Chocolate Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

I think people fall into one of two categories with their feelings about birthdays.  Either they want the whole world to know about it (generally reserved for kids I think) or they want to avoid them like the plague and make sure no one knows when they are or how many times they’ve happened (almost everyone else I think).  Which category do you fall in?  I’m solidly in the birthday avoidance and silence group.  I recently had to bump that obnoxious age number again and as retaliation against the flow of time I am using that as an excuse to eat whatever I want.

If you know me even a little then you know that I love chocolate.  I even love it for breakfast and have been known to sneak some chocolate chips into the plain pancakes that my husband makes for me.     😉  I’m not going to be sneaky about it today… for my birthday breakfast I’m enjoying this coffee cake, loaded with chocolate and cinnamon flavors!

10Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Chocolate Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Recipe
(16 servings)

Ingredients for Chocolate Cinnamon Streusel:

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided per the directions

Ingredients for the Coffee Cake:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (equivalent to 1 and 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream

Directions for Chocolate Cinnamon Streusel:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dark brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
  2. Transfer 1 and 1/4 cups of the mixture to a smaller bowl and set it aside.
  3. Mix in the cold butter into the remaining mixture until its crumbly.
  4. Store the crumbly mixture in the freezer until you are ready to layer the coffee cake.

Directions for the Coffee Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and it set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix in the butter until it’s incorporated.
  5. Stir in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and mix until it’s smooth.
  6. Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
  7. Sprinkle half of the miniature chocolate chips on top of the cake batter.
  8. Sprinkle the dry chocolate cinnamon mixture (the part without the butter in it) over the top.
  9. Pour the remaining half of the cake batter on top.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining half of the miniature chocolate chips over the top.
  11. Sprinkle the top with the butter streusel mixture (from the freezer).
  12. Bake it in the preheated oven 27 to 32 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.

Store in an air tight container at room temperature or in a freezer friendly bag in the freezer.

I may not like birthdays, but I sure do love cakes.  Who needs a cake with candles at dessert time when you can have cake for breakfast?  This cake batter is thick so be patient as you spread it out in the baking pan.

02Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

I’m a perfectionist and that means that I weighed the cake batter to make sure the two halves were actually even.  You definitely don’t have to do that because it will come out equally delicious even if the layers are a bit uneven.  In fact, even with exactly divided cake batter, the magic weight of the other layers means the bottom won’t look as thick anyway.  I still feel better knowing I made it even though.     🙂

Keep building the layers.  It’s pretty much the most awesome lasagna ever.  Okay, no it’s not, but it has chocolate.     🙂

03Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Just look at that magnificent beauty!  I love seeing all the gorgeous layers.  The cocoa powder gives the center and top layers their dark color (and of course helps to make this breakfast treat chocolaty).

04Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

I’ve never understood why these kinds of cakes are called coffee cakes.  There is no coffee in it.  Perhaps it’s because it goes perfect with a cup of joe.  As my editor (husband) was looking over the post he just explained that is exactly why.  See?  You learn something new every day.     🙂

In true coffee cake style, the chocolate layers also have cinnamon incorporated into them.  Another new thing I learned is that I love cinnamon and chocolate together.  Not often combined, but they really should be.

09Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

I don’t know about you, but I love not having to wait for dessert time to indulge in this sweet treat.  Birthday girl rules apply until I say otherwise and this moist cake loaded up with adorable tiny chocolate chips is not against the rules for breakfast until it’s gone.

08Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

If I could enjoy this cake every morning then I’d celebrate my birthday every day.  Wait, no, I take that back!  I sure do love it.     🙂


5 Hats

Source: Bakingdom  (Updated January 17, 2022:  It has come to my attention that this source no longer exists.  I don’t have another way to link the recipe so I will continue to keep the link even though it is broken.  I still feel that it is the right thing to do continue to list it as the source since this is not my recipe.)

