Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Apples

September 1, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Food52 Review: WHO: Risa Jampel is an ice dancing, tuna salad-loving dermatologist who lives in Baltimore.
WHAT: A coffee cake that’s just as comfortable at your next dinner party as it is at an afternoon tea, a weeknight family meal, or a Rosh Hashanah celebration.
HOW: Hide thin apple slices and a walnut cinnamon-sugar streusel between two layers of sour cream cake batter. Wait patiently while the cake bakes and browns, then slice a large wedge (don’t even bother with a skimpy piece).
WHY WE LOVE IT: With a crunchy top, an airy center dotted with chocolate chips, and just the right amount of fruit, this cake is everything you want it to be. It’s as humble as any everyday cake, but it’s got enough pizzazz to impress guests.
The Editors

Makes: one 9-inch cake
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter a springform pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the walnuts, the cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using hand beaters), beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light-colored and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until combined.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together (you will have sifted the flour twice, which keeps the cake light even with the addition of the sour cream).
  6. With the mixer running at low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the butter and sugar mixture. You want 3 additions of each, ending with the sour cream. Be sure not to over-mix!
  7. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Starting on the outside edge, place the apple slices in a concentric circle. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar-walnut mixture over the apples, then pour in the rest of the batter. Smooth with a rubber spatula.
  9. Top the cake with the remainder of the cinnamon-sugar-walnut mixture, then bake it for 40 minutes, or until it's golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan until the edges start to pull away from the sides.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
  • This recipe is a Community Pick!

More Great Recipes:
Cake|American|Chocolate|Grains|Sour Cream|Walnut|Apple|Make Ahead|Fall|Rosh Hashanah|Thanksgiving|Vegetarian

Reviews (60) Questions (0)

60 Reviews

Katrina N. November 14, 2018
Loved this cake, super easy to pull together with the ingredients I had hanging around (aka the lone apple I had in the fridge and half a tub of sour cream). Baked in a 9inch springform for 50 mins and it came out perfectly. It was moist in the middle, but didn't sink. Also great the next morning!
 
Gary S. October 6, 2018
I revisited this and tried using 9.5 inch bunt pan. I like to do the cake bible thing so mixed all dry and wet with butter at once then added the eggs last. <br />Cake was pale which was odd, and turns out someone forgot to add th baking soda...but the powder was enough to raise the batter. And weirdly the texture was amazing, like a cheesecake. Reminded me of a battenburg, something English about this. Really good, also for some odd reason it tasted less sweet. Wondering whether the paler cake developed less caramelization.<br />Anyway made it again, correctly this time, and I find it almost painfully sweet.
 
Michael P. September 28, 2018
I just made this in a 9 1/2 inch bundt pan. Flavor was great, I’d just cook it for less time.
 
Lily Y. March 19, 2018
I just made this cake, baking it in a parchment lined 11x7x2” glass dish, with the sides extended enough to lift out the cake. I baked it in a Breville Smart Oven on Convection Bake 350°F for 44 minutes. I rotated it about 2/3 through, when the oven told me to. I did not have any problems with it sinking in the middle. (I would suggest checking the freshness of your Baking Powder, if you had this problem.) Reading the other reviews, I used only 1 Tbsp Saigon Cinnamon — next time I will try increasing it to 1 1/2 Tbsp.
 
Alisa J. October 12, 2016
I just made this cake and like others, my cake was not fully cooked at 40 min. My oven is accurate and I used a 9 inch springform pan. I cooked for 50 min and it did sink in middle, I recommend cooking 50-60 min. I also agree that 2 tablespoons of cinnamon is too much. I think I will give this cake another try with adjustments.
 
