Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake

I am not a baker. Heck, I am a totally novice chef too. But sometimes, if something or someone inspires me, nothing will stop me from working on an idea until I feel pretty good about it. I haven’t always been that way, but I get a little wiser as I get a little older. And boy do I feel old tonight as I write this. That’s what coaching baseball non-stop for 2 days will do to a person. But as a dad, nothing is better than that. Except maybe my wife, who is the inspiration behind this Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake | Find out if it's milk or buttermilk that make this crumb cake more moist | Real Food by Dad

So back to my first sentence. I am not a baker. I don’t pretend to be and never thought I would enjoy baking anything. Ever. Not in a million years. But living with an obsessed, perfectionist and amazingly talented baker, well, it rubs off on me a little. It helps to have things in common as we grow old together, right? And because Mother’s Day is approaching, and the boys and I are so crazy blessed to be loved by my wife, I thought I would express my love and appreciation for her in a way I thought she would love. Hence, my attempt at this family recipe.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake | Find out if it's milk or buttermilk that make this crumb cake more moist | Real Food by Dad

It took me two attempts to get this one right. Well, to where I thought I wouldn’t be embarrassed by her reaction to her first bite. The first time around, I used a milk and sour cream combination instead of buttermilk, but while that gave the cake a finer crumb, it left it a little dry. On my second attempt, I used buttermilk and the result was much better – a thicker crumb and much more moist.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake | Find out if it's milk or buttermilk that make this crumb cake more moist | Real Food by Dad

And while the base of this is indeed a family recipe, I was literally digging through our pantry to find some add-ins for the flavor to really make this one right up my wife’s alley. I see her do that all the time and it cracks me up, so this time, it was my turn. What did I find? Chocolate chips, coconut, toffee and caramel. Perfect. And saved me another dreadful trip to the grocery store.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake | Find out if it's milk or buttermilk that make this crumb cake more moist | Real Food by Dad

The result? Naomi loved it. Every bite. And believe me when I say this, there were a lot of bites. She’s pregnant after all and due in 3 weeks. So maybe it was just her voracious pregnant appetite (which I find so cute) and strange cravings, but regardless, she smiled and went back for more. Sometimes it’s simply the little things in life that make someone happy, and I think this Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake did just that. Now it’s off to the mall this week to buy her a cute post-pregnancy outfit. And maybe a couple little onesies for the little guy.

Yield: 12

Chocolate Chip and Toffee Crumb Cake

Chocolate Chip Toffee Crumb Cake from Real Food by Dad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and diced
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup toffee chips
  • 3/4 cup Kraft Caramels, quartered, (about 19 pieces)
  • 1 3/4 cup s all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  1. Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover 9x5 loaf pan with bake spray.
  2. To make the topping: Whisk flour and brown sugar until combined. Add in cold butter and cut into flour mixture using a pastry blender or two butter knives until mixture resembles pea-size crumbs. (Do not over-mix). Toss in 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips. Transfer mixture to refrigerator to chill while making the batter.
  3. To make the batter: Combine coconut, 3/4 mini chocolate chips, toffee and caramel pieces in a bowl; set aside. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time, beat until fully incorporated before adding the next one. Gradually add in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Fold add-in mixture to batter.
  4. Transfer batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake for about 90 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Start checking for doneness around 60 minutes. If topping starts to brown too much, place foil on top. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  5. **NOTES** (1) To toast coconut, place it on a bake sheet and spread it out to a thin even layer;bake at 350 degrees F for about 6 minutes or until coconut starts to turn golden. (2) Swap out or omit any add-ins (coconut, toffee, caramel pieces) to your preference.

Leave a comment & rate this recipe

If you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and review. Star ratings help people discover my recipes online. Your support means a great deal to me.

Leave a Comment

38 comments to " Chocolate Chip & Toffee Crumb Cake "

  • Tutti Dolci

    I can never say no to a crumb cake, this looks great! Digging through the pantry is the only way to go, love the mix-ins!