Here are some other tasty cake breakfast treats.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake


The Perfect Crumb Cake

05Crumb Cake_1024x768

Chocolate Crumb Cake

06=1Chocolate Crumb Cake


  1. I’m more like you. I don’t “hate” birthdays, but I prefer a nice quiet day. I have never been that, “It’s my birthday! Let’s all get together for dinner and celebrate!” Ugh, never. People are busy enough, haha. Since you don’t love birthdays, I’m just going to quietly whisper…{happy birthday}… *wink*. This coffee cake looks delicious. Love that you added chocolate : )

    1. Tina says:

      Haha, you’re too cute! Thanks so much Natalie. 🙂

  2. I’m pretty sure I fall into that last category along with ‘ya. 😉 But I’ll still say Happy Birthday and I hope you have an amazing day, Tina! And this coffee cake looks amazing! I love the little ripple of chocolate in middle!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Sarah! 🙂

  3. I like quiet birthdays too. It’s especially true as the numbers keep increasing. But I would love to eat this cake anytime. Chocolate and cinnamon – yum!

    1. Tina says:

      Same page! 🙂

  4. I’m with you on the chocolate thing, Chic Tina! I sometimes sneak a couple of squares into my oatmeal in the morning. And I’ve always wondered why it’s called coffee cake, too! I guess because you eat it with your coffee 😉 Oh, and the cake looks fabulous with all those lovely chocolaty layers! Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, “chic Tina”…love it! 🙂 You too have a great weekend. 🙂

  5. I always forget how much I love coffee cake! A coworker brought in amazing blueberry coffee cake this morning and I’ve been dreaming about that slice of heaven all day — chocolate and cinnamon definitely would’ve been an improvement! Sounds like I know what I’m doing tomorrow morning! Happy 22nd birthday 😉

    1. Tina says:

      22?! I might just love you for life. 🙂

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! What a perfect way to celebrate! This coffee cake looks amazing. Cinnamon and chocolate chips? All the best flavors! I am in the second camp, kind of. I don’t like to celebrate much with others, but I definitely like to celebrate with my husband (and lots of good food!).

    1. Tina says:

      I’m with ya! A nice dinner out with the hubby is totally fine in my book. 🙂 Please no singing waiters though. 😉

  7. Happy Birthday! This coffee cake looks like a great way to start your special day. I don’t like a fuss being made about birthdays either.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  8. Monica says:

    Happy birthday, Tina! I’m so glad I saw this because it totally makes me smile, as a fellow chocolate-lover. : ) I love the contrast in color and…well, the chocolate! What a lovely birthday breakfast. I’m with you on wanting a quiet birthday though. It’s weird because I don’t mind talking and joking about it but on the actual day, I want a very-low key day with lots of ice cream and chocolate. A coffee cake like this to start would be wonderful!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Monica! 🙂

  9. Oh that chocolate/cinnamon layer looks incredible! I would love this alongside a nice big cup of coffee. I tend not to like a lot of hoopla with birthdays, too. Isn’t it the most awkward thing when people are singing “Happy Birthday” to you? Like, where do you look? What do you do with your hands? Haha I’d much rather relax at home (and enjoy in some chocolate). 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Haha, totally!

  10. Happy happy birthday, Tina! This cake looks like the perfect start to your special day! Hope you had an awesome one and were spoiled to pieces. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  11. Happy birthday! This cake looks like the perfect birthday breakfast. Chocolate and cinnamon? That is seriously one of the best combinations 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Josefine! 🙂

  12. We definitely celebrate the kids birthdays. But my husband and I are much more low-key. We have a cake and give a gift but never a party. I kind of hate to think of my age and some times actually forget how old I am. Haha Now, this cake looks unforgettable. I love the chocolate cinnamon combination!

    1. Tina says:

      I actually did forget my age this year! And so it begins. 😉 Thank goodness for breakfast cake! 🙂

  13. Mary Frances says:

    Happy happy Birthday!!! Tina, you sure know how to celebrate! This coffee cake looks so buttery and cinnamon-y. And the chocolate addition is perfect. Hope you had a fantastic birthday!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  14. cakewhiz says:

    Happy birthday tina! We are both February babies…YAY! I just celebrated mine a few days ago too but I sure wish I had your cake instead of my boring chocolate cake 😉 lol.

