Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Recipe

Guido Pedrelli
Guido Pedrelli
Italian Cuisine Expert and Food Blogger
Guido Pedrelli
Guido Pedrelli, the mastermind behind Nonna Box, has honed his culinary expertise for decades, inspired by family feasts in Emilia-Romagna. Mentored by his restaurateur nonna, he mastered Italian classics and furthered his skills with professional culinary studies in desserts and gelato making from Mec3. Today, he shares this rich legacy and authentic recipes through Nonna Box.
Expertise: Italian cuisine, Pasta, Pizza, Pastry, Dessert

Ever heard this quote? “Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is.” Well, that is exactly what you’d think about this Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb cake. Only the cake is buttermilk-flavored, the chocolate are in the form of delicious chips, and the topping is a delectably rich streusel.


What is Streusel?

The term originally comes from the German word “streusel”, which means something scattered or sprinkled. Now in baking, it is a type of topping that mainly consists of flour, butter, and sugar. In some modern recipes, however, some pastry chefs add spices and different types of nuts in it.

streusel, crumb cake, crumble

Now, the consistency of this type of topping is rather crumbly, with scattered powdery clumps in the mix. It is often used as a topping for not only cake but also cupcakes, muffins, breads, pies, and other pastries.


This recipe doesn’t actually require an elaborate assembly, but you would need over an hour to bake it. However, with such luscious results, who cares how long it takes, right?

This is an adapted recipe from Lisa Yockelson’s Chocolate Chocolate.


Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Recipe

This delicious buttermilk chocolate chip crumb cake is great for an afternoon tea.
4.10 from 10 votes
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 6493kcal


Butter Crumb topping:

  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.25 cup plain flour


  • 1.25 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 stick butter (or 113 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest
  • 3/4 cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips for sprinkling on top of the cake Icing sugar, for sifting on top of the cake



  • Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
  • Lightly grease a 9X4 inch baking pan, then line baking sheet around the interior of pan.

To make the topping:

  • Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla essence over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.

Mix the batter:

  • Sift the plain flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.
  • Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
  • Add in orange zest, then add the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
  • Add in egg and beat for 45 seconds.
  • Mix in the vanilla essence.
  • Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
  • Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.
  • Let the cake cool completely. Peel off the baking sheet from the cake, then sift some icing sugar on top of the cake. Serve.
Calories: 6493kcal | Carbohydrates: 806g | Protein: 82g | Fat: 329g | Saturated Fat: 228g | Cholesterol: 870mg | Sodium: 2906mg | Potassium: 3035mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 410g | Vitamin A: 7635IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 1421mg | Iron: 25.3mg
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Note: If you prefer, you can also use crushed Italian dark chocolate for this recipe. As long as it has chocolate bits, along with butter and streusel topping, then you’re golden.

Proudly serve to family and friends during special occasions, or just whenever you feel like it. We bet they’d appreciate it either way.

Buon appetito!

One Response to “Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Recipe”

  1. Lucia says:

    Reading by the recipe, I think I can whip this up.. Let me try this at home.

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