  • Mary

    What a cute post – you two seem so great for each other! Not to mention this cake… It looks absolutely amazing. I think you might have to reassess your “I am not a baker” standpoint!

  • Aimee Shugarman

    I’m pretty sure I’d devour this cake in 1.2 seconds. I love coffee treats (that how I refer to anything that can be eaten with coffee)!! PINNED!!

  • I just saw this on IG and I had to come to see the recipe. Loving the pictures. I wish I had a slice for breakfast right now 🙂

  • Kate@Diethood

    OMG!! I LOVE the topping! 2 days of baseball and then coming home to making this?? Not bad…not bad, at all. 🙂

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

    The crumb topping is making me drool. I would love a slice of this for breakfast. You made a winner with all the mix-ins!!

  • Heather @FrenchPress

    drooling, and headed to the pantry now

  • Alice Choi

    Well, isn’t this just the sweetest post ever?! I love that you are baking for Naomi . . so sweet and thoughtful and the fact that you made a second one in order to get the recipe just right and the thicker crumb and moist cake makes you a rock star. Bravo! Happy early mother’s day to Naomi! 🙂

  • You had me at toffee. Love this post. Love how much you love your family…you certainly hit the jackpot! I’m thinking this will be my breakfast tomorrow.

  • Alyssa

    I’m sure your wife loved being treated with some unexpected baking by you! I’m basically kicking myself for not putting a toffee spin on my coffee cake I posted last week…toffee is my favorite!! Pinning for next time 🙂

  • I love all the add-ins you found! See you guys DO pay attention!! ha! Looks delicious and good call using buttermilk!

  • Mike @TheIronYou

    Now that’s what I call a legit Crumb Cake, looks awesome Matt!

    PS thanks for stopping by TIY!

  • Paula

    Everything is better when you’re pregnant, but I have a feeling this is fabulous pregnant or not! Looks tasty!

    • Everything does, Paula, so true. I can rarely finish a meal without Naomi wanting to eat the final couple of bites. It’s really funny and I love it. Thanks!

  • I’m sure Naomi was thrilled to eat this! I think anyone would be!!! This looks so good!

  • simplygloria1

    Naomi is one lucky momma! This looks absolutely divine! I hope she has a wonderful Mother’s Day with all of her boys. 🙂

    • You’re so sweet, thanks Gloria. I am the lucky one, just trying to show my appreciation in a different way this year. This Mother’s Day is extra special with our new little one on the way in 3 weeks. Our 3 boys are spaced apart by age pretty similar to yours. Hope you have an amazing Mother’s Day too!

  • Serene Herrera

    This looks amazing Matt! I love adding toffee to things. Such a wonderful flavor 🙂 Naomi is one lucky pregnant lady to have you making all these delicious snacks!

    • Thanks Serene! Toffee on just about anything sweet is so good huh? I wish Naomi would leave me some leftovers though. I’d even take just a crumb or two:)

  • This was awesome! Everything about it. I loved all the add-ins. And that crumb streusel, you did an awesome job (admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised by this, Babe).

  • Hannah Pelkey

    I made this tonight and the batter spilled all over my oven as it was baking 🙁 it was in there for about 70 minutes. I had to take it out cause it was everywhere! It smelled good tho. I tasted the outer edge and it was yummy. Next time I might divide the batter into two loaf pans.

  • alison

    This seemed like way too much much batter and topping for a loaf pan so I baked it in an 8 inch square pan instead. It was still too much… had a big, fat, soupy, buttery mess on top. Didn’t get a nice crumb topping at all. And yes, I mixed the topping correctly and kept it refrigerated until I was ready to use it. And I used real butter, not margarine. Only thing I can think of is that it is only supposed to be a 1/2 of a stick of butter in the topping, not a 1/2 of a cup which is actually a whole stick? Very disappointed, high hopes for this recipe 🙁

Development Alchemy+Aim
Skip to Recipe