Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake

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Sometimes in the summertime, chocolate can be given the heave-ho as berries and other summer fruits take center stage. Even so, a cake can come along to change this. Cause a girl’s gotta have her chocolate, right?!? Especially when it comes in the form of Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake. I know that’s a mouthful, and normally I shy away from giving food loooooong names, but in this case, it is totally worth it. I promise. 🙂

Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake | The Pajama Chef

This cake! Ohhh this cake. Crumb cakes just can’t be beat, can they? Well, a plain ‘ole crumb cake could get beat by this Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake, for sure. This cake is a buttery, flavorful masterpiece with a hint of sweet, tropical coconut. Using buttermilk in the cake itself just makes the batter so tangy and irresistible, and it bakes up soft and fluffy every. single. time. To lighten up the cake, I used the ‘ole half applesauce/half butter trick. For an even more decadent cake, use a full cup of butter, but really, the applesauce doesn’t affect the texture one single bit. I’m not a fan of applesauce in quick breads because the texture tends to get a little wonky, but here, the butter and buttermilk balances it out.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake | The Pajama Chef

Mixed into the batter are some mini chocolate chips and a touch of shredded coconut–see them? Mini chocolate chips > regular chocolate chips any day. Better chocolate to batter ratio, if you will. 🙂 Then, as a topper of this already amazing cake we have some crumbs. Normally, crumbs are a bad thing. A messy thing. [Think toast.] Not so with cake! These crumbs are delectable bits of sugar and butter and coconut emulsion that just melt in your mouth. I couldn’t get enough of them. Seriously folks, when I cut the cake a few crumbs happened to fall off the knife onto the floor or the countertop or even the bottom of the pan, guess where they ended up? If you guessed the trash can, you are dead wrong. If you guessed my mouth… then, well, we’re kindred spirits. For good measure, I threw some more mini chocolate chips and shredded coconut on top. This makes one heck of a cake, friends.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake | The Pajama Chef

If you like coconut and chocolate, then this is for you. I’ve been on a serious coconut kick over the past year plus and I think… I THINK… that this is the best coconut recipe that I have ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot of coconutty treats–candy, muffins, cookies, rice, even chicken. But this cake beats ’em all. I am extremely tempted to throw my day aside right now and head to the store for the few ingredients I need for this delightful cake. I’m starting the training for my fourth marathon soon, so I need the fuel, right? 🙂 Have a great weekend! Enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake [adapted from The Spiced Life]

click to print


for the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut emulsion [or extract]
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

for the crumb topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold & cubed
  • 1 teaspoon coconut emulsion [or extract]

for finish

  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray [or your butter wrapper!].

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on high for 1 minute. Then add applesauce and beat on medium for 1 minute to incorporate. Then add sugar and beat again until fully incorporated, scraping the sides as needed.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing between additions.

Then, stir together coconut emulsion and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and baking soda.

Alternately add buttermilk and flour to mixing bowl, beating on low in between additions and frequently scraping the sides. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan and set aside.

Next, prepare the crumb topping. Stir together flour and sugars, then cut in cubed butter with a pastry blender or two forks. Drizzle on coconut emulsion, then mix in with pastry blender. Sprinkle topping evenly over the batter, including the corners.

Bake for 50 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle with coconut. Return to oven for another 5 minutes then check for doneness with a toothpick. If toothpick does not come out clean, cover with foil and bake for another 5 minutes and check again. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately top with mini chocolate chips, then cool completely before cutting.

Time: 75 minutes [15 minutes active].

Yield: 16-20 servings, depending how you cut it.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.


28 thoughts on “Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake”

  1. This sounds amazing! I love the buttermilk in it. One of my favorite ingredients. I need a piece now! Good luck with your training, I’m sure you will rock it!


  2. Pinned it! Sounds so good! And since it’s a crumb cake, that qualifies it as breakfast food, no? Congrats on your upcoming marathon-you are hard core to have already done three!


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