    1. Tina says:

      That’s so cool…Happy belated birthday!!

  15. Happy Birthday Tina! This streusel cinnamon chocolate looks divine. All it needs is a few candles. Like 21 candles, right? Wishing you a super weekend. Take Care, BAM

    1. Tina says:

      Haha, I’ll have to remember birthday candles for my breakfast cake next year! Yup, 21. 😉
      Thank you my dear friend! 🙂

  16. Streusel and coffee: irresistible combo! Hope you had a nice birthday… I’m sure you enjoyed your breakfast cake 🙂
    I may fall in the third category… people that say “I don’t like to celebrate my birthday” and then if consequently nothing really happens they feel a bit disappointed…. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Ooh, a 3rd category that I never thought of…maybe you need a code like when you say “I don’t want to celebrate” you must then wink 7 times so that everyone knows you really don’t mean it. 🙂

  17. Happy birthday!!!!! Let it be known I ate chocolate with breakfast every single day this week. In your honor of course 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, that’s awesome! You’re a true friend. 🙂

  18. Ashley says:

    Happy happy birthday! This coffee cake sounds like the perfect way to start the day celebrating : ) I can never say no to these types of cake – this looks so good!! And with some chocolate involved…

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much for your well wishes! 🙂

  19. That layer in the middle is to die for! This is the perfect brunch!

    1. Tina says:

      Yes and yes! 🙂

  20. Birthdays are quiet over here, especially as I cross a certain decade landmark next year. There will be lots of chocolate though in my quite celebration. This cake looks amazing!! PS: Happy belated birthday 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Chocolate makes everything better! 🙂

  21. OMG that layer of melty chocolate in the middle…I die….

    1. Tina says:

      Well this is a heavenly treat. 😉

  22. Jess says:

    Chocolate cinnamon cake sounds amazing, Tina! I would love a slice of that for breakfast- looks so amazing! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Sending you a slice as a party favor! 😉

  23. Happy birthday! This coffee cake looks like the perfect way to celebrate! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  24. Joanne says:

    Happy birthday!! I’m not really into big birthday to-dos, either. As long as I get to eat something yummy, then I’m happy! This coffee cake, for instance, would make me QUITE happy.

    1. Tina says:

      Here here! 🙂

  25. Chocolate + cinnamon is one of my most favorite combos ever. Ever! This coffee cakes looks incredible. Talk about the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, Tina! I hope you had the best day doing all the things you love and spending it with all the people you love. 🙂

    And chocolate chips in pancakes? That’s the best! I always make my husband put them in for me. I eat them with only butter–no syrup–and they’re like a giant, puffy chocolate chip cookies. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you kindly for your well wishes. 🙂 Chocolate chip pancakes rule!

  26. Visiting from Saturday Night Fever, this cake combines both my love of chocolate and cinnamon what a yummy combination. I’d love for you to link up at Sweet and Savoury Sundays, stop by and link up now 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Link parties are fun and I’ll definitely stop by! 🙂

  27. Happy Birthday Tina! And this coffee cake looks absolutely incredible! It might not be my birthday for a while still, but can I still make this birthday coffee cake?!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Chris! It can be your happy un-birthday cake! 😉

  28. I fall into the first category, but nobody ever remembers my birthday… so I always have a quiet one with no cake *sighs*. This year I’ll make sure I make myself the best-est cake ever you’ll see. And I hope it looks as wonderful as this one. What a combo!! xx

    1. Tina says:

      That makes me sad. 🙁 Please make sure to blog about birthday when it comes up so we can all celebrate you. 🙂

  29. Kelly says:

    Wow, I wish I had a piece of this right now! This looks so delicious!!

    1. Tina says:

      I wish I had some leftovers to send you! My family gobbled these up like vaulters. 🙂

  30. This looks like the perfect coffee cake to feed a crowd! Love it, TIna….thanks for sharing at SNF!

    1. Tina says:

      Oh yes, my family devored it! Thanks for stopping by! I always love being apart of SNF link parties. 🙂

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