Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Elliott's favorite birthday cake is a sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake that his mom used to make. I acquired the recipe a few years ago, but either because Elliott's mom knew it so well or because I did a bad job copying it, there are a few key details missing. Several years in, I think I've worked out the recipe gaps, so I'm recording it here so I don't have to re-invent the wheel every year.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work well)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag (10-12oz) chocolate chips


1) Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan. (For reference, the one I use has a 12 cup capacity. This seems to be about the right size. If you didn't have pan this large, you could probably use two standard loaf pans which are usually ~6 cup capacity.)
2) Process nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until they take on a gravely consistency and put the nut/sugar mixture at the bottom of the pan
3) Add baking soda and baking powder to sour cream
4) Cream butter, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl
5) Alternate adding sour cream mixture and flour to butter mixture, mixing lightly between additions
6) Add vanilla and chocolate chips and mix until just combined (although as I recently learned on The Sporkful podcast, a common mistake is to under mix in fear of developing too much gluten structure and that can lead to subpar baked goods as well)
7) Pour batter into pan on top of sugar/nut mixture
8) Bake for ~45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (I've frequently found this takes a bit longer than 45 minutes, but I also suspect my oven runs cool.)