Cocoa Crumble-Topped Chocolate Mocha Cake
I love crumble-topped cakes and muffins.
And although I’ve never had or heard of a cocoa crumble, I made it.
I was brainstorming about this cake on a long run (I’m running a half marathon this weekend), which is where most of my recipes begin to crystallize. I had chocolate cake on my brain, and a crumble-topped coffee cake, and I married the two.
The cake is an easy, no mixer cake with plenty of smooth, chocolate flavor. It’s sweet enough, but not too sweet, and can do double duty for brunch as a coffee cake or enjoy it as a casual after-dinner cake.
There are two special items in the batter to help the cake develop great flavor and stay springy soft.
The first is a quarter cup of brewed coffee. The cake doesn’t taste like coffee was dumped in the cake and I don’t recommend substituting for it even if you don’t like coffee.
Any time you’re baking with chocolate or cocoa for chocolate cakes, muffins, brownies, or donuts, adding coffee helps to accentuate and intensify the chocolate flavor. Rarely, however, does it pack enough punch to actually change the overall flavor profile of the item.
The second signature ingredient is BAILEYS® Coffee Creamers Chocolatini. It’s a creamy, alcohol-free flavor that tastes like a sophisticated chocolate martini met creamy chocolate milk. If you can’t find the Chocolatini flavor, try BAILEYS® Coffee Creamers Mudslide or even chocolate milk may be substituted.
This isn’t the first time I’ve baked a cake with coffee creamer and won’t be the last. The creamer, in conjunction with Greek yogurt and a splash of oil, create a cake that’s soft, moist, and bouncey.
Before baking, the cake is topped with those lovely cocoa crumbles. I had a hard time not wanting to just eat the bowl of them. The crumbles add another layer of chocolate flavor, while also providing texture.
The cake has enough density and heft to sink your teeth into and be satisfying, yet it’s still light and fluffy.
And those buttery soft crumble pieces are worthy of crumble-picking. You know, going around to all the other pieces of cake, picking off that topping, and putting it on your piece. Guilty as charged.
Cocoa Crumble-Topped Chocolate Mocha Cake
This is an easy, no mixer cake with plenty of smooth, chocolate flavor. It’s sweet enough, but not too sweet, and can do double duty for brunch as a coffee cake or enjoy it as a casual after-dinner cake. Brewed coffee helps to round out and intensify the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste like coffee, and I don’t recommend substituting for it even if you don’t like coffee. Baileys Chocolatini Coffee Creamer is a creamy, alcohol-free flavor that tastes like a sophisticated chocolate martini met creamy chocolate milk. If you can’t find Chocolatini, try Baileys Mudslide flavor or even chocolate milk. The creamer, in conjunction with Greek yogurt and a splash of oil, create a cake that’s soft, moist, and bouncey. The cocoa crumble and glaze add even more rich chocolate flavor.
Cocoa Crumble Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (half of 1 stick)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (sour cream may be substituted)
1/4 cup BAILEYS® Coffee Creamers Chocolatini (BAILEYS® Coffee Creamers Mudslide or chocolate milk may be substituted)
1/4 cup brewed coffee (leftover from morning brew is okay; does not make cake taste like coffee)
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
- Cocoa Crumble Topping – In a medium, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and with a fork, stir lightly to combine. Fluff mixture with the fork until sandy small pebbles and crumbly bits form; set aside.
- Cake – In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and optional salt. Whisk well to make sure any lumps from cocoa have been stirred smooth; set aside.
- In a large measuring cup or separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, creamer, coffee, oil, and vanilla.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a rubber spatula until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Using your fingers, evenly top with the cocoa crumble topping.
- Bake for about 30 to 32 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Watch your cake, not the clock, and always bake until done noting that climate, oven, and exact ingredients used effect baking time. Cake may have some pits and valleys, with some sections being higher or lower than others. This is okay and happens because the crumble topping weighs down certain sections more so than others.
- Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and glazing.
- Glaze – To a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons creamer, and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
- Whisk together until smooth. Depending on desired consistency, you may need to play with the creamer and sugar ratios slightly.
- Evenly drizzle the glaze over the cake before slicing and serving. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. I’m comfortable storing glazed cakes at room temperature, but if you’re not, glaze only the portion you plan to consume immediately; I don’t recommend refrigerating the cake because it will dry out.
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This post brought to you by Baileys Creamers. Recipe and all opinions expressed are my own.