Ting August 19, 2016
Made the cake last night and serve it at the breakfast party this morning. I followed the recipe with nothing changed and used the same size spring form pan. 40 mins in the oven and it came out perfectly done. Because it is hot summer, I baked this cake in my counter top toaster oven instead the big stove underneath the stove top. Cool and leave the cake at room temp over night. Colleagues liked it.
 
susanne M. August 26, 2016
Your toaster oven holds a 9" springform pan??? I have a pretty decent size toaster oven but would never be able to fit that in! Glad you had good results ~ sounds delicious :)
 
susanne M. November 6, 2015
I wish I had read the comments before making this cake ~ I had the same "mess in the middle" issues. I made the foil tent and continued to bake but found after cooling that the bottom and sides had started to burn as I cooked the cake to firmness in the middle :( . Followed directions to a tee, used 9" springform pan and some batter even spilled over the top while baking. I feel as if this one may need to go "back to the test kitchen" for some further revisions ~ clearly has some delicious possibilities but too many issues as i stands now! Please let us know if they fine-tune the recipe!
 
Pam November 4, 2015
I loved this coffee cake! I used honeycrisp apples sliced very thinly to avoid any sogginess, and baked it for 48 minutes. It turned out perfectly and was a huge hit. I used a bit less cinnamon and sugar in the topping than was called for. The walnuts on top offered a nice crunchy addition on top as well.
 
Aija K. October 17, 2015
Followed exactly to the recipe, bake for 40 min and it was not done then additional 10 min and still rear, added 5 min more and then it's done...the cake was too sweet and complete mess...sorry, will not recommend it to anyone... :-(
 
Gary S. October 2, 2015
Followed exactly and my oven is reliable, and looked done at 40 minutes but complete mess. I wonder if you are using an apple with less water content, like a Granny Smith and that is the difference here.
 
Strudel March 5, 2015
Has anyone made this cake the day before intended serving? Curious to know the quality...day after.
 
Transcendancing March 5, 2015
I found that covered with plastic wrap, it was still fresh and moist the day after from memory, and for a couple of days after that if memory serves.
 
Angela January 11, 2015
This was so good! Mine turned out just like the pics, and was fully baked in 40 min. Only changes were that I only used a tablespoon of cinnamon (like another commenter), and I didn't have a full cup of sour cream, so I subbed some leftover mascarpone for about half the amount.
 
Ahuva December 11, 2014
Has anyone ever tried using Tofutti Brand replacement for regular sour cream? Looking for a non-dairy substitute.... if that is possible.
 
Mickey0627 October 24, 2014
Delicious cake! When I checked the cake at 40 minutes, it was still liquidy in the center. I had to cook it for a total of 60 minutes. I used a 9 inch springform pan, and the thermometer in my oven was reading 375. I don't know what the problem was, but after 60 minutes, the cake wa great!
 
Milehighlori October 19, 2014
Excellent snack cake. I brought it in for co-workers and everyone had seconds. The only changes I made - 1 Tb cinnamon, pecans (out of walnuts) and I baked it for the same amount of time in an 11 x 7 glass dish. Great combination of flavors.
 
Emily D. October 19, 2014
Just to say this recipe is tagged as gluten free and it clearly isn't. Looks delicious though.
 
Transcendancing October 13, 2014
I cooked this in a bundt tin and the result is delicious - also not sunken! I also lined the tin with apple slices for additional effect. Assuming I make this again (and I'd like to), I'd probably layer all of the walnut-cinnamon sugar mixture inside the cake as I don't think it worked to best effect on top (especially in a bundt tin). I served this while still warm with cream - divine!
 
J. P. October 2, 2014
To all of those who are confused that there is no coffee in the coffee cake recipe - are you serious?
 
Nitya B. October 16, 2014
Yes I was serious. I am British, and a 'coffee cake' in the UK would always have coffee in it. So sorry to have caused you such outrage.
 
Author Comment
Risa J. October 1, 2014
'Coffee cake' suggests you have along with coffee or tea - no coffee in the recipe.
 
Nitya B. October 1, 2014
Looking to make this tomorrow but I can't seem to find where the coffee comes into the recipe. It's neither in the ingredients list nor the method? Any advice would be much appreciated!