Caramel Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake

I’m all about caramel this week, so when I found this recipe on Land o’ Lakes, I headed straight to the kitchen to try it.  I don’t think I’d ever made a chocolate streusel.

The cake in the picture was impressive and used “around-the-house” ingredients….including caramels. The technique was also a bit different. Instead of mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time, Land o’ Lakes says to just add them all in. I was skeptical, but their photo has a blue ribbon next to the cake so I did what the recipe said to do (at least for that part).

The end result was a very delicious cake. My only tip is to let the cake cool completely and allow the melted caramel to cool and thicken before drizzling. I poured the caramel on when it was too warm and the caramel not only spread, it melted the chocolate chips on top. I sprinkled more chocolate chips on top when I thought the caramel was cool, but it wasn’t and they melted too. So don’t be like me, be patient. It’s a good cake if you follow directions.

Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake


Caramel Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Caramel Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Streusel Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mini or 2/3 cup regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter – melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Drizzle Ingredients
  • 14 caramels – unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons half & half or milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 inch round springform pan with baking spray.
  2. Combine all streusel ingredients in small bowl; set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in all remaining ingredients.
  5. Spoon half of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle half of streusel mixture over batter in pan. Spoon remaining batter over streusel; top with remaining streusel. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife along sides of pan to loosen edge. Remove side of pan. Cool at least 30 minutes. (Anna’s Note: Cool completely if you have the time).
  6. Just before serving, combine caramels and half & half (or milk) in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are completely melted (5 to 8 minutes). Cool until thick enough to drizzle nicely; drizzle warm (not hot!) caramel over cake.
For the melted caramel, I melted 3/4 cup caramel bits with 2 tablespoons of milk for 2 minutes on high and stirred every 30 seconds. Let cool and thicken before drizzling.
I also “micro-toasted” the pecans. Lay pecans on a sheet of paper towel and microwave on high for 2 ½ minutes. Let cool completely, then chop
Regular size chocolate chips work just fine.


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  1. says

    Well, it’s an issue. I wish I had a good venue for all the stuff I bake, but I don’t. I’m always looking for takers.

    For this cake, I cut off a piece for myself then placed the cake on Release foil, froze it until the caramel was hard, then wrapped it tightly in the foil. So now I have a frozen cake for when unexpected company pops in (which is never).

  2. says

    You are all about the caramel this week and you are tempting me to buy a bag and go nuts. Maybe if I see a bag on sale or if I magically obtain a coupon lol For now, I am bookmarking this and the machiato cookies for the future.

  3. Amy says

    I never pre mix dry ingredients and always get great baking results. What is the purpose of pre-mixing? Should I do this?

  4. says

    Anna you reminded me of the time I made rocky road brownies and poured the chocolate frosting over the hot marshmallows only to see it all sink. BTW, here’s an idea for your baked goods: have a garage/bake sale. I just did and it emptied out my freezer so I can bake again! And you can bet I will be making this coffee cake. It looks delicious! I just have to find those caramel bits. I will try Target. But I have to make the Jr.’s cheesecake first — you’re finding too many good recipes!

  5. says

    Carla, once you own you very own bag of caramel bits, you’ll understand. I have a coupon, but I didn’t use it.

    Amy, that’s a good question. I always thought it had something to do with buffering the chemical leavening. That is, if the leavening is buried in flour, maybe the chemical reactions wouldn’t occur so quickly when it hit moisture. Or maybe it just has to do with clumping. In some recipes, sifting the leavening in with the flour might help dispurse it better when mixed in with the batter. However, a lot of the King Arthur Flour recipes just say to dump it in too. So maybe it just depends on the individual recipe.

    Judy, I like your idea. Personally, I’d love to just do a small bake sale. However, the neighbors would think I’d lost my mind UNLESS I combined the bake sale with an actual garage sale which is more socially acceptable in my area.

  6. says

    I made this coffee cake this morning, but in muffin form. I didn’t change any of the ingredients or measurements, just put it together like a muffin: melted the butter and whisked with liquids and added to dry ingredients. I used regular size chocolate chips, a mixture of semisweet and milk. Had no trouble with the caramel topping. Only microwaved for about 45 seconds, till it bubbled up once, then stirred til it was smooth and drizzled over the cooled muffins. These are absolutely the best muffins I have ever tasted! The texture is so delicate and light and the flavors blend perfectly. They are dangerous. And I love the caramel bits. Thanks so much for the recipe and the tips. Will post the muffin recipe to my blog tomorrow. I need to do something else now.

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