’d still say the Perfect Crumb Cake.  It’s hard to go wrong with perfection (and there is a reason I named it that).     😉




Crumb Topping Source:  What Megan’s Making
Cake Adapted From: All Recipes

Chocolate Crumb Cake Recipe: 
Here’s that delicious Perfect Crumb Cake I mentioned earlier!
05Crumb Cake_1024x768
Other fabulous breakfast goodies:
08Raspberry Cheese Danish


  1. Looks amazing Tina! I just love that crumb topping. Pinning!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much for pinning, Anne. 🙂 This crumb topping is one of the best things on earth!

  2. You did such a great job on this cake, the top is perfect! I want to eat about 5 slices of this!

    1. Tina says:

      You’re so sweet! Thank you. 🙂

  3. Ashley says:

    Oh goodness gracious this sounds amazing. I LOVE crumb cake but with chocolate? Sign me up. I want a big slice for breakfast right now! Too bad I’ll have to settle for some toast : )

    1. Tina says:

      Toast…lol. I know the feeling. This crumb cake was a treat so now I’m back to my yogurt for breakfast.

  4. Goodness sakes, that looks beyond delicious! Wow, I’ve not seen something like this, but boy do I want the whole thing now! Thumbs up, Tina, this is a gorgeous cake! Pinned!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

  5. marcie says:

    “Oh my!” definitely came out of my mouth when I saw this cake. It looks so scrumptious! I love the layered look — I’m such a sucker for that — and that crumb topping looks divine. Pinning!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much Marcie! I’m obsessed with these big crumbs. So so good. 🙂

  6. Wow, this crumb cake looks sooo delicious! I love how the crumb layer to cake ratio is like 1:1. That is so how it should be. <3
    Pinning this! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Absolutely agree! Equal crumb to cake for sure. Thanks so much for pinning! 🙂

  7. What a fun recipe! It’s almost like a cookie and a cake mixed together. YUM! Pinned!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much for pinning! It’s simply amazing. 🙂

  8. Regina says:

    Oh yummy! I fell in love with fruity crumb cakes this summer but this chocolate version looks absolutely drool inducing too!

    1. Tina says:

      Lol, that’s awesome. I’m definitely going to try a fruity crumb cake…sounds delish. 🙂

  9. Liz says:

    I love, love the idea of a chocolate crumb cake! Delicious twist on a classic!!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much Liz! 🙂

  10. I could eat one big slice of this for sure!! And when I say one, I really mean three!!!! 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Lol! Everyone did go back for seconds for breakfast the morning I served this crumb cake.
      Hope you’re having a great weekend. 🙂

  11. Dina says:

    i love the way you did the crumb topping. it looks amazing. the whole thing sounds great.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I’m obsessed with crumb topping…I could eat it by itself. 🙂

  12. I am a big fan of crumb cakes. I love the crumb topping, there is just something about it that is so… mmmmm. And this cake? Wow. I lovee that it has a darker bottom too. Great idea. Now I want some! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Kammie! I adore crumb topping so I’m already lining up my next recipe that involves these big crumbs. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  13. O….M….G. Yes, I can hear this singing to meee!!

    So much goodnesssss

    1. Tina says:

      Lol…that’s awesome! Thanks. 🙂

  14. This looks sooo good! I am going to make it for the game night some girlfriends and I are having next weekend.

    1. Tina says:

      Sweet! Let me know what you think. I’m head over heels for this crumb cake and I hope you love it just as much as I do. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

  15. That looks delicious, especially the darker layer. Yum! Visiting from Marvelous Monday’s.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂 Have a happy Monday!

  16. This. Looks. So. Amazing.
    That crumb topping is calling my name, I have to make this cake asap 😀

    1. Tina says:

      Crumb cakes are my absolute favorite breakfast cake! I’m obsessed with these big crumbs. Let me know if you end up making it. 🙂

  17. Thanks for linking up to MM! This looks awesome!

    1. Tina says:

      I look forward to your Marvelous Mondays! It’s fun seeing so many great ideas in one link party and I love sharing my favorite ideas too. 🙂
      Thanks you for stopping by. 🙂

  18. I am so sad to say – and I mean really, really sad – that I have never had a crumb cake. This must be remedied immediately, and I think chocolate is definitely in order for my first one! Thank you for the role you are playing in righting this wrong in my life.
    Forever grateful!

    1. Tina says:

      I’d have to say that I’m kind of addicted to crumb cakes. I always look at every cake and muffin recipe and ask myself “Can I add big crumbs to that?” Lol. I’m sure you’ll be seeing future crumb cake recipes here. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  19. Hayley says:

    This looks amazing. Dumb question: how do you get it out of the pan after the crumb topping is on it?

    1. Tina says:

      Not a dumb question at all! You can line the pan with tin foil and lift it out with the overhang from the tin foil. If I wasn’t taking pictures of it for my blog, I would have skipped the tin foil and gone after it with a fork and knife right out of the pan. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

  20. Melissa says:

    Has anyone made this with success? I just followed the recipe perfectly and when I put the crumbs on top of the cake after 20 minutes about 80% of them sunk right into the batter. What a waste of time and ingredients and now I have nothing to bring to the party I’m going to tomorrow. It should have been more like 30 minutes in the oven before the crumbs go on, not 20

    1. Melissa says:

      Update: I posted my comment before the cake had come out of the oven. When it was done, there were some crumbs left on top that actually formed a nice looking marble pattern. I brought the cake to the party and served it and everyone really loved it, despite the fact that it looked nothing like it was supposed to (but they didn’t know that!). The one thing I do have to say is that the cake took about 15 minutes longer to bake than your instructions said. After all this, there is a good chance I will make this cake again but I will have to decide if I want the crumbs on top or inside!

      1. Tina says:

        Hi Melissa. I’m sorry to hear that not all the crumbs stayed on top. 🙁 I know others have made it and didn’t have the same issues. Everyone’s oven is different and it does sound like you needed more baking time before you added the crumbs. I’ll keep that in mind when I make this again or another similar cake to note in the directions that one might need more time than me. I appreciate you giving me this feedback. I like the idea of marble crumbs though (even if that was not the goal). 🙂 At least everyone loved it!

  21. Lynda says:

    This is a serious contender for me to prepare for my daughter’s birthday next month (she’s an adult, so don’t picture butterflies and unicorns 😉). I don’t see in the recipe if I should sprinkle the mini chocolate chips with the crumb before the “second” baking? Or do I wait ‘til the entire baking is completed? This looks so yummy!

    1. Tina says:

      Hi Lynda! Once the entire baking is completed I let it cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle miniature chocolate chips over the top of the crumb topping.
      I hope our daughter loves this cake as much as I do!

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