Not-So-Deluxe Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffeecake

by brookefiore

Coconut? Chocolate chips? Coffeecake? This was sure to bring delight to my taste buds. I have to admit this recipe was a challenge. I think it is important to share my successful cooking adventures as well as some of my not-so-good kitchen creations. I had serious doubts about this cake, I really did. For starters, it is never good when the cake is already baking away in the oven that you realize you forgot to add the brown sugar, in fact, you’re not even really sure if the recipe called for brown sugar but there had to be a reason you pulled it out of the cabinet right?

 Then there’s the fact that the whole kitchen fills with this aroma of buttered toast. No coconut, no rich chocolate scents, no ingredient in the cake seems to tempt me. Just buttered toast. Even worse, I didn’t have toast for breakfast. I was so doubtful about this baking experience I failed to photograph any of the preparation process.

The sixty minutes of cooking should have crept by with anticipation, but I was almost dreading the final product. The batter had seemed thick and quite possibly over-stirred. I am a big repeat offender of the over stirring, I’m working on it though. The topping was missing its brown sugar – tossed in mid baking – and it seemed to resist melding with the tough batter below.

There was minimal liquid ingredients to this cake, an egg and some non-fat greek yogurt. Could I have possibly forgotten another ingredient?

Once out of the oven the cake cooled for about ten minutes in the pan and then it was safely transferred to sit atop a cooking rack, for another hour and a half. I left the house, the buttered toast aroma was concerning (however not as awful as the rendering beef suet from my previous project). I figured the whole cake would be a dud. I do my best to remain a positive person but I was really, really having my doubts about this one.

When I returned home I had nearly forgotten about this deluxe coffee cake (would it be a deluxe disaster?) but then I saw it, eyeing me from the counter top. I took a deep breath, transferred the cake to a serving platter and cut out a small sliver for taste testing.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, or rather my taste buds. The cake was moist, there was even an overwhelming coconut-chocolate flavor and the best part? That toasty smell had been the bread crumb crust setting up to make for a nice moist outer shell for the cake. Go figure.

While I wouldn’t rush to make this cake again it was quite the learning experience and it paired nicely with a cup of coffee for an afternoon sweet treat.

The recipe was taken from Joy of Cooking, no modifications to this recipe – well only the unintentional ones. Some have told me – my father – that it gets better with age!

Joy of Cooking’s Deluxe Coconut Chocolate Chip Coffeecake

Serves 8 to 10

 Generously grease the bottom and lightly grease the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with bread crumbs and turn lightly to coat. Tap out excess crumbs.

In a large bowl whisk together:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar

1 tsp salt

Add and cut in with a whisk until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs:

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter

Remove one cup of the mixture and set aside. To the remaining mixture thoroughly whisk in:

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda


3/4 buttermilk or low fat yogurt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk until smooth and fluffy about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (you may also use a hand held mixer on medium-high speed for about 1 minute). Fold in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top.

For the topping add to the one cup of reserved mixture:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup coconut

Sprinkle crumbs on top of batter and bake at 350 F for 50 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove pan side and let cook on the rack for 1 1/2 hours before serving.