I love this Chocolate Party theme (buttermilk and chocolate). I adore tangy, rich buttermilk and the flavor and texture it brings to baked goods. There are many great chocolate cakes made with buttermilk, but I wanted to really be able to taste the buttermilk, so I chose this crumb cake, studded with miniature chocolate chips. Neither the chocolate nor the buttermilk dominate, instead complementing one another in perfect harmony. This is a fantastic cake, equally at home in the morning, at afternoon tea and/or after dinner for dessert. In other words, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
I found the recipe in what is one of my holy texts of baking, Lisa Yockelson’s ChocolateChocolate. I got this book what feels like an age ago, when I first joined The Good Cook. It was one of those deals where you choose a gazillion books for a penny each, so toward the end I was just choosing anything that sounded even vaguely interesting. I had never heard of Lisa Yockelson (this was before my serious cookbook collecting days), but I love chocolate, so I threw the book in. 7 years plus later, it is one of my most used cookbooks. With 200 recipes, I am not nearly done exploring it either. It is worth every single penny–however many pennies that turns out to be.
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- hefty pinch of kosher salt
- 12 T (3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted cold butter, cubed
- 2 t vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups (315 g) AP flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 lb (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 T vanilla
- 1 cup full fat buttermilk
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9X13 baking pan with parchment paper.* Set aside.
Make the topping: Whisk together the flour, sugars and salt. Cut the cold butter into the flour mix--I used cold hands to rub it in. You should end up with what looks like gravel and chunks of butter no larger than a pea.
Drizzle the vanilla over this mixture. Use your hands to toss it and clump it together. Do not worry about over mixing--and when you sprinkle it on top you will break the clumps back up.
Next make the cake batter: whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Remove 1 tablespoon of this mixture to toss with the 1 1/2 cups of mini chocolate chips.
Using a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar slowly, beating on a high speed, until all sugar has been added and the mixture is light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk, in 3 and 2 additions, respectively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom frequently.
Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake batter evenly, clumping and crumbling as you sprinkle. The topping should be evenly distributed over all of the cake, including the corners.
Bake the cake for about 60 minutes, until the topping is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.
When you remove the cake from the oven, immediately sprinkle the 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips over the cake.
*If you are using a glass or ceramic casserole dish, do not line with parchment paper and let the cake cool completely before slicing in the pan. I use a non stick metal pan, however, which I prefer not to use a knife on. So when the cake has cooled for about 15 minutes, quickly and carefully remove the cake by the edges of the parchment paper to a platter or cake keeper. You can then either use a large cake spatula to life the cake and slide the paper out from under it, or you can just cut the edges away and leave the paper under the cake.
Either way, let cool completely before slicing.